A few days ago, I posted “Who are you listening to?” in a Tweet. At the time, I was interested in what tunes might be playing in the ears of some of my online friends. But as I thought a little more about that question, a deeper implication began to emerge – and it had nothing to do with music.
We listen to many people throughout our life, many of them intending to give us good advice. Our parents, family, teachers and friends usually mean well. We can often learn from the experiences they share.
We learn in many other ways too. We “listen” to TV, radio, the internet, books, magazines and countless other sources of information throughout our day. Some of what we come across is accurate and helpful. Other stuff, not so much. Much of this incoming chatter can even be harmful. It can steer us in directions we don’t really want to go. It can cause our feelings and emotions to blow around our minds like a turbulent thought-storm.
With so many sources of information constantly bombarding our senses, this question takes on tremendous importance. So what do we do? Is there really a way to know exactly who we should listen to?
The people of the island have an easy answer . . . ourselves.
We all have a reliable source of answers. A vast inner ocean of possibilities we can dive into any time we want. But it can be challenging to hear our own voice. It can easily be drowned out by the chaotic noise around us. If we make time to look inside ourselves, we can find the direction we’re looking for.
Here’s an exercise the islanders use to remind them of their inner ocean:
- Hold your cupped hand (using two hands increases the effect) to your ear. Listen for the ocean like you’re holding a seashell. You can always hear your inner ocean reminding you of who you are.
- Feel your inner depths.
- Tap into your creativity.
- Feel your connection with the whole.
Often it’s beneficial and necessary to listen to others. Learning all we can about any given situation expands our knowledge and gives us more facts to work with. But when all the incoming data becomes too much and causes confusion instead of certainty, we need to remember our greatest source of reliable guidance. We need to listen to ourselves.
Join the island tribe at facebook.com/IslandPerspective.