Our intuition acts as our internal guidance system, our source of inner wisdom and insight, and often 'knows' things before our minds do.
That inexplicable sensation we all know could be considered our intuitive operating system. It sends us unconscious messages, often described as gut feelings.
Have you ever said, "I should have listened to my gut."? You probably should have, and you probably should more!
Many business leaders and professionals rely on the guidance of their intuition, basing their decisions on how they 'feel' about a situation or circumstance, and do so successfully.
How many of us use our intuitive operating system in our day-to-day lives?
How would our lives be different if we listened to our intuition more and trusted what we 'feel'?
We often over-analyze situations, looking from a place of logic instead of listening to the messages from our internal guidance system.
I believe if we trusted more in our own capabilities and the power we hold within, our lives could be very different.
How does one tap into their intuition and use it at it's full potential? Here are some suggestions.
"In a study, published in 2005 in The Journal of the American Dietetic Association, women who practiced intuitive eating over the course of two years maintained their weight and achieved lower cholesterol levels, lower blood pressure, higher self-esteem, and greater levels of physical activity—while women who dieted over the same period regained any weight they managed to lose and experienced no improvements in their physical or mental health. Further research has shown that intuitive eaters are less likely to think about how their body appears to others, and more likely to spend time considering how their body feels and functions.
Tune In: Becoming an intuitive eater requires the willingness to sit and listen to your stomach's signals. Eat every three to four hours, before extreme hunger sets in, and stop when you feel nourished and energized, not stuffed. Imagining the portion you want to consume before a meal—and what that will physically feel like afterward—is another way to start trusting your gut."
Read More: Website source.
I have a lot of fun running workshops on Enhancing Your Intuition. I find delight when people realize how strong their intuition actually is through exercises and meditation. My next workshop is Thursday June 1st. Details can be found here.
So next time you have a gut feeling about something, instead of passing it off, listen to it. And if you practice the suggestions above, you may find that you begin to run more on your intuitive operating system rather than only using logic for every situation. The more you trust your inner wisdom, the more you find you trust yourself.
“Intuition is a combination of historical (empirical) data, deep and heightened observation, and an ability to cut through the thickness of surface reality. Intuition is like a slow motion machine that captures data instantaneously and hits you like a ton of bricks. Intuition is a knowing, a sensing that is beyond the conscious understanding — a gut feeling. Intuition is not pseudo-science.”
Check out Kerwin Rae's video on how Intuition works.
Do people tell you that you're too sensitive, you care too much, or you get hurt too easily?
Sensitive-natured beings are easily affected by the emotions of others and are often referred to as being empaths. An Empath is a person who can consciously and unconsciously tune in to the emotional experience of a person, place or animal. The emotions they experience whether good or bad, can cause these individuals to feel happy and joyful or anxious and unsettled depending on the situation.
When they are around people who aren't being 'authentic,' in nature, empaths can feel uncomfortable and at a loss for words. They often avoid small talk, meaningless conversations and they prefer not to watch movies or T.V. shows that include any kind of violence. They feel physically sick when witnessing abuse to people and animals. They can withdrawal immediately when confronted by someone who is angry or frustrated, and they often take things very personally and hold onto these feelings longer than others finding it difficult to let go.
Sensitive people are very in touch with their feelings and in tune with their bodies. They know when something feels 'off' and they typically only express their emotions with someone if they feel 'safe' and will not share with just anyone. On the other hand, people seem to be drawn to sensitive and empathetic people; they feel an instant sense of safety and trust, and openly share deep emotional traumas they have experienced or are experiencing. You will find complete strangers being drawn to the energy of a empath. I believe it's an unconscious connection and inner knowing that they will understand and listen without judgment.
Because sensitive people have a heightened sense of the energies in their surroundings, many tend to withdrawal in social situations so they are not 'exposed' or called upon. It is easier to hide at the back of the room than it is to be the centre of attention for an empath. Being constantly aware of the emotions and energies of others can cause turmoil and anxiety, which can affect their own state of mind and well-being.
I personally have trouble in crowded locations like the mall or Walmart, as I find myself feeling anxious, unsettled and even dizzy at times. You may find yourself unaffected by some locations, but troubled by others.
