Sometimes we find wisdom in the most random of places. Even cats can make you look at business from a different perspective.
What is your gut telling you? What is your “leaning” on something you’re questioning, or a decision you’re trying to make? You might not be able to put it into words, but you probably have a feeling as to what’s the right next move. Can you remember a time when you did not follow your inner direction? How did it feel when you realized you should have followed your instincts?
A practice that I use is to pause so that I can give my instinct a chance to be heard. Then, I check in with myself by asking, “Does it feel good?” This question gives me a chance to feel and hear how it feels. My friends and business associates remind me to pause and listen when they ask me, “What is the (your) Kerry gut saying?” For example, I follow this practice on all our new hires. If my gut reaction is no, we will not move forward with the candidate.
Recently, my inner voice kept prompting me to send a card to a friend whose husband had passed, and I kept ignoring it as I was busy until finally, I wrote the letter. My friend called crying and said, “your letter arrived on my husband’s birthday, your words of his gentle kindness gave me comfort on such a heart-wrenching day, I read your letter almost every day.” I smiled as I was thankful; I listened to my intuition to send the day I did so that it arrived on his birthday.
Years ago, I did not realize there was scientific evidence to support the validity of my “gut reaction” (the HeartMath Institute calls your “heart reaction”), but it turns out that approaching life from your heart is better for you both physically and socially. This information has inspired me to encourage those around me to also follow their instincts as we are conditioned to ignore our intuition and yet it is critical to our well-being and success.
How do you use your intuition to your best advantage? Notice your body’s reactions - changes in heartbeat, breathing, and muscle tension. Personally, my stomach will hurt if I am not following my intuition. Balancing logic and intuition are a practice of sorting your assumptions, evidence, prejudices, and intuition you are feeling. As Malcolm Gladwell, author of Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking said, “Truly successful decision making relies on a balance between deliberate and instinctive thinking.”
And yes, this is also an effective strategy to change the world and save lives. Below are some examples of fascinating stories on trusting intuition.
It takes practice to tune into your intuition. Staying in the pause is powerful. It allows you to notice your physical feelings, dreams, and recurring thoughts. With practice, you can connect your heart, gut, and brain to form one unified connection. When you allow the flow of internal feelings and dialog to influence your life, you will experience more positive outcomes. Life will flow with less resistance, and while you might not change the world, you will change your world.
Pausing is part of the 3 P formula; pause to pivot to the positive. If you would like to learn more about bringing this technique to your team contact me firstname.lastname@example.org
Do you currently or have you ever kept a journal? I started my first “true” journal in high school during the summers and I continue to write in a designated travel journal. Other than those, I had not been consistent. In November 2016, the weekend before my childhood best friend passed, my son who was 7 years old at the time secured a 5 year memory book at a yard sale for me as he knows I love to write. As one of my best teachers, he encouraged me to start using it during the time that my friend was getting taken off life support. He monitored my progress during the months to follow until journaling became a habit and I looked forward to my daily journaling. After 3 years of consistency and seeing the year’s previous entry, I am seeing the power of one line a day. Below I share some passages and the lessons I am learning from journaling.
1. See Patterns. I noticed I was doing the same thing over and over in relationships and after seeing my patterns, I made changes for the better.
2. Preserve Memories. I typically will write about the fun activities I took part in that day. It is especially fun to see what I did for my kid’s birthdays each year. For example, in 2017, on my son’s birthday, “Getting Blaine out of school to miss French class (as he dislikes) for lunch and to drop off food at the food pantry. So, blessed to be Blaine’s mom.”
3. Celebrate Progress. Upon getting my 5-year journal, I was just starting to pull together the pieces for writing my book Culture Infusion. I can see the progress over the years from writing the final copy at the pool, getting published, to now regularly teaching classes to help other organizations. It is a bit surreal.
4. Impact of Affirmations. I am a believer in the power of affirmations. It is fascinating to watch that when I do the affirmations, more times than not, they come true. It is a reminder when I see how over the years, the clearer I am with my intentions, the more they come true. For instance, I entered a contest with Hay House, I wrote almost daily for over a month, I was going to win and I did!
5. Prioritize Personal Wellness. The journal has also been a reminder of one of the principles in my book, Culture Infusion 9 Principles to Create and Maintain a Thriving Organizational Culture to prioritize personal wellness. I have been reminded so often in my journal that I feel better when I am moving. This passage is one example, “Inspired from Actualize’s Wellness challenge – did kickboxing class. Felt good to do a different work-out. Figured out how to help the team be more productive with a new training portal to ensure we are focusing on our team’s well-being.”
The daily consistency of writing in my journal has helped me to focus my energy on what I know serves myself and others best. Even writing just one line was powerful. How could you use journaling to enhance your day?
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