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Friday, November 30, 2012

Listening to Your Inner Voice to Discover Your "Calling" in Life

People often come to therapy because they feel like they're just drifting through their lives, but they sense somewhere deep down that there's something more that they want, but they just haven't found it yet.  Some people describe this as finding their purpose in life.  To me, it means the same thing, but I like to think of it as finding your "calling" in life because I feel there's an inner voice in everyone that knows what this "calling" is, if we would just learn to listen.

Listening to Your Inner Voice to Discover Your "Calling" in Life
What is a "Calling"?
Often, when people hear the words "finding your calling in life," they think of a religious "calling."  And while you might feel drawn to a religious calling, it can also be so many other things, and it doesn't necessarily have to be your job.  Your job might be working in an office, but your passion might be volunteering on the weekends to work with children.  Or, you might feel a passion to write poetry or play music.

Your Inner Voice Knows Intuitively What's Right For You
To hear and really listen to your inner voice, that voice that knows intuitively what's right for you, you need to get quiet and open yourself to your inner voice.  Many people discover their inner voice through meditation.  I've found meditation to be especially helpful to hearing my inner voice.  I've found my dreams to be even more helpful because the unconscious speaks to us in our sleep.  Over the years, since I began keeping a dream journal, I've noticed recurring dreams with certain themes that have given me new insights.  I've also discovered fascinating synchronicities between my dream life and my ordinary waking life.  Many people have told me that they've had similar experiences.

What Happens When We Don't Listen to Our Inner Voice
Sometimes, our inner voice is clear as to our "calling" in life, but we don't listen.  When I was a teenager, I developed an interest in psychoanalytic literature, especially books by Karen Horney, who was an influential neo-Freudian analyst who dared to challenge Freud.  I devoured her books, and early on, I wanted very much to become a psychoanalyst.  But, then, in my 20s, as I've mentioned in prior blog posts, I thought I should do something more "practical."  I left the Liberal Arts program and went to a business college.  Even though I disliked and felt very hemmed in by the courses, I pushed myself to continue there for a while because I thought this was the "practical" thing to do.

It took me a while to realize that I wasn't following my "calling" in life and I needed to get back to what I needed to do.  I mention this because, having gone through this experience myself, I have a lot of compassion for other people who struggle with finding their purpose or "calling" in life.  Also, having gone through my own experience, I know that it's also possible to transform your life by listening to your inner voice.

Eventually, I became a Masters level social worker and did my postgraduate psychoanalytic training.  A few years later, I discovered that, although I love psychoanalysis, I needed other tools to help psychotherapy clients because psychodynamic psychotherapy didn't help to heal all psychotherapy clients.

By listening to my inner voice, I trained in EMDR, clinical hypnosis and Somatic Experiencing as well as Embodied Imagination dream work, and discovered new ways of working with clients that brought about deeper healing experiences for them.

Listening to Your Inner Voice and Self Exploration Can Lead to a More Fulfilling Life
If you feel like you're drifting through life without having discovered your purpose or "calling" yet, you owe it to yourself to begin a self exploration that can lead to a more fulfilling life.  As I've mentioned, I believe this starts by listening to your inner voice.

I am a licensed NYC psychotherapist, hypnotherapist, EMDR and Somatic Experiencing therapist.  I work with individual adults and couples.

To find out more about me, visit my website:
Josephine Ferraro, LCSW - NYC Psychotherapist

To set up a consultation, call me at (212) 726-1006.

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