There are a few steps you can follow to protect yourself when in social situations or when you are feeling overcome with the emotion:
“An empath is capable of taking on the grief of another in order to lessen their suffering. In order to not be consumed with pain, an empath should have an outlet for that pain lest they lose themselves in feeling for others.”
~ Donna Lynn Hope
Men have feelings, too.
It's true, they really do.
Woman are beautiful creatures, often wearing our emotions on our sleeves for the world to see, and we hold no shame or guilt for being vulnerable and free with our feelings.
Many men, on the other hand, have been taught to hide their feelings. They've been told by mentors, friends, fathers, that crying is a sign of weakness.
While it's difficult enough hearing it from other men, some woman carry the same torch - a man should be stone, not soft, not in touch with their feelings.
So, where does that leave men?
Severely stressed, tight with tension, and often overcome by anxiety and depression.
We all know how it feels to have a good cry - it is a cleansing form of release.
If men are conditioned to believe crying is a 'womanly thing,' how do they find release?
Anger, frustration, projection, or they show no emotion at all. And let's be honest, when we encounter someone who doesn't express emotion towards us, either positive or negative, it can frustrate us. We unconsciously feel like they don't care. But, they do usually care, they just don't know how to express their emotions and show vulnerability without feeling like 'less of a man.' It's just not something they were taught.
What if men were encouraged to show their emotions? What if they were told it's okay to be vulnerable and real and cry if they need to? If we gave them 'permission' to express their feelings in a safe space, then perhaps this would relieve the years of stress and tension they've been holding within, and thus prevent future stress by opening doors to a new way of communication.
Some of the most amazing men I know show their sensitive side and are completely comfortable with showing emotion. I know these men to be healthy, strong, compassionate and empathetic human beings. This is often referred to as a man's feminine side.
It should be their natural side.
Many men feel as though they are carrying the weight of the world on their shoulders. Unlike women, however, men don't often talk openly with their friends and family about how they're feeling. They just endure, sometimes enormous amounts of stress without expressing in a healthy way. Or at all. A lot of men feel women can be very critical of them, which makes them not want to open up, and their egos tend to be slightly more stubborn than the average woman's.
If you find your partner or loved one is uncomfortable with showing emotion or sharing their feelings, be sure to let them know that you're there to listen...without judgment. Avoid pointing fingers, blaming and becoming defensive when communicating, and instead show compassion, empathy and understanding.
And most importantly, be patience with progress.
Everything takes time, and if you're wanting your partner to feel like he can be more open with you, it will definitely take time and patience.
“That was one of the saddest things about people--their most important thoughts and feelings often went unspoken and barely understood.”
~ Alexandre Adornette
Have you ever felt broken, like you couldn't go on, even if you tried?
Have you ever felt broken from your past, defined by your pain?
You may feel or have felt broken, but I promise you, you're not.
Underneath the shattered pieces of your spirit, remains your true essence. There lies you, your soul, your beauty, your love. That can't be broken.
But what can feel broken is your heart, your perspective of how you see yourself, and your ability to give and receive love.
When pain is inflicted upon us, and when we have experienced trauma and years of neglect from self, and others, we can be left feeling numb to the world and or highly sensitive to our environments.
When we choose, however, to see ourselves as not broken and gather the strength to pick up the pieces and mend our own hearts, we soon discover what remained was the perfect essence of who we are. That is Love.
I experienced different forms of abuse in past relationships and I felt lost, broken and torn apart at the heart. But something in me always persevered. Something kept saying, you're going to be okay. This isn't it, it gets better, I promise. That voice was heard during a time when I had been pushed through a pane of window glass that was leaning against a wall by my ex boyfriend. I remember him cleaning the blood from my back with a cloth and I thought, 'that's so nice of him, he does care'. But even during the time when broken glass was being removed from my wounds, I was not broken. I was still me. What was broken was my perception of what healthy love was and, I will tell you, I never felt more alone in my life.
I followed that voice, the voice that reassured me of better things to come when I just couldn't see the light. The moments when I could barely catch my breath after the pain had taken hold of my mind, my body, my heart.
Inside, I was always whole. I was always me. But my external experiences sometimes left me feeling like this was it, and so I perceived myself as broken, lost and utterly alone.
