Good Morning fellow busy brains!
I hope everyone is enjoying their summer. It is a VERY hot summer in Northern Virginia this year. I heard on the news that it has not been this hot in June in 140 years. How do they even know that?!?! It has been hard for me because I love to take long nature walks with my yoga dog, Timber. But, it has been far too hot for his cold climate coat, and frankly, far too hot for me! I have heard and read that heat can irritate people, especially anxious people. It feels inflammatory and drowsy to walk around when it is humid and 100 degrees. But as we know, everything is always changing. The seasons will change, and eventually it will be winter again, and we will whine then, too. If we attach to the things that are changing, we inevitably suffer. That is my favorite lesson from the Yoga Sutras. Everything is changing, why be attached? Only attach to the things that are UNCHANGING! Like your inner self, and your love for the things that you love to love!
This month I would like to talk about intuition. What is it? Intuition is a survival life skill, or power, that everyone has! Dictionary.com defines it as, “the ability to understand something immediately, without the need for conscious reasoning.” Not everyone has a balanced intuition, however. This is to say, not everyone is in touch with their intuition, usually because they do not take the time to connect within and listen closely. When you can take the time to do this, it can be one of the most valuable things you do, as it can begin to dictate better living.
The intuition is the sixth chakra in yoga, the third-eye center. When in balance, this area controls focus, clarity, and inner wisdom. The third eye becomes out of balance when we are over stimulated by social media, or not paying attention to our needs. It is also especially blocked when we do not take time to connect within, and when we are attached to things that are changing, like our bodies or our incomes, instead of our higher self. This is a form of suffering, known as ignorance in yoga. Being attached to and identifying with something other than the higher self will cause someone to suffer.
You may have heard a term or terms that are pretty trendy right now, like “intuitive eating,” or “intuitive exercising.” These terms are just starting to pick up traction in our pop culture, and largely, in the health and wellness scene. What does it mean to intuitively eat, move, or decide for oneself? That is what I want to share today. When we use our intuition in our daily lives, we sharpen our connections to our inner selves and we honor our minds, bodies, and souls.
It is easy to get overwhelmed, stressed, and unfortunately, undernourished in our busy world today. People are working through lunch breaks and then staring at their phones the whole commute home. It is no wonder so many people come in to see me with totally blocked intuitions. When we take time to slow down and connect with ourselves, we are really listening on a deeper level. When we do this, we are able to receive signals from our bodies before it is too late. Most people wait until the wailing siren (AKA chronic disease and flare-ups from over-stressed lifestyles). We should not be waiting until the siren goes off to start making changes. We can start now with simple, but powerful lifestyle shifts. Here are some ways that you can start implementing intuition into your daily life:
Take time to turn off the brain every day, whether it is a walk in nature, meditation, or playing music and staring at the ceiling. Take time to let the mind rest.
Spend the first three minutes after waking up by connecting with yourself. Before you reach for your smartphone, take deep breaths, stretch out a bit, or enjoy a cup of tea with no distractions, looking out of a window, perhaps.
Set an intention for the day. Whether it is to be more patient with your kids, or focus on tasks at work, set an intention that has a strong virtue behind it and come back to it throughout the day as a way to re-focus.
These are simple ways that you can start to connect deeper and slow down so that your intuition can work efficiently. Once you are able to do some of these things, you may start playing with intuitive eating and movement, and basically, intuitively knowing what each part of you is lacking or needing. Maybe you intuitively start to sense when you should turn down invitations to outings, or avoid a certain highway on a certain day. The intuition can be a powerful tool!
What does your body need today? What would feel nourishing and energizing versus heavy and dull? Choose foods that you are naturally inclined to and that you can sense will give you the enrichment you need to get through your day. There is a big difference between craving and sensing. If you are craving a doughnut, envision yourself after eating it and notice if it still feels like a good choice. Usually when we are craving poor quality foods, something is out of balance. Once you start to connect inwards more and more, intuitive eating will become much more natural.
What type of movement would benefit you most today? Does a long run seem invigorating, or maybe your body is so fatigued that yin yoga really makes you feel supported? Intuitive movement means tuning into what sorts of movement the body will most benefit from in the moment. Some days it may be the case that you need to lay down! Listen to your body, it knows what it needs.
Intuition sharpening is a practice that over time will lead you to a life of clarity and wellness. The best way to begin is with deep breathing, and/or, meditative exercises (whether you sit and meditate or walk the dog with your head in the trees). As you tune in to the inner self more and more, you will begin noticing things you may not have noticed before. Your intuition may be screaming at you to make a change, but when we are stuck in the monkey mind, rather than the higher self, you cannot hear it. Little by little, some of your fatigue, worry, and fear may begin to dissipate. Our highest self is always there, ready for us to connect, we just have to be still and listen.
How can you implement some intuitive exercises into your busy life? Can you replace fear with freedom, by taking the time to let go and just be? I promise you will not regret it! Make a commitment to trying one intuitive sharpening exercise this week. Maybe you will go for walks without your iPhone, or make dinner while practicing mindfulness. Maybe you will do three yoga poses before bed, whatever you choose, let yourself enjoy the peace and tranquility of connecting with yourself.
It was no coincidence that I was posting this post today, and I talked to my mom just before finishing the post. She just so happens to be reading a book about sharpening her intuition. I thought, wow! I was just about to publish a blog post on that. She told me that this particular author believes that we have everything we need inside of us to make the decisions in our lives. We just have to get quiet enough to listen. I got chills, because that is essentially the point of this whole post! My mom and I are both so passionate about healing! She is a Reiki Master and I hope to feature her soon!
As a Yoga Therapist and Wellness Coach, I am always encouraging my clients to listen to their bodies and turn off their minds each day. Studies show that people who are able to meditate just twenty minutes a day, can increase the amount of gray matter in their brains. Just five minutes of mind quieting a day can be shown to decrease anxiety and lower cortisol. Will you take the next step to a healthier you?
I hope that you found this blog entry helpful! I would love to hear from all of you and what sorts of practices help you live intuitively. Share with me in the comments!!
For those of you who live locally, check out all of my offerings on my website and sign up for a workshop or session today!