Since becoming a mum I’ve heard the phrase ‘follow your intuition’ more times than I care to remember. Of course, it’s sound advice, but I think the throwaway phrase scattered around like self-help confetti does an injustice to how hard this is. Or maybe it’s just me?
So, what is our intuition? For me the definition is simple, it’s that inner nudge I get when I just “know” the answer to something.
Albert Einstein called the intuitive mind a sacred gift and the rational mind a faithful servant. But we live in a society that over-values the servant and has devalued the gift. We’re not using our intuitive mind enough and as a result we’re allowing our crazy-thinking–monkey-minds to run the show. No wonder we’re confused and overwhelmed. Or maybe it’s just me?
The good news? We all have intuition. I bet you can think of so many times when you’ve looked back on something and thought ‘I knew that wasn’t the right thing to do’.
So what’s going on?
I think so often we ignore or override this inner truth to please our outer worlds.
Our challenge as mums is to stay true to ourselves when the world around us may expect different things from us – we live in a world of ‘shoulds’. It can feel brave, radical even to shun the ‘shoulds’ and focus on following our own inner GPS, especially when it goes against the grain.
I think all the answers are inside of us, but we block them with layers of fearful thinking, people pleasing and ‘shoulds’. Believing that the answer is 'out there' (hello Google) when often the answer is within us.
Being a mum it seems like there are endless decisions to make – wouldn’t it be easier if we could tap into our inner truth to make the choices best for us and our families quickly and confidently?
Here’s some of my top tips for accessing our hidden superpower.
1) Flip a coin – This isn’t about making a decision by flipping a coin (although if it gets to that...) it’s about using the pressure of a result from the coin to force your inner voice to the fore. This is from one of my favourite authors Glennon Doyle Melton. If you’re not sure what it is you really want, take a coin and assign each side an option, flip the coin and before it lands and without thinking shout which side you want it land on. Read how Glennon used it to teach her kids an important lesson here.
2) Fear blocks our intuition – I’m not talking about the ‘my god that spider is massive’ fear here. I’m talking about the fear that presents itself as your inner critic (yup, we all have one) that is telling you you’re not good enough, you did it wrong, you couldn’t possibly do that. It’s the part of your mind trying to keep you safe, by trying to keep you small and risk free. But so often our intuition will invite us to grow and take risks. Quieten the fear mind chatter through becoming more aware of the ticker tape through your mind and if you catch yourself on a negative thought spiral, catch it and replace it with something positive. It’s a muscle and like the gym it’s bloody hard work but totally worth it.
3) Journal – stream of conscious writing keeps our thinking mind quiet and allows us to connect to our intuition. That’s why every spiritual and personal development course I know includes journaling. Get a nice notebook and pen. Write the question you want answering at the top of the page and start writing. Just start and keep going. Trust me some surprising things will come up. You can always destroy the pages afterwards if you’re worried about prying eyes. It’s the process that’s important.
4) Meditate – you knew it was coming, didn’t you? It’s obvious I know, but meditation is the best way to connect to our intuition. It allows us to practice quietening the incessant mental chatter and find the space to connect back to our true selves. Read my beginner meditation tips here.
5) Any finally, experiment – try trusting your intuition on a few small decisions, see what happens then build up to using your intuition on bigger decisions. It’s fun. Trust me.
What tools do you use to connect to your intuition? Has this changed since you've become a mum? I'm so keen to hear about your experiences on this, so share the wisdom in the comments below.