What happens when you trust your gut and it steers you wrong?
Have you ever trusted your inner wisdom only to have things not turn out the way you had expected?
That’s exactly what happened to me earlier this week. I was preparing to meet Katrina Nilsson-Gorman for a test run of our upcoming mindfulness nature walk. I had my raincoat in hand but was debating whether I should wear a vest or jacket underneath it for warmth.
So, I played my inner wisdom game. I closed my eyes and asked myself: Vest or Coat?
Are you sure?
Vest it is and I was out the door.
As I was driving, I realized that the elevation of our trailhead was a little higher than the rest of the city. I began to worry that the temperature might be a little colder than I had expected. I dismissed the thought almost as quickly as it came. I’m pretty good at the inner wisdom game and was sure I had heard the answer clearly.
Shortly after we started the walk, I couldn’t push the cold that was sinking in to my body out of my mind. First it was the occasional shiver. Then my hands started to feel icy. The more I noticed the coldness, the more it consumed me.
Then came the all too familiar WTF? moment. I knew my inner wisdom said vest, so why am I out here suffering in the cold!
Clearly there was nothing I could do out in the middle of the woods. I remembered that what we focus on grows. And decided in that moment that I was going to focus on the warmth in my belly and the nature that was surrounding me. It wasn’t a perfect solution, but it helped enough to get the shivers to stop.
After we finished the walk, I finally asked myself what in the world just happened. Why had I been clearly told to do one thing that ended up making me feel so uncomfortable?
At first, no answer came. But I kept the question in my awareness and knew that I would receive the answer at some point. When it did finally pop into my mind, I laughed.
Before we started, we each asked a question that would set the intention for our walk. My question was “What is my sacred work?” What I realized by this ah-ha cold moment was that part of my sacred work is about being uncomfortable! Or maybe said another way, getting comfortable being uncomfortable.
Wow! was my initial reaction.
My inner wisdom had not led my astray. It had given me what I needed, an answer to my question.
So often, I think we lose trust in our inner wisdom because things don’t turn out the way we expect them to. I expected to be warm. I could’ve sworn off my inner wisdom in that moment and vowed only to listen to my mind. But if I would’ve done that, I would not have received the information I needed to lean further into my business. To do what feels uncomfortable because that is where my own true magic lies.
Next time you utilize your inner wisdom and your experience doesn’t line up with your expectations, I invite you to ask one simple question.
What is this teaching me?
I can confidently say your inner wisdom is not trying to teach you how to not trust it. Your mind, well, that’s another story. It has its own agenda. But your inner wisdom will always serve your highest and greatest good.
Don’t worry if it the answer doesn’t come instantly. It will come. Be patient.
A couple practices that might help bring the answer to your awareness include meditation, a walk outdoors, knitting, coloring or journaling. The point here is to quiet the mind, so your inner voice can be heard. The voice that comes from either your heart or your gut. You’ll know it when you hear it.