Thursday, March 3, 2011

Thoughts for Thursday: Listening To Your Inner Voice

But some emotions don't make a lot of noise.  Its hard to hear pride.  Caring is real faint-like a heartbeat.  And pure love-why somedays its so quiet, you don't even know it's there. - Unknown

Emotions are interesting things.   There are those that often come loudly like grief and anger and those that are more gentle, like love and contentment.  

But emotions are not so cut and dried, they come in an array of ranges and sizes.  They are certainly conditioned by culture and family, but individual personality and circumstance are much more determinant.  What may trigger strong negative or positive emotion in one person, may have no effect on another.   What caused you to cry today, may not have had the same effect on you yesterday and even still may not cause you the same amount of grief tomorrow.   Throw in some hormones and the physiology of women's minds-where all of our thoughts are routed through the emotional center of the brain- and this whole emotion thing seems just ridiculously complex.

Your intellect may be confused but your emotions will never lie to you - Roger Ebert

This may explain why most women - myself included- cannot always immediately discern exactly what we think and why, but I do know that I have become better over the years at listening to my 'gut' (that place where our emotions reside) and allowing myself some time to sort through my thoughts and feelings when "something just doesn't feel right"

This takes some paying attention.  It takes some stopping and listening and self-exploration; some patience with yourself, acceptance and trust.  

As a woman in a competitive work environment, I have often experienced moments where an idea or proposal left me feeling a bit off balance and unable to think on my feet.  It is not easy to take a step back from the situation and ask for time to think when everyone in the room is looking for an immediate answer.   You may feel that your competence and reputation are at stake if you show any sign of indecisiveness and weakness, but I would argue that your competance and reputation will be more determined by the outcomes of your decisions than by the path you take to arrive at the right decision.  And your intuition is absolutely the strongest trait you possess to that end. 

Practicing good emotional self -care means that you need to stop and listen.   I have heard it said that we possess within us all of the answers, all of the wisdom we will ever need in our lifetimes.   That voice within, that gut reaction is your soul speaking.   Do not ignore it.   Your best information, your road map, and all that is right for you resides there.

Good Emotional Self Care :
  1. Pay attention to your gut reaction - this is your personal alarm system.  Isn't it amazing that you are equipped with such a sophisticated tool?   When you feel the alarm go off, STOP.
  2. Ask for time if you need it and then be patient with yourself.     
  3. Take some time to reflect and evaluate.   I find taking a walk works for me.   You could also write it down on paper.  These actions activate the more helpful "reasoning" part of your brain.
  4. Trust that the right answer will come to you.  It may become apparent that you need more information, or that only a small aspect of the solution should be modified. You will know you have the right answer because it will "feel" right.
  5. Know that decisions that come through this process are generally better decisions than those made on the fly.
 Listen closely to the voice within softly whispering the essential and sweet music; a symphony of a thousand luscious diamonds, a garden of brilliant seeds - Self Care Girl (playing with poetry magnets)

***The picture above is "HallyLou" by Ray Caesar

No comments: