Following Your Intuition

We all have Divine Guidance inside of us, and despite many’s beliefs its very accessible. Some call it a gut feeling, following your heart, or having faith. The first time I followed my intuition I hadn’t even heard of the word intuition. At that point I felt very compelled to make a drastic change in my life, one that many didn’t understand, including myself at the time. I was in a loving, supportive, stable relationship for about a year and a half when I started having this strong gut feeling that I needed to end it. For the first week or two I tried ignoring it, thinking maybe this was hormonal and wondering if I was going a little crazy. The man I was with had helped me grow, learn, and begin to love myself when I had been stuck in a dark place. It wouldn’t be fair of me to end our relationship after he had helped me so much, and I still loved him and enjoyed being with him. I tried to rationalize staying with him anyway I could. But the more I tried to ignore these internal nudges the more down I began to feel. I felt like I was being unfaithful to him, lying to him by not being clear on my feelings. What I didn’t realize at the time was that I was also being unfaithful to myself. I spent hours discussing my feelings with various friends, trying to get as many different perspectives as I could on the situation. At the end it didn’t matter what any of my well-meaning friends said. I needed to take action so I would no longer feel so dark and heavy. The day I ended that relationship was hard, unplanned, and full of sadness. As he walked away I began to feel fear, wondering if I had made a huge mistake. I also felt an intense amount of guilt, knowing how hurt and confused he was by my sudden decision. I am a very empathetic person, to those interested in astrology I am a true Pisces. That being said, I have issues being unkind to strangers, so causing someone I love pain was tearing me apart. It also didn’t help that when I tried to explain my thought process to others, many of them considered me crazy and insensitive. Others’ reactions helped me learn a crucial lesson though, that the way others’ perceive you has much more to do with their own life experience than your own. Just because someone else sees you as mean, stupid, silly, or crazy, does not mean that you are! Everyone in this life is perceiving situations through their own eyes with no knowledge of your inner guidance or the way your life path is unfolding.

As the months unfolded, lessons were learned, feelings were felt deeper than I wanted, and emotions were tumbled, but I started to feel stronger. Books came into my life that discussed intuition, describing an inner guidance that has the ability to guide us on our path of least resistance and help us connect to our most authentic self. I started to accept that maybe I wasn’t crazy, but had actually taken a very important step on my spiritual path. It was around this time that I started journaling lightly, writing out my thoughts on why I was guided to do this. I found a lot of positives and realized that it was necesary for both of us to continue to grow and be the best version of ourselves, even if we couldn’t see that at the time.

Now it’s almost three years post-breakup and I enjoy looking back on this time. It makes me proud of myself that I honored my intuition and truly put myself first, and I can see how much more compassionate I have become with myself. After spending many years dealing with body image and self-esteem issues, speaking to myself with violence and anger, my ex-boyfriend helped me to see the goodness within me. He emphasized my inner beauty as well as my appearance, although it was much harder for me to accept his compliments on my physical experience. I had gotten to the point in my life where I needed to truly learn to love myself, without being reassured by others constantly. The past couple of years have been filled with many experiences that have allowed me to practice self-love, compassion and kindness. A huge part of practicing self-love has been to honor my intuition, not giving my attention or energy to what others think about my actions. This has also helped me drop my judgements on others, knowing that we are all just living this life to the best of our ability. We are growing and learning and changing, we deserve flexibility to explore our thoughts, change our minds, and to allow others the same room.

