Kathy Murphy, Ph.D.

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Why Don’t We Listen to Ourselves?


As I write this article for you, I am sitting on a porch looking out over the mountains in N.C. The temperature is in the low 70’s. A friend from Charleston told me it was almost 100 there. OMG. The older I get, the less I tolerate the heat.

The point of this story is about deciding to listen to my own voice. As a life design counselor, I know a lot about living your heart’s desires. I know To Thine Own Self Be True, Know Thyself and Follow Your Bliss. I know the value of living an authentic, balanced life. And I know the tools and the attitudes necessary for living a happy and healthy life.

But so do you. You, too, know all of these truths. The problem is we don’t listen to our Selves. Even if we are the smartest people we know. Oh yes, we spout eloquently and lovingly to our friends, neighbors, partners, and kids. And it is absolutely beautiful, spot-on, wisdom.

At some level, we know what we need and what would make us happier or more fulfilled. What we don’t see so clearly is how to get it?  Or we get caught up in the busy-ness of life and we get distracted. Or we get confused. Or overwhelmed. Or tired. Or broke. (Fill in your blank________________.)

For many different reasons, we don’t do the big (or the small things) that we know would help us. We’re not willing to take the chances.  So, after awhile, we begin to feel like hypocrites or we begin to doubt our own wisdom. But I don’t think the problem is about your wisdom. I think it’s about listening to your wisdom….and acting on it.

Back to my story. I have been overworking. I’ve also had an ailment, just a bad shoulder, but it has hurt like hell for a long time. There’s been financial stress as well as tremendous stress around deadlines and projects. Oh, also, my mom died last year and I published a book.

Two weeks ago, I heard the inner voice that loves me say, “Enough”. You need to slow down. You need to stop. You need to retreat. So , at the last minute, we rented a little cabin and came to sit on the top of the mountain! Yes! Absolutely no TV (none). No phone (no cell reception). No chores – other than feeding ourselves. No dressing up – for anything but the porch.

I am simply doing what I encourage others that I love and care about to do. Stop, take some time, step away.

“If we step away for a time, we are not, as many would accuse,
being irresponsible, but, rather,
we are preparing ourselves to more ably perform our lives.
– Maya Angelou

Interestingly, in the seven days we’ve been here, things seem to have righted themselves. I’m not going to tell you that I’ve not been working while I’ve been here but, I have been resting.  And remembering.  And dreaming.

I’ve been meditating daily (on the porch, looking at the mountains). I’ve been journaling – daily. I consider writing this blog a journaling exercise. I’ve read four books – one for fun, and then Martha Beck (though she’s fun too), Eckhart Tolle (maybe not fun, but so important), and my book (it’s been a while.)

Now I have a clearer vision of not only what I want, but also of how I want to be as I am doing my life. I desperately needed to be reminded.  Thank goodness, I paid attention to my inner voice that said, “Now.”

No, it wasn’t in the budget and the timing wasn’t perfect. But I’ve come to learn to listen to my own wisdom and then to practice what I teach.   What I know, without the shadow of a doubt, is that when your wisdom speaks to you as clearly as mine did…. listen. JDGSSA7G6592

Powerful Question:

What is your inner wisdom telling youthat you need right now?


I understand taking a vacation may not be  what you can or even need to do. But there is something lingering in the part of your inner self that loves you that is saying, Come on…let’s_______________.

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One Response to “Why Don’t We Listen to Ourselves?”

Diane says:

Dear Kathy-

I love you AND your blog. The timing of this message, Kathy, could not be more spot on!!!

I too have been knee-deep in mire with this house, my terminally ill kitty, and routine. I had a reading with a pet communicator this week and my kitty is telling me to shore up, take in, and appreciate what is here now AND HAVE SOME FUN!

I have realized the fun deficit, always rationalizing that I could not afford a get away, and since I am alone, who wants to vacation alone? I live alone!

This full moon today is powerful! I awoke before dawn, watered the garden, noticed and photographed the morning sky, opened every window in the house, and put on James Taylor’s greatest hits to the top of pitch. This I wiggled and sang to as I made 6 Key Lime pies for market tomorrow, and the rest of the day sailed by.

I am dreaming, and talking to two women about a real get away to Biltmore, Ocracoke, Outer Banks and as a wrap up, a day at Busch Gardens. Two women are interested, yet they have to make time. So we will see. In the meantime, I do have a plan, and scrape the dollars together to fill the gas tank!

Thank you Kathy for this beautiful blog. I love your delivery, truth, and willingness to share raw reality. You are indeed a blessing in my in box!!!

Enjoy this full moon, and continue to heal.

Love, Diane

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