Follow Your Gut
“Follow your instincts. That’s where true wisdom manifests itself.” Oprah Winfrey
Instincts, intuition, gut feelings. It’s that knowing, that feeling that is just beneath the surface trying to get your attention. It’s also a great guidance system if you just get out of your own way and accept its advice. And by “you” here I am referring to me too!
Following my gut has never steered me wrong. Not following it, on the other hand, has not always worked out in my best interest. I can look back on life and see moments that now I think, why didn’t I trust my gut? Well because there are a lot of influences out there that would keep your ego in charge and silence that quiet, still inner knowing. Culture, family, friends, upbringing, media, social media, pretty much anything can send us the message that our thinking minds will solve all the problems. Interestingly also, it’s out of fear most of these influences keep us from following our instincts — at least for me, it seems that way. Fear of failure, or embarrassment, or in bad relationship decisions earlier on in life, fear of being alone. Society teaches us that we need that steady paycheque and those great benefits and adulting means a 9-5 job and balance, a perfect family life and yada yada yada.
I wish trusting your instincts was something that they had taught in school. If it were socially mainstream, it would be easier to follow and have way less roadblocks. Ironically, it’s trusting our instincts that allowed us to thrive and survive as a species. It’s interesting to ponder that we have come so far only to become so disconnected from ourselves.
So as parents have been doing since the beginning of time, I want to pass on my learnings to my kids to save them from ending up in adulthood saying, “Geeze, why didn’t anyone tell me?“
Where do I start? Instincts, intuition, gut feelings. It’s like your internal GPS. When properly programmed, it gets you to where you need to be. Not want to be, but need to be. It works flawlessly when you are quiet. That’s when you can hear and feel it’s gentle wisdom. Sometimes it’s louder, like the head to toe tingles that run up and down your body when you see something or hear something that is meant for you. Like the time I landed on a Huna energy healer’s website. I knew nothing of Huna at the time but I landed on this page and it was as though I knew this somehow was a piece of the puzzle I was searching for. Tingling everywhere. That one didn’t steer me wrong. In fact, it changed the trajectory of my life and reunited me with my life’s purpose. Kind of a big deal!
I can also teach my kids by being an example. By showing what it is to follow your gut when it leads you off the beaten path. Showing them to live without regrets. Blogging for instance. Writing: I do it because I love it, because it makes me feel alive. I write because it awakens a part of me that went dormant years ago. You know, after graduation, when adulting set in and very practically, writing wouldn’t pay the bills. It’s as though for those 20 plus years a part of me was lost. Then, someone asked me, “Hey do you want to be a part of this great project?” This was an offer that came when life was hectic and outside influences would say, “You’ve got enough on your plate,” or “Why would you do that,” or insert any other well-meaning naysaying phrase here, I stopped. I checked in and that little internal GPS said yes!
As I contemplate this topic and where I want to go with it, I think it is checking in with my gut more frequently. Sure, for the big life moments and decisions, it’s become a go-to but what if I were to check in throughout my day? What if I checked in for more than just, “Hmm what crystal should I carry in my pocket today?” What if I checked in with, “Hey, what do I need to nourish my body right now,” rather than reach for the processed stuff that I know makes me feel tired or sluggish later but it’s so convenient and right there right now. What if I were to tune into that gut just before having the post “go to your room and think about it” chat with one or both of my kids. What if I were tuning in and asking, “Do I really need to be showing up for this commitment or am I doing it simply out of obligation?” Like I said earlier, following my gut has never steered me wrong. So then, how might my life shift with more checking in with my gut? I just checked, gut says go! I am tingly with the possibilities.