Listening “in”

Getting quiet

8 years ago, I attended a retreat in Alabama and did a fire-walk. In the few days leading up to the actual walk, the leader kept encouraging us to listen to our inner voices, to be sure it would be safe for us (personally) to do. This involved getting quiet (both inside and out), settling down and not acting out of either fear or nervous excitement.

I could feel that it was right for me. I didn’t feel cocky or arrogant, and the thought of it made my stomach flip, but in an exciting way. I know the difference between excited expectation of something totally out of my comfort zone, and the inner discomfort that says “this is not a good idea for you”, or the other voice that gets really excited about something but within a few days, the energy drains away and I see clearly that it was just one of my “big ideas” that really is not right.

No other person can get inside of me and feel. It is the still, small voice that doesn’t give us logical reasons, explanations, or excuses. It Knows the way and it leads to more life.

I don’t know if I’ll ever do a firewalk again or not, but just because I’ve done it once, doesn’t mean I’d feel OK to do it again without checking inside to see how I was feeling. With all of the positive outcomes, (and mistakes) I’ve made in my life, the one constant has been my sense of whether or not something was right (for me) or wrong  in that particular situation. I didn’t always listen to that voice, didn’t always want to…but I always knew.

When people are hard on themselves saying, “I knew that I shouldn’t have….(fill in the blank; dated that guy, bought that car, adopted that particular animal…) it is important to remember that you knew and that means you can trust your inner voice. And maybe even follow it next time!

Intuition is a spiritual faculty and does not explain, but simply points the way. Florence Scovel Shinn


Over the past year, a number of people have asked me if I’d consider doing shorter phone sessions and so, starting September 1st, I am going to be offering, (in addition to the full one hour regular sessions) shorter, 30 minute appointment times. The fee will be $35 for the 1/2 hr. time (the regular session will stay at $60).

If this is something that interests you, you can go to the “My Work: Private Sessions with Me” tab,  read more about my background and what a session with me is like, and if you’d like to set up a time, email me and we’ll go from there!  The link to this page is:

20 thoughts on “Listening “in””

  1. Wow, Mary! There is place inside us that knows isn’t there? Sometimes I feel like I am just on the verge of “knowing” something in reference to my life or just the nature of this life in general and then it is clarified or it slips away, just can’t quite grasp “it”. I continue to grow and I am grateful you are a part of that growth. I like the new session offering too!

  2. You will never know, Mary, how incredibly timely today’s post is for me. I’ve been grappling with the issue of my neighbor’s Golden Retriever for months now. Although I try to take him for several days a week to give him all the love I can cram into his sad life, I have had something way deep inside telling me not to commit to full adoption, at least, not just yet. And I’ve also been beating myself up over NOT taking him, especially when the neighbor leaves him alone for 17 hours on a day that I cannot have him with me.

    Your post today reminded me that it’s ok to listen to my intuitive self…that it’s actually there to help me make the best decisions that I can, even if those decisions carry pain of their own. Thanks, Mary.

  3. Suzanne, I woke up in the middle of the night, and I have no reason why, I was thinking about you and your neighbor’s dog, and wondering how things were going. Just know that whatever time you spend with her is a real gift – and she will soak up all your love like a time release capsule, keeping her warm in the lonely hours. Mary, this post is such an important reminder to never discount our inner voice, and not let others’ needs and demands put that voice in second place. It is so easy to do that, justifying that we are doing something for someone else’s benefit or pleasure. But is it right for us? I am copy/pasting the quote into my WFF folder as well as your line, “It (the still small voice) knows the way and it leads to more life.” Beautiful! – more life, rich and abundant life. Thank you!

    1. Susan, you must be an ’empath.’ I barely slept last night trying to quell the turmoil in my brain and heart about my responsibility to this Golden.

      And now, in your reply, I see the sentences, “…….never discount our inner voice, and not let others’ needs and demands put that voice in second place. It is so easy to do that, justifying that we are doing something for someone else’s benefit or pleasure. But is it right for us? ” This is an answer of sorts to my SECOND predicament which is another neighbor (dog lover with two of her own), actually planning for me to rescue the Golden. I want to help this dog but I am seeing many pitfalls to it. My other neighbor is acting annoyed if I voice my doubts. And here I am, in the middle, with my heart breaking for Poot, knowing that his last years will be awful if I DON’T take him.

      Thank you for your shared words. There is a complete picture here within all these posts, and it has given me pause….which I think is what I need.

