I’ve written about it before. I’ve even preached it (though I like to think I’m not “preachy” in my writing). But did I really get it myself? I suppose I should phrase that, did I think I did? You bet. Did I really? I’m not so sure. Do I now? Eh, I’m getting there.
I was talking with one of my soul sisters the other morning about perfectionism and living intuitively, and then (as the divine Universe would have it) MindBodyGreen.com published this incredible piece by Amy Crawford and boom, that was it, I am immersed in the concept of seamless living. http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-7569/youre-perfect-please-stop-trying-so-hard.html
Seamless in that the bumps, dips and, often hard, falls are part of it all. They aren’t detours, they’re not obstacles derailing us. Getting sick and missing a few days of yoga practice happens for a reason…to teach us how to listen to our bodies and care for ourselves and nourish. Does that make it easy? No, the brain is hardwired to want to punish. My friend and I were talking about this, as she’d been sick all week and was therefore not only healing but also dealing with the emotional toll of missing practice. The you’re not good enough because you’ve been resting all week punishing mindset. I’ve been her, nearly every time I’m sick. Why do we do this to ourselves? Why do we crave that critical mental soundtrack? You might be reading this saying Oh, I don’t crave that, no way do I crave that. But you do. We all do. It may not be about your yoga practice, but maybe it’s about work. Or about keeping a clean house. Or about reading, or going to the gym, or, or, or… It’s like I said Thursday night about taking oneself down that prickly, ugly mental route of torturous thoughts. We have the free will, the capacity to decide what is important, what gets “air time” on the station of our mind, if you will. We can change the channel. If only there were a little remote…le sigh, no. No remote. It’s far harder. But worth the effort, right? I think of it as the equivalent of how it was to change the channel on a television set in the 50’s…actually having to get up off one’s bum and walk over to the TV, squat down, fiddle with the knobs, put some thought into which channel it was going to be switched…
We can change our punishing mindset, reprogram ourselves to live intuitively, and it will likely take the rest of our time here on earth practicing that to really get it down. I don’t think it’s a channel one can put on and then walk way from. At least it isn’t for me. I believe it will takes mindful attention for myself, although I also think once this habit is instilled in one’s character the action becomes second nature. I believe I’ll be able to instill it in myself, the seamless intuitive living, rather than living intuitively “now and again.” Only one way to find out, right?
In Amy’s article on MindBodyGreen she touched on the topic of people’s constantly needing to “fix” their issues. She talked about how, once one issue is resolved, we immediately jump on the next one. Rather than just being one’s blissfully self-aware, unique, beautiful, lively Self, people always working on the next “problem” that needs fixing. Well, who said we’re flawed in the first place? Don’t we seek these self help books and self growth guides so as to enhance our state of living? Don’t we wish to gain further clarity, insight and appreciation to the lives we live, connected to the earth, nature and the harmony of the Universe by exploring these concepts? Okay, so that’s my objective, but feel free to insert yours. The bottom line is, we want to improve ourselves so as to enhance our quality of life. But yet somewhere in the mix we get confused…we fall on our heads and think, “Oh I’m so broken I need [fill in the blank] to fix me!”
We are not broken. Wounded, maybe, but not broken. Nothing can break your intuition. It can be scared into hiding, distrusted and misplaced, but never broken.
Which leads me back to my original intention with this essay…living intuitively. How does one, in this fast-paced modern society, tune back into one’s intuition? My idea of living intuitively is something like this…sleeping and waking based on my body’s signals. Eating solely when hungry and stopping solely when satiated. Moving my body everyday, exercising in whatever form my body craves; practicing yoga, taking a walk, a hike, going rock climbing, biking, and taking a rest day when I’m feeling exhausted or under the weather. Basing my decisions on my intuitive “gut feeling” rather than on what I feel I “should/shouldn’t” do, or on someone else’s opinion…you get the picture. Living intuitively is often interrupted by things like work schedules, overachievers with perfectionist tendencies (hi, yeah, that’d be me), the wishes of friends, family, or one’s partner, and obligations that muck with the steady stream of intuitive living.
What the hell is so wrong with taking a few days off from [fill in the blank physical activity] when you’re fighting off a bug? Why do we punish ourselves? Why do we go back and forth in our minds about whether to push ourselves and just go (surrendering to the ego, being run by the mind) or to take some rest or lighter activity and heal (listening to the body, regulating the mind’s energy and following intuition). We get the same way with food. All of the diet fads and whatnot that are all the rage, promising shocking and fantastic results when really the truth is just this: move your body and eat moderate amounts of nutritious food! Boom, done. Intuitive? Yep. Frequently done? Nope. We will buy books and cleanses and CDs up the yin yang before we believe it’s as simple as just shutting up the mind and listening to the body.
The same goes for matters of the heart. The mind just gets in the way! Take my last post, for instance. My intuition led me out of that relationship and through this past year without doubt and then suddenly, in a moment’s notice, everything is rattled. My mind put my intuition in a chokehold and hijacked my sensibility! Foolish mind games.
We all fall victim to misplaced intuition, some more than others, and I think awareness is the first step in dedicating oneself to the sublime gift of living intuitively. It’s not just about food, exercise and relationships, either. Our intuition permeates every orifice of our lives. A woman’s intuition is known to be especially keen and, ladies, we must remember this! Tap into it! Our bodies know things our minds cannot, and we mustn’t hush that knowing feeling in favor of the mind’s (often absurd) soliloquies.
We are good enough. We are perfect, in all of our imperfections. We do make mistakes. Our intuition will lead us into some of those mistakes! It’s not the flick of a magic wand ushering us safely away from all future problems; intuition is simply the inherent beacon of consciousness guiding us down the path we are meant to walk. Problems will arise, because we learn from them. We hone our intuition in the face of a challenge. We learn to tilt an ear and listen, I mean really listen.
And you know what? If the doubt-laden channel of the mind has been muted or, better yet, shut off, all that’s left will be the resounding whir of divine intuition.