I have started a Women’s Wisdom training course. It’s almost over actually. Everyone’s first question is “what is that?” It’s part psychology, part therapy, part life coaching…all rolled into one. It’s about learning to get in touch with our own wisdom. The wisdom and intuition we’re all born with but slowly learn to stop listening to.
I have, with this course, decided to start listening again. I am learning to trust when my gut is trying to tell me something. When someone asks me to go somewhere and I get that uncomfortable feeling in my stomach, I’m doing my best not to dismiss it. I need to get curious, ask myself why I’m feeling that way. And see what I come up with.
I have for most of my life been the type of person that overthinks and talks myself either into or out of situations. For example, a neighbor will call and invite me over for coffee. My immediate feeling is no. I don’t really feel like going. But I will say yes anyway. I feel bad saying no. So I go. And the whole time before I get there I will have an entire conversation in my head. Why did I say yes? I don’t even want to go. I’ll just call her and cancel. No i can’t cancel now that’s not right…and so on and so on. Even if i have a good time, I was constantly in the habit of needing convincing.
I don’t want that indecision anymore. I don’t want the second guessing and overthinking that is preventing me from good times or landing me in situations where I’m not having a good time at all. I want to feel confident in my yeses and in my noes.
In my training course, I learned to see the difference of what a “no” felt like and what a “yes” felt like in my body. Here’s how it works, in case you want to give it a try…
You or have someone else ask you a question that has a clear no answer. When you hear the question, something will shift in your body. That gut reaction I mentioned earlier. Then you do the same with a clear yes question. This time, the reaction will be different. It may be subtle. But once you notice that, that feeling will get stronger. It may already be. The real question is: are we listening? Are we paying attention to what our bodies are signaling to us?
It’s a familiar story to a lot of us. We feel pain in our bodies and delay treating it. We feel tired and we still stay up another hour. We run ourselves ragged and take little time for self-care. I get it, who has the time? All that saving time is costing us something.
Since I began listening and trusting myself, I feel a lot better about my decisions. But it’s a still a process. Especially when you make a decision about something you won’t see the results of for a long time. In my case, I’ll be traveling soon. I had the option of renting an apartment or staying with family. At first, I felt adamant about renting a place. I felt having my own space would give me more independence. It would allow me and my kids to have the downtime we needed after being around people all day. It would give us time to process and decompress.
But as time went on, I realized that to rent an apartment would essentially be subjecting my kids to having too much alone time. We live away from family and only see them on these vacations.
I prayed on the decision and sat with myself to see how I felt. After getting several signs, I felt good about forgoing the apartment. And now, I feel a bit anxious but I am trying to do my best to trust my feelings. It will take extra time and imagination to come up with ways to take time for me and my kids. But being aware of the need is half the battle.
I don’t want to hide from the world. I want to trust myself and live happily with my decisions. I want to find my own calm even when chaos is abound.
Trust can be the hardest gift to give anyone. Most of all ourselves.