intu

Learning to Trust My Intuition


When I was 7 years old, I moved to the English countryside from North Carolina in the US. My family had lived in North Carolina for two years and I had gone to a Montessori school where we did sun salutations every morning and we learned in a circle on the floor. January in England, I would come to learn, is one of the darkest and rainiest months of the year, and I was quickly ushered into a private school which looked like something out of a Jane Austen novel. We wore uniforms, sat in rows of desks, and took tests regularly, which intensified more and more over the years.

As I grew older, I noticed that women would often say to me, “You’re a smart, lovely girl, you’re going to do well in life.” I felt more and more that my education would somehow dictate my worth, despite the guiding words of my parents who told me never to take competition to heart. The world seemed fueled on competition, achievement, and proving oneself.

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Coming out of University in England I hit a crisis point in my life, my head spinning with so many expectations and financial pressures, whilst also grieving the loss of a friend who had recently died. I was in a complete state of overwhelm. Dealing with grief was a completely new experience to me, and it was the first time that I realized I could not think my way out of something. Being educated and nice wasn’t going to help me figure out how to grieve or how to get on my feet. I felt myself completely disconnect with my body, unable to handle the grief, pain and fear I was experiencing.

A year later, having moved back to the States, I began to see a therapist. I had never seen a therapist before and I had this notion that she was going to help me get my head straight. But instead, she drastically changed my life by getting me to pay attention to my body. As I talked to her, she would ask me what I was feeling and where it was being held in my body. Sometimes I would feel a burning in my head, or an aching in my heart, or a swirling sensation in my abdomen. These energetic sensations would often tell me more about my true feelings than I could ever articulate in words. Witnessing my emotions in this way allowed them to exist without overpowering me, enabling me to reconnect with myself and occupy my body fully. It was an empowering experience that taught me the true meaning of self-worth.

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This really opened my eyes to see how much I had allowed my mind to dictate my life from a young age – from the moment I was ushered into competitive schooling. As children, we are naturally connected with our bodies and the creative life force that dwells inside of us. Over time we are conditioned to override our intuitive bodies because of expectations to ‘be’ or ‘act’ a certain way, especially as women. When have you gone against your own values to please someone else?

When we stay true our intuition and stay true to our inner wisdom, we give ourselves the power to embody our most authentic selves.

When I am about to do something that will break my personal boundaries, my body tells me not to go through with it. Likewise, when my intuition tells me to do something, I commit whole-heartedly. Getting in touch with your body can be as simple as closing your eyes and taking a few moments to breathe and notice any sensations. What do you notice?

Read our blog “What is Heartled Leadership?”

Takeaways:

Silencing my mind has taught me that our bodies are always ready to tell us what we need. By being present in our bodies, we can become mindful of our experiences without letting them overwhelm us, allowing us to occupy our bodies fully. This gives us the power to define our own worth, making it difficult for others to impose their expectations on us. Our bodies are full of wisdom have the potential to be the greatest gift we ever give ourselves.

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Photo: istock.com

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