Back in 2010, I was at a leaving party for friends who were moving up to Scotland. I was listening to their stories of how fabulous it was up there, the mountains, the lakes, how friendly people were, how the pace of life was so much slower, etc etc.
People were saying to them what an adventure it was, to drop everything and move far away to a completely different lifestyle.
Suddenly, from nowhere, I felt a deep lurch in my stomach, and a voice in my head said ‘I want to do that”.
It was the weirdest feeling, and it was persistent.
I found myself asking detailed questions about where/when/how .. logistical questions of how to do the move.
I kept hearing the words “I want to do that”
And I had the powerful feeling within me that this was something I HAD to do.
It was the beginning of a radical shift for me, and that realisation was the catalyst for my own move up to Scotland (which happened pretty much a year to the day after that party….).
I’d known that I was deeply unhappy living life as I had been, but I didn’t know how to change things. And bizarre as it sounds, I didn’t know that I COULD change things.
My intuition, my internal compass, propelled me into action.
Transformational change is always preceded by chaos and confusion. When we’re needing to make significant changes in our lives, but are really not sure which ones, then we can feel blocked, overwhelmed and paralyzed into inaction.
Does that sound familiar ? You feel like you’re at a crossroads in the middle of nowhere, with no map, and that’s so painful; you know you want to make changes, but have no clue where to begin.
Why do we get so blocked when we have a big decision to make?
I believe that fear plays a big part in this paralysis; fear of making mistakes, fear of judgement (other people’s and even our own), and the fear of change itself.
How can you get in touch with your internal compass?
The first step is to let go of all the mental struggle. When we’re at a difficult crossroads, we use up a lot of mental energy in *thinking hard* about the situation. We can tie ourselves up in knots, and still get nowhere. Allow yourself to let go of all the thinking, and ease into a different way of being with this.
Secondly, allow yourself the gift of time, and ‘stop the clock’. You can’t force yourself to make a quick decision. Instead, choose to rest into a place of curiosity and ‘not knowing’, with no timescale. You may feel the pressure ease straight away.
Thirdly, invite in the guidance from something greater than yourself. If you believe in the all seeing, all knowing, creator of all things, who is everywhere and in everything, invite that power to be with you. If you have a spiritual practice, bring this question to your heart
“What is my relationship with this issue/situation?”,
Let go of any answer you *think* is right and allow yourself to be surprised at what comes up.
Finally, allow yourself time for the *answer* to emerge slowly and in an unexpected way.
Throughout this period of ‘not knowing’, be conscious of the signals you’re receiving from all directions; internal sensations, thoughts, feelings, sounds. You might get obvious signs (like I did with my stomach lurch and insistent voice) or you might get more subtle clues, like an urge to speak to someone, or a memory that pops into your head.
As you develop this practice, you’ll become more familiar and more aware of the ways in which your subconscious, your intuition, speaks to you.
When these signs emerge from your heart, rather than your head, you can be sure that they come from a deeper, more authentic, place.
I believe that the Divine (God/Universe/Gaia, or whatever name you use) is the one who guides our intuition, and shows us these signs; when our heads are no longer ‘thinking hard’, and the pressure is off for us to ‘fix’ this by ourselves, the way becomes open for a deeper, more powerful, guidance to emerge.
I find it very comforting to know that my life is being guided, and I don’t have to work it all out by myself.
Your internal compass is a very powerful strength within you
When you get out of the way, and invite that wisdom into your awareness, it will show you the right path, and your decisions will be so much easier to make.
(With thanks to Calsidyrose for use of the image).
Love this post, Ann, especially that you give such specific examples of the way your intuition speaks to you.
I find that checking in with my body is a good way to ‘just know’ whether something is right or not at a particular time. If it’s not, I feel a kind of pulling-in of my energy. If it is right, I feel an opening and expansion.
Only just now getting to know this now though – often the head takes over! And that usually ends in tears.
This is a very timely post, Ann, thank you.
I am unexpectedly looking at changing the focus of my business, and I keep getting strong prompts, including a strong lurch in the stomach, and tuggings in my heart.
The physical feeling is excitement and fear, and I have just realised that these were the feelings I had when I first contemplated training as a therapist 10 years ago, (and that definitely turned out well!)
I like the thought that I can give myself the gift of time, and don’t have to make any decisions until they come naturally. And I am absolutely finding myself prompted to take action. In fact, I shall stop here, and go and make myself a list right now! 🙂
Thank you, this has been very helpful.
Love the ‘internal compass’ metaphor.
It reminds me of when I first quit my banking career to go backpacking around the globe! Everyone thought I was crazy/brave to be giving up a great career, not least traveling alone as a young woman around the world, but my guts told me it was right for me and I never entertained the idea that it was brave or crazy – just a helluva lot of fun to be had – and it was!
I really enjoy the way you write – thank you!
Glad you enjoyed it Chloe! Here’s to fond memories ! 🙂
Rosalind – ooh that sounds exciting ! The strong lurch and tuggings at your heart means you’re definitely on to something. Good luck with your action list 🙂
Linda, that’s a great skill to have, being able to check in with your body, and ‘just know’. 🙂