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The uke and your inner voice: Practice – listen – love

I have this tendency to make decisions in my life based on my gut feeling. Yes, I am a rational human being and strategic deliberations are an important part of my decision making process – but oftentimes it boils down to the emotional choice I tend to make. Decisions on where to live, which career path to choose, what people to surround myself with, can be approached rationally but in the end, when all the facts have been considered, I do tend to choose what “feels right”. And guess what? That’s a good thing.

Your gut feeling

But there is a difference between the gut feeling and what I like to call the inner voice. Now, I am not saying that the inner voice is a new concept, but I do think there are many different opinions and definitions out there. The gut feeling might tell you instantly what seems to be the easy way out, the most convenient choice, the path of least resistance. It’s the voice that you will most likely want to listen to, the easy choice. It’s the voice that tells you to stay in after a long day at work, it’s the decision for the safe side. The gut feeling focuses on short-term gain. But your inner voice works differently. The inner voice has your own best interest at heart. It considers all the options, checks in with the parts of your mind you do not necessarily consider at times. The inner voice decides on, yes, what will help you in the short-term, but also asks how this can further your horizon and benefit you in the long-run. The inner voice challenges us, makes us reconsider. It sometimes even chooses the impossible.

Now, I am not saying the gut feeling is wrong. The gut feeling is necessary, crucial in life, it’s the instinct, the weird undefined feeling you get when you first meet someone and you just know that there is something off about this person which later turns out to be true. Listen to this gut feeling. But let your inner voice make the decision on how to precede when interacting with this person.

The inner voice is us.

And you know what the best part of this is? The inner voice is already there, it’s you. It’s me. It is not a schizophrenic part in all of us, telling us what to do. It can’t be reprogrammed and manipulated by an outside machine. The inner voice is the sum of the emotional, the rational, the sceptic in us, and the many different unique parts inside that make us individuals. But as with almost everything in life, the inner voice does not come easily, it wants to be trained. The inner voice can be quiet and reluctant to act. But deep inside, the more we listen, to more we are honest with ourselves, the better we can hear it.

Playing ukulele and listening to my inner voice

Playing the ukulele has surprisingly taught me a lot about listening to my inner voice. Practicing every day and playing that same horrendous finger picking part I just can’t seem to get right, can be very frustrating. With the uke I can immediately hear when there has been a mistake. I can adjust, improve, practice again and make it better. There is a lot of truth in that for my life outside of music as well. Being able to improve, to really start to listen to what I play, how I interpret a song, what feels right and what sounds wrong, has been translated into my life. Long-term success can only be achieved through. Truly loving the music, truly loving my life – it is achieved when listening really close. To the uke, to the inner voice. Finding that melody, the harmony in music, has shown my inner voice that there is not only one way to play, not only one way to decide. But there is my way of playing – a certain decision I have to make for myself. There are things in my life that will support me and help me face challenges ahead. In music, that is my cute little concert ukulele. For my life and any decisions on where my life is going, it’s the little thing called: my inner voice.

Much love, Maria

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