Listen to Your Inner Voice (it knows what’s best for you)
- Mel’s weekly food pick: Chickpeas
- Mel’s weekly recipe pick: Herbed Falafel Patties
We all have an inner voice. Some call it intuition, while others refer to it as a gut feeling. Where does this voice come from?
I believe it is the voice of my higher self, my true nature—that which is directly connected to a higher power. Call this power Divine energy, Source, God, Nature, or Spirit; the name doesn’t matter. In fact, I find that when we put a label on it, we inadvertently negate its immense power. We almost belittle it.
The name then conjures up images of something outside of us.
We ALL have an inner voice (yes, you too!)
As I contemplate the source of this inner voice, there is a deep knowing that I am directly connected to it.
- How else am I able to explain unbelievably good ideas that seem to come out of thin air?
- Where did these hunches and gut feelings come from that sure enough came true?
- Where does my pure clarity of purpose originate? I have no doubt that what I am doing with my life is exactly what I’m supposed to be doing. I am living my purpose, and I feel it deep within.
As human beings, we have gotten pretty good at ignoring our inner voice, yet it is essential that we learn how to tap into it. Tune in. When it tells you to go left instead of right, go left; there’s a reason. When you have a sure knowing about something but don’t know how you know it, that’s the voice, so don’t question it.
Mel’s inner voice experience (don’t worry…it’s not weird!)
A few summers ago, we put our pet box turtle Dan (hubby named him, not me!?) in his outside enclosure. On this particular evening it started to thunderstorm, but we thought nothing of it because Dan loves being out in the rain. After about thirty minutes, the storm passed, and the sun came out again. It was getting late, so Wayne went to retrieve Dan…but to our surprise, he was gone!
He escaped and was nowhere to be found.
We frantically scoured every square inch of our backyard, searching under countless bushes and leaf piles. No Dan. Wayne was visibly upset and reluctantly suggested we cease our search.
“Mel, let’s just let him go,” he said. “There’s no way we are going to find him out here.”
Wayne resignedly threw in the towel, but I continued to search. What he didn’t realize was that I had an inner knowing that Dan was close by. I could feel it in my gut. As I tapped into my inner voice, it guided me to go to the edge of our property line. Go to the back! Go to the back! I heard it say. I followed these intuitive instructions and continued walking until I reached our neighbor’s backyard, some five hundred feet from Dan’s enclosure. Sure enough, there he was, frightened and closed up in his shell by the neighbor’s fence, almost completely camouflaged by his surroundings. I picked him up, gave him a big hug (yes, it is possible to hug a turtle), and proceeded to share my find with a very jubilant Wayne.
Call it your inner voice or a quiet knowing; we all have it. We just have to tune in and trust.
Meditation: a tool for connecting to your inner voice
Why are we so good at ignoring this voice? Quite honestly, I don’t believe we even recognize it when it speaks. We may not even know what it is or trust it, for that matter. Or perhaps we’re so busy listening to the constant chatter of our egocentric mind that we don’t make the peaceful space necessary to hear it.
The most effective way to tap into your inner voice is through meditation– a practice of entering into the present moment by focusing on your breath. Please don’t get all hung up on the name! If the word meditation feels strange to you, replace it with one of these:
Resting my mind
What meditation isn’t…and what it is
Now let’s clear up a common misconception about meditation. It does not involve stopping thought completely—that would be impossible, as we have anywhere between fifty thousand to seventy thousand thoughts each day.
Consider meditation this way:
Imagine an ocean as the waves crest and break upon the surface. Although not visible from the shore, deep beneath these very active rolling waves, exists calm waters. Think of the thoughts, emotions, and “baggage” you bring to meditation as the roaring waves, and meditation, as the practice that helps you get closer to the calm ocean underneath. There will be times when you achieve the state of deep, still water, and yet other times you may be just beneath the surface. Both are progress and should not be judged.
What are the rules of meditation?
There are none. In fact, there is no right or wrong way to meditate.
When I meditate, I focus on my breath as it goes in and out. When a thought creeps into my mind while I’m meditating (and it always does!), I acknowledge it and gently escort it out of my inner space, while continuing to focus on my breath.
During these quiet, meditative moments, I am able to clear the static and make room for my intuitive abilities to surface. I meditate in the morning, about fifteen minutes after waking up. Why? Because I haven’t talked to a single person, checked a single email, or allowed any momentum to build. I literally wake up, brush my teeth, take my vitamins, stretch, and meditate.
Meditation and healthy choices
You may be wondering if meditation can help you make positive lifestyle choices. Of course it can!
First, meditation is, in and of itself, a healthy choice. It lowers blood pressure, reduces stress, and provides you with a calm and easy state of mind. But I would like to take this even deeper, if I may.
Your higher self knows what is best for your health. It is grounded in purity and nature, and it knows how to thrive. And since it comes from nature, does it not make logical sense that it would desire sustenance from the same source?
Deep inside of us is a constant craving to feel good and at peace, but we often lose touch and forget what good and peace feel like. You know exactly what I’m talking about if, right now, you are reading these words, knowing that things must change for you. You know that you deserve more and better than what you’ve been feeding yourself.
Food and the unspoken power of your inner voice
As you journey towards a healthier you, I fully respect that it’s not so easy to just say no to your all-time favorite comfort foods like pizza and ice cream. Food is legal, it’s delicious, and– depending on what and how much you eat– can contribute to ease or dis-ease in your body. The point is, food will always be around; there’s no escaping it, so you must learn how to coexist with it peacefully if you want to heal at any level.
Your inner voice is an unspoken power; a consciousness that knows only wellness. When tapped into, this invisible force can empower you to stand before a buffet of party food and say no to the pizza in favor of the veggie tray…without feeling tempted.
It is during daily meditation and quiet reflection, where you are able to reach that place inside you that will settle for nothing less than purity. When you connect to this deeper you, really settle in and listen, choosing veggies over pizza will feel like…home.
Connect to your inner voice
I invite you to try it out for yourself; experience the peace and power that come from going within. Start with five minutes, and increase your time from there if you choose. You may find it helpful to listen to guided meditations, which walk you through the process step by step. There are a number of free guided meditations available online, or you can download one of the many meditation apps available through your phone. I’ve been using the free meditation app Insight Timer for years and love it!
Mel’s weekly food pick:
Chickpeas (also known as garbanzo beans)– along with lentils, beans, peas and peanuts– are a member of the legume family. Legume is just a fancy word meaning “contained within a pod”.
A salad-bar staple, and also the main ingredient in hummus and falafel (see this week’s recipe pick below), chickpeas are simply brimming with goodness. Because of their abundant fiber, chickpeas are considered a low-glycemic (gentle on blood sugar) food ideal for those with diabetes or pre-diabetes. They also claim bragging rights for manganese (a necessary trace mineral for collagen production), magnesium (a common mineral-deficiency shared by many Americans), folate, iron, zinc, and copper.
Did you know that the fiber in chickpeas also promotes healthy blood pressure and cholesterol levels? Seriously, knowing this, why would you not eat chickpeas?
Because they are so versatile, you can not only enjoy them whole in salads, stews, and baked chickpea snacks, but also blended into homemade hummus and falafel patties. In addition, there’s an entire line of chickpea pasta, called Banza, that makes a wonderful, fiber-rich replacement for traditional wheat-based pasta. Check out this recipe for Upgraded Mac-n-Cheese using Banza shells.
Mel’s weekly recipe pick:
Herbed Falafel Patties