I turn 42 in a couple of days. I feel like I’m really settling into my forties and embracing something so critical to our wellbeing and relationships: I’m doubling down on listening to myself. In this week’s episode of The Baggage Reclaim Sessions, I talk about what listening to ourselves means and how to become more connected to our inner voice.

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Some nuggets from the episode:

  • When we ignore ourselves to listen to everyone else or to follow what they do, we get to blame them when things don’t work out.
  • Listening to ourselves is an unfolding, an evolution. When we listen to ourselves today, it doesn’t mean that we have all of the information for all time. We are listening to give us what we need in the present so that we can also take care of the future and the past.

We don’t have to listen to ourselves perfectly.

  • Our inner critic is activated each time we step out of our comfort zone, or we experience certain emotions and thoughts. Whenever we’re in situations that remind us of any of the people who criticised us in the past (or that remind us of our old criticisms), our inner critic pipes up.
  • Sometimes the reason why our inner critic is so loud is that we’re out of alignment with our true self. We’re pretending to be something we’re not or overriding our boundaries in some way.

If we view taking care of our needs and wants as selfish, our inner critic will pipe up to fit the belief that we’re selfish.

  • Sometimes we’ve picked up titbits of information but not registered it at a conscious level. The combination of these niggle at us. So, for instance, our house isn’t on fire, but we have some degree of awareness that we need to address some electrical issues.
  • Sometimes we argue to ourselves after experiencing something that we register as ‘off’ that we need to let things unfold. Erm… things already are. What are we waiting for?
  • If somebody is saying or doing things that don’t fit the context of what you’re basing your expectations on; if they’re saying or doing things that don’t fit the previous information that you’ve been basing your interactions on, halt. It’s time ask questions and to get grounded.

Did you mishear, or are you telling you that you did to paper over your discomfort? Don’t gaslight yourself!

  • Flag the information in your mind. All things will become clear. Acknowledge that something feels off.
  • If something feels off and we’ve only been involved with this person for a short time, we just don’t have enough in this person, relationship or situation that warrants us overriding ourselves. It’s every reason not to ignore yourself.
  • People can be more than one thing. It’s possible for someone to be nice and attentive on dates and for them to behaving shadily and/or not the right person for us.
  • Ignoring our intuition causes us to create an expectation for that person to behave at a higher standard than what we are seeing, hearing or sensing.
  • Listening to ourselves isn’t always convenient, nor does it always make immediate sense, but it’s necessary anyway.
  • I don’t know everything, but I’m going to do something, leads to us doing more things. We take more steps.

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Listener questions can be emailed to podcast AT baggagereclaim DOT com and if there’s a topic you’d love me to talk about, let me know!

Nat xxx

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