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Listening to Yourself: Navigating Sensitivity and External Influences

Sun shining on metal singing bowls neatly arranged on a reed mat with greenery and a waterfall in the distance.
Metal Singing Bowls

In a world buzzing with constant noise and external demands, the subtle art of listening to oneself often gets lost. Recently, I attended a sound bath. Shortly after the event had begun, I started experiencing a rather extreme reaction to one of the energies of the facilitators. At first, I thought I was imagining it, or that I was being too sensitive or making a snap judgment. But as I sat there, present in the moment, going deep within, I realized that I needed to listen to myself and what my body was telling me. I decided to tell myself that it was okay to walk out of the event early, even though my social conditioning reared its snarky head and told me otherwise. I got up and walked out. Immediately, I felt the energy lighten and the ickiness dissipate, and my whole body felt much relieved and thankful that I chose to honor myself and my body.


The choice to listen to what I was feeling—my inner self and my body—didn't come easy. I could have sat there for the remainder of the event, made myself stay, and been completely miserable. But why? Why is it so hard to say, "Nope, this isn't working for me," and then course correct appropriately?


 The following seeks to shine a light on the path towards honoring your true self, especially when the lines between genuine sensitivity and external influences blur.


Understanding Self-Listening

Listening to oneself is an intimate dance with the soul. It involves tuning into the whispers of your heart and the nudges of your intuition. From a metaphysical perspective, self-listening connects you to your higher self – that part of you that holds the wisdom of ages and the essence of your being. The benefits are myriad: peace of mind, authentic decision-making, and a deeper sense of fulfillment are but a few.


The Challenge of Sensitivity

Sensitivity is often seen as a double-edged sword. It is your innate ability to perceive and feel deeply, a gift that enhances your empathy and emotional intelligence. However, it can also make you vulnerable to emotional overwhelm. Recognizing the difference between healthy sensitivity and overreaction is crucial. Healthy sensitivity manifests as empathy, heightened awareness, and a deep connection to your surroundings. Practices like mindfulness, emotional regulation, and self-compassion help you harness this gift, allowing you to navigate life with grace and balance.


External Influences and Their Impact

We are constantly bombarded by external influences – from social media, cultural norms, to the opinions of those around us. These influences can cloud our judgment and distance us from our true selves. Imagine yourself as a tree; while the wind (external influences) can sway you, your roots (core values) keep you grounded. By identifying these influences and understanding their impact on your self-perception, you can learn to discern which voices to heed and which to ignore.


Techniques for Effective Self-Listening

  1. Mindfulness and Meditation: These practices quiet the mind, allowing you to hear your inner voice more clearly. Regular meditation helps you connect with your higher self, bringing clarity and peace.

  2. Journaling: Writing down your thoughts and feelings can act as a mirror to your soul. It helps you reflect, process emotions, and gain insights into your true desires and fears.

  3. Feedback from Trusted Sources: While it's important to listen to yourself, seeking feedback from those who respect your individuality can provide valuable perspectives. However, maintain personal boundaries to ensure that external opinions do not overshadow your inner wisdom.


Balancing Sensitivity and External Influences

Creating a framework of personal values and beliefs is akin to building a sanctuary for your soul. This framework acts as a filter, helping you evaluate external advice and opinions critically. Techniques such as grounding exercises, visualization, and affirmations reinforce your boundaries, ensuring that you remain true to yourself amidst external pressures.


Practical Tips for Honoring Yourself

  1. Self-Reflection: Set aside regular time for introspection. Use this time to meditate, journal, or simply be in nature, allowing your thoughts to flow freely.

  2. Prioritize Personal Needs: Learn to say no without guilt. Understand that honoring your needs is essential for your well-being and growth.

  3. Build a Support System: Surround yourself with people who respect and support your journey towards self-awareness. A supportive community acts as a buffer against external negativity and reinforces your commitment to self-listening.


In the sacred journey of life, listening to and honoring oneself is a profound act of self-love and empowerment. It is a practice that requires patience, mindfulness, and unwavering commitment to your inner truth. As you navigate the delicate balance between sensitivity and external influences, remember that your inner voice is your most trusted guide, leading you towards a life of authenticity and fulfillment. Just as I found clarity and relief by listening to myself and my body during the sound bath, you can find authenticity and fulfillment by embracing your inner wisdom.


Remember, the path to self-awareness is a lifelong journey. Embrace it with an open heart and a curious mind, and let your inner voice be the beacon that guides you home.



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