How to Trust Your Intuition and Make Decisions that Serve Your Soul
“How you know is by feeling,” my coach Torrie said during one of our calls. “If it feels good then it’s a yes. If it feels bad it’s a no. It’s really that easy,” she explained. “And nobody can tell you how this feels by the way. You have to learn to trust what you feel.” She was teaching me the language of my intuition. A feeling language. Not an easy task for a type-A, left-brained, problem solving, time management master. But with practice I did master the language; a gift that will serve me well for the rest of my life.
Growing up in California in the late sixties and seventies with Volkswagen Bug-driving, pot-smoking parents, you’d think trusting my intuition would come easy; that it would have been something I was taught to lean on from an early age. Instead, this was a generation that learned it isn’t okay to feel, you shouldn’t cry, you should brush it off, get back up and pretend like nothing happened. I don’t remember hearing the word intuition as a child.
It’d be much later, somewhere in the middle of a holistic continuing education course I was taking for my physical therapy license, that I’d learn feeling is healing. And that feeling was the way I’d know what was good for my own soul. I’d learn it’s the only way to understand the important messages coming from within me; the ones directing my life toward purpose and meaning.
This idea seems so huge I wonder why we don’t get a version of this class in Kindergarten. A little segment on trusting your intuition couldn’t hurt, right? It wouldn’t have to be too woo woo. Something under the guise of self-esteem and knowing when something feels right or wrong. It could be packaged with the Don’t Talk to Strangers talk if we had to.
Point is feeling the sensations of your mind, body, soul should be basic, foundational stuff. Intuition should be natural, easy and completely prioritized. We spend a lot of time teaching our kids to be quiet and listen, follow other people’s rules and instructions, behave appropriately, and do what they’re supposed to do. When do we teach them about what feels right to them?
And who’s making all those rules anyhow? We want our kids to be safe, but what we don’t realize is not teaching them to learn the language of and trust their intuition is not keeping them safe, in fact it’s teaching them to trust other people over their own gut feeling. That’s not good.
What if we taught our kids to listen to what feels good and right for them, from a very young age? Because kissing grandpa on the cheek every time I see him might be what you think I should do, but it also might feel really bad to me, for reasons you can’t see or feel. What’s a poor little good girl to do in that situation? Kiss grandpa? Or politely decline?
I say let your kids decide who they hug and kiss. Trust them to know what feels good or right for them. Don’t force them into things because you think it’s appropriate or right, or because you feel embarrassed about the situation. Do your own gut check when your kids “misbehave.” What in you can’t tolerate what’s happening? Why?
Asking big questions like this is what it’s going to take to shake things up. To bring a special and very needed level of awareness to our lives and our kid’s lives. We need to question how we were brought up, why we were brought up that way, and the consciousness with which we were taught the things we believe. There might be a better, more healthy way to think and believe that serves our souls now. It might be time to honor it.
If you’re new to the idea of learning the language of your intuition I have 3 ways you can get started. Remember, you’re not learning something new. You’re unlearning what you were taught that’s covering up this natural skill. Here are three powerful ways to start connecting with, listening to and learning the language of your intuition so that you can start making decisions that will nourish and serve your soul:
- Practice feeling. Yep, you gotta get still and breathe. You must start to close your eyes, shut down the mind-chatter and begin practicing feeling the sensations of your body, mind and soul. One of the ways to do this is with body awareness meditation. I’m not talking about having to sit on a pillow cross-legged for an hour. I’m talking about just dropping down into the physical sensations of your body and being curious about what you feel. Any amount of time will do at first. Some is better than none. Notice what you feel and then do some journaling, without censoring or judgement, about the experience.
- Start knowing the difference between what feels good and bad to you. When things are amazing, that has a feeling. When things suck, that also has a feeling. Grab a notebook and pen and start by making a list of the ways your body feels when things are amazing, or a “Yes!” And make a similar list of the ways your body feels when things suck, or are a “No!” Don’t censor these lists. No answers are wrong. For instance when things don’t feel right for me I feel a tightness in my chest and notice myself breathing shallowly. When things feel amazing I feel light and free and flexible. Give yourself as much time as you need to write as many things down as you can think of. When you look back at your lists, you’re going to have a cheat sheet for the messages coming from your soul-your intuition.
- Watch your thoughts and take a step back. The trick here is to not believe everything you think. This kind of awareness will help you discern inner critic thoughts from intuitional messages. When you’re stuck in repetitive negative tapes or ruminating thoughts, take a pause. Breathe. Notice the thoughts. Write them down. And then practice feeling how those thoughts feel inside you. My guess is they don’t feel too good. Knowing that many of our conditioned thoughts and beliefs come from ways we were taught early on will be helpful as we start to discern those kinds of thoughts from the ones coming from our intuition. All those thoughts have a feeling. And being able to feel is the beginning to knowing, listening to and learning the language of your intuition.
I wish someone had taught me these things early in my life. I know my life would have followed a different path if I had. But I also believe that everything happens for us, not to us, so I know that mastering my intuition has come in perfect timing. I also know if we decide to, we can change an entire generation for the better by teaching these tools. Just imagine.
I have a great workshop for you to explore if you’re ready for more of these tools. You can find that HERE!
Laura Di Franco, MPT is the owner of Brave Healer Productions and a powerhouse who writes to Feng Shui her soul. She’s the author of Brave Healing, a Guide for Your Journey, her sixth book to help inspire your fiercely alive whole self. Join her and write words that build your business and heal the world. The Write Habit online writing club is now open at www.BraveHealer.com