But you can't break what you are born with. And that is Love. That is your gift at birth. And love is the essence of who you are, at the core of your being, in the seams of your soul.
It's a matter of digging deep and excavating your own soul. It's removing years of stored emotional pain you tucked neatly inside your heart. It's looking beneath all the layers of hurt and under all the masks you wore with a beautiful painted smile.
On a sunny afternoon when you've become tired of the pain, and on the day you decide to surrender to what no longer is, is the day you'll find it. Your unbroken pieces are waiting patiently to be found, and do trust, you'll feel it when you find it.
You'll return to love that day. You'll understand you were never really broken, you were only temporarily separated from your heart.
I wish that day, that moment for anyone who has felt or feels broken. I wish you the sweet rediscovery of who you are, the You that was never really broken.
The you that is Love.
“You were merely wishing for the end of pain, the monster said. Your own pain. An end to how it isolated you. It is the most human wish of all.”
~ Patrick Ness
In short, yes we can.
We are made of energy. It is what moves our bodies, allows us to be functioning human beings, and it can be passed on to others as easily as we can absorb it.
Energy isn't always "positive".
Have you ever experienced someone walking into a room and, without even speaking, they "change" the energy? You can feel the energy of the room shift and almost always, your energy soon follows, as does your mood.
Our energies interact, which is why you can meet someone and instantly like their 'vibe' (vibration), and feel drawn to them. Their presence, for no apparent reason, just feels good.
On the flipside, it can be very difficult when you're surrounded by people with lower energy vibrations. This happens every day in the workplace, social environments, our own homes, and social media; it can literally change our state from 'positive' to 'negative'.
The key is to not let it.
What seems to be lacking in many cases, is Self Awareness. This means, while we're not aware of self, our behaviors or actions, we have no problem pointing out what we consider faults in others and their behaviors.
To become aware of self, you need to observe how you react in situations. Do you immediately find the negative in most things? Do you often fault others or are quick to place blame? Do you become defensive and angry?
Many of us walk around with 'reactive minds'. Instead of stepping back and observing a situation, allowing us to find a solution or resolution to the conflict at hand, we tend to allow our state of mind and/or emotions to dictate how we react or overreact to situations.
So how do we avoid getting affected by the energies of others? Here are a few suggestions:
“Stay away from conflictive, negative people that pull you down, because they contaminate your energy and impede your progress. Search for people who look at the world with optimism, that inspire you, make you happy and provide peace of mind."
We've all asked ourselves, how do I know if I'm on the right path?
Well, I'm here to tell you we're always on the right path, even when it feels wrong.
We are always going in the direction of where we need to be and every experience we encounter, the good and the bad, are necessary experiences for our learning and our growth. They provide us the tools and knowledge we require moving forward along our journey.
There are many times in my life where I would have thought I was on the wrong path but eventually, all those perceived 'bad' experiences actually brought me to where I am today.
Whenever we feel like we are on the wrong path, we are actually receiving little messages and insights from our unconscious self, our higher self, giving us nudges and suggestions that perhaps it's time to change something. There is something that isn't working anymore. And when you feel those nudges, use them as a time to go within for self reflection and to see where maybe you need to do something differently or try something new.
Our higher self is the self that is always looking out for our best interests. It's the little voice in the back of our mind that tries to steer us in the right direction when we are making choices that perhaps won't be benefit us spiritually, mentally, emotionally or physically. It's our inner guidance system and intuitive wisdom looking out for us. If only we listened more.
We're always doing the best with what we know, and when it's time to do something differently, we will. Sometimes we just need a little more time and lot more knowledge to know where we need to go, what our next step will be.
So never worry, the path you're on is the right path, and along the path you will acquire everything you need to know to get you to where you want to be. Follow your path with trust and belief that every step is a step toward your truth.
"Life is not about gutting out every situation. It's about identifying opportunity or the lack thereof. If your pride is all that is standing in the way of quitting, quit. The right people won't care and the wrong people don't matter. If you know you're on the right path, persevere though the pain. It will be worth it."
I was in a seven year relationship with someone who never asked me how my day was. He never asked me, how are you?
It dawned upon me one day during our relationship how important that question was for me and how sad it was that he never asked me.
