How to follow your instinct (and avoid becoming bitter and twisted)

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There’s a lot of talk out there about trusting your instincts, following your gut feeling, listening to your inner guide… but how do you know when you’re receiving precious guidance from that deepest, most primal wisdom within us all, or when you’re just being plain neurotic and overthinking? When is it spirit-smarts, and when is it just holding yourself back? For much of my life, I had no idea how to separate the two. Which is weird because, with hindsight, I can see I was being guided all along via my unease, my frustration, my shame - or, as things got stickier - anxiety, panic attacks, an attractive rash – but I hadn’t yet learned to listen to my greatest ally.

‘I feel there are two people inside me - me and my intuition. If I go against her, she'll screw me every time, and if I follow her, we get along quite nicely.’ Kim Basinger

Eventually, I got the advice that would change my life - the tools to tune into my instinct whenever I needed it. And it’s as simple as this – when you have a decision to make, imagine that scenario and pay attention to how your body feels. I.e. in your chest, does it feel constricted, or expanded? Imagine the petals of a beautiful lotus flower – are they opening or closing? Or the wings or a bird – are they stretching out with confidence or tucking into the body protectively. Or imagine walking down a beach – is it peaceful, sunny, happy; blue skies and ice creams – or is the sand soggy and cold, the sea turbulent and threatening? Expansive, happy - good. Constricted, dark - run! Try it – practice it – and avoid the taste of bitter regret… sucking on life’s lemons is not a good look.

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