ďAt any moment, you have a choice, that either leads you closer to your spirit or further away from it.Ē Thich Nhat Hahn
Last summer my husband and I went away for our anniversary. We went to the White Mountains of New Hampshire for some camping and hiking. Mind you, my husband has hiked the Appalachian Trail and his idea of a hike is far different than my idea of a hike.
He wanted to climb Moat Mountain, a two-mile climb with an elevation of 2800 feet. It was a ninety-degree day in August with about ninety percent humidity, otherwise a perfect day for a hike.
What the heck I thought. Not my idea of a walk in the park, yet I wanted to be with him. Part of my intention for our anniversary weekend was to do things he liked to do. I began to climb. Very soon into the hike it was clear that I was not having a good time. I was exhausted and it was dangerously hot. He kept asking me if I wanted to turn back and I stubbornly continued.
On and on I hiked. I told him he could go on ahead and I would take it slow. I crawled under bushes to catch any glimpse of shade I could find to catch my breath. I was determined to make it to the top to prove to him and myself I could do it. Big mistake. A quarter of a mile from the top my body would go no further. I limped my way down the mountain and wound up with heat stroke and spent the rest of our vacation recovering.
What this powerful experience taught me is to listen. Listen to my inner wisdom; listen to the messages of my body and pay attention to whatís really happening. I knew there was no way I could make it up that mountain in ninety-degree heat and furthermore I really didnít want to. I wanted to prove something and I disregarded my own inner wisdom.
Have you ever wondered why you donít listen?
It is easy to get caught up in the frenzy and fullness of life and stop listening. How often do you push through a busy schedule, aware of the stress and ignore a message you get from you body? How many times have you heard the voice of your inner knowing clearly giving you a message that you donít stop and listen to?
Do you want to wait until youíre dangerously close to an edge before you listen? Here are some suggestions to help you exercise listening to your inner wisdom.
1. Know yourself. What do you really want and need? Are you willing to stand up for your own life?
2. Practice. Listening is like a muscle that needs strengthening. You can listen with more than just your ears; you can listen with your heart as well. Slow down, close you eyes for a minute. What do you hear or feel?
3. Learn to trust your own inner voice. When you start trusting yourself you will experience more flow and fulfillment.
4. Watch for the confirmations life sends you. This will help to reinforce the value of listening and encourage you to keep sharpening the skill. Itís also delightful to witness the amazing learning possible when you are listening.
When I donít listen itís usually because thereís something I donít want to hear. That day on the mountain I needed to ask myself a hard question, ďwhy was I willing to risk my health or life to prove to my husband that I could do the things he liked to do?Ē It was because I didnít want to feel left out. Yet, by NOT listening, I left myself out.
When I listen my life flows more easily. I am guided toward the things that work for me as well as for others. Iím more honest and Iím more me.
Now, when my husband asks me to hike with him, I am delighted to go or not, walk as far as I want and know weíre both having a better time because we are both following our heart.
Helaine Iris is a certified Life Coach, writer and teacher. She works with individuals, entrepreneurs, and professionals, who want to integrate their life purpose with their personal and professional life to create a life thatís joyful, fulfilling and successful. Are you ready to take a step that could change your life? For a complimentary session visit her website http://www.pathofpurpose.com or call her 603-357-8546 or email her email@example.com