How do you begin to tune in to your own inner knowing and wisdom? How do you block out outside opinions and perceptions? How do you stay true to your own unique values and express your true authentic self? Most people operate out of conditioned, knee-jerk responses because of feelings of familial obligation, duty, or a sense of loyalty and friendship. Oftentimes this action blurs decision-making, and makes it harder to listen to your inner truth.
Have you ever been asked to do something and although you did not really want to do it, you still said yes? How did it make you feel? I am guessing you probably felt an icky feeling in the deep recesses of your stomach that created irritation and self-judgment. How about being indecisive when an important decision needs to be made? Have you ever wished you could know what the right choice was and be done with it? Your body gives you subtle signals such as deeper breathing and feeling at ease when making the right choice; muscle tension and anxiousness when making the wrong choice. Why is it so hard to listen to those signals?
One of the reasons you resist listening to these subtle signals is due to your ever-controlling mind. Your mind operates by comparing current situations with past experiences in order to make the best choice to either avoid increased pain and discomfort, or on the other hand, to experience more pleasure and happiness. However, it is these past comparisons that prevent you from truly living life in the present. Deep down inside you know what it is that you want, but by getting busier or distracting yourself, you avoid what needs to be done. Tuning in can be very uncomfortable at times, since by doing so you may have to say no to someone and face the possibility of disappointing them.
The first step in connecting with yourself is to pay attention to subtle cues and notice your body’s response to stress, fear, and irritation. Some common signs are nausea, body pains, heat, comfort food cravings, and lapses in memory. The more that you can stay conscious of present moment thoughts and experiences, the more you can start to correlate certain symptoms with either a yes or no response of the body. Once you gain this awareness, the next step is to apply this knowledge. It may take several attempts (or more) before you succeed in truly listening to your intuition, versus overriding it with your mind. Learn to be patient with this process, and like learning how to ride a bike, remember that it takes multiple attempts to learn how to balance and be at ease.
One way to help identify the signs of your body is to take time to be more conscious of your breath. Is your breathing shallower, more labored or is it full, deep and expansive? By taking brief moments throughout your day to notice the quality of your breathing, and better yet, taking the time to breathe facilitates this process. Learn to check in with how you feel during a conversation with another person – are you relaxed or do you feel tense? By focusing on your breathing as well as how your body responds to certain situations will further increase your intuition and establish a more intimate connection with your body. Last, but not least, is to start identifying when something feels right – could be a soft voice you hear internally, or perhaps sensing a deep calmness that settles over you. The way you choose to tune in to your intuition, will be personalized and will match you to the tee.