Listening to Yourself

I recently had to put the brakes on a planned weekend away with my family. And i mean literally. I’ve been working on trusting my intuition (or my gut instinct if you will) more, and the opportunity presented itself. Each year in September, we have been going away on a weekend as a quick goodbye to Summer. This year, our month was quite full and our weekends especially felt too busy. So, when we were able to narrow down a weekend to go away, we jumped at the chance. We told the kids, we packed our bags, we even packed the car. And yet the whole time leading up to it – and i mean a few days worth – I keep thinking to myself, “do i really want to go? Is this what i want or is it more that i think we should go? Is it worth the added work for me”?

Going to the cottage ideally means relaxing, reading, snacking, enjoying the outdoors. Going with small kids when the weather is cold and we can’t swim is another weekend all together. It’s just more work in a place that is not mine to unwind in. To further this conundrum, when I found out that we were not going to have the cottage to ourselves as we have in the past, my gut was silently screaming to me to not go. And yet, i kept moving ahead because: I DON’T want to have to tell the children. Ugh the drama!

So, after my sweet family picked me up, and we were halfway out of the city, i was updated more about the state of affairs at the cottage. It was just enough in me to say a firm “No, we are not going.” My partner also was hesitant (aka scared) to tell the kids that we weren’t going – we were in the car already for crying out loud, and they had already turned on their Long Drive Tablet Videos. But, i chose to listen to my intuition and not my fear. I chose to be the Alpha parent and teach my kids to face futility. I was there to catch their feelings.

And you know what? Sure they were disappointed, but they weren’t devastated. We worked out a great Plan B of fun things to do in the city and it was just what I needed.

All because i chose to listen to my intuition.

What is this thing i call Intuition, you ask? For one, it’s choosing to listen past your fear and ask yourself what is it that you truly want? Pause and notice what your body is asking for. Our intuition acts as an inner guidance. In the brilliant Many Moons Journal for October 2018, Sarah talks about how the word “intuitive” itself comes from the Latin term to gaze or contemplate. She posts some guides to help you connect more actively with your intuition. A good question to ask yourself is what decision are you looking at? Can you think of a time where your trusted your intuition, or what happened when you ignored it. You can start a practice to notice signs that are repeating themselves (like if 3 people in a week tell you to read a certain book, or a song plays on the radio 3 times in a day) – what could they be telling you? You could start your day by asking yourself to be open to a certain message or receiving help. Before you go to bed, tell your intuition what you need help with to clarify. See where it sits in your body – for me it really is in my stomach/gut or womb. That is where i feel the strongest energy pull to listen to what i know is best for me to honour. My fear sits elsewhere in my body (my upper back, behind my heart). That helps me locate where both live and then respond accordingly.

It can be very hard for us to trust our intuition as it can get so buried down. We may have learned to not trust it, especially if you are a trauma survivor and your internal radar has been untrustworthy in the past. Or it was taught to be hidden as a way to protect it. Ou world today still has misogynist anti-magic beliefs that are so pervasive, that it is scary at times to connect with this part of ourselves, let alone voice it. As busy women and mothers, we can get swept up in the day to day tug and pull of life. Sometimes we may not even notice that it is our intuition that is telling us to turn earlier onto a different street (therefore avoiding a traffic jam), or to make a point to pick up that public transit transfer ticket (avoiding a tense chat with subway police – yes i have felt that urge and am so glad i honoured it). Gabby Bernstein has coined the term Empowered Intuition, where you are allowing yourself to trust how you feel, be patient with yourself and choose love. What i love is that it is about choosing to trust ourselves and not carry judgement – itself a hard and empowering process.

What are some ways you can work on honouring your intuition?

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