If you missed part 1 where I talked about the purpose our feelings serve and an introduction on how to deal with 'bad' days you can read that post here (highly recommend reading part 1 first). In this post I'm going to focus on our intuition and how to tap into it. I'll also summarise both part 1 and 2.
To fully understand our intuition we have to first understand how our mind works. Our minds are not wired to experience discomfort. We have a part in our brain that’s responsible for our survival and whenever it notices some form of danger it tries to protect us. It does it by creating limiting beliefs, doubts, worries and thoughts that hold us back. The mind grabs on any tiny opportunity, and since it’s responsible for our survival it works fast and loud. Your level of awareness will affect how much you’ll buy into it, how much you’ll buy into the story your mind has created for you. If you are aware of your mental game (your ‘monkey mind’) chances are that more often you’ll be able to recognize the voice in your head, recognize it’s not who YOU ARE. You’ll be able to separate yourself from that voice and choose differently.
If your mind (or at least that part which is responsible for your survival) is fast and loud, your intuition is quiet and subtle. If your mind is a noisy room, your intuition is a whisper, and you can’t hear a whisper in a noisy room. The more you’re able to quiet down your thoughts (through practices that help you cultivate awareness, like yoga and meditation) the more you’re able to listen.
Intuition is like your internal inner compass. I’m sure you’ve all experienced it in your life. It’s when you experience excitement, curiosity, expansion and feeling energized, so strongly you can feel it throughout your entire body, or maybe for some of you specifically in your gut (hint - gut feeling!). That’s your intuition talking to you, telling you to go for it! On the contrary, when you feel heavy, drained and restricted, that’s your intuition trying to tell you stop and reevaluate ‘this might not be your next step’.
This is the voice that might tell you to take the day off! It's the voice that often goes against social norms and external expectations.
I strongly believe that very often our feelings show up to communicate with us that something in our life is out of alignment. Caroline Myss, an author and speaker in the fields of human consciousness, says "you are always on your path you are just not managing it so well".
Our feelings are an opportunity to manage our path better (by listening and taking action).
Here are some steps you can take to connect to your intuition:
Slow down, pause and create space for your intuition to speak to you. If you are feeling low for some time it's very likely that you're in a loop of thoughts and feelings, the feeling is as if you 'can't get out of your head'. You can interrupt the loop at any moment by pausing and quieting down. Take time out to nourish your sanity. Learn yourself, what helps you to quiet down? yoga? meditation? a walk in nature? doing something creating? going to the beach?
Love and accept where you are. When you are not feeling good all you want to do is to get rid of this feeling and ‘solve’ it as fast as you can. This is exactly the opposite of what you need to do - allow yourself to have the time you need to figure it out, rushing the process will create more resistance. Find a way to communicate with yourself with compassion, be gentle with yourself ‘it’s ok’ ‘this too shall pass’ 'whatever is, is ok' 'I'm exactly where I need to be'
Journal. Take this time to connect to your intuition. Journal for 10 or 20 min and then open your journal and write down on the top of your page a question, such as : ‘What is my next step?’ ‘What am I not seeing?’ ‘What do I need to know’ ‘Which area of my life is out of alignment?’ Don’t expect to get the answer straight away. It might take some time to come… It often comes when we least expect it (wen we don't overthink it). If you are new to journaling I wrote a whole post about journaling and how ti get started, you can read that post HERE.
Often times we will expect our intuition to tell us what will happen in the longterm. But most often the intuition will only tell us the next step. That means that you have to trust your intuition, take a leap of faith, knowing that whatever it is that you are being guided to do right now there is a higher purpose. There is a connection between physical feelings and intuition. You usually feel it in your gut. When you are excited it’ll usually feel like butterflies and when it’s the wrong decision you’ll have a sinking feeling, heaviness, stomachache...The gut is often called our second brain; it is like an emotional brain. It is a subtle sensation and it takes practice.
Always do your best to be courageous and follow your intuition. Your intuition will often guide you to do things that go against social norms and go against your ‘shoulds’ and 'need tos'. It sometimes invokes feelings of ‘being bad’ because it usually involves pleasing yourself and not anyone else. When you are ‘being bad’ because you’ve listened to your intuition vs. your ‘monkey mind’ you’ll find out it usually leads to the best results.
It’s OK to slow down, to take rest, to take a day off, to cancel a commitment or change your schedule. There is no trade off when you keep pushing through; it creates a chain reaction with an undesired outcome. Taking a break isn’t a lazy advice.
Embrace all range of emotions as part of being human. It’s OK to feel uninspired, unmotivated, tired, sad, lonely… When you accept whatever emotion it is you’re experiencing you won’t feel like you have to numb it with your ‘drug’ of choice.
Approach it with curiosity. Ask yourself – what is it that I’m feeling? Why? What do I need the most at this moment?
After you’ve accepted your feelings ask yourself – how do I want to feel? Sometimes getting into an emotional loop could be a result of unconscious thinking, a manipulation of your mind. For example - you saw something on social media, which triggered something in you and put you in a bad mood. If it’s just a silly thing that got you into feeling low the question ‘How do I want to feel’ will help you get back to your center and choose a different course of action.
Pull out your best self care tools when you’re feeling down to help you get out of your head and shift your energy. Go for a walk in nature, go to a yoga class, meet up with a friend, take a hot bath, take a nap, watch Netflix, or visit your favorite café and order your favorite cake (nothing wrong with some comfort eating when chosen mindfully)
Remind yourself ‘This too shall pass’. Remind yourself that this feeling won’t stay with you forever and the least you resist it the faster it will go.
Your sadness, disappointment, anger, anxiety, loneliness, hopelessness, or insecurity are symptoms or signals that reveal that an important part of your life requires attention.
I know this whole intuition thing might sound overwhelming at first, but listening to your intuition is a skill you have in you, it just needs some practice. Please be compassionate with yourself and remember: progress over perfection!
I'd love to hear your thoughts about intuition and please let me know if you have any questions about it!