I used to make most of my decisions from my head. I was always trying to think about the right thing to do or what I “should” do… what made the most sense… or what would get me the results I thought I wanted.
The more I lived this way, the more out of alignment I felt. I don’t know how else to explain it.
My life wasn’t bad. I was successful on paper. But something just felt… off.
That’s when I started experimenting with making decisions differently.
Part 1: Listen to Your Gut
My jumping-off point was beginning to listen to my “gut” – or what you might call the wisdom of the body (I’m not convinced it resides solely in the gut, although there’s compelling research describing the gut as your ‘second brain,’ so it makes sense that it is one of the main sources of this deeper knowing).
For me, listening to my gut = tuning into my intuition.
It’s not so much a listening as it is a slowing down, tuning in deeply, and waiting for the deep inner knowing.
There are rarely words.
My intuition tends to speak to me in either a PUSH away from something or a PULL toward something. (Often this sense is in direct opposition to whatever my mind is saying!)
When I first started experimenting with following these nudges, I didn’t trust them completely. They seemed irrational, not based in any kind of solid logic I could point to.
But the more I practiced with “small” decisions, the more astounded I became. Without fail, I would look back a few weeks, months or sometimes years later at those choices and see how they led to a sequence of events I could never have predicted, which I was so grateful for in hindsight.
In other words, my intuition never steered me wrong.
Even when it seemed like it led me down a more challenging path initially, I could always look back and see the reasons for that later. The lessons I learned, the people I met, the circumstances it put me in, or the outcomes it led me to.
Over time, I began to trust my intuition deeply.
But there are three caveats I want to share that I’ve learned through a lot of trial & error.
• Caveat #1: It’s important to learn to distinguish between what is truly your gut sense, vs. an emotionally-driven decision. (Typically I can easily tell the difference between my head vs. my gut. But it’s much harder to distinguish at times between my intuition and my emotions.)
• Caveat #2: My gut doesn’t always have something to say. Sometimes it’s neutral. Sometimes it’s ‘quiet’ on a particular issue. Then it’s up to me to find other ways to come to clarity. I always tune in and ask my gut first, but I also trust that it only chimes in if there’s a strong reason for me to choose one direction vs. another.
• Caveat #3: I believe our “gut” likely communicates with each of us a little differently. Some people may hear something. Some may see an image. Some may get more of a sense or a “knowing” like I do. We all have different unique gifts that impact the way we interact with our intuition. You get to experiment to discover yours!
Part 2: What Does Your Heart Want?
Once I had some practice with tuning into my intuition, life led me to the next lesson, which was learning to listen to my heart.
The heart is the seat of desire… of longing. There is great wisdom here too.
I believe the heart & gut both connect us to our soul, and possibly to a higher power (God / the Universe) as well. But for me, the heart feels more intrinsically ME, whereas my gut sense feels like it has more ‘outside’ support mixed in there. 😉
The heart knows deeply what we are here to do in this lifetime. It carries the blueprint of our soul, and helps us connect to our deeper truth.
It also knows when we are “off track” – when we’ve taken a left turn and never quite found our way back.
The heart is deeply connected to our emotions. This can be a gift, but it can also get quite sticky & confusing when we start believing our emotions all the time, thinking that is our heart talking to us.
Sometimes it is, and sometimes it isn’t. Humans are emotional creatures, and there are all kinds of factors that can impact how we feel at any given moment.
The simplest way to begin listening to your heart is by asking powerful questions. You can journal on these, talk them out with a friend who is a deep listener, or work with a great coach who can reflect back what they see.
(This is what my mentor Gigi Sage taught me to do – how to follow the energy and “light” to discover what someone’s heart is really saying, when the mind wants to jump in with “good ideas” that aren’t actually aligned… or simply confusion and thinking you don’t know, when in truth, the heart always knows what it wants.)
I could write a whole book on this topic, clearly.
But for now I’ll leave you with this…
Part 3: What Changes When You Follow Your Heart & Intuitiom
I can only speak for myself.
Listening to my intuition has led me to COUNTLESS unexpected and un-plannable blessings in my life.
Friendships and connections.
Travel and adventure.
Meeting the love of my life.
It’s also helped me steer clear of many situations that would have been a lot more challenging had I taken a different path. (When I trusted it enough to listen.)
Case in point: Had we followed my intuition, we would have gotten married a year earlier, in summer 2019. Instead we pushed it to 2020, and had to cancel our wedding in Italy due to Covid. This was a huge lesson for me and Sunny both!
And listening to my heart? Oh my. Where do I even begin?
It’s guided me to make choices that have enriched the quality of my life in ways I can’t even begin to measure.
It’s made it clear to me when I’m off-path… and helped me re-align to what I’m here to do, the impact I’m here to make, and the life I’m meant to live.
It’s been my guiding light – helping me get to know myself in deep and profound ways, and re-discover myself as I shed the layers of my personality that were never truly me… and emerge more and more as the person I was meant to be.
Both my heart and my intuition have become like dear companions to me. They are my connection to my true self, and the Divine.
They are the path I walk and the music I dance to in this beautiful co-creation with life.
They are my daily act of Devotion. And I am forever thankful.
I hope that this glimpse into my journey serves you too.