The more I have followed my intuition over the years the stronger and more clear my guidance has become. Now I have fun with it, driving without a GPS and seeing where I end up and man I have been ending up in some beautiful places lately. When I feel inclined to talk to a stranger I do so, because you never know who may need a smile, a little boost in their faith in humanity. I have met some amazing people this way and have had uplifting conversations, learning and laughing, both of us benefiting. I’m trying to take this a little farther in my teaching, calling the hard pose when I feel pushed to do so, because if my intuition is guiding me to do it, someone in the room probably needs it. Now I’m letting my intuition guide my writing. Instead of overthinking my writing I have been trying to start with the first topic that comes into my mind and allowing it to flow. I believe my intuition guides me to help others, in many different ways. So today I got real, I got vulnerable, and then I almost deleted it all. This is personal stuff and I got scared that maybe I shouldn’t share it, maybe the people reading it would judge me for sharing so openly on the internet. But then I smiled, laughed a bit and realized this was just another opportunity for me to get over the fear of being judged. So take what you will from this post, share with someone you feel could use it, and start honoring your intuition.

Love and light,

Noelle ॐ

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Power and Growth

In 2014 I found myself in a place of ill health, (self-perceived) weakness, and frustration. In 2013 I had developed unique stomach issues that refused to let me digest my food correctly, so my body wasn’t receiving nearly enough nutrients to sustain my body and I was experiencing stomach pain following each meal. I have never been fond of doctors (no offense intended to the well-intentioned medical professionals out there), but after months of losing weight and concerned loved ones asking, I went a doctor. I was given many tests that came up inconclusive and offered pain pills to mask my symptoms. I was left frustrated but a small spark had been lit inside of me, a burning desire to heal myself that would later manifest. In July of 2014 I began reading one of Dolores Cannon’s many fantastic books, The Three Waves of Volunteers and The New Earth. Dolores Cannon is a hypnotherapist that utilizes mainly past life regression therapy. Her book was mostly transcripts of her conversations with clients, many who also suffered from unexplainable or diagnosable health conditions. After her work with them most reported that they were no longer suffering and their health had returned. I had also read books previously focused on chakras and touching on energy healing, such as Anatomy of the Spirit by Caroline Myss. At this point I realized that not healing needed to be facilitated through a doctor and prescriptions, but could possibly be changed energetically. I decided that if I truly wanted to be healthy, I needed to stop focusing on my problems, drowning myself in self-pity and clouds of marijuana and instead begin focusing on healing.

I began journaling on a consistent basis, writing with gratitude for my health each day. I started to change my habits of informing my roommates and best friends of my daily obstacles, and started only telling them about the times I felt better and was able to digest a little bit more food. I noticed that the more I focused on the positive the more positive aspects I had to give thanks for. My journal entries started becoming full of gratitude, not only for my health but for many little moments throughout each day. I found myself thankful for my interactions with others, whether they were strangers in lines or dear friends. I was filled with gratitude for the weather, both the beautiful sunny days and the rejuvenating rainy days. I found myself happier and lighter, still experiencing symptoms but no longer letting them control my life. Then, I found yoga. Or really, yoga found me.

In August I won a raffle for a free month of yoga at Hot Spot Power Yoga. It took me a couple of weeks to get myself to the studio, but when I did I found out it was less than five minutes from my apartment. I was pretty excited to use my free month and then maybe keep taking some yoga classes at our school gym. At the time I had no idea how much this practice would end up changing my life. The more consistently I attended classes, the more I wanted to get on my mat and practice. Hot Spot teaches Baptiste inspired classes, which means the room is kept at 90 degrees and we are flowing through our practice, aiming to match our breath with our movements, holding some poses deeply and continuing to move and flow. I began to feel strong as muscles I didn’t even realize I had started to appear on my body and I realized that I was able to go deeper in poses, hold them longer, and possibly even get upside down! After being a competitive athlete for 11 years, my practice was giving me an opportunity to compete again, but this time it was against myself. I realized the more I looked around the room at others practicing, the more my mind wandered and the less sturdy I was in my own balance. Realizing this helped me bring my focus back into myself, releasing the need to judge others or compare myself to them. The stronger I got on my mat the more self-confident I became regarding my practice, but also how I lived my life off of my mat. I began allowing myself to be my authentic self, to stop worrying about how others perceived my actions and to let go of the limiting beliefs I held about my body. As I read further into Anatomy of the Spirit I learned much about my third chakra, the Solar Plexus. The Solar Plexus is located in our stomachs, right around the belly button. This chakra governs inner strength, self-confidence, and power, especially will-power. Through my practice, journaling, and reading I came to realize I was in complete control of my health, all it took was a commitment to shift my beliefs, having faith in the goodness to come.

