Not long ago my teenage son had a difficult decision to make, about which path to take moving forward.
He was frustrated. And feeling stuck. Unable to choose between option A or B, for fear of letting someone else down.
As I tried to uncover more details in order to help guide him, he slumped onto the sofa and grumbled: “I feel like no matter which decision I make it won’t be the right one.”
I totally got it. It didn’t seem like either choice was a very good one. While both had their pros and cons, there really wasn’t a win-win choice.
At least not from his point of view.
So I found myself saying to him what I would say to anyone:
“The only right decision is the one that feels right to you.”
After hearing this my son’s energy shifted slightly. He took a deep breath and a moment to process what I’d just said.
To sense what felt right to him. In his body.
A little while later he was crystal clear on which choice to make. On what he wanted to do.
And he hasn’t wavered since.
Pretty impressive for a 16 year old.
As his mother, it makes me very happy knowing I’ve helped to equip my son with such an important life skill.
One that allows him to trust his intuition. His inner compass.
To trust himself. No matter what.
It’s an important life skill that took me years to develop myself.
To be able to look inwards instead of outwards for the answers.
To tap into my inner knowing, and decide what I want. What feels right to me…inside my body, my heart, my soul.
Rather than looking to others to decide for me. Unfortunately this was not always the case.
Growing up I was taught to be a good girl.
A super compliant one. A people-pleaser.
Sure, my parents wanted me to trust my instincts, but somehow that message came second to doing what I was supposed to do. Deferring to them and other authority figures. And doing what was considered socially correct.
I was taught to look outside myself for the answers, instead of learning to look within. I was taught to believe that others knew what was best for me, more than I did.
Now I see things differently.
I believe we’re all born with a strong inner guidance system.
With our intuition fully intact. And ready to help guide us toward our best possible life.
But depending on our circumstances, this beautiful gift may get damaged over time.
For some, a little.
For others, a lot.
And so we forget. We forget we even have this innate and special gift — call it a super power even — ready to use anytime we need it.
The first time I realized I’d lost connection to my own intuition was during my divorce.
I remember saying to my therapist at the time: “I have absolutely no idea who I am anymore.”
I felt numb. And lost.
I didn’t trust myself or my intuition anymore.
I’d spent far too much time in my marriage focusing on my ex’s needs, while neglecting my own. And in the process, I’d lost the ability to know how I felt. What I needed. What made me happy in life.
Sitting in my therapist’s office that day I knew I had a lot of work ahead of me. It was going to take some time and effort to reconnect to that sacred, all-knowing part of myself.
To learn to trust myself again, in order to find a better, more authentic way forward.
Now, all these years later, I don’t even question the powerful connection I have to my intuition.
Nor do I doubt that all my answers lie within.
That no one knows what’s better for me than I do.
I have faith that my intuition, gut instinct, deep inner knowing, inner GPS – call it what you want – is strong. And never leaves me.
Sometimes though, I do lose my way — and just like anyone can feel overwhelmed, confused, anxious and disconnected from own my inner truth.
But I know now, when those feelings arise, how to pause, take a deep breath and redirect myself.
Back to the deepest, wisest, soulful part of me that always knows the answer.
Always. Without fail.
I take a moment to breathe. To ask myself what feels right. Inside of me.
And if I don’t get a clear answer right away, then I know I must sit with it and let the question percolate. And allow the answer to come. When it’s ready.
I’ll write my thoughts down in a journal or call a trusted friend. So I can better see and hear what choices are available to me.
Or I’ll go for a walk in nature or sit by the ocean. I’ll breathe in the fresh air and listen to the wind.
I’ll take a hot bath, go to a yoga class, or just sleep on it. So my emotions are less intense. And I feel less reactive.
Ultimately I’ll do whatever I need to do to ground myself. And get quiet.
So I can hear the answer.
Which is always there. Inside of me. Waiting to be heard.
Waiting to guide me to where I need to go, in order to live my very best life.
So let me ask you this: is there a decision you need to make? One that you keep looking to others to make for you?
And if so, can you take a moment to pause and ask yourself: which decision feels right for you?
Feels right in your body? In your heart? In your soul?
And then listen. Really listen for the answer.
Because it’s there. Inside of you.
Waiting to be revealed.
Waiting to lead you to your very best life.