Each week in my personal post I share with you my thoughts or something I’ve been learning. This week I thought I’d try something a little different and share with you how I learn these things and what I do to feel motivated, happy and aware of what’s going on around me. I figure there’s no point talking about doing something without explaining how to do it!
It was hard for me to open up about my intuitive living journey, mostly because I worried people wouldn’t know what intuitive living is and would think I sit around worshipping rocks and sacrificing stuffed animals to the full moon. To me, intuitive living means learning to recognise your intuition and listen to it, use your emotions as a guidance point and taking a holistic approach to your well-being by connecting with the world around you and doing things that make you happy. It’s about heart over head.
Intuitive living has been a really huge part, if not the BIGGEST part, of my journey. It was the turning point for me and helped me connect the dots in my mind. Everything I share with you in my personal posts comes from my intuition and things I’ve learned from this intuitive living journey. It may not be for everyone and it isn’t a cult. It’s a way of life I’ve chosen and you always have the right to choose for yourself how you want to live your life. I’m no expert, but I’ve found a way of life that makes happy and that a lot of you have resonated with too.
So, I wanted to share with you some of the things I do to help me listen to my heart and feel happy. I guess it’s a little bit of insight into how I live my life, hopefully, it gives you some ideas, inspiration or tools to start listening to your heart too!
Self-love and self-care
I used to run myself ragged, seeing people, catching up, running errands, going the extra mile, putting others needs before my own. Basically, I was detracting from my own value and self-worth because I was saying other people’s needs were more important than my own. Now, I make sure I take care of myself first. This means sleeping in if I’m tired or going to bed early, whatever it is that needs to be done can just wait! Dishes need to be washed? I’ll do it tomorrow. Laundry piling up? Oh well. There is nothing more important than taking care of yourself and it’s up to you to do that.
For me, this also means taking time out to spoil myself by doing things I love! I’ll turn the TV off or take a break from what I’m doing to start drawing or painting, read a book, have a cup of tea outside in the sun or go for a swim. My time is my time and I make sure I do the things I love and enjoy instead of the things I don’t really want to do.
Oh man, treats!! I would always tell myself I didn’t need something or didn’t deserve something, that I shouldn’t waste money or time on something for myself. That way of thinking starts to create a cycle where, again, you’re devaluing yourself. If it was your best friends birthday would you want to give them a thoughtful gift that made them smile and made them feel special? Of course you would! So, why not treat yourself that way too? I’m not one to see the value in extravagant purchases, but the value of a treat is relative. For me, a treat is a new note-book or art journal, dark chocolate from a swanky sweets store, a piece of cake from my favourite bakery or having breakfast in bed with my husband.
I’ve found it really helpful to let my dreams run wild! I collect drawings, stickers, photographs, images, typography and written inspiration and stick it all up on the wall in front of my desk. It’s a mood-board of sorts and a visual indulgence of things I love! Looking up and seeing photos of far-off destinations or beautiful words written in another language makes me feel good and it makes my dreams feel real. Instead of just being in my mind, I can see them. If I’m dreaming of a beach in Thailand, I’ll stick up a photo of a beach in Thailand. Now it’s real and I can see it every day!
Your dreams are never too small or too big, don’t let your imagination be restricted… let it go wild!
Positivity breeds positivity
I try my absolute best to focus on the existence of things rather than their absence. I guess it’s like if you’re thinking of buying a red car all of a sudden you’ll start noticing just how many red cars there are. I’ve found if I focus on the abundance of good things around me, I notice them more. If I’m having a really crappy day and start focusing on the absence of good things around me, that feeling keeps growing and I feel worse and worse. Even writing about it feels gross. Ugh!
Of course, things are going to happen that annoy you, but if you let go of it in your next breath and place your attention on something good that’s around you, you’ll start to feel better much faster. Sometimes if I’m in a situation I don’t like and can’t get out of it, or someone around me is being negative, I just tune out and start thinking about things I like. I’ll remember something fun that happened on the weekend or a great travel memory, something kind one of you commented on a blog post or something I’m proud of or someone I love. You can even just start looking at the space around you and noticing things you like.
Yep, I meditate! It always seemed to be a really strange concept to me and something I found scary and overwhelming. I had no idea how to meditate and every time I tried a million thoughts would pop into my mind and I’d just wind up being angry at myself for not being able to meditate (that’s the perfectionist in me being a bitch). One day I read a book where a lady said she had felt the same way as me but started by doing 5 minutes a day of meditation. 5 minutes? I can do 5 minutes!
So, I started with 5 minutes. I found a comfy spot in the house and settled in and relaxed, just enjoying the rhythm of my own breathing and the rhythm of the world around me. That was it. From there I’ve been slowly building up and, while I’m by no means a master meditator, I’ve grown to love it. I look forward to it now as a little slice of time where everything is quiet and I can reconnect with the earth and myself to feel grounded and centred again.
