This is a moment of honesty and transparency before moving into today's email. I wrote the blog I promised last week. It was about how stop getting your buttons pushed. I wrote the email and realized I was not happy with it. It was too complicated, and I really needed to simplify. So it's going to need a little bit more time. Luckily, I had another post ready to go, and I hope you find it useful.
A question I hear often is “how do you know when something is intuition?” I really LOVE this question because I have danced with it so often. I have ignored my intuition and I’ve heard it and chose differently. And sometimes I follow it, and those are my personal stories of magic.
What the hell is intuition, how do we know when we’re experiencing it, and how do we know if it is worth following are all questions worth looking at and seeing how it applies to your own life.
Have I told you about how I became a life coach? The only thing that really guided me was pure intuition, so I’m going to share this story with you in hopes of illustrating how it works for me.
I was working a job that I liked but no longer loved. I could tell my time was coming to an end in this position, but I had no idea what was next. So, I showed up and did my work. As I worked, I usually listened to podcasts. I kept hearing people say “I’m a Martha Beck certified life coach.” And then I heard a few interviews with Martha Beck. I’d never heard of this woman, and yet her name kept popping up and I liked what all these people were saying and I finally investigated it for myself.
Turns out she ran a program to train life coaches and they were going to be starting a session in just three weeks. As I researched her approach to coaching, I found she was not only brilliant (she has THREE degrees from Harvard) and I loved her scientific approach to learning and helping others understand their thinking, but she worked with a touch of the magical (the stuff that can’t be explained) and a ton of fun and humor. I loved this woman. It’s how I want to be showing up in the world.
But when I signed up for an information call to learn more about training, I hung up after 10 minutes. It felt non-committal. Everyone had one foot out the door. And when I looked at the life coach I had been working with for the last year I thought to myself “She’s so good at this, I could never do what she does.”
And yet the thought about joining the life coach training program wouldn’t stop nagging me. It wouldn’t leave me alone. I sat in silence for a moment with the idea. I turned my mind to pay attention to my body. I got really still. I asked if I should join the program and waited for something. My whole body felt a rush of energy, like a literal oceanic wave moved through me. “Huh, that’s weird,” I thought. “Must be a coincidence. A chill from central air conditioning.” (I did live in a basement apartment, after all) So I asked the opposite question- “Should I not do life coach training?” My body closed. It felt like a tortoise shell was slapped on and I was closing in. I felt tight, uncomfortable, and small.
I had never in my life experienced clear communication like this. I decided to listen. I don’t know WHY I decided to listen. But something seemed really clear to me that life coach training was my next step. It was a major leap of faith, and I decided to give it a go. I wasn’t sure that I was meant to be an actual life coach, but it was clear that I needed to be in this training.
That step changed everything in my life. Because of that training I have met friends that I hope to have for the rest of my life because their wisdom and insight have touched me so deeply and I hope to continue to support them. I noticed so many of my personal patterns that have held me back from living to the fullest. I’ve expanded as a woman and as a human, and I have gotten a great deal of life lessons in a short period of time. It is true what they say- when the student is ready the teacher appears.
I’ve tried that exercise of sitting quietly with a question, and I have never felt the same exact way. I will get similar communication or sometimes it shows up silent. Sometimes I have to wait a while for a clear inspired next step. Intuition speaks its own language, which is nothing like what we use with words. It’s completely non-verbal and is usually extremely individualized.
Our intuition is a deep knowing that goes beyond logic. My logic would analyze the idea of a coaching program and it would look at the cost and it compared my abilities to another person. Beyond logic, there is a sense of knowing the unknowable.
Our logical brain is only able to process a finite amount of information, and it processes it at a slower rate. Our body (especially our gut) can process information much faster. There are sensors all over the body that can process information and feed it back to us. Often our intuition is communicating to us through our bodies. Are you listening?
It could be the tightness you feel in your stomach or the ache in your back. It could be the way your heart beats faster or your palms sweat. I don’t believe in coincidences. Sometimes pain is telling you there is something physically wrong, sometimes it’s telling you a different kind of message that you need to receive.
Here’s your assignment this week. Sit still. Get quiet. In your mind, hold an idea of a person, place, or thing that you know is bad for you. If you’re lactose intolerant, maybe you think about a big ice cream sundae. Or maybe you think about that elementary school teacher than made you feel awful about yourself. Pay attention to how your body is reacting when you think about this person. Take note of all the signals that are happening.
Shake off that thought and those feelings. Let it go with a deep inhale and a big sighing exhale. Now think of someone, somewhere, or something that makes you incredibly happy. Notice what happens in your body. What changes do you notice?
This is the beginning work to understand the signals you receive from your body. This is how you can start to establish the ways that your body is communicating. Pay attention when you get these signals, there is something your body wants you to know. Lean more into the things that give your body the same feelings as your happy thing, and stay away from the things that give your body the negative feelings.
What came up for you doing this exercise? What signals did you get? Give yourself the gift of clarity and share them with me now. Hit reply and tell me your body signals, put them into words so your brain can begin to see and understand what your body already knows.
Did you find this blog post helpful? Do you want to increase the love in your life? It all starts with yourself, which is why I created a simple self love meditation. Claim yours here and get more love immediately.