Something powerful happened within me recently. I stopped focusing on what I have been taught to feel from the outside world and began to really listen to what was being communicated within me.
First, let’s back up a bit. Over the past few years, I’ve been experiencing a heightening of awareness around the signs and signals that my body sends – sometimes the messages are subtle, sometimes not. Before a client session, I might experience a “pit” in my stomach, only to find out in the beginning of my conversation with that client that he is feeling stressed and expresses that his stomach is in “knots.”
For myself, as well, I might hear fear in someone’s voice and story, and I sense my energy drop suddenly.
Simply put, my body’s vibe tells me exactly what I need to know. It shows me what is good for me, what isn’t, as well as where to dig for more information and what feels true. For many years, I have used language to gather and discern truth, and now my body seems to be showing me how to collect intel in other ways.
This goes far beyond “gut instinct,” which I’ve followed pretty well most of my life. This is a genuine sensation that jolts my attention to it and doesn’t let go until I address it.
Just last week, I was in a visioning session with a colleague, and we were sharing our upcoming plans and goals for some projects that we have in the works. The excitement and enthusiasm were high, and ideas were flowing faster than we could record them. When we decided to take a break and give our minds a rest, we turned to an audio book, but after just 10 minutes of this murder mystery, we had to shut it off because we both realized we were experiencing an uneasy feeling listening to it. I was experiencing pressure in my solar plexus, and my colleague felt drained and agitated. Our bodies were communicating that what we were “ingesting” wasn’t good for our well-being. We both did a few exercises to get our energy back up before we could go back to the flow of creating.
The human body really is amazing. Not only is it a highly sensitive informational gathering device, but it is also an incredible self-monitoring and restorative machine. We take in breath without having to think about it. Our hearts beat without applied effort, and if any part of us is hurt or damaged, we heal.
My friend, Nora Yolles Young, recently published a piece called Your Body is a Tuning Fork. In it, she said this:
“It may be fun to consider that all the gadgets and technology that you pay hundreds and thousands of dollars to obtain the newest versions don’t hold a candle to the gadgetry you have hard-wired within you.”
This brings me back to the mention of the recent opportunity that allowed me to see the value of following my inner guidance and being my own personal leader. It happened at an out-of-state weekend conference. From day 1, I realized the presenter and information being presented simply did not resonate with me. At first, I stayed, telling myself I had invested time, money and even expectational outcomes into this event. The feelings of being caged and misaligned continued to heighten. I tried to convince myself that the discomfort I felt meant I was about to learn something important and “break through” a block. All I needed to do was trust “the process.”
Yet, the process was something my body was attempting to tell me felt like a hard sale. I was being force-fed information, and to my body, it felt like drinking from a fire hose. I don’t create under pressure or duress. It all was foreign and wrong for me.
At lunch break, we were told it would be a “working” meal, and we were asked to do yet another exercise as we scarfed down our food to make room for the “packed agenda.” The resistance in me became so strong that I couldn’t rationalize it any longer. I gathered up my things and quietly left.
As I walked out of the conference hall, I could feel the inner attack mounting.
“What will others think?”
“What if you hurt the presenter’s feelings?”
“What if you’re giving up just before the really good stuff is presented?”
All the way back to my hotel room, the questions accosted me. What I also noticed was a deep sense of sadness.
I decided to go to the beach to sort it all out. I walked and thought, felt and pondered. Finally, I sat down and looked out over the ocean. Being in nature always grounds and centers me, and I was needing some support as I got to the bottom of what was coming up for me.
I put my hand over my heart and asked it what it wanted me to know. Then, I waited.
For a while, nothing came. Then slowly, like a small, timid child, the messages began to reveal themselves.
“You’re sad because you have come to believe that doing what’s right for you means you will disappoint others,” my heart began. “This is a type of turning away that inhibits you from being truly connected to the tribe – it’s either choose you or choose them, but you don’t feel you can choose both. If you choose you, you cease to belong to the collective whole,” my heart said, simply.
The shock of truth in this hit me like a bolt of lightning. The tears followed, and my heart sat silently, giving me room to grieve and absorb this new awareness.
Finally, it whispered, “This belief, it’s not true. Doing what’s right for you IS what the tribe needs. Others need the authentic, sovereign you to show up and take your place. That’s where you are meant to make your impact. It always has been.”
I sat with all this for a long while. I felt the depth of the truth I had discovered. I sat and I felt. As the sadness passed, a sense of peace began washing over me.
Since that workshop weekend, I have been experiencing a real separation of what’s mine and what isn’t. From this place, it is so much easier to acknowledge and celebrate the differences of others because I know they don’t affect what is true for me. I’ve noticed a calm and tranquil place of acceptance, non-judgment and observance of the diversity around me. Now that I’m not compelled to compare the “rightness” and “wrongness” of things within me, I can simply honor and practice what I need and abide by this, for myself.
I’m noticing this shift is influencing everything – the choice of food I eat, the people I choose to spend time engaging with, the thoughts and information I entertain and even the meaning I give situations and experiences. Simply put, I feel more free and much surer of who I am and what I want.
If you are looking for ways to tap into your own state of sovereignty and personal freedom, here are some steps to consider:
- Build Awareness: Take time to listen to your body’s many cues when you are going through your day.
- Seek Engagement: Practice self inquiry. When something doesn’t feel right, ask yourself if this feedback is coming from fear/loss/hurt/insecurity or from personal truth. Engage with all 3 of your brains. Ask your head brain what it’s thinking. Inquire from your heart brain what it’s feeling, and tap into what your gut brain is sensing.
- Embrace Ownership: When truths emerge, let yourself own them, no matter how much this may seem to fly in the face of what you’ve learned or how you’ve done things before. Allow yourself to BE yourself and show the self-care necessary by following through on what your inner guidance is saying.
We are in a time, I believe, where the challenges we are facing are making room for us to get crystal clear on what is true and right for each of us, and how we can live with and around others who think, choose and act differently, and may not choose to support what we see and believe.
The more we are able and willing to go in, listen to our inner guidance and trust what it is telling and showing us, the faster we will be able to create the freedom we seek to be who we are, not only for ourselves, but for others, as well.