Last night, as I was putting my 19-month old son Priam to sleep, he did something that he’s never done before. While he was in his crib, he entered into a half-conscious, half-sleep state. I could tell he was on the way to dreamland, but not quite there yet as he was mumbling words and his eyes were resting but not yet completely closed.
Priam is at a stage in his development where he is learning words and in his half-slumber state, he was spitting out every word that he knew. For a good 10 minutes he was randomly saying, “tickle tickle”, “meow”, “moon”, “fan”, “uh-duh-dah (elephant)” along with the rest of the words in his growing vocabulary. It almost seemed like his mind was reviewing the inventory of all the things that he knew, similar to a roll call in the army that’s done in order to make sure every soldier is present.
Two days ago, I came across a quote by the Dalai Lama that I was reminded of through Priam’s experience.
“When you talk, you are only repeating what you already know. But if you listen, you may learn something new.” – Dalai Lama
What is most intriguing about these words is that there is a deeper beauty to listening that most folks underestimate. I am not referring to hearing out what other people have to say to you. Yes, there is value in what they may offer you, but what I want to highlight is listening to our own internal voice that goes beyond what we consciously know.
The Voice of Wisdom
In every moment, we have this powerful voice within us, which can teach us and guide us in making decisions in life that bring greater alignment to our truest self. Some call it intuition, others call it a gut feeling, and I like to refer to it as the voice of wisdom.
The cool thing about listening to this part of us is that it opens us up to knowledge and discoveries which we never knew to have existed before. For a large majority of us, we are attuned to listening to the voice that wants to control and micromanage the events in our life. The voice that wants to make our presence felt in the world. However, this voice only is limited to the memories and connections that are within the realm of our brains. This part of the brain takes charge when there is a lack of conscious awareness. Similar to Priam’s example above, because he was rambling words, it prevented him from listening and tuning in to his own awareness in the partially unconscious state. If he channeled his own voice of wisdom he would realize that his body was tired and simply fall asleep rather than trying to speak at that time.
The voice of wisdom goes beyond the brain. It taps into the network of consciousness and energy that is universal. We all have access to it, yet, as the Dalai Lama says, we have to listen in order to gain benefit from it.
This past September, my family and I had taken a trip to Turkey where during one of the days we decided to go for the popular hot-air balloon rides at Goreme National Park. In order to catch our balloon, we had to be at our tour operator’s place by 5am. We woke up at 3am in the morning and made the hour-long drive to the location from where we staying the night before. We made it just in time and as soon as we walked in, we received the unpleasant news that there’s a strong possibility that the balloon ride won’t happen in the morning due to strong winds. We crossed our fingers and prayed that it would eventually work out. Fifteen minutes later, we got news from the manager that they will be canceling the tour for today. It was a big bummer as we were pumped to have this opportunity in Turkey.
As it was nearing sunrise time, our plan B turned into catching the morning sun from a nice vista. However, the only problem was that we had no idea where to go in this foreign land. At this point I decided to put my controlling mind on mute and give way to hearing my voice of wisdom. The three of us bundled ourselves back into our car and I just started driving. In the morning twilight, I kept driving and taking turns not knowing where I was really going, except I was taking directions and small hunches from that inner voice. The voice was leading me to higher elevation and the more we kept climbing the better the panoramic view was becoming. Unfortunately, we still couldn’t see the sun.
Finally, after 10-minutes on the road I was driving past a hill, and my voice of wisdom was screaming, waving its hands and signaling to me, “That’s it! This is the hill you need to be on!” I immediately made a U-turn and sure enough 100 meters later, there was a dirt path that went up towards the top of the hill. I pulled onto that road and kept going till our rental car would allow us. My wife and I jumped out of the car as we knew we had limited time to catch the sunrise. I took hold of our son and started following a dirt footpath towards the top of the hill. In five minutes we were close to the top and as the terrain got steeper, the tighter I took hold of Priam.
It was a once in a lifetime view! In front of us we saw the beautiful sun rising, and directly behind us there was a full moon that was about to dip back below the horizon! We were sandwiched perfectly between the sun and full moon.
The point here is that when we let go of the voice that only knows what it knows; we will find ourselves in a place that taps into the universal mind. An intelligence that is infinitely more powerful than our individual mind.
Our True Power
As human beings, we forget how powerful we really are. We believe that we live in a box of limitations and continue to see a limited life play out for us because of those beliefs. What many of us fail to realize is that we have an ability to nourish ourselves and experience greater contentment by connecting to our inner wisdom.
This connection is always on, 24/7. We simply have to tune into it. Just as a radio is tuned to FM stations, there’s no way it’s going to receive XM Sirius transmissions. The moment we adjust our own dial to tap into this intelligence, we open ourselves up to a greater sense of trust in the world around us, and a better understanding of our own truth.