How can I listen to my Heart? This is a common question I’m asked quite regularly and comes up often as a point of conversation with some of my closest friends.
Several years ago I noticed something, making decisions were hard. And it’s not because the decisions I was facing were that much more earth shattering. Although as adults we like to tell ourselves that the decisions we face are that much more challenging than when we were younger. I’m not so sure.
The challenge in choice comes when we give away our power to choose for ourselves.
Have you heard the term paralysis by analysis? This became the name of the game for me and it was a foreign place to be living from. I’ve tread a path from a young age of making decisions with immense clarity. Big or small. From moving to Cairo by myself to deciding what ice cream to eat, decisions came easy. But a funny thing happened on the road to mid-career and adulthood…this clarity was…missing. And I was hungry for it.
I remember a fated moment standing at the grocery store in the produce aisle. I was baffled. I’d been standing there for a least 2 minutes straight staring. Suddenly the basic decisions around the ingredients for my dinner was paralyzing. Swirling around in my head were voices of experts I’ve read about nutrition. Friends who are rallying their latest diet fad on social media. The part of me that wanted to return the cart and just buy take out. And another part that told me to just remake what I made the last two weeks prior.
Decisions from what will I eat for dinner to how to prioritize my to do list, to whether to go on a vacation were suddenly absolutely terrifyingly difficult. The dialogue in my head was messy, complicated, and felt completely unnecessary. Does this sound familiar?
My 20 year old self made a decision to move half way across the globe within 5 minutes of being presented with the option. Was it a reckless youthful decision? Or a wise moment of seeing? I say wisdom was at work.
While standing in the produce aisle I finally recognized that I was giving everyone else a say in my decisions and leaving out the most important voice…my Heart. Whether it was the “experts” I read, my friends, or my very own ego, there was a lot of noise clouding a clarity underneath that I knew must still exist.
Do you feel hungry for the clarity you once had in your youth?
What is my Heart? I’d call it Intuition. My Highest Self. The part of me that is plugged into the radio station of the Divine and it’s the best GPS system I’ve ever found. It’s helped me stay safe. Move past fears. And most of all stay true to myself. And as an adult, I’ve been learning how to reconnect with the 20 year old clarity of my former self.
If you are feeling disconnected from your intuition, I have good news. If you are willing to listen, ask the right questions, and practice trusting yourself, you’ll tune back in.
First, how do you identify your Heart? Here are some clues:
- If anything you are telling yourself has “should’s” and “should not’s” you’re listening to the complicated story of your mind. Not your Heart.
- It’s the 1st response you feel before your mind can catch up to analyze the situation.
- There is a feeling of knowing it in your bones, deep in the body. You could say it’s an embodied knowing. The most common place we feel this is in our gut.
- Long explanations are missing. Somehow you know something without explanation or even information.
- The clarity comes with a steadiness. Not emotional energy. Sometimes we get confused with a sense of conviction paired with emotional charge and think it’s our Heart. But often, this emotional charge is connected to our survival mechanism and therefore…our mind.
- It is absolutely never, ever, wishy washy. Never ever.
Got me? Sounding familiar? Let’s get a baseline going for you. Check in and remember the last time you made a decision with “20 year old clarity.” You knew what you knew. You followed your gut. And by gosh, it was right. Remember this decision clearly. Reflect on your way of being and most of all, remember how it felt.
For this week’s Joy Tip Wednesday we are going to practice tuning into your Heart. Turning up the radio station of intuition and tuning out the radio station of your worrying mind. Here’s how:
- For one day, one weekend, one week, only follow your first response for absolutely everything. When you are facing a decision, LISTEN to the first answer on a path forward and follow it. Even if it ends up being the “wrong” one…like deciding to leave your coat at home and it’s breezy, it’s ok. You’re learning how to trust yourself again.
- Watch for warning signs. When you hear a “should” or a “should not” in your decision, remember this is a sign that your decision is coming from your mind. NOT your Heart.
- Feel, feel, feel. I know this seems woo woo yadda dadda. But seriously, I cannot tell you how much I’ve come to appreciate the wisdom in feeling. It’s always so much more real than the explanations in my head. Once my mind told me that continuing to build a connection with someone was fine and my body shook like a leaf every time I had a conversation with them. Needlesstosay my body was right. I later learned that this was NOT a person I wanted as a part of my close circle.
- If you are feeling wishy washy stop and get still. Get quiet. Listen. Ask a question and TRUST the first response that comes back.
- Keep on dancing the dance of listening, trusting, feeling.
Now I’m not saying don’t ever seek advice. But I’m saying, if you are finding yourself dizzy and desiring clarity, a bit of a detox from other people’s opinions could be supportive. Because in the end, do you know what is the right decision? The one that feels good to you. No one, I repeat no one, can tell you what the best decision is for you. They can give you awesome ideas and advice and perspectives. But in the end, the best decision is the one chosen by you. You showed up to live your unique priceless life. And I want you to feel empowered to live it as your own like never before. Here’s a big ole fat permission slip to listen to yourself. Know that I’m in your corner.