I ran across this quote this morning and thought I would share it.
“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be
trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s
thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner
voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and
intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become.
Everything else is secondary.”
~ Steve Jobs
It is not a new thought. Those of us who are actively engaged in personal growth and self awareness practice have likely heard many like it. We read or hear someone (maybe our yoga teacher?) say something like this and we nod, we feel understood, we know this is so. We resonate with this truth; our inner voices are wise and need to be heard.
Yet, each time we hear such a quote, we realize again that we still are not all that good at listening – really listening – and our hearts break a little. That breaking also creates a resonance that, like the bell at the end of savasana, helps wake us up.
A couple of weeks ago I attended a weeklong retreat with my mentor. I spent the week in a room with many other yoga teachers; women who have a strong spritual practice, who are relatively self-aware, who support others every day in achieving more vibrant health, who care about the state of the world, who value the inner voice and do follow their hearts. I saw these women for the beautiful, wise souls they are. I heard them speak of their dreams and what they offer in the world. It was very inspiring. I also listened to their struggles, and especially with the heart wrenching challenge of allowing that inner voice to speak out. Over and over, I find the same for myself.
How many of us struggle with letting that inner voice speak out loud? We hear the quiet whispers and have those moments when we believe what these whispers say; we believe we can really make a difference; we believe it is truth, that our strong intuition is right about the service we have to offer in the world. But ther are other voices too. Often these voices of the past, of unmet expectations, of limiting beliefs, of culture and even of people around us who love us and may even have our “best interest” in mind, shut us down. We get scared, we back down, we run away.
Unfortunately, having a dedicated practice does make us immune to this. It does however serve to provide that space where the inner voice can speak out again and in that moment we can realize, again, that it is the truth; that the voice of the heart is wise and can guide us further than any of the other voices. We come back stronger each time with a little more listening muscle built up. Then each time this is reinforced by the words of wise ones around us, be it Steve Jobs, Martin Luther King, Enstein, Rumi or our yoga teachers, the words become a little clearer in our minds too. As our minds connect more and more to our hearts, we wake up.