This week I received an excellent question from a client.
How do I know if the message I'm receiving is intuition, or 'drunk monkey' mind chatter?
As I've been asked this question before, in various forms, I thought you may have wondered this yourself. If so, read on!
Intuition is often referred to as a 'gut feeling'. Something you just know, often without any reason why or how. It is a feeling in your body, rather than thoughts in your mind. If you wish to tap into your intuition, get still, quiet and focus on how your body feels when you bring the situation, or choice to be made, to the surface.
Drunk monkey mind chatter is when your conscious mind is assessing the pros and cons of the situation or choice, which sometimes leads to overthinking. When you are overthinking something you tend to be consumed by thoughts - in other words, you are all up in your head constantly asking yourself 'what the best thing is to do, which is the right way to go?' . We all know how exhausting this can become.
Whilst you may think you are making rational and logical choices, remain aware that one of your conscious mind's most important responsibilities is to keep you alive. This will always result in it choosing the option it deems least threatening - the one that will keep you small, hidden and safe.
This doesn't mean your intuition won't move you towards something that expands, stretches and challenges you - it will do so for your growth - but the difference is it will feel like the right thing to do.
For example, earlier this week an opportunity to join an evening workshop appeared in my inbox. I know and love the facilitator, and always learn from her, so I clicked on the link to read more about the program. It was short and brief, only a couple of lines, but upon reading the third line a tiny sliver of fear and dread hit me. There is one activity in the workshop that I already know will be awfully uncomfortable for me - and I knew instantly that I had to register. That was my intuition speaking. To register was an immediate thought, accompanied by a feeling in my body. There was a virtual option offered and my conscious mind became involved 'If you are going to proceed with this hideously embarrassing thing at least be at home where no-one will see you!' I ignored it, quickly clicked on the in-person option, and paid.
Side note: The quantum quiver has again arisen in my tummy as I type this, but it still feels right. Edgy, but right.
A mentor of mine once said your intuition will never make you feel 'bad' about yourself. If you are holding yourself back from stepping into something because your inner voice is whispering you are not smart/funny/experienced/talented/loveable/worthy enough, that is not your intuition. It is most definitely your drunk monkey brain.
What happens if you ignore your intuition? Best case scenario, the idea, dream or vision that's been tap tapping at you for a while won't quit. Worst case, you'll be redirected - and when you have to be redirected it is often in an unpleasant way (lose your job, experience a relationship breakdown or fall ill).
Journalling, meditating, being still, slowing down, becoming mindful of how your body feels when decisions are to be made are great ways to begin connecting into your extraordinarily powerful intuition. You can start practising and playing today with small choices or decisions and take it from there. Have fun!
Janelle Ryan is a Personal Coach, published author, presenter and facilitator who helps high performers create extraordinary lives. Her clients include leaders, Olympians, business owners, entrepreneurs and mums! She was announced as one of Australia's Top 10 Women Entrepreneurs by My Entrepreneur Magazine in 2017. She coaches clients by invitation and referral only.