3 Strategies to tune into your intuition

written by Erica Quam

When you were a kid, how many times did you get asked the question,  "What are you going to be when you grow up?"  And no matter what your answer, there was usually always an opinion or a judgment around whatever you said.  People are always tossing around their personal judgments about our chosen career path from the time we are old enough to respond.  As we get older, it doesn't stop.  People still ask the same question. And other people define us by what we do - or don't do.  

The book, Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg has been a popular best-seller.  And although there are accurate statistics and some great takeaways in the book, I have talked with many women who have read it and hear only the "should's" and the "have to's" in terms of their careers.

It's time to let go of that kind of judgment and tune into your own inner voice. The only way to find your true peace and happiness - in your job and in your life - is to follow your own unique path and intuition.

How do we do that?

1.  Slow down

I know, I know.  There are a ka-jillion things that have to get done.  How do we slow down?  The reality is, when we are going non-stop and have a sense of urgency about everything, stress beats us up and breaks us down.  When we can slow down - even for 5 to 10 minutes a day - to unplug, people actually feel like they have all the time in the world...like you do when you go on vacation.  So structure this in as one of your non-negotiables.  In the morning, at lunch, before bed - whenever it works for you.  No cell phone, no email, no texting. Practice doing nothing.

2.  De-clutter

When you have clutter everywhere, it's hard to get clear on what you actually need or want.  When you can eliminate even a small amount of clutter, you begin to get rid of things that drain your energy.  We have physical clutter and mental clutter.  So, choose one drawer to tackle or one box to get rid of for the physical clutter.  For the mental clutter, get all the stuff out of your head and down on paper.  Cross

off the un-controllables and schedule the other things in your calendar.  Your brain will feel better.

3.  Connect

Connect to yourself to create better self awareness.  What is it you want? What is it you need?  What are the 5 most important things to you?  How do you spend more time on them/with them?  To connect and develop your awareness, you can journal, read, do some yoga, go for a hike, run, or walk.  Awareness is all about listening and not about thinking, rationalizing, judging, or criticizing.  Make time to really connect and listen.

Assignment:  Answer the following questions
How have you followed your intuition in the past?  Where has it led you?  What is one thing you can do to tune in and listen a little more closely?

Has this article inspired you?  Please pass it along!  Do you have any insight or ah-ha's that you got from reading it?  Share 'em below!  

Spring Cleaning: Time to clean up, clean out, & eliminate

by Erica Quam

Spring cleaning can be compared to a glass of water that has been sitting out overnight. You first have to dump the old water out before you can fill it with new, fresh, clean water.  You can’t fit it all in the glass at the same time. If your windows are dirty and you take time to clean them up, things are much more clear and the light comes in.  

Think of these two metaphors for your life. Spring is a great time to think about things to clean out and eliminate from our lives.  It is a natural time for rebirth and renewal.  Spring is the time to literally clean up and clean out - physically, mentally, & emotionally.

Physical clutter in our lives drains our energy.  We have physical clutter around us and inside us.  Let go of habits that are no longer serving us & create new routines that will move us forward.

Mental clutter gets in the way of our ability to focus.  When we are distracted, overwhelmed, & have a long list of incompletes, it becomes very hard to focus on the task at hand.

Emotional clutter comes from holding onto the past and worrying about the future.  When we hold onto anger, resentment, and guilt from the past we actually create toxins in our bodies.  We worry and fear things that haven't happened yet.  This gets in the way of what we are doing right now.

1.  Clean up the future 

To let go of worry and fear, we just need to trust.  Trust things are happening just as they should.  Recognize that breakdowns lead to breakthroughs.  Obstacles we may face will allow us to learn, grow, and evolve.

Write down one worry or fear you are facing today.  
How can you turn it around and see it as an opportunity for growth?  What would it teach you if it happens?

2.  Clean up the past 
Let go of the past through forgiveness. Forgiving ourselves and others.  Once we do that, then we begin to clean out the anger, resentment, & guilt we hold onto and make more room for an open heart & open mind.

Write down someone you need to forgive or something you need to forgive yourself for.
How would it feel to move past that?  List ONE action you can take today towards forgiveness.

3.  Clean out mental clutter
Our brains are not storage devices.  They seek patterns and figure out solutions.  When we write things down to get them out of our heads, we begin to recognize the clutter we hold onto.  

Take 10 minutes to list of all the stuff you have in your head. Cross off the things you can’t control, & circle three priorities. Schedule these in your calendar.

4.  Clean up the physical clutter - on the outside
As you walk through your house, your office, or drive in your car, notice the things that drain your energy.  Pick one drawer, one room, or one space to focus on. 

Set a timer for 15 minutes.  Throw away the stuff you haven’t used in a year, clean up, wipe, up and then be done when the timer goes off.  Repeat as needed.

5.  Clean up the physical clutter - on the inside 
Think about what you put into your body and how you move your body each day. When you build up heat in your body you can release the gunk from inside.  

Make one better choice today - eat an apple instead of chips, drink a glass of water instead of a soda, take 30 minutes to move instead of crossing one more thing of your to-do list.

The small steps that you take each day can make a HUGE difference in your life!  Life is ALL about the small things! You can DO this!