“Overnight success stories” rarely are. For what appears to be overnight to an onlooker, took years of patience, frustration, hope, doubt, sweat, and tears for the person actually living it.
For me, major changes that I’ve purposefully made in my life are a lot like “overnight success stories”, they took years to bring about. And while it looks like I did it all myself (no, I’m not Wonder Woman), I am actually co-creating with something much larger than myself that speaks to me through my Intuition.
On July 10th of this year, I published a blog post titled “What is Your Tipping Point?” http://awakenpureyou.com/ It explores my journey from knowing that life needed to change to bravely taking that first step. Take time to read that before reading this post for a clearer picture of where I am coming from and why I’m taking time to share this personal story.
To successfully experience life’s constant changes, I must heed the still, small voice within so I can wisely decide what must be done for my greatest and highest good. In other words, I must trust my Self.
Around 2010, my Intuition was sending me quiet, gentle, loving signals hinting that change was in the air. It was as subtle as the first scent of autumn wafting into my nostrils on a cool September breeze. I ignored it. While I was beginning to feel “growing pains”, an uneasiness with how things were, I justified my situation by saying that other people had it far worse. “At least I wasn’t working in a coal mine like my grandfather and his father before him.” I could handle this. It wasn’t that bad…yet.
Impatient, my Intuition got louder and more aggressive. The “cool September breeze carrying change”, that I mentioned earlier, became a hurricane of drama, stress, and ill health. I knew most definitely that there would be even more significant consequences if I didn’t listen… NOW!
Why did I take so long to act on my Intuition? I didn’t trust my Self. That’s a powerful, humbling thing to admit..I DIDN’T TRUST MY SELF. And that’s the worst thing we can do when making decisions about our future.
I know early on when a situation isn’t right for me– a job, a relationship, etc… What I haven’t always known is that I have everything I need within me to make a positive change– strength, courage, wisdom, and my Intuition (guardian angel, gut instinct).
I hesitated to act on the information because I confused my Inner Critic with my Intuition. I paid more attention to the negative voice that played on my fears. The voice that weakens, stagnates, and ultimately paralyzes. The voice that poisons the system with self-doubt and anxiety. At first, it seemed to be protecting me from doing something impetuous. But that’s at all what it was doing; it was keeping me from living an authentic life, from being my best self. I was afraid of being jobless, homeless, and penniless. I was afraid I would never find the level of security and comfort that I had in my present situation. A friend asked, “Are you REALLY secure and comfortable?” That sounds a bit sarcastic but it touched right on the heart of the matter. No!!! I was not secure and comfortable. I was afraid… afraid to trust my Intuition.
Once I was clearly able to feel the difference in my body between Intuition and the Inner Critic, I was able to discern the messages and heed the one meant for my highest good.
How do you know what to do when you aren’t sure whether it’s your Intuition or fear? In my work with women and girls, I explore a variety of ways to sense the differences using body wisdom based on a lifetime of my own experience. Every message from both Intuition and the Inner Critic can be felt in different parts of the body.
One technique that has worked for me is to sit quietly and relax. First, think back on a time when you listened to your intuition. Imagine the situation in as much detail as possible. Where were you? Who else was there? What was happening? Play it in your mind and feel it in your body. Sense what it feels like to listen to your Intuition and have a positive outcome.
Open your eyes, stretch, record the sensations in a journal if that is something you like to do. Then, repeat. Only this time, recall a time when fear got in the way. You sensed your Intuition but ignored it. Where were you? Who else was there? What was happening? Play it in your mind and watch this scene play out, too. Feel it in your body. What does it feel like in your body when you ignore your own inner wisdom? What emotions and thoughts accompany this feeling?
This is just one exercise that can awaken your Intuition and heighten your awareness so you can act on it more quickly in the future. But please be gentle with yourself as you do this. As I remind myself regularly, this is a spiritual practice with the emphasis on the word “practice”. No one is perfect and faced with a new situation, it’s easy to be afraid. But with strategies in place, we can get to this intuitive knowing more quickly each time and avoid unnecessary pain.
Imagine how different life would be if we trusted our Intuition more fully! Imagine how wonderful it would be for girls to learn this at an earlier age than we did!
What’s next? Once you sense the message your Intuition is sending you, how can you manifest a positive outcome? This is where Imagination joins in, saying “I’m here to help!” More on that next time….