Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Feed Your Soul: Cut the Chatter and Listen

By Amy Phillips-Gary

This week's blogs center around questions such as: “How engaged are you with your own life?” and include suggestions for how to nourish your soul*.

As a prerequisite for feeding your soul, yesterday I shared a few strategies you can use when you notice yourself falling into autopilot mode. Instead of moving through life dulled and dazed or simply reacting to situations from old habits, you can interrupt autopilot and create space so that you can tune in to your soul.

Within this space, you can begin to listen. You can more readily hear the inner guidance, wisdom and clarity that you've possibly been yearning for all along. It is your soul-- which can be experienced as either within, outside of you, or both-- that holds the ultimate answers to your most difficult life questions.

Whether or not you will leave or stay in a relationship, if it's time to look for a new job, how to resolve heartache that you've been carrying around, by what means you could break a habit that's holding you back-- these challenges and more DO have solutions that can help you thrive and be the person you're wanting to be.

But you won't have access to these answers unless your connection with your soul is clear.

I can't even count the number of times that I've been struggling with a heavy problem-- or even just a minor irritation-- and the chatter in my head seems to be drowning out my inner guidance. This chatter might take the form of to-do lists, memories of a conversation I had that day, self-criticizing thoughts or “white noise” types of inner interference like a song I heard on the radio re-playing over and over.

In much the same way that you interrupt autopilot mode, you can make a conscious decision to cut the chatter so that you can increase access to your soul.

First of all, notice that the chatter in your mind has “taken over.” Be gentle with yourself and decide if it's really serving you to rehash an annoying incident you had with a co-worker, for example. Will this focus allow you to access your inner guidance and soul?

All of this takes practice. You might find yourself re-focusing and guiding yourself back to a place where you can truly listen over and over again throughout your day. And this is ok. The decision is truly up to you.

Meditation is a powerful clearing tool.
Meditating is one of the most effective strategies I've found to cut the chatter in my mind and open up to my soul. The great news is, you don't have to set aside hours each day or sit in uncomfortable positions in order to benefit from this practice!

There are so many ways to meditate and I encourage you to learn more by doing an internet search, talking with people who regularly meditate and checking out the free meditation articles at the Personal Growth Planet website.

You can meditate sitting on a zafu (a special meditation pillow), in a chair or lying on your bed. You can even walk, ride your bike, knead bread dough and fold clothes while meditating.

While there are several specific meditation techniques, here are some basic guidelines:

Breathe deeply and from your diaphragm. Keep your focus trained on the breath and allow the chatter in your mind to fade away. Simply continue to return to your breathing. You can even say to yourself, “I am breathing in. I am breathing out.”

If feelings come up for you, allow them to rise and fall away. Keep breathing as the grief, the fear, the anger or another feeling moves through you. This is an important part of the clearing process.

As you meditate, you will probably relax and release tension-- even if you also experience difficult emotions. It is here in this space of openness and clarity that you can listen to your soul.

Don't be surprised if you are given information, assurance or other affirmations during or after you meditate. These are messages from your soul. There is a deeper knowing about these understandings, words or calls to action that is completely different from the chatter in your mind.

This is a gift from your Source, through your soul.

*The concept of “Soul” is being used here in an expansive and two-fold manner. In one sense, it is the higher power-- Source, God, Goddess, Allah, Yahweh, Great Spirit or other name that resonates for you. Additionally, it is the essence, the animating principle that is you. These can be inter-linked or distinct depending on your belief system.

Personal Growth Planet blog is taking part in National Blog Posting Month. Every weekday in November, you'll find shorter daily blogs linked by weekly themes.


  1. Thank you so much for the reminder. Just what I needed.

  2. Nice :)

    Read recently someone using the allegory of a train: It comes into town, you see it, observe it and watch it leave.

  3. I like that train analogy. Chugging along huh?