Recently, I spent a whole day deliberately by mySelf. There has been so much movement and change lately. Went for a walk, took mySelf out for a healthy and lavish breakfast, then kept walking.
I somehow felt an urge to listen and to hear. As strange as that might sound. To listen and hear, but differently. Had no idea what that even meant but decided to give into the urge.
There’s always so much outside noise that it’s easy to overhear the voice inside. Over the last years, especially my professional surroundings but also other contexts have increasingly felt like a permanent heavy metal concert. I totally appreciate how infectious it is for others. Not for me though, not anymore. Still, I didn’t leave the concert venue. I figured I paid for the ticket (and it was expensive!) so I better make sure I get value for my money. Hilarious when I think about it now. Especially once I found out that there was a superb little festival nearby the entire time that was right up my alley and even included in my ticket. I had a free pass the whole time!
I’ve listened to what’s around me far more than to what’s inside of me. I’ve spent hours, days, weeks and sometimes years listening to other people, giving them more of my time, attention, energy, empathy, love and care than I gave mySelf. Often they were people I didn’t even particularly like or at least wasn’t interested in what they were saying because I felt I had to. In hindsight, I never really knew how that was done: Listening to oneSelf. That much talked-about expression that never came with an manual.
Sometimes, I even took on jobs because someone said “I could use you and your expertise.” I didn’t even stop to deliberate whether I felt I could “use” this job, whether this was something I wanted to do. Well, the acknowledgement felt good. As did feeling needed. For about 1 ½ minutes. The rest of my time I spent wondering why it just didn’t quite sit right. Holy cow. I burst out laughing realizing this.
So I did a different listening exercise, by listening closely to mySelf, to all that came up. I tried to just listen to my own thoughts and feelings without judgment and labeling. Such a basic and important but challenging exercise, to suspend judgment towards ourSelves first and foremost. It’s surprisingly difficult. I am much nicer, kinder and more empathetic towards what’s around me than to what’s inside of me.
I listened to what came up regarding my future career path, too. So far, I’ve found this to be a very beautiful but also fairly tricky challenge, after 27 years, to allow and foster a re-invention of mySelf. I allowed possibilities to surface in me without the usual inner voice of judgment. Especially the one that kept saying: “Oh.. so you think you’re smart enough for that? Why don’t you leave that to people who actually know what they’re doing?” How could I not hear how squeaky and scratchy and needy it sounded? It’s always given me chills down my spine, that one.
And so I sat and listened. And liked what I heard. I’ll follow that tune now. It’s extremely danceable.