Listening is a skill; in today’s world it’s an exercise in tuning out the noise. Learning to listen to yourself is a master class.

I’ve been stuck in my head so many times, I started living there. It’s super safe and comfortable. In my head I can feel sorry for myself, assure myself I’m right constantly and most importantly resist any inevitable change. Only a few problems: change comes anyway, I’m not always right, or safe there.

Recently I’ve started to become more aware of my stream of thoughts. I was inspired to read Eckhart Tolle, The Power of Now. I must say some pretty chill people have suggested I read him long ago but I was too busy hiding…in my own head.

  • I tell myself I’m not smart
  • I don’t feel worthy of love or happiness.
  • I sometimes don’t believe I belong.
  • I believe in a fictitious limit to countless opportunities.
  • …insert further untrue and unkind thoughts here…

“…The first foundational step is to become aware of what kind of thoughts you habitually think, especially negative thoughts: irritation, anger, impatience and perhaps even some kind of sadness. You might, for example, complain about yourself, how useless you are. If you start to hear these repetitive thoughts, then you will suddenly realize, “I’ve been thinking these same thoughts again and again almost every day without really knowing it.” 

Eckhart Tolle

I thought I was going with my thoughts, my gut. I was really buying into a story I’ve nurtured about myself that might sound familiar.

I look at my list and my very logical mind says well that’s not true. And… when I really listen to my inner voice it’s the doubting, self-destructo one. Up to now, I’ve ignored the good, logical, self-nurturing voice and reacted based on the smack talking not helpful doubting jerk of a voice. That voice lashed out, with anger and pushed people away. I’ve had enough.

What am I doing about it now?

  • I’m practicing a check-in and cooling off until I can be clear.
  • Instead of blasting off, I say things like ‘that hurts my feelings’
  • or… suggest a more supportive action for next time.

It’s scary as hell. Seriously, when did it become so hard to say what I need? And…it’s worthwhile. I’m confident adding in good thoughts will edge out the less helpful ones. I’m still the same human, just practicing being kind to myself and in turn kind to others.

“After all, we’re just walking each other home.” We’re all going to the same place, and we’re all on a path. Sometimes our paths converge. Sometimes they separate, and we can hardly see each other, much less hear each other. But on the good days, we’re walking on the same path, close together, and we’re walking each other home.

Ram Dass

I think we’re all just walking the same path, working on happiness and being human. Instead of listening to the doubting voice, I’m talking back.

“Dear self-destructo, I know you’ve been trying to keep me safe. I’m listening….But, please sit down, I got this. “


more to read…

Eckhart Tolle on How to Free Yourself from Your Ego Armor

Just Listen To Yourself| Tim Brownson | Lifehack

We’re All Just Walking Each Other Home. | Linda Taylor |Huffpost

Paula Stokes

I love feeling good. I'm on a mission to feel well and sharing that info with you along the way.

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