I use meditations to visualise letting go of any ‘bad’ feelings that are cluttering up my mind and heart, making room for all the ‘good’ feelings I want in my life. I also use them to set intentions and help me tune into the ideas within me that help me shape Little Grey Box.
Nourish your inner-child
I’m really getting good at this one! We have started letting loose and being pretty silly of late and it has had a great impact on both Matt and I. We built a cubby house under our dining room table a few weeks ago and hung out under there all day, it was great. I love cartoons and Marvel comic-book heroes so we have loads of childish things around our house like Hulk action figurines, framed comic books and silly drawings of things (like a dancing poo) that I leave lying around the house for Matt to find.
Working through your fears
If ever one of us is having a freak-out about something, we’ll sit down and work through our fears. We’ll grab some paper and start scribbling down all the things we’re terrified like, ‘What if I run out of money?’ ‘What if this doesn’t work?’ ‘What if I regret doing this?’ and ‘What if everyone laughs at me?’ then we talk about where that fear comes from and what will happen if that fear is realised. Lastly, we acknowledge the fears and then let them go… which usually involves setting fire to the paper and hoping we don’t burn down our apartment block.
Fears are a good thing, guys. They’re there to make sure you don’t put yourself in the way of danger, don’t ever curse them and think ‘Why am I so afraid?’ You’re afraid because you’re human and our guidance system is there to make sure we don’t make decisions that could kill us. The key is to assess your fears and, if your decision isn’t going to kill you, go ahead with it anyway!
I’m lucky to have friends who also live intuitively, but like me, they were a bit nervous to talk about it in the beginning. Now we all know we’re on the same page, we talk about it all the time! We share dreams that we had so we can analyse them and look for a deeper meaning, we talk about strange coincidences that have occurred and try to work out why. We talk about any struggles we’re having and we share new things we’ve experienced and learned. At the heart of it all is an unspoken no-judgement rule. Sharing and communicating has helped me gain confidence in trusting myself and my intuition and that has been invaluable!
I never thought people would want to read what I wrote about my life journey and yet, here you guys are! You’d be amazed how many people in your life think and feel the same way about things as you do. Open up and share, connect with the people around you.
Let your emotions to guide you
This is a big one and probably my favourite! They are so much more than just a feeling, they’re an emotional guidance system or life roadmap. If you feel ‘bad’ feelings, like anger, frustration, exhaustion or sadness, stop and look at what you did that caused you feel that way. Then, find a way to stop it happening again! Don’t do that thing that made you feel bad, don’t see that person, don’t go to that place. If you feel ‘good’ feelings, take note of why you feel so good and do MORE of that. Whatever it is, just do it!
Our emotions are so much more than we realise and they can help us really work out what’s going on in our lives and how to change it. I used to have way more bad feelings than good ones, but once I started tuning into them, taking notice of them and working out what caused them I was able to flip that and now I have a lot more good feelings than bad ones.
Look after yourself
Probably the easiest thing to do and the easiest thing to neglect! I used to skip meals, stay up late and avoid the gym at all costs and it didn’t serve me well. I’m not a gym junkie or a health-expert, but I know I feel much better when I eat regular healthy meals and exercise. It made a huge difference for me to make sure I was eating enough good food to fuel my body for the day, getting my body moving through exercise and ensuring I got enough sleep each night! I also had to increase how much water I was drinking too. These seem like small, simple things but they have a huge impact on your physical AND mental health.
I used to think journaling meant sitting down with your floral note-book and starting off each day with, ‘Dear diary….’ ahhh no, it’s not that at all! I have stacks of notebooks lying around my house which I use for journaling. I use them to get thoughts and ideas out of my mind, scribble down words that inspire me or draw something. I use them to keep track of dreams or feelings, anything really. They can be work/business related, personal or creative. Whatever I write down I make sure I date, so I can look back at it and find it if I need to. For someone like me it’s a great way to get information out of my head so I can sleep at night, otherwise, I’ll be awake for hours running through lists, ideas and conversations. Basically, it’s a way of getting all the crazy out of my head and onto paper.
Forgiveness and patience
Not just with other people, but with yourself as well. It can be hard for me to forgive myself for making a mistake or doing something wrong, I can re-live events over and over in my mind wondering why I didn’t do it better. So I have to actively stop chastising myself and instead, forgive myself for the mistake and be patient. Everyone makes mistakes and it’s really important to be kind to yourself when you do make one. I just take a minute to stop what I’m doing and say (in my mind, “It’s okay, you made a mistake. Don’t worry about it, you know you meant well/did your best. You’ll get there.” Taking the time to be supportive and kind to yourself goes a long way to building up your self-confidence and self-worth.
If Intuitive Living is something you want to explore more, you may want to visit The Little Sage. This is how I got started on my journey and I found the website a really great resource for information and practical guides on intuitive living.
Phoebe Lee is a travel writer, YouTuber and photographer with a love for storytelling and making people laugh. Follow her and Matt’s adventures at home and around the world, right here on Little Grey Box and through Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube.