How I Learned to Trust That Little Voice Inside—And How It Changed My Entire Life
My mom taught me to always listen to the little voice inside, and trust it, especially when things don’t feel right. Fast forward through most of school and adult life, and I learned well how to block that voice out: To criticize myself when I felt different, to be polite at the expense of being true, to hide the parts of me I didn’t like or felt unsafe to show. I’m not wrong for these things, and neither is “society” for conditioning us this way. We live in a world where we all want to belong, and need each other to survive.
But a better way forward depends on each of us reconnecting with our own inner voice, and renewing the relationship with our deeper intuition. This takes courage and intention, and for me, it took some time.
When Self-Care Isn’t Enough
My journey started with the knowing that I was deeply unfulfilled, despite all the reasons I thought I should be happy. What felt worse was feeling bad for feeling this way. I thought there was something wrong with me. I’d followed our culture’s directions my whole life and had the career, the apartment, the accessories, but every time I sought a better way by changing something, I found a new version of the same thing. I tried self-help, entertainment and distraction, then came back to self-care, exercise, nutrition, seminars, yoga retreats, energy work and more. Each attempt eased the symptoms, but not the underlying discomfort.
That’s why two years ago, at 35 years old, I left my perfect job, sublet my apartment and bought a one-way ticket to Bali. It could have been anywhere, but I’d been to Bali once before on a shorter soul-searching sojourn after reading Elle Luna’s piece, The Crossroads of Should and Must. This time I was throwing in the towel, admitting defeat and as far as I could tell, burning my future resume to ashes. I was terrified, but this was the only way forward I could see. Despite all reason, my intuition had been yelling at me for a year to do this already.
When Listening to Your Intuition Saves You
Taking that step was the greatest gift I could have given myself. The first weeks, I set about making the most of this precious opportunity. Conscious that the trip was an indulgence I wasn’t sure I deserved, I made lists and optimized my schedule for maximum yoga and meditation time mixed with sightseeing and experiences—your typical Type-A New Yorker.
I felt naked and exposed without a job, a title or a function. How could I justify my existence if I wasn’t providing value? How did I deserve the Earth’s rich resources, this air, this space, if I wasn’t paying it forward? At least I could do the things, make the memories, so when it was over, I could say I gave it my best. Except, this was the same thinking trap that sucked the joy from my life back home.
Then, I let go. Each day, each week, I did what felt good, or nothing at all. It was a humbling, peaceful and mesmerizing experience. And it took time. Each day, each week, I felt new sensations and awareness in my body and my being. This was my beginning.
Returning From Paradise to the Real World and Learning to Trust
Three months later, feeling rested and restored, I flew back to NYC. But upon re-entry, I was surprised to meet extreme culture shock, and the troubling realization that I would never be at peace living the way I had before. I had to choose between taking the last of my savings back to the safe space of Bali to reinvent myself, or getting a job in the city to pay next month’s rent.
This time, the stakes were higher, but the answer was clear. I chose to trust myself and the Universe that a new way forward was possible, that even though I didn’t see a safety net, one would be there. And it was. Within just six months, I launched my company from Bali, Baloo Living, to support people connecting mind and body; to ground into the quiet space available to each of us, where infinite Wisdom resides as our divine human right.
There have been many turns and moments of self-discovery on this journey, but the theme is one of learning to trust, time and again, over the desire to control. The world, business and our bodies appear to be linear and physical, but the most profound shifts happen first energetically, and then reveal themselves physically. By stepping into the unknown, guided by my intuition, I’ve created a beautiful company that gently changes lives, and changed my own life in the process.
We’ve seen sales in seven figures, and that part is nice, but it isn’t something I did on my own or through will power. It’s only through relaxing and opening to receiving the instructions as they come, in the form of conversations, insights, advice from fellow entrepreneurs, chance meetings, the support of friends and family, and knowing when to listen or to act. It’s also been possible through a lot of work, but work that’s exciting and satisfying every single day.
For me, it took truly letting go despite the fear and learning to trust, and it took time. I practiced ignoring my intuition for years—now I’m getting to know her in new ways. With practice it’s become easier to flow from Bali to New York, or anywhere. The magic of running Baloo is the opportunity to grow personally, and the challenge to find time to be quiet and listen every day. I’m very curious and excited to see what will unfold next, as we grow in our mission to support the experience of the mind-body connection, and make quiet space for that little voice to speak.
Interested in other personal wellness journeys? Learn how one woman helped heal herself from cancer treatment by engaging in 360-wellness.