The best thing I ever did to tune into my inner voice and align to my core values happened purely by chance.
I hadn’t planned on taking time out to reflect or listen to my inner voice. I hadn’t considered completely switching business direction and I definitely hadn’t figured I’d take two months off ‘work’.
Sometimes a problem, illness or challenge shows up and we’re forced to retreat or back away from real life. Initially we might feel resistance and resent our problems. We blame the problem for stopping us working, earning money or living our normal life.
But then, something strange happens.
As we retreat, or take time out, we rediscover the things we’d forgotten make us happy or we find new things that light us up in ways we’d never expected.
Being sick or recovering from injury may bring the opportunity to read books, watch inspirational TED talks or take an online course. It could be the turning point in finding your true happiness.
Having difficult financial problems may bring the opportunity to figure out what really makes you happy and what ‘stuff’ you really need to bring joy into your life. It might be the perfect moment to let go of possessions, buying habits or fears that were holding you back and making your money situation worse.
Feeling burnt out or exhausted may bring the opportunity to slow down, tune into your body, improve your health and build a strong support system through healthy diet, exercise, meditation or yoga.
When I took a couple of months away from work and the online space back in the summer of 2016, I hadn’t planned to take that time off.
I simply took one day to sit in the shade of my big palm tree in the garden and read a book, with my cat purring contentedly by my side.
Then I took another day, and another.
At first I felt really guilty that I wasn’t posting content in Facebook groups or writing to my email list or actively working to make money. But I could feel that the reading (and writing) I was doing were deeply nourishing my soul.
I remember reading The Celestine Prophecy again that summer, a book I’d first read almost twenty years ago. (Highly recommended if you’re feeling a bit stuck with life!) There were so many parts of that book that helped me to see where I was feeling stuck, stagnant, heavy and uninspired. The words helped me to reflect on my own life and work and illuminate the areas that needed change.
But like I said at the beginning, I’d never planned for all this to happen and I believe that’s the best way. It shows us how much capacity we have for personal growth and discovery and how important it is to just take that first step.
And most of the time, that first step involves s l o w i n g d o w n.
Too many of us are guilty of buying more, doing more or consuming more when what we really need is to stop and listen to the voice INSIDE, rather than the constant excess of external noise.
The important lesson to learn is that we should all take regular time out before we get to the point of burn out, exhaustion, physical illness or total apathy for life and work.
Where can you schedule some time to do something just for you?
How can you slow down and begin to listen to your inner voice?
Because, I promise you, that once you begin to slow down and create space, the answers will appear. Every single time.
For more guidance and inspiration about aligning to your inner truth and listening to your inner voice, you might like this short Alignment video I made in Corfu last year.