"Listening to oneself" has become a popular token of language and cultural icon in this era of spiritual awakening. Healer, coaches and others in the self-management industry discuss the need to listen to ourselves.
The verb "to listen" causes expectations of hearing things. The only sounds you'll get, even if you focus very intently, is your stomach gurgling as it digests lunch.
Listening to oneself is actually very important for anybody that wants to improve their life. In this article I'm about to try and clarify this term and suggest specific guidelines to develop the ability to listen to yourself in a practical way.

First me must clarify what the Self is and what we're actually listening to.

The Self is a spiritual entity. You can't measure the Self in blood tests, or see it on X-ray or cat-scan imaging. The self is not present in one particular location and can't be found using technological instruments. The Self is an energy entity that is present parallel to the physical body but not in one specific place. The Self is present in every molecule of the physical body.

There are approaches that associate the Self with specific body areas such as the heart, the abdomen or the third eye but these are only symbolic reference points. The Self is actually everywhere.

Considering that the Self lacks a material presence connecting to the Self must involve understanding the laws of energy and learning ways of integrating them into our every day lives. Most relevant to this discussion, is the law of vibration compatibility.

Energies are either compatible or not. Energies that have similar frequencies synchronize. They support each other and are suitable to each other. Energies that are incompatible do not work well together are unsuitable to each other.
The language of the Self is the language of energy. Information is conveyed using laws of energy compatibility. In order to listen to the Self we need to learn its language of resonance and dissonance.

Communicating information from the Self
The nervous system is responsible for transmitting physiological information and also takes part in conveying energetic information. This means that the Self speaks through the physical body using the nervous system as its mediator.

When the Self interacts with energies that are compatible to it, the body relaxes. When the Self interacts with energies that are incompatible to it, the body contracts.

Following is an exercise for articulating the sensation of relaxation verses contraction.

Sit quietly, close your eyes and allow your body to relax. Focus on the center of your diaphragm and notice how it feels at the beginning of the exercise. Be with this sensation for a few minutes.
Now think about someone who significantly upsets you and use your imagination to bring his or her image into the center of your diaphragm. Notice how this image affects your body.
Once you have noticed the affect, allow the image to disperse and re-focus your breathing as at the beginning of the exercise.
Once the diaphragm area has returned to the initial sensation, think about someone you love dearly. Use your imagination and bring his or her image into the center of your diaphragm and notice how this image affects your body.
Once you have noticed the affect, allow the image to disperse and re-focus your breathing. Continue to sit quietly allowing your body to relax for a few more minutes and then end the exercise and open your eyes.

Most likely you will have noticed that the upsetting image caused contraction and the loving image caused relaxation. If you didn’t feel this difference you may need to keep practicing in order to re-activate the ability to feel.

Listening to the Self means noticing the body sensations that the things around us arouse. This is the way of the Self to tell us what is suitable for us and what is not but it is in the form of sensations not voices.
Many people have lost the ability to notice these fine sensations because they have been contracted for so long. The only way to deal with this is to practice.

Author's Bio: 

Joan Jacobs is a holistic healer with 25 years experience as clinical healer, educator, speaker and author.Joan teaches at the Faculty of Health Sciences, the Leo and Matilda Recanati school of community health professions at the Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Israel, and has held senior teaching and program directing positions at leading schools of complementary medicine in Israel. She teaches certification programs for Bach Flower practitioners and holistic healers and has personally trained numerous clinical practitioners. Joan developed and instructed a Holistic back-to-life program for breast cancer survivors at the breast health center of the Soroka University Medical Center, Beer Sheva, Israel. In 2010 she created an international healing and personal transformation workshop program called The Light Within and published her first book titled Messages from the Soul- A Holistic Approach To Healing."The Light Within- Awakening The Inner Healer" Radio Talk Show she hosts airs every Mon 10AM PST on VoiceAmerica.com Variety Channel.