And then I felt sad for him because he was never taught the importance of that one simple question. A question that says, without saying, I care about you, I care about how you feel. And I want to know how you feel. I can only assume that he was never asked either by the ones he loved the most.
You see, sometimes we don't receive certain things in life that can make us a better person. Perhaps we lacked love from our peers or emotional support from the people we needed it from the most.
So we grow up not knowing how to show love, or emotional support to our loved ones. We lack the empathy and capacity to know how.
But, we all have a choice to change what we've been conditioned too. We're all smart enough to know what someone needs, because usually, we need the same thing.
And when I ask someone how they are, how they feel, I truly want to know.
It's just one simple question, that can have the biggest effect on someone.
We need to be more selfish.
I don’t mean in the typical 'selfish' way of only caring and doing things for ourselves and not others, I mean we need to care for ourselves more. Much more.
We have become anxious, irritable, and unbalanced beings with scattered and foggy minds trying to make our way through this unpredictable experience called life. We are giving to our families, to others, to our careers, to everything and everyone else but us.
We've stopped caring for ourselves and have neglected our own needs, and even when we don’t have anything left to give, we find a way to keep giving. This leaves us feeling stressed, insecure, anxious, depleted, and incompetent.
We walk around like zombies, carrying negative energy, and we project this energy upon others and, in turn, indirectly, they project their unhappy, unsatisfied, and taxed energy onto us. So we carry around more tension and heaviness upon our fragile shoulders as we embrace the burden of others and hold tight onto our own.
The stress of the world has gotten to us. It’s everywhere. It’s on our TVs and in the papers, in the hatred and fear that riddles social media. We are forever surrounded by bad news and unfortunate events, and we absorb this, unconsciously and consciously, and are left wondering why we feel so drained and depressed.
We work all day, many times at jobs we don’t love, and even if we do love our jobs/careers, we can still tire out and feel depleted. We come home just in time to prepare dinner, clean, help our children with homework, baths, etc. and send them off to bed in a whirlwind only to do it all over again the very next day. And the day after that...
We dread five days of the week and only look forward to two, but Sunday signifies the end of the weekend, so we sometimes dread that day too. Our weekends consist of housework, laundry, errands, and the little things we couldn’t fit in during our hectic week. No wonder we anticipate that glass of wine or bottle of beer; it numbs our reality and takes away the stress. It's sad that we feel like we have to escape our reality.
But if we are more giving to ourselves, and taking the time to replenish and re-balance ourselves and our energy, I truly feel, we wouldn’t feel this way.
When was the last time you took time for yourself, took a break aside from a ten-minute coffee break on the couch while surrounded by your screaming children demanding your attention?
Book time with yourself, whether it's a hot bath, a solo coffee date, a lunch date with friends, reading a book, going for a walk in nature, a massage, or manicure. Anything that helps yourself reconnect with you brings peace and joy.
It’s okay to be selfish. It’s okay to do something solely for the benefit of you, for your health, and your well-being. It’s okay to take time to refill your glass, to replenish your soul and re-balance your energy. It’s okay because it makes you okay. It makes you good again.
Don't be afraid to say to say no to the things you don't want to do. We say yes to doing things we don't want to do nor have time for because we worry about hurting someone's feelings and letting them down. We disregard our own feelings simply to satisfy another. Meanwhile, we're left feeling resentful and angry because we feel powerless. If you don't want to do something, give yourself permission to say no. We tell our children no all the time. Often times after you say no, they move on. The more you say no, the more confident you'll feel.
Being 'selfish' will bring you healing, clarity, and balance, and it restores your mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual health; if these aren’t in balance, it can make other aspects of your life feel off balance and chaotic.
I encourage your to practice the 'art of being selfish' in a self-caring way so you can give to others in the way you want to.
In order to give your best to others, you must give to yourself first.
I'm often asked how I started my Journey to Reiki Energy Healing.
Here is my story.
The truth is, I had no idea what Reiki was until I took a Reiki course a month after discovering this powerful natural healing method.
I experienced health issues for more than three years, and these health issues not only consumed my body, but more so, my mind.
I had candida overgrowth, which was triggered in February 2012 when I started taking the birth control pill. These strange red rashes and odd-looking hives started showing up on my body a few days before my monthly cycle. My face would flare up in such a bright shade of red that it look like my skin had been burned in a fire.
