This past weekend I had multiple conversations with clients and friends discussing the importance of listening to oneself.
Taking the time to hone in and listen has so many benefits in so many aspects of our lives from developing your intuition to checking in with your body to making life decisions.
Let’s take a look at intuition: While the Google dictionary definition describes intuition as “the ability to understand something immediately, without the need for conscious reasoning”, I like to think of it as the part of you that knows. We know more than we give ourselves credit for. We just have to be still & listen.
Have you ever got a ‘vibe’ when interacting with someone that tells you to steer clear of them? Have you ever seen someone and immediately felt that you have to connect with them? What about situations? Has there ever been a time where your gut said no about going somewhere or doing something? All of the above are ways that your intuition or “inner knowing” communicates with you. Practicing your listening skills and opening up the dialogue strengthens the communication and soon enough you’ll be able to clear the clouds of confusion in your life simply by checking in.
Checking in with yourself is also really important in physical and emotional health too. We often spend our time running on empty or existing in fight or flight mode. Running on empty or staying in stress mode wreaks havoc on the body and it’s not long before the body crashes. Breakdowns and sickness are often the way the body forces us to rest and recuperate.
What if we could avoid the breakdown by giving the body what it needed even before we began to run on empty? What if we were able to hone in, ask ourselves what we needed and give ourselves whatever that was? Sometimes it’s as simple as needing water, sometimes it’s sleep or having some fun! Maybe it’s movement or taking time to be in nature. Sometimes it’s solitude or doing something you love.
Often a type of food will help you out. Colourful fruits and vegetables provide us with nutrients and fuel so much so that we feel a boost in our energy levels. Maybe we need some cacao (chocolate) which is rich in magnesium. Right now as the seasons change from cold to hot I find that my body calls for colder foods, salads, raw fruits and vegetables – high in nutrients, easy to digest and don’t heat my body up.
Checking in can provide a way for us to connect with ourselves in a way that we don’t often do – and it’s like a muscle; the more we do it, the easier it gets. It might even get to the point where we don’t even have to ask. We take a moment, we know what we need and we act accordingly.
What do I mean by checking in? How can we “check in”? Checking in is taking a moment to be present, be present with your body and see how it feels. It’s really simple to do. It helps if you can take a moment to be still. Just breathe and turn your awareness or focus on you and your body. How do you feel? What’s going on? Do you feel relaxed? Is there pain? Are you anxious? Do you feel stress? Are you happy? How is your stomach feeling? The list of questions are endless. Asking yourself questions is an amazing way to check in. My favourite question is “What do I need right now, in this moment?”. The very first thing I think of (without hesitation) is what I need. If it’s a situation I’ll ask “Is this right for me?” or something similar and see if my solar plexus (gut area) starts to feel tight or if there’s a lightness there. The heavy feeling or “tightness” is your body’s way of saying no. A lighter feeling means yes.
Try it. Write in the comments how it works for you. It might feel a bit odd at first but it works! I promise you!
On a totally unrelated subject (although slightly related) I was so inspired by a dear friend’s video post on Facebook for #TheReal30 challenge that I was called to start my own a-video-a-day challenge. Here’s my day 2 on the importance of listening to ourselves and what it means to me.
Sending you so so much love!