Just Stop and Listen!

Heroines listen to their inner voice.

They might try to put it aside or ignore it or tell it to “shush.”

They say,

“I can’t.”

“I will never make enough money if I did that.”

“I can’t leave him. He’s their father and he provides for us.”

“It’s selfish for me to think of myself. I have to help my family.”

“I don’t have the kind of talent she has.”

“I’m happy. Go away and leave me alone!”

But Calls never stop calling.

Never – but you can tune them out with all kinds of self-medicating techniques: drinking, shopping, drugging…you probably know about these great distractors which also include, being really busy all the time and never pausing…because if you stop, you might begin to hear…

But eventually, Heroines do listen and they start following. They start following the “Call” of that voice.

Apparently, I had more to say!

Here’s what I wrote in my previous blog. (I had to write more about this oh-so-important topic. It kicks off the whole Heroine’s Journey cycle! – So think of this blog post as a continuation of my July 5th blog which you can read here.)

“I am convinced that each of us has a soul blueprint and that if we would but listen to our intuition, the still, small voice within, we’d hear where to step next and how to fulfill our destiny. We are “the one” - one of the ones who will help to save the land, our world, if we but accept our calling.”

I tippy-toed.

Where does it come from – the Call? I used to tippy-toe around that question. In my book, You Are a Heroine: A Retelling of the Hero’s Journey, I write:  

The Call happens differently for everyone and is unique in what it asks from each of us. It’s designed to encourage us to do what we need to do next to grow.

Sometimes, Calls are from that still, small voice within: your intuition. You might have a gut feeling that you need to do something. It may also come as a feeling that you’ve outgrown where you are in your job or in a relationship. Something doesn’t seem to be working for you anymore.

Or the Call can come from external circumstances. You get fired. You get offered a promotion. Someone says something that causes you to rethink a situation. Calls can come from anywhere and everywhere.

There are several different theories about where Calls come from. In his book, Answering Your Call: A Guide for Living Your Deepest Purpose, John P. Schuster shares some of these theories:

  • For the more spiritually/theologically inclined, “The call is God talking to you.”
  • For the more psychologically inclined, “The call is your higher self sending you a message about what you should be doing.”
  • For the more biologically inclined, “Our brain cells need stimulation or they shrivel up under the routine of life. So the call and its urges and voices are sets of neurons stretching themselves out for new stimulation, the kind that comes from new challenges.”
  • For the more sociologically inclined, “The call is the part of society and your upbringing that you have coded into your own internal messages, saying, ‘Yoo hoo! Wake up and get on with your life.’”2

No theory is wrong. It’s whatever feels true for you.

I tend to go with the theory that the Call is God talking to you. That’s also how I define an “intuitive hit.” I don’t feel like it’s my brain coming up with something. It comes from someplace else. It’s a skill in itself to learn how to be still and quiet enough to hear those deeper Calls.

I tend to go with the theory that the Call is God talking to you.

That’s the “tippy-toeing.” I “tend to go.”

I was hesitant to come out and say what I really believed. Now I no longer hold back – there’s no “tend to” about it. I do believe it’s God or the Universe or the Divine or however, you refer to the Great Spirit or Mystery that connects us with all that is (as the poet, Dylan Thomas wrote: The force that through the green fuse drives the flower.)
That is where our “Calls” come from! They exist to evolve and grow us. And let me go further, (why not I’m already out there!) I also believe that we have to respond to them in order to reach our full potential – to be our complete and authentic self (a.k.a. our version of The One).

We're like trees.

I think of trees when I try to come up with a metaphor for how we are “grown” by our “Calls.” What whispers to the tree to grow a branch here and then in a few years, another one, - there? What internal blueprint comes from within the acorn that has the tree’s future plotted out? I believe we have a blueprint, too, and if we try to stop it or don’t listen and follow, then we grow stunted – or don’t grow at all! 


But so much of following our Call is in believing that we could be what we’re meant to be – what it’s asking of us. Believing that we’re “the one.” Meaning, that you are here to impart something that no one else can because they’re not you. You have a unique gift that won’t come into the world at all if you don’t own it and share it. This is what I mean when I say you’re “the One.” Your “tree” is the only one like it and it’s meant to grow!

Christopher Vogler in his classic, The Writer’s Journey, Mythic Structure for Writers, talks about how his selection of scripts (he’s a story consultant for major motion picture studios) is based on a “feeling in his body.” 

“I would feel a tingle passing down my spinal column. ..I learned to value those physical reactions because they were telling me I was in the presence of something true and right, something beautiful…It suggested to me that there is an inner grid of rightness about art and emotion, and that our bodies respond with pleasure when we make works that line up with this grid, allowing emotional energy to flow at full power like an electrical current.” P. 434.

 Real-Life Heroines (that's you)

Now to compare with my real-life heroines. I get the same kind of reaction to hearing their stories as I do to the make-believe heroine and hero stories that Vogler is talking about. When a woman finally sees her true path after years of doing OK but not loving what she’s doing. When she realizes “I am an artist. This is what I love to do and nothing feels better than when I’m doing it.” Or when someone gets unstuck because she learns that it is possible to be brave and ask for what you want – and then she gets it. All their stories trigger an emotional “high” in me! I just want more!

They answer their Call and claim their identity. It’s soul-stirring.  They are stepping into their destiny.

You will need to be brave, dear Heroine.

You will feel lost at times and will doubt yourself many times.

“Did I do the right thing?”

“People are upset with me and with the path I chose.”

You are not here for them. You are here to be as fully you as you can be – living out your own unique blueprint - not theirs. So, keep on stepping, one foot in front of the other. Find stopping points along the way where you can check in with yourself and with that still small voice within. It will fortify you.

And gather with other Heroines. Listen to their stories. Tell them yours. I guarantee you’ll be inspired to keep going.

And you and your story will inspire them. 

Learn More About The School For Real-Life Heroines


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