I had frequent doctor visits and trips to walk-in clinics and hospitals during the following three years, however, no one had a clue as to what was going on. Ironically, I would visit my doctor after a bad flare-up and she would order more blood tests at the same time she was handing me more boxes of birth control, the very thing my body was reacting to.
The hives went from monthly flare-ups to an every day occurrence. My skin was so dry and itchy, especially at night, I had to sleep with gloves pinned to my pajamas. I would wake up in the middle of the night to find I had tore off the gloves and scratched my skin until it bled.
I had started to react and have allergies to almost everything, from grass and leaves to apples and alcohol. It was so bad that I started to develop a fear of food. I was scared to eat. Every bite I put into my mouth caused anxiety.
My health issues not only effected me, severely, they also effected my family. I was in a new relationship at the time and dealing with my monthly flare-ups, which left me feeling and looking like a "monster" in my mind, and it was extremely difficult to deal with. I was consumed and fixated on getting better, I needed to get better. Unfortunately this left me isolating myself and spending hours on Google. I searched anything and everything. I soon developed health anxiety and every symptom or flare-up I experienced left me in a state of fear. I was convinced I was going to die.
Besides having hives, the symptoms I experienced were eczema, allergic reactions, extremely dry skin, itchy ears, vertigo, headaches, hot flashes, blurred vision, social anxiety, digestive issues (including bloating even after a small meal), insomnia, lack of energy, and many more.
I needed to get better, I needed to heal myself, and I was determined to do it naturally.
I was sitting on my couch one day and I took a drink of a hot chocolate I had just purchased, and soon after came the hives. I said to myself, 'wait a second, this hot chocolate is full of sugar, could it be the sugar causing all of this?' I started to recall my other major flare-ups and when they occurred. Wine, lots of sugar, bread, more sugar, chocolate...definitely sugar. I knew I was onto to something.
I immediately grabbed my iPad and started Googling 'sugar and hives'. Sure enough, up pops an article on Mind, Body and Green about something called Candida, a yeast over growth. I read the symptoms and discovered I had almost every one of them. For the first time in more than three years, I became hopeful.
I can't recall exactly how I met my friend, Julie Tibbles, but she does something called BIE, a form of energy testing for various conditions in your body. I contacted her and we booked an appointment. I was so excited to meet her and to get some answers. I knew intuitively that Julie was going to be able to help me, I could finally see the light at the end of the tunnel. Julie tested me for many things and, as suspected, Candida was the culprit. I learned I also suffered from Adrenal Fatigue from past and current stress. From there, Julie set a plan for me, which including following a 30-day cleanse. I followed the plan precisely without cheating once, and within 30 days, I lost 25 pounds. While the weight loss was a pleasant surprise, I was overjoyed when all of my allergies disappeared and my skin looked younger then it had in years. I had bounds of energy again. I had forgotten what it felt like to feel well.
So, how does Reiki fit in here? During the time I experienced my health issues, I was led down the path of natural healing and drawn to the aspects and many benefits of Reiki. However, I didn't feel I was ready to help others on their healing journey until I healed myself.
Six months after taking the Reiki course and finding answers to my health issues, I opened Soul Alive Barrie. I was ready and set with the intentions of helping whomever walked through my door.
Almost three years later I have treated more than 200 people. I have helped woman who were having difficulty conceiving become pregnant by relieving their stress and putting their body back into balance. Clients who were told they 'need' anxiety medication come for regular treatments, as it's the only way for them to find relief without resorting to the medication. I have treated people with broken hearts and stories of past trauma and death, as well as children as young as five years old who experience anxiety and other conditions.
Before my journey to Reiki I knew deep down inside I was supposed to be of service to others, helping others find their joy again, and to assist them on their own healing journeys. So here I am, doing what I know I was meant to do.
There is nothing more satisfying then knowing you have helped someone feel alive again, that you have helped them feel happy, healthy, and healed.
I'm truly thankful for my past health issues. If I didn't experience my own pain and healing, I truly believe I would not be doing the very thing that I love - helping others.
My passion, is my purpose.
Vanessa Marie Dewsbury