For those of you who are new to our series, over the past several months we have been walking through the guideposts for wholehearted living as described by Brene Brown, PhD, LMSW, in her book The Gifts of Imperfection. Each month has entailed both a summary of a particular guidepost and an invitation for clients and team members alike to join together in deliberately acting to cultivate said guidepost into his or her life.
This month brings us to guidepost five: “Cultivating Intuition & Trusting Faith: letting go of the need for certainty”.
As Brene discusses it, one of the main reasons many of us struggle to trust our own intuition or gut feelings is because we long for certainty. We want solid answers and proof before forming opinions or making decisions. Thus, rather than following the part of us that does know what we want or need, we look to others to make or confirm decisions for us. We look for external validation of what feels true within or we look for external validation because we no longer remember what it feels like to hold inner knowing.
Part of the process of cultivating intuition, then, entails giving ourselves space to sit with uncertainty. It entails slowing down and making time for our own thoughtful discernment. Brene also reminds us that sometimes when we slow down, our intuition may say “yes, do this”, however, it may also say: “we need more information”. The definition in the image above reminds us that our intuition holds all of our vast ways of knowing and hence can be trusted as such.
Trusting faith, on the other hand, is another way of stepping into uncertainty. It entails stepping fully into life and love despite our unknowns. As we do so, perhaps we cultivate the faith that all will be well, or that we will be held with grace, or simply that we will survive. Whatever we ultimately have faith in, faith entails finding, “the courage to believe in what we cannot see and the strength to let go of our fear of uncertainty” (p. 90).
So how might we cultivate intuition or trusting faith? Perhaps through allowing ourselves the space and time to slow down and listen to what we have to tell ourselves. Or maybe through finding a mantra, a prayer, or a resource, to help calm us a midst our uncertainty so that we can step into the life that we want despite our fear. When trying to make a decision, you may even envision living into your two different options and noticing how each choice sits with you: body, soul, and spirit. Whatever speaks to you, consider taking time over the next few weeks to honor and befriend your own internal wisdom and courage.
Let us also be intentional about encouraging and supporting one another by honoring each other’s innate insights and sources of truth.
Blessed to be on the journey with you,
Nikki Holm, Chaplain, MA