Stress Tip: Listen to Your Inner Voice

I hear voices. It’s true – that small, quiet voice or thought in my head that is so easy to ignore, or to silence. But twice in the last two days I ignored that voice at my own peril.

My hairdresser was recently closed for renovations for 3 weeks. And as a woman who just turned 51, three weeks is the outside edge of my grey-hairs-peaking-out comfort zone. So I made an appointment even before they were officially open, but one day before a major event – Mistake #1. Then after discussions with my hair stylist, she proceeded to color my hair. As she was rinsing it out, I thought, “hmmmmm, isn’t she going to put the second (brown) color on? But I ignored said small voice. –Mistake #2. After she styled my hair, I was shocked to see how blonde my previously brown hair was. When I mentioned this to her, she said I could come back next week for some low-lights if I still didn’t like it. I heard that voice again, saying “hmmmmmm, maybe I should just have her fix it now instead.” But I ignored it since I had a pending business call, and because, as a people-pleaser, I didn’t want to hurt her feelings or make a fuss. Mistake#3. My sister, husband, and a glass of wine convinced me that it was really not that bad. But a few glimpses in the mirror had my begging my hubby to drive me to the closest drug store to buy brown hair color. Only a very LOUD inner voice saved me from opening that box, in which case I would likely be siting here writing this bald, rather than blonde.

The next opportunity to listen to my intuition came this morning. I drove out in the country to a swanky private resort at which my mentor, Jack Canfield, was staying. I didn’t know which was his building, and there were no specific areas for parking so I left my emergency flashers on. Once inside I was informed that Mr. Canfield was running late, so I chatted with the staff, enjoyed the gorgeous facility, and waited. Once he arrived, he had breakfast. As I was drinking my coffee I heard it again . . . Hmmmmm, I wonder if I should turn off those flashers? Nah, I thought, the car will be fine. Mistake #4. Can you guess where this story is headed? We finally loaded up the car about an hour after my arrival but when I turned the key in the ignition – nothing, dead. Dread, panic and embarrassment set in – huge!!!! The staff managed to jump-start my almost brand new car, and we were on our way shortly, with nothing but my bruised ego worse for wear. As I shared with Jack about how I had ignored my inner voice, he said, “so you didn’t act on inspired thought? How did that turn out?!”

Jack says there are two types of actions – obvious and inspired. Obvious actions are things like picking up toys off the stairs so no one trips on them. Inspired action is said to come from the universe, or God. It is that small voice that warns us, or steers us, in a way that we may not ordinarily go. Like, for example, turning off the flashers.

So how do you know when that small voice is intuition, inspiration, or just noise? “Trust your gut,” says Jack. “It will steer you right every time.” If I had done that, my stress level would certainly be a LOT lower. But at least we all got a good laugh, and that, too, is good for stress reduction!

I know it is going to be a very long time before I ignore that inner voice again. I’m going to take a picture of my temporarily blonde self to remind me!!!

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