What happens when something you thought would make you happy doesn't actually feel that great anymore? Or the job that you used to love is sucking the life out of you?
It's typical, in the coaching and personal development world, to talk about the good stuff. The inspiring stuff, the holy-smokes-I've-found-my-true-purpose stuff.
Don't get me wrong, I'm a huge fan of all this positivity. But sometimes, life throws us a sucker punch.
Sometimes things don't work out the way we planned. Suddenly all the affirmations, green juices and yoga poses just won't cut it. It's like there is a little voice in our heads saying, "Hey, doofus ... You know this sucks, right? This isn't what you thought your life would look like."
Let me introduce you to your gut instinct. This little guy will save your life.
You see, your gut instinct is your guiding light. If you've spent years ignoring it, chances are you've probably forgotten what it even sounds like.
If that's the case, you might be left with that niggling feeling that something is up. You can't put your finger on it, but you know you're not as stoked as you could be.
The sad thing is that so many people have lost touch with their gut instinct. They shuffle through life feeling lost, handing their power away to food/drink/drugs/work/tv... whatever it is that quiets that little voice.
But hear this: It isn't healthy and and isn't sustainable.
Sometimes we ignore our intuition thinking that we're too busy. Or that we have too many other things on our plate.
Like listening to our gut instinct is a luxury we don't have the time or energy to afford.
Well, I've got news for you: your gut instinct is going nowhere. You might have buried it, but it's still there and it will keep showing up until you actually take the time to listen to it. More often than not, the lesson you need to learn will just get bigger and bigger until you can't ignore it anymore.
It might manifest in any number of ways, like through illness, a breakup, a financial screw up, or a business falling apart. When you're sitting in a heap on the floor, that little voice will say:
"Hey! So are you ready to listen to me now?"
Here's the good news :
The universe wants more for you. It will keep throwing you opportunities until you see one. The trick is paying attention so you can learn the lesson before it turns into something crazy. So how do you tune back in to that little genius in your head ?
Here are a few of my favorite ways:
1. Go play outside.
Leave your phone at home and just go hang out in nature, breathe some fresh air and move your body.
2. Be quiet.
Seriously, how can you expect to hear something if your life is so freaking loud all the time? Have at least one day a week when you switch off the TV, put your phone on silent, turn off the radio and just enjoy some peace.
3. Do something creative.
Draw, write, sing, cook — whatever works for you. Just do something that ignites your creativity and has you explore your imagination.
4. Make space.
Sometimes we expect awesome stuff to show up in our lives, but we don't create any space for it. That's like buying a fancy new car and having nowhere to park it. Do whatever you need to do to make some space. Figuratively and literally.
5. Tune in to how your gut instinct shows up in your body.
A gut feeling about something negative might show up as a tight feeling in your chest. Or a gut feeling that something just feels right might show up as a tingly, light feeling in your heart. My tip? Yoga can really help you tune back into your body.
This doesn't have to be your typical yogi in a cave thing. My most blissful meditation comes whilst sitting out the back in the surf. Yours might be taking 5 minutes to close your eyes in your favorite spot in the garden.
7. Remember that you'll be wiser.
When you tune into your gut instinct, every single decision you make will be more fulfilling and more heart-centered. When life throws you a curve ball, you'll have a default check-in call with your gut instinct, and you'll move forward knowing you did the very best thing at that moment in time.
Life won't always be perfect, but with your gut instinct as your sidekick, you're a whole lot stronger and smarter than you think.