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  • Allison E. Bruce

Listening to our inner wisdom

Not all that long ago I walked into an art gallery and fell in love with an amazing painting. The painting was a contemporary piece with beautiful colors. The painting depicted a series faces together as one on a stunning canvas. I was instantly captured by the beauty of this painting. I spoke with the woman managing the gallery and she told me the amazing story of the artist and shared the popularity this artist has in Europe. My heart filled as I envisioned this piece hanging on the wall in my office. I knew exactly where I would hang it. It would make a great replacement for an existing piece hanging in my office. The gallery did not take credit cards and I did not have enough cash on me to purchase it. I told the manager of the gallery I would think about it and would return with the cash if I decided to make the purchase. I continued on with my day and talked myself out of making the purchase. While I agreed the cost of the painting was beyond reasonable, I justified not “needing” to spend the money on the purchase. I try to be mindful of need versus want in my life. I decided this painting was a want and not a need.

The following Monday I came into work and temporarily forgot about this painting. However, during the course of this particular Monday the painting which had existed on my wall fell off the wall and shattered glass all over my office. The meaning I began to make about this occurrence was this was a synchronicity designed to remind me of the importance of paying attention to my inner voice and guidance. The voice we all have and sometimes fail to listen to. I had failed to listen to my inner voice about this piece of art.

I began to think a great deal about what keeps us from listening to our own internal wisdom? If you watch children play and move through the world you might notice they have not lost the ability to listen to their internal wisdom. I suspect the answer may vary from person to person, but I am wondering when is the moment in our lives we stop listening to ourselves? Our own inner wisdom? Our authentic truths? When does doubt move in, set up shop, take over and we tune out? I think the answer is somewhat contextual for me and absolutely information related to the degree to which I am living (or not living) in alignment with my most authentic self. When I am in alignment in life I am most able to be fully present to my own inner wisdom and truth. When I stop listening it’s time to take inventory about what is happening in my life that has left me on autopilot. The moment when I hear myself say I “should” or “should not” do or be something (or buy a painting when my inner voice says “this calls to your soul”) it’s an opportunity to practice slowing down and coming back to myself in a way where I can both hear and honor my own internal wisdom. When I feel run down or distracted there’s an opportunity to take inventory of the degree to which I am in alignment with my highest good. I think the process of getting out of alignment happens to everyone in one way or another. Life can be challenging. The daily grind can keep us as individuals busy. It’s important to let go of the expectation we will always be in alignment with what is best for us. Rather, it might just be most important to know the signs of when we are not in alignment and embrace the opportunity to call home our internal wisdom and path of greatest good in our lives. So, whether it’s a yoga class, a good run, meditation, a cup of coffee with a friend, journaling, or some other discipline that brings us back to ourselves—having a pathway home feels important.

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