I hear voices. I mean like telepathic kind of voices that give me direction of where to go in my life and what to do next. Sometimes, I listen. Sometimes, I don't.
I'm going to venture to say that you do too. Maybe not in the same way as me but I bet you do in some form.
Which is why I really really want to share this post I read by author Elizabeth Gilbert. It's such a powerful reminder for anyone who receives messages from who-knows-where:
"I have a brilliant friend who used to work in academia. She told me once that she'd been conducting a series of interviews of accomplished women, for a research project about women's success in the workplace.
On the outside, all these women appeared to have nothing in common. They came from all different cultural and ethnic backgrounds, and all worked in different fields -- corporate and non-profit, secular and religious. But each woman carried herself with confidence and ease, and all of them had become quite powerful in their own corners of the world.
When my friend asked these women how they had gotten so far, they all began by dutifully reported the same sorts of standard statements about the importance of hard work, and cultivating discipline, and fostering good professional contacts, and staying positive, and uplifting other women, and seeking out mentors, and blah, blah, blah..
Sounds perfectly logical, right?
But then, there would come a moment in each interview where EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THESE WOMEN would seem to get bored with the questions, or maybe she was just feeling mischievous. Then each woman (EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM!) would ask my friend to turn off the recording device. Then the woman would lean in really close to my friend, and say in a conspiratorial whisper, "But do you want to hear what REALLY happened?" And then EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THOSE WOMEN would report how — at some point in her life — she had heard a voice. A mystical voice. An otherworldly voice. A powerful and certain voice. A commanding voice. A voice that could not be explained away rationally. And each of these women reported that this voice had told her exactly what she needed to do next. And she had done it.
"I know it sounds crazy..." they would say. But it was true.
They had heard a voice, and they had followed the voice.
It hadn't been easy for any of them, they reported. The voices often told them to do really, really hard things — things that often felt like total disruptions of their lives.
Maybe the voice had said, "It's time for you to move to Los Angeles now" — even though the woman had just signed a lease on an apartment in Houston.
Or maybe the voice had said, "It's time for you to go to medical school" — even though she'd just had a baby.
Or maybe the voice had said, "It's time for you to leave that boyfriend" — even though her parents really liked him.
Or maybe the voice had said, "This religious path is no longer authentic or meaningful for you" — even though she had been raised by fundamentalists.
Or maybe the voice had said, "It's time for you to learn Mandarin" — even though she'd never been to China.
But the voice had come. And whatever the voice said, the woman in question had taken the enormous risk of deciding to follow it. Even when it was inconvenient. Even when it was challenging. Even when it seemed prohibitively expensive. Even when it meant cutting her losses and walking away from any sense of security whatsoever. Even when it cost her the approval of friends and family. Even when everyone thought she was insane.
And THAT'S how she had gotten there, to her place of power in the world. It really had nothing to do with professional contacts, or mentors...it was just that she heard a voice, and she chose to listen.
EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM.
Where do the voices come from? Beats me. You can call it intuition, the still small voice within, your inner compass, God, Angels, spirit guides. You can call it your gut instinct, your dead ancestors speaking though you, the flow...whatever it is, those voices exist. And you must train yourself to trust them, and to risk everything in order to follow them.
Notice that I didn't say, "You must train yourself to hear them."
I don't think you have to practice hearing them. I think they are always talking to you. I just think you have to train yourself to TRUST THEM. That's the hard part.
Learning to trust those voices is a practice that you can cultivate. Just like any other craft or skill, it is worth the effort to learn how to master it."
If you are needing support in learning to trust what wants to come through you, join us in the 1-Day Artists' Workshop Sunday, April 16th from 10:30a-5:30pm.