Note: This is a guest essay by Ariane de Bonvoisin
When I was in my twenties and early thirties, my external world looked pretty perfect. I ran a $500m dollar VC fund at the age of 28 for a large media company in NYC. Soon after, I was engaged to one of New York’s top Bachelors. I lived in a loft in Soho.
I had a cool life.
Everything my education had told me to go after.
I knew exactly what was going on. A part of me I’d learned to turn off, had been telling me the truth for a while.
This is a part of me that I have learned to call “my inner microphone.”
“Ariane, you’re in the wrong job.”
“Ariane, you’re sleeping with the wrong guy.”
“Ariane, you’ve got to lose the weight.” (I was 40 pounds heavier than today)
But like most of us, for me to survive, I turned that inner voice as low as I could. Probably to a level of 2. I had to keep this life going. Keep it all together.
You can never turn it right down. Your body doesn’t like lying to itself, so it keeps trying to wake you up. Over and over. Until finally you listen. You make a change. Or life appears to force one upon you.
I knew about competition, achievement and comparison! I did everything to try and get love and approval. I did well at school and went to the top universities around the world.
You could say I was supremely well educated from the neck up.
Below the neck. Not at all.
I picked up my first self help book when I was 16. I was surprised to learn that there were ways to be happy. Ways to create an incredible life. An inner life.
In the next few decades, I met experts, went to workshops and retreats and learnt about healthy relationships, how to make good decisions, how to take care of my body, how to forgive, how to contribute to others and the spiritual path.
I couldn’t find a way to have a foot in both worlds- one in the world of big jobs, money, relationships….. and the other, clearly on a spiritual, more conscious path, searching for real answers.
Thankfully, eventually, I finally turned that inner microphone way up and let it lead the way. I left the big job, I ended the relationship and I left NYC.
In the years that followed, I found myself exploring why people change, and why some don’t. Why as adults we are so empty of basic life skills. I became curious about why we are still so insecure on the inside, despite educational, professional, even personal success.
I wrote books, created apps, did speaking engagements and coaching.
Maybe this insecurity is because the inside has never been valued in the same way as the external world. This was embedded into our childhoods, where performance was what was noticed. We don’t feel worthy without having something to show for. We never got any praise, degrees or money for using our intuition or being familiar with our feelings.
It is not what most parents, teachers or caregivers know to focus on.
I now have a son called Everest. He thinks his name is Never Rest! He is turning 5 and going to kindergarten soon.
It has got me thinking a lot about what he will learn but especially, what he wont be learning. Technology and developing the mind are amazing.
But what about the development of his heart, his spirit, his emotional life, his ability to navigate change?
I now have an obsession with the inner microphone, and am never ignoring it again. And so my son and I often talk about using his heart and his intuition. I asked him to draw all the various important emotional parts of himself the other day – then had him write down where some of those things were.
His intuition? He put it everywhere. Arms, legs, stomach, heart. Using a red marker. Hopefully, he is learning self-reliance and personal responsibility.
That he too, has answers.
Hopefully, what is below his neck matters to him.
Hopefully, his body is a guide and he can rely on it.
We need to teach kids what intuition is, that it can help make good decisions and that it needs to be listened to. Maybe we can cheer them on when they use it at least as much as celebrating an A on a test at school. I’ve recently published a trilogy of books, Giggles and Joy, for young kids, age 3-8 that focus on real life skills, intuition being one of them.
This skill is as much for adults as it is for young kids. So many of our moments of pain and suffering have happened when we’ve ignored our intuition.
Pushing away your one source of truth: your body and your intuition, drains your emotional, creative and spiritual energy. It’s there, always trying to help you out, to get your attention, however uncomfortable its message may sound. Give yourself the gift of true freedom! Freedom from the mind that is scared and worried, that if did follow that inner microphone, what would life look like.
All change requires courage. And all change is about trusting that the unknown, despite the fear that comes with it, has magic and abundance within it.
www.gigglesandjoy.com About the author: Ariane de Bonvoisin is an author, speaker and entrepreneur, who is passionate about life skills for grown ups and kids. She is the creator of a new kids book series, Giggles and Joy: Spiritual Life Lessons for Kids, that touches on important themes such as honesty, forgiveness, intuition, having a bad day, joy and kindness. For more info on her work please visit www.arianedebonvoisin.com
Hi I’m Karen Salmansohn, founder of NotSalmon. My mission is to offer you easy-to-understand insights and tools to empower you to bloom into your happiest, highest potential self. I use playful analogies, feisty humor, and stylish graphics to distill big ideas – going as far back as ancient wisdom from Aristotle, Buddhism and Darwin to the latest research studies from Cognitive Therapy, Neuro Linquistic Programming, Neuroscience, Positive Psychology, Quantum Physics, Nutritional Studies – and then some.