Have you had the experience of feeling like something inside of you was pulling you in opposite directions?
One voice seems to be braver, encouraging you to step into a bigger life, to see yourself as greater than you’ve ever seen yourself, to dare to grab for that big dream and make it happen.
The other voice asks, “Who are you to….?” It shows you all the evidence that proves that you’d fail, that you would be taking too much on, or maybe that you just don’t deserve to do or be that wonderful, big giant of a person you dream of.
And of course, there is this little thing called “reality” that kicks in. You still have to pay the bills, take care of your family, to be that responsible person you know yourself to be. Clearly taking something on that is so challenging and venturing into the unknown territory of the future can be frightening.
How will you choose?
First, let’s identify these voices so you can begin to have a conversation with them. They are neither friend nor foe, simply voices of your heart and mind speaking their truth to you.
One is the voice of inspiration. It is the impulse to evolve into something more than you have ever been. It is the drive to enhance your life, to be the fullest creative expression of who you are in the moment.
This voice comes from deep within and sees life as limitless. This voice is hopeful, optimistic, based on a faith that indeed you are capable of more and that the world will greet your talents and gifts with open arms.
The other voice is the voice of fear, created out of a lifetime of messages and experiences. It has taken care of you your whole life, protecting you from injury, emotional or otherwise, and speaking cautionary words to keep you safe and secure in your small identity.
It does not want you to fail or be hurt. It wants you to conform so you will be accepted in society. It has an uncanny ability to provide evidence to keep you in the limited identity you have created.
Each of these voices serves a purpose. One is to expand you. The other is to keep you safe. They can work in tandem if you know how to discern when one is taking over or when fear is driving your decisions.
How will you know?
There is a difference in the energetic field between the voice of fear and the voice of inspiration. Intuition is what will help you discern this difference. Intuition is a deep wisdom that comes from a knowing beyond the mind. Intuition is the Inner Sage and its voice is inspiration.
Inspiration creates an energetic field that is expansive and light yet at the same time feels very grounded.
This energetic field points to openings and possibilities as opposed to limitations and closings. Inspiration is based on faith in what is unknowable and sees this unknowable territory as a place of emergence, not a place of fear.
Fear produces an energetic field that feels contracted, limiting and dense.
This energy is an intellectual or mind based energy. It involves your thoughts. If your thoughts are fear based it produces anxiety. Anxiety is the outward manifestation of fear. Judgment is the Inner Critic and its voice is fear.
If you tune into your body you can feel the sensation of these energies. If you use deep breathing you will feel the opening or closing, an ease or discomfort.
Your body is a wonderful litmus test for discernment between the voice of fear and the voice of inspiration. The body never lies and cannot be deceived.
The Way Forward
We are an evidence-based society. We seek proof for things that are improvable. Intuition is not valued nor actively developed in our western society. Eliminating or diminishing the role of intuition in our decisions and choices is like walking on one leg. Both evidence and intuition are important as ways of knowing.
You must intentionally develop yourself in holistic ways so you can discern which voice is speaking and how to incorporate both voices in your personal evolution.
You must walk the path in unknown territory in service of your own discovery.
No one enjoys discomfort yet to venture into this unknown territory where the emergent is present creates discomfort and confusion.
It is only in the vastness of the unknown that you discover yourself so you can begin the process of leaving that discovered identity behind.
The moment you discover yourself, you have created a limitation. Self-knowledge is not the end game as it turns out.
Self-knowledge is the intention to understand oneself in the moment, to integrate one’s past experience into the process of continued evolution of the self.
It is not a destination. It is merely a point in time on the infinite continuum of the universal movement.
Ironically the only way to discover the essence of your true self (the spiritual and divine) is to experience yourself as a stranger, to see yourself as an integral part of this great and vast unknown.
Fear appears because this feels truly like a death.
To experience yourself as a stranger is to die to an identity that no longer serves you.
Faith is what keeps you strong when the vast unknown opens in front of you. You must be courageous enough to dare to birth yourself anew.
In the moment you experience yourself as a stranger the emergent unknown opens itself up to you, a playground to create a new expression of your essence in this world unencumbered by cultural messages and the voices of judgment and fear. Inspiration is free to reveal new possibilities to you that your previous identity could never have conceived of.
Out beyond ideas of wrong-doing and right-doing, there is a field. I'll meet you there. When the soul lies down in that grass, the world is too full to talk about. Ideas, language, even the phrase each other doesn't make any sense. ~ Rumi
This emergent process is like a koan or a paradox. You strive to know yourself only to release that identity in the process of constant rebirth. This is how you follow the universal laws of flow and evolution.
This is truly not for the faint of heart. But the rewards are immeasurable. To live your life authentically as the fullest creative expression of your essence is to live joyfully, purposefully and meaningfully.
Rebirth and Renewal
The cautionary voice of judgment (your Inner Critic) is the executor of the plans that emerge from the field of possibilities. This voice measures and calculates how to keep you safe as you move towards the creative expression that emerged from the inspired voice (your Inner Sage).
Here Is where both play well in moving you towards a new way of being in the world that expresses the who you are becoming in the continuum of your evolution.
The Inner Sage and the Inner Critic will serve you well when you can discern which is speaking, and how to balance both to support changes in your life.
Whether you are aware of it or not, you are constantly in a state of rebirth. Life is dynamic; everything is changing in each moment. The cells in your body are constantly dying and renewing themselves. The natural world through the changes of the seasons is the obvious shedding of the old and making way for the new.
Your life transitions are how you renew and evolve finding ways to express the essence of your soul in its evolution in this lifetime.
No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it's not the same river and he's not the same man. ~ Heraclitus
Each transition is a kind of rebirth that requires consciousness, self-compassion and right action derived from your understanding of this process.
It’s taken me many years and working with thousands of individuals to understand this transformational process and to hold it as a sacred practice for personal evolution.
Understanding this will allow you to step courageously into the unknown certain that if you are listening deeply to your soul’s desire, honoring your intuition and allowing your knowledge and experience a place to support your life transitions then you will embrace each rebirth with grace and gratitude.