Thursday, November 23rd, 2017

Listening To Your Inner Voices


# A guest post by By Corinna Borden, author of “I Dreamt of Sausage” as a part of the How Real People Bust Out a series of guest contributors sharing their journey’s.

Usually, it’s only when I am fed, well rested and meditated that I can hear my inner dialogue as it unfolds. This is a fairly recent phenomena, but one that has added immeasurably to my ability to maintain an anchor in the storms of my life.

What do I mean when I say “inner dialogue”?

I mean the constant monologue of thoughts that bubble up into our brains, from everyday concerns (‘Have I emptied the dishwasher?’ ‘We need to change the sheets.’ ‘There’s a bug on my ankle!’) to daily observations (‘I want that car.’ ‘She has a beautiful coat.’ ‘What a silly comment.’ ‘This is boring.’) and everything in between.

Perhaps when you hear ‘What if…,’ it brings you to the world of potential and daydream. ‘What if I win?’ ‘What if he likes me?’ ‘What if I get the promotion?’

For me, in my current reality of monitoring and vanquishing a diagnosis of cancer in ways some consider unconventional, I know that when I hear ‘What if…,’ it is my watershed.

I learned a few years ago that following the seemingly benign ‘what if’ is the gateway to despair and despondency. It has become my watershed because I have learned that if I feed ‘what if’ with more ‘what ifs,’ the inner dialogue leads to me to a place I don’t want to go.

When I hear ‘What if,’ I hear this: ‘What if the test comes back positive? What if this twinge I am feeling is not indigestion but a tumour growing? What if I am never able to conceive? What if my regime is not working?’ It’s the first question leadi ng inevitably to the last, horrifying one: ‘What if this means I am going to DIE?!’

And boy, that is a fun place to live, with my brain yelling at me – a great way to enjoy the day.

So now, I am training myself to hear ‘what if’ and know that it’s not an internal dialogue I want to continue.

Training myself how? As Eckhart Tolle would say, “By returning to the only place of power, the present moment.” I now know that if I hear ‘what if,’ I should look out the window, or bite my thumb, or say my mantra, or call someone on the phone, or write an email, or exercise, or volunteer. Anything that will pull my monkey mind away from gnawing on that particular bone and get it focused on something else – hopefully, something useful and productive.

Perhaps you have a catch phrase that sets you down a road that you do not like to go, where you can feel your brain and your body become agitated and upset. Is there a particular bone your mind likes to chew on that is guaranteed to deep-six your whole day?

Identify that phrase, and it will set you free.

About The Author
Drawing on a varied background of commitment to excellence in everything – from studying medieval literature at Cambridge to advancing local horticulture at the Polly Hill Arboretum on Martha’s Vineyard to managing the baking school of Zingerman’s Bakehouse and the Westside Farmer’s Market in Ann Arbor, Mich., and her work with, Corinna Borden has become a truly insightful young voice in the local food movement. She and her husband have recently resettled in Rhinebeck, N.Y., where they are looking to start farming.

Her experiences as a young cancer survivor and living and working in seven countries on four continents while traveling to numerous others give Borden a global and spiritual perspective o n food, health and society that informs her debut book, I Dreamt of Sausage, as well as her writings about food for and


2 Responses to “Listening To Your Inner Voices”
  1. That internal dialogue can certainly be a very powerful deteteminant to our emotional wellbeing. When I find myself getting stressed about a “what if” I try to break it down to a “what is the likelihood of that ‘what if’ happening?”, amd more often than not it isn’t that likely. For the times that it is likely, I need to then ask “how have I coped in the past? What can I do to cope better this time?” and certainly as you pointed out, distraction is always a useful option. 🙂

  2. Renee says:

    I totally agree Martine, when we’re operating in our head space it really does a number on us however as soon as I get out of my head and into my heart everything has more clarity and I instantly feel better about everything.

    I love your thought process


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