Is your 'gut' trying to tell you something?
I truly believe that intuition, instinct, ‘gut feelings’...whatever you want to call them...act exactly like a physical muscle. The more you use it, the stronger it gets. The more you trust and act on it’s voice, the clearer it will communicate. Following your instincts isn’t always easy, it takes practise. Sometimes you’ll never know if it was right or not, and that’s where trust and practise comes in.
I believe those feelings are given to us by God, but if you don’t believe in God, the same concept applies. It doesn’t really matter where the feelings come from, what matters is that we learn how to decipher them, and most importantly…how to hear them in the first place!
About 3 years ago I had no relationship with my instincts. I definitely heard it trying to communicate with me, but I rarely understood it’s messages and to be honest, I didn’t want to. I was too busy doing whatever made me feel good at the time, I didn’t really care about consequences.
When I went to Spain and did the Camino, I decided to make a conscious effort to rekindle my relationship with my intuition. I tested it, I practiced hearing it, and over time…it worked! After many different scenarios, I started trusting my ‘inner-voice’, I let it guide me to places I wouldn’t have gone otherwise.
I have one really cool story to share about this topic;
I was driving in the Australian desert in the middle of the night. There were no cars in sight, and it was pitch black. I had this weird thought to honk my horn. I remember the conversation I had with myself…”Monica, why would you honk your horn now, that’s just weird. On second thoughts, you have nothing to lose…just do it”. So I did. 2 seconds later, I drove around a corner and saw a big kangaroo hoping off the road. The honk scared it off the road just in time for me to pass. How insane is that! I was in shock. That experience was a huge turning point in my relationship with my instincts (God). I knew it was protecting me and guiding me…like a guardian angel :-)
I’ve been road tripping USA alone for over a year now. My ‘instinct-muscle’ has been working out harder than ever before. It’s the only muscle that’s grown since I left home haha. Every decision I make is guided by the ‘voice inside’. The outcomes don’t have to be epic. They could be as simple as seeing an amazing sight at the end of a hike, or it could be complex like meeting someone I’m able to inspire or help in some way. Every decision I make, no matter how big or small…is made after consultation with my intuition.
Sometimes we are meant to make bad decisions in order to learn something. That doesn’t give you ‘free reign’ to make stupid choices though! The point I’m making is that sometimes it might feel like your intuition failed you but actually it led you down a path of growth. If you’ve already made a bad choice, you may as well find the lesson in it...but don’t make an excuse for yourself to make mistakes.
Let me give you some examples of decisions on this trip I’ve made because of my instincts;
1. I was 2 hours away from the capital of Newfoundland in Canada. My plan was always to go there. One day, I had a huge ‘gut feeling’ that it was my time to leave Newfoundland. My brother had also recently said to me “Monica, you can’t do everything”. So…I drove 8 hours straight, jumped on the ferry and I was back on the mainland the same day. I didn’t question the feeling, I just trusted there was a reason. The reason could be immediate, or it could be months later, or years later. You just never know what the ‘flow-on effect’ of a decision is. All I know is it was too strong a feeling to ignore.
2. I was in Honduras. My plan was to continue south and explore as much of South America as possible. My ‘gut’ told me to book a flight back to Miami. I was confused, I didn’t want my South American adventure to be over. I tried to fight it, but I couldn’t. The feeling was too strong, so I booked the flight. The next day, my parents suggested I go to a pilgrimage in Quito, Ecuador, which is in South America. I told them they were too late; I had already booked my ticket to Miami. Well…guess what…the flight was cheaper from Honduras to Miami and back out to Quito…half the price! If I hadn’t booked that ticket, I would have seen the outrageous price to get there straight from Honduras. I would have said no to the idea straight away. I wouldn’t have gone to Quito, which turned out to be a life-changing experience for me.
There are hundreds of stories in my day-to-day life that I could share, but I won’t bore you. I think you get the picture.
The point of this article is to inspire you to HEAR your ‘gut’ talking to you. The only way to do that is to practise listening to it. Test it. Give it a chance to show you that it has your best interest-at-heart. In order to do this, you must spend time with yourself, alone. Time without music, tv or company…time ALONE! There is no way to hear it’s messages if you are constantly drowning out it’s voice. It wants to talk to you; it’s waiting for you to ask.