Updated: Jun 17
Eating right and exercising helps you to stay healthy, but if your internal self is toxic with guilt, shame, anxiety, fear, doubt, or insecurity- your body will actually begin creating disease and illnesses that you are working hard to prevent!
Living with toxic stress highjacks your quality of life. It is like a ball and chain that is always trying to pull you backwards.
If you are like most of people…your decisions are made automatically or impulsively based on the first or loudest thought that enters your brain. Our brains are often a cesspool of words telling us of obligations, current cultural expectations, family responsibilities, personal standards, and the reminders of "don't make the same mistake" you made in the past and vowed to never make again. These words are all colliding in massive force inside our head competing for our attention and obedience.
Because the words and thoughts in our heads are often contradictory, there is never a point where all the thoughts and words are satisfied. Where you succeeded here…you probably failed there. So the thoughts feed into our soul...or heart, a constant negative chemical dump of feeling bad…or more specifically….shamed, disappointed, guilty or inadequate. Those feelings continue to create strong impulse reactions as a way of self protection…but not necessarily something we want to do. Even if something seems good to do, but we're not doing it out of peace, gratitude or joy, that "good" thing actually becomes part of the toxic dump inside ourselves.
How do we get beyond making reactive decisions so we can “make ourselves at home”? So we can make our internal self a “sanctuary for growth?” The most basic and simplistic way I can put it is to ignore the noise in your head and re-connect with the cry of your heart.
If there is a devil…he is speaking to your thoughts, and those are easily manipulated. But your heart, your inner self, your true self, is not negotiable. It cannot be changed or manipulated. The essence of who you are is wrapped up uniquely in your DNA and your personality, preferences, and desires are all in there waiting to be discovered. Who you really are cannot be moved. It can only be discovered or lost. Lost by reacting and responding, or discovered by paying attention and acting intentionally.
How I came to know "listening to your inner self" in my own life as "following the peace". What is your internal, metaphysical self seeking and expressing? When you decide not to make a decision because you “should” do, and instead, what you want to do based on your own core values and personal calling. No one can know that for you.
That small voice inside of you that is drowned out unless your paying attention is where our conscience lies. It is where your inhibitions serve as protectors of your value. When we lose our ability to connect to our conscience, use our inhibitions as a protective factor, or connect with others in authenticity, we loose our humanity and become chaotic reactors to the material and temporary. Your conscience, your desire to be truthful, your hesitancy to trust just anyone, your instincts are all there to protect your authentic self.
The world is a loud and noisy place. But it doesn't exist for you. The only place you'll connect with your true self is to listen to who your spirit is saying you are...and that takes practice. Start with, don't do things that make you feel uncomfortable. That is how all child abuse, sexual abuse, domestic violence or any kind of abuse, manipulation and control starts. We are “talked into” ignoring our internal warnings or personal preferences.
The decisions we made is not as important as the process we take for making that decision. What is more important than the decision itself is that you are taking the time to connect with your true self and protect that self by the decisions you make. Everything else is just noise.
Many of us don't know who our "true self" is because we've been conditioned to comply to cultural standards, and create a false identity to fit in. If this is true for you, the most simple way to re-connect your brain to your inner self is to begin doing the Grow Your Heart exercises from the free resource here at Vashti's House. That's a good place to start. You can also sign up for a life-coaching session with Vashti to begin that process. Being true to yourself might make take you against the flow, but you'll be happier making YOURSELF at home, because you are the only one you're taking with you on this life journey.
At our core, our spirit wants to live and grow and thrive and we all need space, time, support, and encouragement to connect with our authentic self. Slowing down to listen to your own spirit is the best way to create sanctuary in yourself and a sanctuary of growth for those around you.