I hear a lot of people say they aren't sure who they are, they're unclear on what's important to them, they can't remember what they love doing, and that they just don't have time to figure it out -- even though they know it's important. I believe a lot of this has to do with not making room to listen to our inner wisdom.
Notice I used the phrase "making room". Not taking time, not making time, but making room – meaning allowing your inner-self to expand into your inner wisdom – to literally take up space within your body, your thoughts, and your mind. Take a few minutes and think about that. Close your eyes. What would allowing your inner wisdom to expand within you feel like? What would giving room for your inner thoughts do for you?
Listening (and hearing) your inner wisdom is the truth. It's your truth. It's what will guide you and help you answer all those questions you have about your place in life, your values, what to do next, what's important to you, what you need to thrive and be well, how to create your best life, how to be truly and genuinely you.
The question then becomes how do you make room for your inner wisdom with your busy life, your endless to-do lists, deadlines, responsibilities, children, team members, spouse, exercise, doing laundry and getting the groceries, etc. (the proverbial lack of time)?
Here are 10 ideas to get you started:
1.Sit still (and in silence) for 5 minutes a day. If that feels too long, start with 2 minutes. You can also just stare out the window for a few minutes too and let your mind wander. Or, when you're driving to places, turn off the radio. Just drive in silence observing what you see around you.
2. Read an inspiring or motivational book for 10 minutes before bed.
3. Disconnect from social media for one day per week or reduce the amount of time you spend scrolling each day. Did you know that Canadians spend an average of 1 hour and 46 minutes per day on social media? Social media can be particularly toxic to making room for our thoughts, because often it's a mindless activity.
4. Instead of watching a show, go for a walk. Canadians watch an average of 24 hours of tv per week – that’s over 3 hours per day! Try walking without listening to music or a podcast and see what happens. Better yet, grab a friend and go for a walk date!
5. Spend time in nature – even sitting in your backyard or going to your neighbourhood park and observing the trees and flowers will do wonders.
6. Journal – there are many journaling techniques you can learn about online, but you can start with simply writing down three things you're grateful for each day. This is a simple practice that is extremely powerful.
7. Try meditating, even for just a few short minutes a day. First thing in the morning or right before bed are great times to meditate. The benefits are numerous and very powerful! The most successful people in the world have meditation practices that they do every day. If you’re not comfortable sitting in quiet for a few minutes, try a guided meditation – there are lots of free apps out there – here a few to check out:
8. Do something creative with your hands like colouring, knitting, gardening or baking (again, try doing this without the tv or radio on).
9. Check in on your values. If you're not sure what your core values are, you can get my free worksheet when you sign up for my newsletter that will help you define and clarify your values.
10. Most importantly of all, breathe, and allow your inner wisdom to expand within you. Breathing is the simplest thing that helps in any situation. Breathing calms the central nervous system, it centres us, and brings us into the present moment. Breathing slows down our heart rate. Being intentional with breathing allows us to draw in healing oxygen into our bodies. When we’re stressed our breathing gets shallow and quick so taking a few intentional long slow breaths allows our bodies and minds and hearts to calm. This doesn’t need to take long. Something that works for me is putting my hands over my heart, closing my eyes and taking 3 deep breaths any time I’m feeling a bit stressed, before meetings, or when I want to feel calmer.
I totally get that listening to yourself can be scary, because we've been so conditioned to question ourselves. Doubt can be debilitating. I have felt this doubt many times in my life and this has caused me to spiral into negative thoughts, questioning myself, comparing myself to others, and feeling like I'm not good enough. But, when I make room to really listen to myself, I always get an answer.
I know that sometimes we need help with learning to listen to ourselves. As a coach this is what I do. I provide space, guidance, and techniques to help women make room for their inner wisdom. Because when they do, they're able to get clear on what they desire, how they want to feel and be, where they want to go, and how to get there. Book a Discovery Call to find out how I can help you make room to listen to your inner wisdom so that you can create the life you want to live.
Vera Ilnyckyj is a certified Life Coach whose mission is to help women shine their light more brightly. She’s passionate about helping women find clarity about what's important to them, connect with their purpose, and create healthy habits for a genuine and purposeful life.
Vera hosts a podcast, Practical Wisdom from a Life Coach, which can be found on all podcast platforms.
She is also a Trailblazer with Happy Healthy Women.
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