This past Monday I was taking a half a day off to go out to Stinson Beach with my husband. I was driving up to Montclair to do one last errand before we left. I looked down and saw I had a quarter tank of gas left. I remember hearing a little voice that said get more gas. Did I listen to that little voice? Nope. Totally forgot about it. Until I was on Highway 1 driving to Stinson Beach.
For those of you who have never had the pleasure of being at Stinson Beach, it is truly a small town. One grocery store, a couple of restaurants, an amazing book store and a super fun burger shack with soft serve ice cream. Gas station - nope. The nearest gas station was back in Mill Valley, 15 miles away - uphill.
Right when we entered Stinson Beach, the car gas light came on. How I wished I had listened to this little voice. So many times in my life I have heard that voice and I did not pay attention to it. The time I married my first husband, I heard the voice that said don’t marry him. Did I listen? Nope. I ended up in a marriage with an abusive man. The time I said go over the Bay bridge not the San Mateo bridge and my husband said I was crazy. I didn’t listen to me, I listened to him. We ended up stuck on the San Mateo bridge for 4 hours with an overturned big rig.
Then there are the times that I have listened to that quiet voice. The one that stand out the most is the day the 1989 San Francisco earthquake. I was about to drive home from San francisco to Danville when a little voice said “Go for a run.” Normally not a big deal but I was exhausted from the previous day’s biathlon. I thought ok I am tired but I will go, I will take an easy run. If I had not listened I would have been on the bridge when it collapsed.
I believe that we all have a little voice that knows the truth for us and guides us. The trouble is this voice has a different tone and quality than the thoughts that we mostly listen to.
For me, the voice that mostly plays in my head was loud, judgemental, worried and whines a lot. What has helped me develop my capacity to know the voices in my head is my mindfulness practice. Through my mindfulness practice I have been able to observe the voices and have been able to understand them, discern them and decide which voice I listen to. At times I feel like Jane Goodall observing primates in the wild. Quietly sitting, observing and taking notes to understand her chimps and how they behave.
After being able to discern the voices I then had to trust the quiet voice. My loud voice thought I was crazy and foolish. Over time though, the loud voice quieted down as it saw that things were working out with greater ease.
If you would like to learn more about listening to your little voice or the benefits of mindfulness practice, please feel free to call me at 510-919-2254. Also for fun, here is a great video about trusting yourself.