We’ve all heard the term, follow your heart, go with your gut instinct, listen to your intuition. They all mean the same thing. Trust your instincts. But how? How do we know what our instincts are saying and when to trust them? We use these cliches and common terms because we really can’t wrap our heads around a perfect webster style word and definition of what we’re trying to describe.
This is a topic I’d like to discuss. I want to not try to define it per se, but simply create a bit more clarity around the concepts we all brush as a side as cliches. They are cliches because they are true, you know?
I have always been a curious child. I give my parents credit for allowing that curiosity to blossom. But where did that curiosity come from, to begin with? It can from the same place it comes from within you. That gut, your heart. I was simply giving my heart a chance to be heard. All this really means is that as a child I followed my curiosities. As adults, we’ve lost touch with this idea. We’ve allowed the growing intelligence of our mind to consume our choices. Take over our experiences. As we do this throughout our lives, we begin to see patterns as we compare and contrast our choices, our experiences, our perspectives, to the choices of others. We use these experiences to create more patterns and fall deeper and deeper away from our curiosities. Our unknown interests.
We all can feel the epidemic that is our minds racing, taking over control. This is really the only thing creating instability in our lives.
So let’s talk about what it means to get back to our gut instincts.
To unclog our minds and listen to your intuition. Being curious is simply allowing our imaginations to run wild. We do this as kids all the time, we can see it in children. Let’s learn from them. Let’s talk about how we’re going to unlearn the thinking and come back to the following of curiosity.
We can start by simply asking ourselves, “What makes me curious, right now?”
Or as Elizabeth Gilbert puts it in Big Magic, “What are you interested in?”
These questions are not something we need to think through. The answers can come naturally, from a deeper place within us. From a place outside of the mind. A place where thoughts cannot control our reality. When we ask ourselves what interests us, we are tapping into our intuitive, heartfelt feelings. We are letting the entire body become aware of what it wants, not just the mind. This is our gut instinct talking to us.
I know our journey on this Earth is about learning to discover and strengthen our intuition. Learning to listen to our hearts a little longer. Learning to trust in that instinct just a little more. But the only way we can begin to trust, is to give it a chance. We must allow ourselves to bring opportunities into our lives that encourage us to follow our instincts. Drive us to strengthen that muscle.
Just like with any other muscle we want to strengthen, we have to practice consistently to build our intuition, which stars with building the full body awareness muscle.
In our minds, we are constantly wanting to “wrap our heads” around something. So this concept may seem difficult to understand at first. Truthfully, it’s quite easy.
Here’s how easy it is. You can follow your intuition right now. Ready?
Start by taking a deep breath and identifying your five physical senses. Ask yourself…
What do I see?
What do I hear?
What do I smell?
What do I taste?
What do I feel?
Allow the feeling that comes through those five senses to heighten all of your body awareness, all of yourself within your surroundings. Now ask again, What do I feel? Or more accurately, what interests you? Now that your awareness has expanded, what has your attention?
By asking ourselves how we feel, we are embracing our physical reality with this breath, completely connecting to our entire body. Now we can fully feel through our thoughts, emotions, and feelings as this moment unfolds.
Letting Curiosity Take The Lead
What are we listening for? Curiosity, intuition, something that simply sparks your interest. These are clues that pull us without having to think through things.
The beauty of asking these questions is that as soon as you begin you already have your answer. Your body already knows and gives you a real response. Not a made-up thought. The truth is you come to the answer so quickly that you don’t even have to take the time to create the thought, you’re processing it through your body. This is you heightening your awareness. You are beginning to listen for your truth, your real story.
Even as you are reading these words you can “ think” of experiences in your life when you have been pulled by curiosity. When you have been so excited, overwhelmed, engulfed, whatever word you want to use to define it, you know what I am talking about. There is an intuitive knowing without having to think about anything.
Consider for a moment, what actually interests you in your life. Or what interests you that is not in your life. And as you come to a hint of an answer, I urge you to consider where that answer is coming from. Then ask yourself the question again. And again. As soon as the mind steps in to try and “figure it out”. Stop. And just wonder. Be curious.
At first, following our gut first feels like we are following risk without reward. Feels like we are stepping outside of our comfort zone. But the truth is we know what the reward is and we already have it simply by listening to the instinct. We are actually expanding our comfort zone to fit our real feelings. The reward is pure joy, fulfillment, full express in that choice. That is a real knowing from within. That’s what it means to follow your heart. We are simply on this journey to continue reaching for that next rung on that ladder. Us stepping into our higher selves.
I’m not sure we can actually create a webster style definition for what I am describing here. That’s why these cliches are so important. Let’s allow their true meaning to really resonate.
The next time you feels yourself fighting for an answer, for an answer about anything, stop. Just stop fighting your thoughts for one moment. Just breathe and feel. What does your body tell you? What has your interest right now? What are you curious about? Do you have an answer?
Okay, now let it go. Discover curiosity in every moment and you’ll know when to follow your gut instincts. Like everything in life, this is a beautiful game we get to play every day.
Here is me being curious right now. What comes up for you when you read this post? What’s got you curious? Let’s open the doors on this conversation. I want to hear what you “think” it means to trust in your instincts. Where has it led you?