As I continued my practice I found myself surrounded by more and more uplifting people, teachers and fellow students that loved seeing me progress, both physically and mentally. My life was transforming and I was beginning to feel powerful for the first time in too long. I took part in a wonderful program designed by Baron Baptiste, 40 Days to a Personal Revolution. Through weekly group meetings, reading and personal inquiry I began developing self-awareness and taking responsibility for the way my thoughts regarding my body and my abilities were shaping my life. I started shifting my vision on the relationships I had in my life, retraining myself to not take others’ actions personally. I started making a conscious effort to respond to people and situations rather than to react.

I became a certified children’s yoga instructor in the spring of 2015 and spent four months this past summer completing my 200 hour teacher training in August. Now I’ve been teaching for about a month and am finding myself once again facing a familiar challenge, self-confidence. My knowledge of the human body is sound, I consistently read and try to learn new phrases to help my students get into alignment, but when it comes to letting my true self shine through I find myself struggling. I found myself surprised after the first few classes when I received positive feedback from my students. I did not even realize I was lacking self-confidence until I realized how surprised I was. By bringing awareness to this I have been able to identify another area that I get to grow in. I’m now excited for each class I teach because I know that I will be able to access a little bit more of myself. I have also seen how much I empower my students. I encourage them to get out of their heads and connect with their body fully, using their breath to get them through their practice. As I have become more comfortable pushing my students, I have begun to hear my own words throughout my personal practice.

I’ve made the conscious decision to drop my fears, my self-imposed limitations and any judgmental thoughts. Instead I choose to strive for self-confidence, empowerment and never ending growth. My first step is to share this blog, to put my words out there, trusting that those who want or need them in their life will find them. My hope is to forever be a powerful uplifter, trusting my own intuition and spreading love to many.

Love and light,

Noelle ॐ

 

Intentional Resolutions

2016 has officially arrived. A funky leap year with the capacity to allow growth, love, laughter, and transformation. And the best part is we get to decide largely what this year will hold for us. By setting intentions for what we want to create in our lives we set ourselves up for success.
I believe that resolutions can be a powerful tool for change, but they need to be approached correctly. For many years I would set a resolution and after breaking it once or twice I would scrap it, or worse focus on myself failing. Instead of making outlandish resolutions and expecting the magic of a new year to carry them out, this year I’m choosing to set simple resolutions and intentions that will increase the gratitude and appcreciation I hold in my heart.
One of the intentions I am setting for 2016 is for my writing to evolve, to get comfortable with my words flowing. My resolution is to journal each day, to write at least three thank yous to the Universe. Today mine are: Thank you for the sun rays and the way they play. Thank you for the awesome yoga practice I was able to take this morning. And thank you for filling my life with so many wonderful, loving people. I feel truly blessed in this life.

On good days it can be easy to find gratitude, but it is important to be grateful for the bad days too, on some level. Through each experience that we make it through we have grown and found strength. When we are able to find gratitude in each situation, including the ones masked as negative situations, we allow ourselves the opportunity to receive goodness in abundance.  This is a habit I picked up in 2014 and often found myself taking off writing, finding many more than three things to be grateful for.
In 2016 I intend to be grateful, joyful, respectful, loving and kind. I intend to grow, to evolve and to gently shake the world with my words and actions.
Today take some time to create your intentions. Write them out, doodle them, even discuss your intentions with someone you love- a friend, family member or even a pet. The Universe responds to everything we put out. Words truly create worlds.
May love and light fill your heart and your New Year.
Namaste
~Noelle