you & me

The Voice Within Is Speaking to Us All the Time.


“Everyone who wills can hear the inner voice. It is within everyone.” ~ Mahatma Gandhi

“You’ve got less than five days to live.” That’s what one of the doctors said to me out of a roomful of doctors who were gathered around me as I lay listless in my hospital bed, my arm full of IV’s, my body hurting like crazy with 106-degree fever.

“We’ve tried everything we know to do to lower your fever and it won’t break. I’m sorry.” I wasn’t in shock. In some ways, I was relieved that the pain would end. Then, the doctors’ moods shifted.

“Since we have no other recourse and your death is imminent, we’d like to try a new, experimental procedure on you. We inject you with a radioactive solution and follow it to what we believe is the cause of your fever.” At least that’s what I heard. They may have put it differently, but I didn’t miss the words “radioactive solution.”

“We’ve set you up for an 8 am start time tomorrow.” They left very excited about tomorrow’s experiment. And now I was in shock. Radioactivity. In my veins. A loud, very clear voice echoed throughout my being, “No!”

I called Mollie, my wife at the time, and asked her to come get me. I called the nurse and told her I was going home. She told me I can’t, to which I responded, “Actually, I can,” and ripped the IV’s out of my arm. Slowly I got up out of bed and began to get dressed. The nurse ran out to call the doctors.

I walked myself to the elevator, met Mollie downstairs and we drove home. We lived in an old farmhouse on a lake surrounded by a little less than two acres of gorgeous, forested land. From our bed, I could see the lake. It looked more beautiful than ever.

My four-year-old son, Isaac, sat with me as Mollie prepared a broth. Now, without the morphine, I was on my own to deal with the pain. I settled in, breathing the best I could and awaited the end.

The pain grew steadily worse. It was close to impossible to find a comfortable position lying down or sitting up. I did my best to focus on the view, my son, and Mollie, but mostly, I was ready to end the fight I was losing. Or, at least, that’s what I thought.

Up to that point, I had put all my faith in Western medicine. Anything outside that I considered woo-woo. So, when, the next morning, I got a call from one of Mollie’s friends saying, “I know a healer and since you’re dying anyway, isn’t it worth checking out?” , I thought she had a point.  The same loud and very clear voice reverberated through my entire being, but this time it said, “Yes!”

This time, I was more conscious of this voice, a recognition of sorts. I spent a little time thinking about whether there were other times in my life I heard that same voice and whether I’d listened to it or not. I didn’t spend a lot of time thinking about it, but the thought did cross my mind. The thing I noticed most was how on both occasions there was no doubt attached and so following was easy.

We made an appointment and, given the urgency of my situation, the healer saw me later that same day. He poked and prodded at me, which hurt like hell, and after about 45 minutes, said I was healed. I was appalled, especially when he gave me the bill.

That night, my fever dropped to 101. 101 is not healed, but it’s not dead. Much of the pain subsided, and for the first time since I left the hospital, I felt hopeful. We went back for a few more visits, but nothing further changed.

It was February, and living on a lake in upstate New York in a farmhouse built in 1886 was pretty close to living in a tent, except for the indoor plumbing, which was put in by my grandfather in 1948. With 101-degree fever that wouldn’t let up, I was shivering most of the time.

I had a job selling insurance, which I hated, but made a ton of money at and supported our family very comfortably —  except I was uncomfortable all the time and miserable, even before this mysterious fever overtook me. In retrospect, it’s easy to see that the fever was no coincidence — it catalyzed the life I have today. At the time, though, all I knew was how much I hurt.

Several days into my 101-degree fever, the voice inside me came forth saying, “Time to move.” Without hesitation, I went in to see my boss. He could see how sick I was, and he bought my book of business for enough money to support my family to live anywhere in the world.

I sold my family home, which was hard, but I knew deep in my bones it was the right thing to do. Again, given how my life has turned out, it was clearly the right decision. Even though I didn’t know anything besides I had to move to someplace warmer, I recognized a knowing inside me that I didn’t doubt at all.

But, here’s the funny part. I made the decision that we would move to Tucson, AZ because I never wanted to see snow again. We drove as far as Asheville, NC, met a group of 10 parents and kids, all our son’s age, on our first day in town, and that voice in me spoke up again, saying, “Stay here,” and we did, for the next 17 years.

One of the parents told me about a healer in town and I was way more open than I had ever been in the past.  The “Yes” my inner voice spoke was hardly necessary, but a good reinforcement that got me to see that healer less than a week later. It wasn’t long before my fever was gone and I was on the road to the best health I’ve ever had in my life.

Listening to that voice within me has become a way of life. I don’t know if I ever would have developed my relationship with my higher knowing if it hadn’t been for the doctors telling me I had five days to live. I doubt it. I had been pretty set in my ways. It took some earth-shattering news to move me.

It’s been about 25 years since that fateful day. I’ve been divorced, and by the time I asked Ashley, the woman I’m with today, to marry me, I had learned not to take any action without checking in with my higher self first. I am in awe of the magnificence of our relationship, and in fact all of the relationships in my life now.

I am the Senior Minister of a Center for Spiritual Living, a job I love, and have made over 40 short films over the last nine months, a hobby I adore, and my health is fantastic!

All because I have dedicated my life to listening and following the voice within me. You have that voice too. We all do, and it’s speaking to us all the time. There is no end to how perfectly it can guide you. But first, you must listen.


Rev. Cliff Rubin is the Senior Minister at Spiritworks Center for Spiritual Living in Burbank, CA. He is also the grateful husband of Ashley Fuller Rubin and father of Isaac Rubin. After achieving a BS in Filmmaking from the Los Angeles Film School, he has put together a troupe of amazing congregants to inspire through film, to creatively do what Mahatma Gandhi so eloquently stated, “Be the change you wish to see.”


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