How often do you ignore your intuition? How many times have you said “if I had just trusted my gut I wouldn’t be here in this relationship, in this house, in this job or this circumstance!
Last Tuesday, I awoke at 4 am to prepare for a long drive back home. Something said lay back down everything will be okay.
I was anxious to get on the road because I was scheduled to appear for a court hearing.
In trying to control some aspect of this challenging situation, I figured I’d get on the road early to get back and get settled.
And at the same time I was running from some uncomfortable family triggers instead of managing that truth.
Lo and behold, four hours into the drive, I ran into a massive snowstorm, lost control of my car, slid into a railing which removed my bumper.
With hindsight that bumper saved us from sliding farther and being in a worse scenario.
After making sure Zoë was okay and experiencing a total emotional breakdown about the situation — I called a sister friend of mine who helped me get settled into a nearby hotel.
Everything worked out as it always does but I can’t help but to admonish myself for ignoring my intuition … yet again.
Why We Ignore Our Intuition
How was I groomed to ignore my intuition and intellectualize every situation?
Part of it is just my personality — I love learning and thinking. One of my favorite subjects is philosophy, especially critical thinking. I will read a book and tear it apart.
But I have also been subjected to repeated trauma and abuse. Often my observations were unacknowledged and my fears, pains and even my joys were invalidated by people who were doing the best they could.
I can’t count the number of times that people responded this way to my feelings:
- Oh it’s not that bad.
- You are being dramatic.
- You are too sensitive, too emotional, too this or too that.
- God never gives you more than you can bear.
- If nothing else you are strong.
Sharing your truth only to have it invalidated conditions you to trust the experience of others over your own voice.
And I did that.
Occasionally, I still do it.
I got out of my heart and into my head and stayed there because it was safer.
If you look back over your own life I am sure that you also have had moments where the responses of others made you question what you knew to be true for you.
Mothers who deal with depression or anxiety often feel ignored which is a detriment of their mental health.
And sadly, if you are a black woman it’s highly likely that someone who sees you as strong black woman will say you are exaggerating.
Benefits of Cultivating the Practice of Listening to Your Intuition
Intuition protects us, guides us and is the reminder that there is something greater than our physicality and intellectual capabilities.
It heightens our awareness to dangers that are often intangible.
It connects us to the Lioness we need to be when protecting our young.
Intuition shows us the path less chosen.
Intuition reminds us that we are not alone.
And it helps us ask for what we need and stand in our power.
And it tells us when to be still.
How to Hear, Believe and Follow Through on Your Intuition
Firstly, practice radical self-love and self-care in a safe space.
When things get hard and you don’t know what to do, take care of yourself.
Take a bath, practice deep breathing or just say to yourself I acknowledge that this is really hard right now.
No judgement, no criticism, no blame, just compassion for yourself.
Secondly, get into your body and awaken your body intelligence.
For me its getting on the yoga mat or taking Zoe on a walk. A great question to ask yourself when you have a dilemma is to pay attention to your body when you choose and option. Is your body resistant, tense or tight when you think of taking an action? Then it probably isn’t the right answer.
Thirdly, get still, ask for the answers and listen.
How often in our haste to control an outcome do we ignore that fleeting answer that has a feeling of peace attached to it?
Peace is so uncommon in our lives because we live in constant chaos.
When we sit still enough to ask and listen in the silence we learn to TRUST ourselves to hear the answers.
Finally, take immediate action.
This will seem strange at first. If you are like me you’ll create a list of reasons why the action you need to take seems illogical. And for the most part it is.
When my intuition told me to lay back down and wait another day to travel I thought of all the reasons why I needed to leave.
The goal here is to get out of your brain, reconnect to your heart space, and trust something bigger than your intellect.
It’s time to do things differently because as you have heard the definition of insanity is doing the same thing and expecting a different result.
Practice these steps over the next few weeks and see what happens let me know how it goes— connect with me on IG at ThriveAfterPostpartum, send me a direct message or comment on the post entitled I TRUST MY INTUITION. You can also visit ThriveAfterPostpartum.com and send me an email.
Until next time, Thrive Queen and Shine Brighter.