Spirit speaks to us in a still small voice . . .
I heard these words over and over. From teachers, from friends and colleagues. I was in search of that still small voice. And so I sat in meditation every day for at least 20 minutes, opening my heart and mind, and listening for spirit to speak. For months and months, I sat and listened and waited. When that didn’t work, I started begging spirit, my guides, the divine within to speak to me and tell me how to live my life.
I was pretty disappointed. Something was amiss – either I didn’t know how to listen, or she didn’t know how to speak. Whichever it was, our communication was not good.
After a while I gave up and decided to meditate in a different way and for a different reason. I laid quietly in restorative yoga poses and allowed my body to rest. I still hoped that spirit would speak to me during these times of rest, but when she didn’t, I wasn’t as disappointed because I learned to develop the capacity to be quiet and listen. I never realized I had this capacity to experience an inner stillness, but when I did, I felt somehow connected to something beyond myself. It was the Voice of Quiet.
Still feeling that something was amiss with my communication with Spirit, I began to go for long walks and bring the inner quiet I was experiencing with me into my daily life. I thought that perhaps I would hear Spirit speak to me while I was in nature. I still didn’t hear the spirit speak, but I started to listen to the the breeze through the trees, the birds, the sound of the ducks and geese splashing through the water. Such peace and joy. It was the Voice of Nature.
Then, I began to notice how nice it was to be out in the world and still feel the quiet within. I could actually be in the midst of a crowded restaurant or walking the busy streets of the city and feel a quiet and connectedness with myself and others.
Over the next couple of years, I continued to read and go to spiritual retreats and listen to spiritual teachers. I explored the ways in which guides and angels surround us and direct us on our path. But I still wasn’t having much luck feeling personally directed and guided, let alone being spoken to. No angels showed up for dinner; no guides with messages about my future.
However, what I did notice during this time, were the ways in which my body was speaking to me, and in fact, making a lot of racket. I started experiencing a lot of body pain. With the help of a doctor who was also a spiritual teacher, I realized that my body was finally expressing my many repressed emotions: grief, anxiety, depression, and spiritual emptiness. Because I didn’t know how to listen to my inner emotional or spiritual voices, my body spoke in their place. And so I began to listen to the Voice of my Body.
And then something clicked: If Quiet and Nature and the Body could all Voice their truths, what about the Voice of Heartache, the Voice of Trauma, the Voice of Invisible Guides, the Voice of Death, the Voice of Mystery, the Voice of Self-Love. All of life was voicing her truth! All of life was Speaking!
In my search for one particular “spiritual” voice, I missed the Voices all around me, speaking in many different ways, through many different people, situations and life events. I missed all the voices that were jumping up and down, waving their hands and legs trying to get my attention.
I also realized that although Life was speaking to me through the very events and people I was experiencing, I didn’t know what it meant to listen. I never recognized and befriended that still small voice within that said yes or no or wait, in response to events or people. I struggled for years, dragging around my anxieties and fears and searching for an inner voice. But I had never learned how to trust my inner radar; I didn’t trust my own capacity to listen and follow my inner guidance regarding what Life was teaching me.
And then I had an experience that changed my perspective on how I saw my life and to whom I needed to listen. It is THE experience that made me aware that my journey on earth is purposeful. It introduced me to an eternal soul that I never realized was mine. And it opened me to an inner guidance that I found to be wise and resilient. My experience was as wonderful as it was unexpected.
I was in a workshop, lying on the floor, with 30 other people around me. As our teacher began to guide us in meditation, all the people around me slowly dissolved and my spirit lifted off the floor. Alan, our teacher, asked us to begin our journey, a journey into the past, back before our souls had incarnated onto the earth. I felt my body relax and drift into a different time and space.
In this space, I encountered a light and playful spirit with a contagious laughter and a love that that touched me deeply. Perhaps she’s an angel guide here to help me on my earthly journey, or the spirit of an ancestor who has been close to me throughout many generations.
In any case, I had never encountered someone whom I would describe as pure love-energy. But love-energy is what she was.
In the background, I heard our teacher ask us to welcome our eternal soul into our mother’s womb to begin her earthly journey. And there hovering above my mother was this lovely spirit. But I questioned why she was appearing in my meditation? I knew she could not be part of me because I sensed no depression, fear or sadness. I felt none of the heaviness and painful shyness I had felt most of my life.
But she remained.
Oh my gosh, I thought. Is this lovely spirit, Me? Is this my Eternal Spirit?
I was in love.
As the moments lingered, I felt a quiet come over her spirit. She surrendered all her heavenly knowledge to incarnate as a human once again. To incarnate as me.
As our teacher brought us back to the room, he asked everyone to stay in silence, take the paper and pen he placed beside us and write a letter from our Eternal Soul to this newly incarnated Body and Soul. Here is part of that letter:
You are loved, deeply, fully by the Universe, by yourself, by your inner being.
I will always be here for you on your Journey through Life.
You need not be afraid. . .
You are strong and protected. . .
I am here with you, always loving, guiding and speaking to you softly.
Remember to listen to the stillness, the beauty.
You will be drawn to them.
Follow your inner voice. Follow your gentle, yet deeply fierce spirit.
And Welcome to Mother Earth.
After over 5 decades of guilt, self-doubt, of never feeling worthy or good enough, I felt truly whole and a part of something much bigger. I began to understand that I was more than just a body on this Earth. My Spirit was eternal, my existence was purposeful. I had a place in the Universe. My eternal spirit was love and lightness. Only my earthly spirit was weighted down by sadness and anxiety.
Over the following weeks and months, I began to wonder: What if I lived as if my eternal spirit was the “real me,” and identified with her love and lightness rather than the sadness and anxiety I constantly felt? Could I really choose how I wanted to live and trust my inner voice when I encountered all my life experiences.
I began to explore my past and allowed stories and experiences throughout my life to surface, stories and experiences that I repressed, ignored, or rejected. I observed what I currently listened to and what I ignored in my life. How my daily life was an opportunity to understand my life’s purpose. How my daily life was an opportunity to respond to that voice of love, that inner guidance that I had ignored for so long. Although sitting in meditation was certainly one way to open to that inner guidance without distractions, I began to hear and listen to that inner guidance in everything I did and in everyone I encountered.
Knowing that my life had meaning and that my soul was infinite love-energy was a tremendous revelation. I felt truly held in the arms of the Universe. And I knew that the choice to live and trust this inner voice everyday of my life was mine. My life is an opportunity to share that amazing love-energy with the world.
I have never looked back.
And so I invite you now to allow yourself to be quiet and still. Ask your inner wisdom to begin to show you your eternal soul. Even if you can’t image who or what she or he is like, begin to befriend this eternal soul and ask her/him to reveal herself/himself to you. Imagine yourself surrounded by love and light; each day notice how it feels to always be protected by this love and light.
And if you have an experience you would like to share email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. No need to write your story out, just email me and I’ll set up a call with you.