Being a good listener starts with paying attention to yourself—your own inner dialogue. We all talk to ourselves, but how many of us really listen? Sometimes the inner dialogue doesn’t even shape itself into words. It’s a song that’s been running through your head for a couple of days, or that twinge of intuition that you’ve been pushing to the back of your mind. Listening to yourself is about connecting with your inner wisdom, your deepest desires and dreams, and understanding what is truly in your heart. It’s listening to that little voice that wants to guide you to your best life.

Intuition is your Inner Compass
As women, we understand the power of our intuition and how valuable it can be in steering our lives in the right direction. “Women’s intuition” we say by way of self-congratulation when things go our way. By better understanding what intuition is and how it works, we can proactively access and leverage our wise self to chart the best course for our lives. Intuition may appear to be random thoughts or the beginning of a subtle knowing. These rambling thoughts may or may not be well-formed arguments for or against something in your life, but you need to pay them attention nevertheless. Often, intuition begins not as a loud scream but rather an inkling that something is not right or, conversely, that something feels good. When we listen to these messages and follow through with our “gut” feeling things work in our favor. On the other hand, if time isn’t taken to listen to your inner dialogue, to be with yourself, you may find the ability to connect with your intuition compromised. And, chances are, you may make decisions that are not in your best interest.

Create Space for your Thoughts
Silence and patience are prerequisites for accessing your intuition. You may remember the insightful words of Simon and Garfunkel’s song from the 1960s The Sound of Silence.
“Hello darkness my old friend,
I've come to talk with you again.
Because a vision softly creeping
Left its seed while I was sleeping,
And the vision that was planted in my brain
Still remains
Within the sound of silence.”

Sometimes it is difficult to bring that suppressed inner dialogue to the forefront of your awareness. You need to make space in your life to listen to yourself. Stopping the busyness of your life, even for a few minutes, to be with the silence surrounding you will promote a still and quiet mind. When in this state, true reflection can take place.

To hear the inner workings of your soul, you must also practice patience. Give yourself permission to take the time to capture your true longings. This may mean letting go of your need for instant answers to mirror the speedy pace of your life. Sometimes it’s enough just to have formed the question and let your inner dialogue and intuition work on the answer in the background of your mind.

Playing with your Coach
Listen well to your inner wisdom. For the next week, find 15 minutes each day to dedicate to daily reflection time. Use this time to connect with your wise self. Begin to listen to what your intuition is telling you. Write how you are feeling in the moment —no lists, no answers, just random thoughts. Learn to be comfortable in the silence. You might begin by responding to questions such as

· I am happiest when ….
· I am calmed by ….

Author's Bio: 

Lisa Martin is the founder of Briefcase Moms™, a company that is dedicated to helping time-starved working mothers who want to manage the competing priorities of motherhood without guilt and stress. As a mother and professional personal coach with more than 18 years of corporate and entrepreneurial experience, she understands the stresses facing career-committed professionals. Struggling to balance work and family? Sign up for Briefcase Moms™ complimentary publications Taking Care of Mom™ and Success & Balance.