I’m in the middle of something, a transition of sorts, a waking up to some things I have wanted to stay asleep to instead. I opened myself up to the process of building a deeper connection to myself and my intuition in a course with some impressive, remarkable women.
And I also, at the same time, decided to dive into some coaching about my relationship to money. Both called to me and seemed like personal work that would be very valuable. And it sounded like exactly what I needed to take on to evolve and grow into the next version of me.
The work of change
But the idea of doing this work and the act of actually doing this work are two very different things.
My tender exposed new layers feel so raw. And the message I keep getting over and over and over as I go through this process of uncovering is that no one can do it but me, and it is exactly what needs to be done.
I’ve never relied on just me to know the answer. I’ve always relied on finding the right answer.
It feels really scary and hard to let that go, learn another way of doing things, and turn away from what I’ve always done and how I’ve always done it and do things differently. I don’t want to.
But I want you to notice I’m doing it anyway. I don’t want to, and I am doing it anyway. Because not wanting to, for the reasons I’ve stated above, is true on the surface, but not in my heart.
I don’t want to because it feels hard right now. I don’t want to because it’s new and it’s kind of scary.
I do want to because it matters to me. I do want to because growth and change, and learning are some of my most important values.
Living by your guiding principles
This podcast, the work I’m doing in these programs, I don’t do it because it’s always fun. Fun is not one of my guiding principles. It’s not all my life is about. Neither is easy.
There are much easier things than creating a weekly podcast and putting everything out there for the world to consume and judge. There are much easier and more fun things than looking at the past and my identity and revisiting and re-evaluating it.
But what’s most important to me, deep down inside, is exploring my capability. Learning more about me and the world around me, synthesizing information and making sense of it, and sharing it with others.
Sometimes I don’t want to, and I do it anyway.
Doing it anyway
I’m sure you can relate to this on your journey, wherever you are.
You don’t want to plan. You don’t want to try new things. You don’t want to build new habits. You don’t want to practice new skills. You don’t want to take responsibility.
But, you also don’t want to keep doing things the old way.
You don’t want to, and you do it anyway.
Listening to your intuition
One of the skills I’m building is tuning into my inner knowing, intuition, what I want, what aligns with me, rather than relying on outside answers and constructs.
It isn’t that I never listen or am completely and totally disconnected. I would just say that my default is to second-guess or ignore it or try to somehow confirm it with proof from someone else in the world who knows the right answer.
If you are lost, and you have no idea what I mean by intuition or inner knowing or what aligns, I love Glennon Doyle’s experience that she shared in Untamed.
It started with a very personal question that required a very personal answer that she found herself typing into her Google search window, rather than looking within herself to find.
It really stopped her in her tracks and she asked herself, “Why do I trust everyone else on Earth more than I trust myself?”
Can you relate?
Well, after getting a million different answers under the sun from the internet, all contradicting each other, she had this epiphany.
“It must be that should and shouldn’t, right and wrong, good and bad, they’re not wild. They’re not real. They’re just culturally constructed artificial, ever-changing bars that keep us caged.”
And then this brilliance she also shared. “I decided that if I kept doing the right thing, I would spend my life following someone else’s directions instead of my own. I didn’t want to live my life without living my life.”
Finding what aligns with you
Now, I am all about learning from experts and consulting wise humans, and listening to people with different experiences and perspectives than mine. But not unfiltered.
That’s where I think intuition comes in.
It is the filter we can use to find what aligns, what matters, what we want our life to be about. It takes some recognition, some paying attention to, to start to tune in.
It is still reasonably new for me, and I’m not sure that I could tell you what precisely it feels like or looks like in every situation. Stay tuned as I hone my skills. There will be much more to come.
The magic of intuition
There is some magic in leaning into this knowing, this intuition, guidance from within, and following your heart.
I see it happening in my life. This episode, it’s a result of it.
Today, I didn’t push away the nudge to talk about this, and this is what was born. I know it’s for one of you. You needed this message that my brain is human, just like yours.
Even when we’re doing our best to do our best, raw and exposed is a place we will visit, but not where we will necessarily stay forever. Raw and exposed becomes conditioned and healed eventually.
Questions to ask yourself to access your intuition
If you’re wondering how to follow your heart or how to know when to do things even when you don’t want to, here are some questions for you to ask yourself.
- Deep down inside, what’s important to you?
- What do you want your life to be about?
- What sort of person do you want to be?
- What sort of relationships do you want to build? Not just with other humans, but with other things, like food, time, money, yourself.
- If you weren’t struggling with your feelings or avoiding your fears, what would you channel your time and energy into doing?
Answering these questions will help you create a clearer picture of what matters and the why of your values.
When what you really want, what you value most, what lights you up inside is your guide, it makes it very simple to do it anyway, even when you don’t want to.
Find your touch tree
I’ll leave you with one last favorite concept and image from Untamed.
“The most effective strategy that a lost person can use to increase her likelihood of getting found and thriving is this; she must find herself a touch tree. A touch tree is a recognizable strong, large tree that becomes the lost one’s home base. She can adventure out into the woods as long as she returns to her touch tree again and again. This perpetual returning will keep her from getting too far gone.”
“Now,” she says, “when I feel lost, I remember that I am not the woods. I am my own tree. I have everything I need beneath me, above me, inside me.”
You are your own touch tree, beautiful friends. It’s time to open your heart and start to know that.
This kind of thought work is invaluable on your journey to losing weight for life. If you’re ready to get started, watch my free video on how to lose the first five pounds — and keep going.