One of the challenges in life is to balance the outside voices with our inside voice.  It’s common to see this issue when you become a parent, when you have a demanding job, or when you commit to a cause or career.  Different agendas are competing and it’s not about good vs. evil or right vs. wrong, it’s about lesser of two evils or the better of two goods or what works best long term vs. the reaction needs of the moment.

It’s not an easy thing to do and it becomes even more complicated when our minds take on the message of the outside voice.  Our mind believes, for whatever reason(s), that what is being told to us is true.  Then the struggle is not only with the outside, but is internal.  We call it internalizing the message.  Now multiple inside voices are contradicting each other and as we’re a mind focused, logic first culture at this point, the borrowed outside voice usually wins all arguments.

But what happens when the outside voice stops being right?  What happens when the inside voice isn’t just voicing an opinion or trying to support our ego, but is giving off warnings that things are out of balance, wrong or dangerous?  If we haven’t listened for a long time it can be very confusing for us because the results show but the message gets lost.  You see this in the husband or wife who stayed waaaaaaayyyyy too long in a marriage that was long since over and their response as to why is verbatim what the other partner has been telling them all these years.  While they can point out all the ways the marriage is over and has been detrimental for eons, their inside voice that has been telling them to take action for their own health and well-being isn’t being heard and all they listen to is the outside voice which has become theirs.

The same thing can be seen with spiritual practices which have been outgrown.  Doing one style of meditation or yoga or tai chi or ceremony to the point where the meaning, the health benefit, the point is gone, then continuing beyond even that should be causing the inner voice to shriek in protest.  It’s not a problem of the practice being inherently wrong or bad, it’s that too much of a good thing isn’t good for us either.  Each of us grows and changes and becomes and our practice should do so as well.  A diet of chocolate sounds like heaven until you’re on day 20 and all you crave is the ambrosia of broccoli.  🙂  If you don’t listen to that inside voice which says you need different nutrients, you will make yourself progressively unwell.

So when you feel stuck doing something that you’re told is good for you, that logically seems that it should be, or that you’ve been doing forever and it doesn’t work the way it used to, stop for a second.  Turn off your brain, silence the outside voices that are telling you how things should be, and start listening to the inside voice.  The one that is craving broccoli.  Once you hear that voice, the choice is up to you.