Listening to Myself + Going Places with Toyota

My inner voice, is it there? Yes, it’s always there, but sometimes I’m not listening to it + even worse, sometimes I’m not following it. I’ve been working on opening myself up to my inner voice, listening to it + following it. That also means going places I might not otherwise go with Toyota. I’m sharing a personal story about listening to my inner voice + 5 ways to listen to your own voice. Spoiler alert: it needs you.

Toyota x LL&CO-20.jpg

This past year, I faced many challenges, losses, life-changing moments + I’ll just name it: trauma. Honestly, if I could give any of those moments back + hop on a boat + call it smooth sailing, I’m sure I would take it, because who really wants to go through pain? I’ve gone through the process of grief over the multiple losses I faced this past year + while working through my experiences I’ve looked for the silver lining + reached acceptance. By reaching acceptance, I do not mean that I feel like it’s Okay that I lost a baby + went through a surgery that I genuinely feared even though it did quite possibly save my life. I’m not Okay with the memories I have of watching my son experience anaphylaxis to two unknown fruit allergies that each happened within 2 1/2 months time + the shock I went through responding to the emergencies. I just accept that these experiences happened among many others + they’ve brought me to a place I may not have arrived to without the journey I had to face.

One thing that my experiences brought me was the gift of depression. I say gift, because one thing that came from my deep sadness was that in those moments, my inner voice was loud + clear. I heard many things, thoughts, values + truths I already knew. But, I was just a little de-railed, surely life changing events can cause a re-commitment in life, + maybe I came to a place where I needed to focus on something else. I had to get back to my roots. In every way.

I had an unexplainable draw to the corn fields, trees + serenity of Lake Michigan that I grew up with. I wanted to be with my family + lifetime friends that know me + the natural aspects of Michigan that bring me true peace. I traveled to Michigan + Toyota was there with me to help me go places.

Toyota x LL&CO-23.jpg

Our inner voice. It’s so deep within us, I mean it truly is who we are. If we can listen to + find our inner voice, we can find true peace + it can set us out on a path we are meant to be on. The path may not be easy, but if it’s meant for us, there is something undeniable about that.

Through my experience, I’ve found 5 ways to help find your inner voice:

  1. Identify your values. - What is important to you?

  2. Focus on the things you loved as a child.

  3. Focus on awareness, not avoidance.

  4. Listen to the painful feelings.

  5. Go where your calling takes you.

The Walking Company x LL&CO.-1.jpg

I would fall asleep dreaming about Traverse City, my favorite place as a little girl. I absolutely love Traverse City, MI, but I did not have a deep drive to visit there for over ten years prior. Traverse City was something that kept calling to me. My original intention was to move there. The doors kept closing on that opportunity, but because I went, my kids got to experience a place that means so much to me, I made a new friend that I think will be a lifelong friend + I bought a company while on a trip that I surely never would’ve done if I wouldn’t have listened to my inner voice. The road since hasn’t been easy, but I think it’s my road I’m supposed to travel.


Your voice may be a still, quiet voice, but it is surely there. Listen to it, nurture it, find patience with it. We are all created with the same intention. However, our unique purposes are different. Life isn’t a one size fits all. Your voice is your voice. Your path is your path. I hope you find it + hold on tight to it.

Toyota x LL&CO-30.jpg

The road may not be easy, but I’m on it. Toyota sponsored this post. Toyota believes in helping us go places + they sure create vehicles to help us do so. I only share brands I love + I love the mission behind Toyota.

Photography by: // © Lindsey Lee & Co.