Trust your intuition.
We hear this phrase often. What does it mean to you?
The Oxford English Dictionary defines intuition as: the ability to understand something immediately, without the need for conscious reasoning.
Okay. How? Why? What happens if we have been conditioned to ignore our intuition? Or don’t trust it? Don’t even recognize it?
Part of my healing path, both in yoga and with the plants, has been to learn what my intuition is and then, how to listen to it. (I wrote more about this with yoga here, a while back if you’d like to read more). My intuition became wounded, damaged, exiled, somewhere along the way–from people telling me what I saw or sensed was wrong or impossible and, later, from institutions like school and work that don’t allow space for intuition to be a part of the discovery process, or even to guide in the decision making about how to do your day; how to live your life.
Intuition, I’ve learned, can come disguised in many forms. It can feel or look like anxiety or depression. It can repeat like whispers and wisps that get brushed aside, later to reveal that you “knew better,” or tell you something you don’t necessarily want to hear (and then ignore). It can feel spot on–like an inner heart-knowing or recognition of truth. I’m sure there are many other ways it manifests and, however it comes, it is a powerful guiding force that is entirely yours. It helps you discern and decide how to navigate the world around you.
Lately, I’ve noticed my intuition guiding me more and more, especially with decision-making around COVID and whether or not to go out or do things. Instead of blinding doing what I want, I’m listening more. Checking in. Right now, I simply ask myself if I want to do x or go to y and wait to see what thoughts or feelings come up.
For example, sometimes, I’ve wanted so much to go out dancing and, something inside simply said, “no.” This inner knowing, in this case, wasn’t out of fear, or worry, and I didn’t like the answer one bit, but there it was, “no, don’t go tonight.” Even though I really wanted to go, this knowing is now something I trust in so much that I didn’t even argue or give it much more thought, aside from registering a note to myself that sometimes you may not like what your intuition says. Listen anyway.
A few weeks later, there was another dance, and I found a sense of “yes, this feels okay,” followed by, “go, see, and you don’t have to dance at all, or you can leave.” With these parameters set, I ventured out, discovered a packed dance floor, and continued to check in with myself. It felt okay to dance. It felt okay to have four dances. Then, that was enough. Something told me that was it.
Usually, I’ll keep dancing until the band stops playing! And, it turned out, that four dances was enough. I felt satisfied, aligned, and ready to leave, so I listened.
This has been a practice, first by feeling the sensations in my body while practicing yoga, learning when I need to stay still and when I need to move. I have given myself permission over and over again to listen to what I needed, and to trust the answer. For me, this is trusting in my intuition. What I’m starting to notice as a bonus perk is that this ability to listen cuts down an immense amount of chatter and second-guessing (both of which have been set to overwhelm for much of my life). When I can sense, feel, and trust in my intuition. All of the what ifs or what abouts disappear. It’s wonderful.
I’m offering a simple example of dancing, but this can apply to anything in your life. The more I practice with every-day or small-scale decisions, the more my intuition is prepared and accessible for the big ones. That inner knowing has also surfaced for me as complete emotional upheaval trying to get me to listen to what to do (like the many times I tried to return to NYC during the year of lockdown and all of my internal systems felt like they snapped into pieces… until… one day… I got a very clear yes… go… now!).
Perhaps you already do this, consciously or not. What guidance governs you? What do you trust and follow through with?
For me, this inner knowing or understanding, is something I needed to hone. First through yoga, and then through working with the plants and the trees. How do the plants and trees help, you might wonder…? Well…
A few months ago something inspired me to reach out to HerbRally to see if I could create a podcast with them. They agreed and gave me complete autonomy to do whatever I liked. After tapping in as much as I could to the community of listeners, and to the plants, what emerged surprised me, and led me to understand more of what it means to the dream of the plants and how they, in particular, help you discover, heal, or hone your intuition. I hope you can give it a listen here (or wherever you listen to podcasts).
There’s also a meditation in the podcast to help connect with the spirits of the plants. I hope you enjoy!
For more ways to connect with the plants, trees, and your intuition, check out my Plant and Tree Spirit Short Reads.