Hello? Is the signal coming through? Testing one, two, three! Can you hear what that which is essential to recognize in your own inner dialogue? Are you attending to exactly what your sweet, beautiful heart is calling out for amid the clatter and rattling of the day-to-day rumblings filling your head? Just what, specifically, does it take for you to listen carefully to yourself? Have you ever really thought about this? How do you heed whatever noteworthy inner messages or intuitive callings you receive?
If you can’t first hear yourself and attend to your own deep knowings, how can you expect another to listen to and hear you? It is essential to attend to our own inner whispers before they can even begin to transform, under the warmth of self-compassion, into meaningful, radiantly powerful communications with others.
I love to remind my coaching clients that we can only make ourselves meaningfully understood if we are first listening for, and then to, our own inner truths. To express ourselves authentically, we must first dig deep and listen intensely and mindfully to what is inside us. Only then can we connect to others in a way that builds profoundly rich, dynamic, juicy relationships. So how do you break through, hearing your inner signals over the noise of random chatter, judgmental thoughts or negative self-talk?
Here are some key things to keep in mind to help boost one’s signal-to-noise ratio, first with one’s self, and then between yourself and others. Listening to your body is the perfect place to begin. Our bodies are always communicating massive amounts of valuable information. We just need to tune in. Critical data is discovered when you notice what you might otherwise tend to write off as mere physical discomfort )or body chatter, if you will). Such data, for example, might be symptoms such as headaches, digestive issues, acne or facial breakouts, sudden trips and falls, under -or over -eating, etc.
With sometimes just mere seconds of reflection, you can often quickly and intuitively recognize what you are feeling or thinking based on a body state or symptom. I’ve learned, for instance, to take due note when I’m walking and take a little stumble. More often than not, this happens when I’m totally “in my head” thinking specifically about something someone has done that has upset or hurt me. Sadly, it occasionally takes a little tumble to get me to register the emotional impact of a painful exchange. This is not something I’m especially proud to admit, but it is a prime example of how the noise in my head can momentarily distract me from an emotional reality I have yet to register. Mindful body awareness then helps me connect the two. And usually without major incident!
Another key way to deepen one’s awareness of self while lowering unhelpful internal noise volume happens by cultivating a regular, simple meditation practice. There is good reason why this has been an age-old practice. Meditation is really the place where we can meet ourselves full-on.
Practicing meditation can help your mind and your senses settle. Quieting those distracting, internal rumblings – a mind, for instance, that continually wanders – allows unnecessary, unhelpful thoughts to recede. Then, almost magically, in the midst of the clearing, crucial underlying awarenesses, and intuitive knowings surface. A pathway opens. Your way becomes clear as the thoughts you really need to attend to surface. Inside your confusion, pain, stress, or even pleasure-seeking, one can often find, through the calming and training of your mind, essential elements of your authentic self you are being called upon to recognize or reclaim. Boom. The signal suddenly runs loud and clear. You receive information you most need from yourself to yourself. And as a bit of icing on the cake, do know that most typically, the signals you’ll receive are frequently heart-opening bits of information. Delicious indeed.
Another means of sharpening your internal signal-to-noise ratio is by practicing the art of self-compassion. Gentle, tender self-compassion goes a long way in quieting problematic thoughts and anxieties. Many people struggle with a tendency to focus on ways they do not like themselves, perfecting unhelpful talents of harshly judging, devaluing, or mistrusting themselves. Beating yourself up in this fashion can only create negative energy, anxiety and self-hatred. It’s pretty darn hard to trust positive signals from your beautiful self when putting one’s self down in the same breath. Words matter. Words matter a lot, as does the tone of which we talk, first to ourselves, and then to others. Practice the art of careful word and tone choice when addressing yourself.
So again, testing one, two, three… Are you accepting and loving toward yourself? You will gain not only a great, happy state of being, but also the benefit of keeping intuitive pathways of deep self-knowledge open and accessible. Treat yourself with the care and gentleness you desire feeling from others. Watch as you then experience a sense of inner calm, relaxation and contentless. Notice how this enables you to hear yourself loud and clear and sweetly. Simple, powerful and profound at the same time.
If our personal operating system is in good running order, and we know what is rolling internally on our emotional landscapes, we are going to be much more capable when it comes to communicating with others. And since we are beings wired for connection, honoring one’s inner landscape is a primary first step toward cultivating and nourishing good relationships. We hold within ourselves an unlimited source of rich feelings, wisdom and inspiration. And, as it has been said, in many ways and by many people, what we seek is already inside us. Our primary job then, when it comes to boosting our signal-to-noise ratio, is to mindfully honor our internal world. To mine the gold within. When we can trust what we know, feel, and believe, our signal shines bright and strong. The noise ceases and we are guided home!
“Remember…the entrance to the sanctuary is inside you.” ~Rumi
This article is also published in The Brick Magazine!