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How To Follow Your Gut Instincts. {What Cues Are You Listening To?}

Gut instincts: we all have them.  But do we always let them guide us?  Call it a spidey sense or women’s intuition, following your gut is a great barometer for making decisions.

gutLast year around May, I started feeling a little strange: I was shaky when I got up in the morning, I felt foggy and I was always tired.  I had talked to my doctor before about always feeling run-down and we chalked it up to my active lifestyle.

So when these new symptoms popped up, I got a full blood work up to see what was going on.  When she ordered the normal blood tests, I’m not sure why, but I asked her to test my thyroid.  I had no history of thyroid issues, neither did anyone in my family (it’s often hereditary) but something in me wanted to dig a little deeper, so I just went with it.

Four vials of blood and 3 days later showed that, yes, I indeed had a thyroid problem that was causing all of these issues.  On one hand, I was a little freaked out–what did this mean?  I was supposed to be uber-healthy from my green smoothies!  And vitamins!  On the other hand, I felt so validated and relieved.  That tug in my subconscious was all I needed to prove my instincts were right on.

The gut is not only where we digest food and get our energy, but it’s also where our nervous system houses the inner workings of where we make our decisions– a.k.a our ‘gut brain’.  Without even realizing it, we gather knowledge and store it as patterns in our subconscious.  When something flashes as part of a pattern, we recognize it as intuition; it gives us instant feedback on what we have already collected.

But when we look outside instead of “in” and are guided too much by those external factors, our decisions lack a lot of that valuable intuitive feedback that we know deep down, is best.  Our intuition knows things our rational mind cannot, no matter what the reasoning.

When I’m making a big decision, I try to always use my gut and these are 3 ways I tap into it:

  1. Get quiet. I go someplace where I can sit down and close my eyes, alone.  I focus on the first option and walk through what I believe may happen.  I notice the feelings that come up in my body and if any thoughts/memories are triggered.   I try to write down the reactions for each option.
  2. Review each scenario and how my body reacted.  I take note if my stomach tightened or my shoulders rose (a personal indication of stress).  It’s important to think about what happened physically when I thought about an option.  Breathing easy and feeling lighter means I’m getting closer to the solution.  Feeling tight or constricted is a signal that the choice may not be right.
  3. Imagine the other side of the decision.  I try to start from the end.  Does it call to me in an exciting way?  Or does the transition seem overwhelming?  Feeling settled and resolved is a great indication it’s a good choice, even if it doesn’t totally make sense.  Reflecting on what could be often helps me decide the best route to take.

If you find yourself at a decision crossroad and you’re not sure which way to go, try to listen to what your gut is saying to you.  Chances are, it’s speaking to you in a few different ways and will guide you if you’re willing to listen.





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How To Follow Your Gut Instincts. {What Cues Are You Listening To?}2018-03-29T20:23:22-04:00

What is calling you? Listen to the whispers.

Everyone has a 'thing', do you know yours? When you're not sure what is calling you, it can be frustrating and overwhelming. Click through to read 5 simple ways to recognize what is calling you (and how to listen to it!)

Everyone has a 'thing', do you know yours? When you're not sure what is calling you, it can be frustrating and overwhelming. Click through to read 5 simple ways to recognize what is calling you (and how to listen to it!)

I remember feeling tortured when I had to pick a college major–I was so unprepared to decide my future at 17 years old.  I was a high school senior and was more interested in playing basketball than I was in determining my fate for the next 4 years, possibly longer.  My parents were pushing hard for business school (“Everything is a business, Stephanie!”) and I wasn’t feeling particularly excited about it.

Deep down we all yearn to find our purpose or ‘our thing’;  before we find it (and even after) it’s a confusing journey that takes us through many moments of starts and stops.  I always knew part of my call was creation of some kind–painting, collage, photography, writing–I just never knew how to incorporate it into my everyday life.  All I knew was if I was expressing myself in a creative way, my heart was singing; but it always seemed like a background noise more than a blaring fog horn.  Weren’t calls supposed to be really obvious?   I realized some people’s path are more clear than others.

We all have a calling–whether it’s to be a chef, an ice sculptor or a really great dog groomer–we all have something that beckons to our deepest desire.  If you haven’t found your calling yet, don’t fear.  Here are a few things that may help you recognize it:

1) “What you seek is seeking you” -Rumi.  That man was a genius way before his time!  He’s basically saying that the yearning you have?  It’s something that is looking for you–even if you don’t know what it is yet.  That pull towards something is a sign that your heart is being summoned.  Explore, experiment and keep searching.

2) Notice the pockets of pleasure.  By nature we seek pleasure; in that pleasure is the key to finding your path.  If you struggle with math, that’s probably not your calling.  If you feel blissful when you’re cooking, that’s probably closer to what you’re looking for. (But you new that already, didn’t you?)

3) Don’t overthink it.  People throw around words like “destiny” and “fate” and get all preachy about what they’re supposed to be doing.  Don’t go cuckoo trying to figure things out, just follow your gut and give something a try.  When you act from your heart rather than your brain, you can’t go wrong (and it usually feels pretty right!)  You may find when you open your mind to different options, the universe starts laying them at your feet.

4) Forget what everybody thinks and be the boss of you.  Everybody, and I mean everybody has an opinion on what you should be doing.  But guess what?  They’re not living your life.  When you start to follow what you think your calling may be, people may think you’re weird, crazy or impractical; never mind them.  Follow your gut–let them make their own life choices and you make yours.

5) Give in to it.  It sounds simple, but a lot of times we feel the pull and ignore it because we think it’s impractical or it can’t be done.  That line dancing you like to do?  It’s part of your path–and guess what?  The fact that you love to do it means it’s not going anywhere.  So you can choose to work with it and find a way to incorporate it into your life (yes! cowboy boots!) or you can mentally battle it forever.  Your choice.

Finding your calling is not as difficult as it sounds, but it may come to you in different forms; be on the lookout.

I think it’s natural to feel unsure or tentative at first; the key is to follow the path and see where it leads.  Life is like that–you just have to trust your gut, listen to the whispers and say yes.





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What is calling you? Listen to the whispers.2018-03-29T20:23:23-04:00
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