      1. Suzanne, if Poot is really old, he may be very content just to lounge on a dog bed all day, not needing the daily walks and exercise of a younger dog. I’m sure you’ve thought about all these things, – and pausing is exactly what your inner voice is telling you to do today. Your neighbor? May mean well for the dog’s sake, but maybe needs to mind her own business. We’re all sending Poot Cyber Pats and Love! Maybe St. Francis is listening and can bless Poot as well.

    2. I’ve also been wondering, Suzanne, about your neighbour’s dog. I do Aussie Rescue but I’m not on the front line where decisions have to be made. I know I would have difficulty making the right decision for me, too. Maybe what you are doing is the best that you can and what you need to do for yourself. We can’t rescue everyone and every thing but it’s sure hard when something like that is right under your nose all the time. Good for you to do what you can to help the dog.

      1. Thanks, SandyP. What I really want to do is find him an excellent home with a good family or person, but my neighbor won’t allow that. So, I’m giving him what I can until I get the answer. Guess it’s better than nothing.

  4. Mary, I’ve spent much of my life going on instinct with people and I’ve not always been spot on so I know to be careful with what I call ‘listening to my inner voice’ or my gut reaction. What people present on the exterior is not always what is contained within. The last time this happened, I got myself hoofed out of Curves after being a member for 7 yrs. in one club. Have you ever felt a really negative aura about some people? I did, the moment the new mgr. of Curves walked into the facility. That, and she didn’t know about exercise, didn’t integrate much with the members, led me to write the owner an email. It was the second email that got my membership terminated. The good thing is that I finally went to a gym to exercise, something I should have done years ago. So, when I listen to my inner voice I make sure I know what it is I want when I do. I don’t find I’m off the mark often but the fall-out is often unexpected.
    SandyP in Canada who is wondering if walking through fire is the equivalent of walking on hot stones…but maybe not.

    1. The “intuition” that I am talking about is when we go inside, quiet the mind, and disregard all outward appearances (not making a judgement from how anyone presents themselves). In that “field” where we are all connected, below the surface, is where the Truth is always found…but it is quiet and cannot be accessed through the reasoning mind. …as for the firewalk question, in my case, it was a bed of hot coals that I walked on.

      1. Thank you Mary for your explanation. Quieting my mind is an achievement that I’m not always successful at but I can see that this is different than instinct. A good reminder of the difference.

        Hot coals. Bare feet. I won’t ask if you were burned because I know the theory is that if you attune yourself to the level that you can do something like this, the expectation is, I think, that you would not burn the soles of your feet.

      2. quieting the mind, when we need an answer, can be quite a undertaking can’t it?! And I didn’t get burned at all one in our group did, but some (who had done the walk before) did not do it that night because they were not feeling the go-ahead. The woman who led the retreat said that she has seen people get burned but when she talked with them after, they always said that they knew they shouldn’t do it (but went ahead anyway for some reason).

      3. Mary, I’m familiar with walking on hot stones or coals and not being burnt if you’re able to put yourself into a different state or plane of mind. I’ve been more alternative over the past 25 years so I have heard of this. I’ve often wondered to why humankind seems to want to reach a more enlightened or heightened or altered state of being in the mind. From earliest times people have been trying to escape with their minds. I wonder if you have anything to comment on that or has it been evident to you in your studies to notice how people have reached for something to alter their state of mind into that of a higher being. I’m not sure I’m communicating it well enough to you. Early cultures smoked something to put them into an altered state; shamans did the same thing, did the drug culture of the 60’s do the same thing…is this what people were aiming at. It’s amazing that you could walk on hot coals and not burn your feet and that you could put your mind into such a state as to achieve this. If we are able to control our minds to that degree, we could reach Nirvana, is this correct? Then we would not experience pain, then we would be able to place ourselves into a peaceful state, am I correct…or not…can you add anything here..

      1. Well,…the firewalk (the walking on fire part) was the same! (our retreat was very small and we were walking in a circle singing a very soft song, as each person walked across the coals)…thanks for posting this Mary

    Good luck to you with your decision about the Golden, I have several rescued dogs, and although I have had to make changes in my life for them, I have never regretted it, they give back to me more than I give, there is a quote”Saving one dog will not save the world but surely for that one dog the world will change forever.” Whatever your decision, you have already gave the dog love and that is what a dog desires most. I always admire your comments.

    1. Thank you so much, Karen. I really appreciate your input. All of my dogs were rescues. I wouldn’t have it any other way!

  6. There’s a Paul Simon lyric I love, “Trust your intuition, it’s just like going fishing, you cast your line and wait to get a bite.”

Comments are closed.