Happy, Healthy You – Listen to your Intuition
Slow down. I know, it is easier said than done in this hectic pace world. Naturally, it is challenging to find the time to pause and listen to our bodies or intuition. What does that mean exactly? In the past, I have used the advice to listen to my body so I could learn what my body needed in the way of nutrition. Sometimes we can get into the bad habit of grabbing unhealthy food in a rush, which only perpetuates our bad habits. And then we feel lousy with no energy to get through our list for the day. Or instead of feeling our feelings, we can use food to stuff down our emotions. Been there, done that. But what if we took the wisdom of tuning into our needs by listening to our bodies a step further? What if we tuned into not only our bodies physical needs, but emotional and mental needs. I realized that our bodies are sending us messages, core, gut feelings, all the time. And, I also realized, that for most of my life I have just blown right past them. It was as if I was machine on auto pilot. I had kids and a husband to care for, all the while juggling a career and a home. How was I supposed to find the time to listen to my needs? Not just on a physical level, but a mental one. I needed to get quiet. I needed to get sensitive, to ME. (Instead of everyone around me). When we get quiet to listen to our bodies messages, we don’t need to reason them, logic them, or intellectualize them. We just need to act on them. They talk about that gut feeling or inner intuition, well, it is real. Our intuition can tell something is not quite right. We just have to be willing to listen.
Take the other day for example. I was having an emotional and rough day. OK, a really emotional day. I didn’t have time for an emotional day! I not only had my day to day job, but extra job deadlines approaching. And a big to do list as well. I decided to do things differently than what I normally do. Makes sense right? I decided to take the heat off. Dump the to do list and deadlines and just stop. I decided to show myself love and compassion for my fragile self. What did I need? What do I want? I took a walk because I enjoy moving my body and it always leaves me feeling better about myself. Still listening, I went home and nourished my body with some fresh beet, carrot and celery juice. Juicing is more labor intensive than my daily smoothies but I wanted to honor my needs. I reached out and called a friend for support. This is definitely not something I would have done in the past. I was always too busy trying to be Superwoman. I can handle anything, all by myself. I have learned to show vulnerability and get support. I felt so much better after talking thru my emotions that day. I decided to do only the required work for my job that day. And then, you know what, I did something I don’t usually make time for. I took a nap! Gasp. And, it felt amazing. I could tell I really needed it. Oh, and then I ended the evening with none other than my buddy, Netflix. And you know what I noticed the next day? I was a new person, refreshed, and ready to tackle the week. Which I did with full vitality. I am really glad I rewrote the script. It took me decades and lots of practice to do it, but I did it. And I know, as with all self care practices, I will learn and relearn to deepen this new healthy behavior.
I read a couple of fascinating books from Christiane Northrup that explained as women, we are given the opportunity to slow down every month during our cycle. Its meant to be the time we check in with ourselves and clean house emotionally, so to speak. Its time to reset and refresh. Nurture our minds and our bodies. Sweats, naps and chocolate anyone? If we never take the time during our cycles month after month, decade after decade to check into our bodies and mental health, eventually it will catch up with us. And, the beauty is, we can choose put ourselves first and to listen. Sometimes, the most simple way of tuning in to our needs, is to just stop. Pause for a moment. Breathe deeply. Ask yourself how you are feeling. Trust yourself and your intuition to know the answer. Your mind often works from a place of “I shoulds” whereas our intuition usually comes from a softer and more gentle place, truly connected to what we most need. It may not be easy at first but the more you practice, the more clarity you will find on what health means for you, what works and doesn’t work for your body, and your own unique path to wellness.
Here’s to a happy, healthy you as you choose to develop the art of listening to your intuition!
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