Thursday, February 26, 2015
There I was, lying in bed, sick with a head cold, and a battle was ensuing between my brain and my body.
Get up, says the brain. You have A LOT to do. There’s no time to just lay here.
Lay here, says the body. You’re tired. You need rest. You’re sick for goodness sake.
She’s fine, says the brain. She has a lot to do today. Get UP Andria.
She’s not fine, says the body. Can’t you feel the exhaustion in her bones?
Ugh, I thought to myself as I observed this tug of war going on between my body and my brain. I felt as if I were observing it and thought to myself, “what do I need right now…?” Not what does my brain say or what does my body feel in this moment but what does my intuition tell me is the best thing for me? A cup of hot tea was the answer in my gut. So, I got up and made myself a cup of hot tea.
Although this may sound a bit neurotic (I’m sure it is), it is actually the small beginnings of me doing what’s delicious and what I want by paying attention to my intuition. Many of you know that I spent most of my life playing by the rules, doing what I was supposed to, what I was told… all those things that “everyone” said would keep me healthy, happy, and help me achieve success. While I was doing all that, I often felt stifled, out of sorts, and dissatisfied. I realized that many of these choices to do what I was supposed to or what others said I ‘should’ were based in fear: fear of loss, fear of failure, fear of not getting it done, not doing enough – the list goes on. That’s an exhausting way to live and to be honest, after watching my Dad (another play by the rules person who ate all the right foods, drank all the healthy drinks, worked out, took care of himself, and did all our culture said would keep him healthy and happy) ended up getting pancreatic cancer and dying, I thought maybe conforming to society’s prescription isn’t the way to go. This train of thought didn’t arise completely as a result of my Dad’s situation. I’d been feeling this way for a while; tired of all the “shoulds” and “have-tos”, tired of forcing myself to do things I really didn’t want to do, tired of fearing what might happen if I didn’t.
As my Dad’s illness progressed last year I was also being trained and certified in life coaching by Martha Beck. I adore Martha – she is the queen of “doing what’s delicious” versus doing what we “should”. She talks about it as following our inner-compass versus following culture. I’ve seen this produce miraculous results in her and countless others. Doing what is delicious… sounds so self-indulgent, doesn’t it? I wanted and needed some decadence in my life. So I decided it was time. Time to stop doing things and making choices because I feared the consequence and instead, start doing those things that felt delicious and that I truly wanted to do.
Of course, making this change doesn’t happen overnight. It’s a moment-by-moment activity. After all, I spent most of my adult life doing what I was “supposed” to do, what I “should” do because it was what our culture deemed as the “right path” to achieve x, y, and z –you get the point. It is very easy to default back there since it’s my habitual behavior. Habits change one step at a time, one moment at a time. Habits change by choosing to get out of bed and make a cup of tea because that’s what my intuition told me was best for me that morning and guess what? It felt delicious.
I’m committed to paying much closer attention to what my intuition says is best for me because it not only always feels better but it ends up leading me down a path of much greater satisfaction. I believe it always knows not only what I need but also what I want. When I choose to listen to what my gut says, delicious ends up following. This is also why I included choosing to do things because they feel delicious and because I want to (no ‘shoulding’ all over myself) on my list of what’s in for 2015. Care to join me in some deliciousness?