How to Listen to Your Inner Voice When Times Are Tough

Often in our lives, through a series of conscious and unconscious choices, we find ourselves in a different place than we had once imagined we would be at that point. We reach a milestone age, or we see friends or even celebrities accomplishing something, and as we compare ourselves, we feel a poignant mixture of jealousy, desire, regret, and hope about where we are.

release your inner critic - breathe

Many of us take the exit ramp right there and drown in these thoughts and emotions. Some of us divert from even feeling the emotions by watching television, drinking, eating, falling in love, etc. Yet no matter how we try to avoid that call, that little phone will keep ringing. Picking it up, even when it’s yapping about what’s wrong, is in fact a great step to take!

Take a few minutes to notice the critical voices that say things like, “If I really was meant to be successful, I wouldn’t have wasted all this time in addiction or obsession or a job I hate.” “I shouldn’t have taken time off from my career while everyone else was getting ahead.” “There are so many people who want to succeed in my field more than me, how can I possibly make it?” Make a list of what all those voices say, and then put it aside for now, surrendering these critical voices to the care of something greater than yourself.

This is a really powerful moment of choice. You can now choose to listen to the deeper message beneath the noise. By identifying and dealing compassionately with the “chatter,” we can get to what’s really important.

Take a few deep breaths and listen to the sound of your breath. Then ask yourself, what is the deep desire beneath your fears? What is your spirit longing for? What does your heart whisper to your ears? To tap dance? To paint? To juggle? To sing? No matter how quiet this wish is, it will never be extinguished. Every moment is a new opportunity to discover this passion. And even if you discover it in your last breath, it won’t have been too late.

Each twist and turn along your journey has brought you to this perfect moment, and your soul has its own perfect way of fulfilling its purpose right where you are, right now. Everything you need is available to you now. Could you summon the courage to surrender to your own shining spirit, just for this one tiny moment? How about this moment? And this one? Good work!


Alicia DattnerSpiritual Comedian Alicia Dattner has been touring the world, selling out her one-woman shows, Eat, Pray, Laugh!, The Oy of Sex, and The Punchline, and winning awards, including “Best Storyteller” in the NY United Solo Festival, “Best of the Fringe” in the SF Fringe Festival, and “Best Comedian 2011″ in the East Bay Express. Now she’s bringing together comedians with a sense of spirituality and spiritual teachers with a sense of humor in the world’s first Online Spiritual Comedy Festival Jan. 29-March 21, 2013.

Featured photo by martinak15

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