"What if my intuition feels blocked?"
This is a common concern I hear from people who want to eat from a more intuitive place, but either feel confused about their intuitive signals or don't feel like they have access to them in the first place.
Many of us have been taught to suppress or distrust our intuition. Culturally, we are taught the value of ignoring our intuitive needs on a regular basis and have learned to value what can be learned with the mind. Individually, we have learned to distrust our body and to believe that it will lead us astray if we let it lead the way.
I regularly hear comments, such as...
"If I ate whatever I wanted, I would be as big as a house!"
"When I don't stick to my plan, I am completely out of control."
Statements like these are common and show an inherent fear in trusting the body. This fear then causes a constriction around needs and a desire to lean into structured plans that feel safe and protective.
And, while some structure and external guidance may work well (we've learned a lot of helpful things through observation and science, after all!), too much creates rigidity that blocks the flow of energy through the body.
If this sounds familiar to you, here are a few things you can do to reconnect with your intuition and trust the guidance you receive:
When you lean on external sources or overly structured eating plans, ask yourself what inside of you is feeling like it needs protection right now? What deeper fear is rising and needs to be addressed. Journal about this.
Practice trusting your intuition as often as possible with things that are relatively inconsequential. This might be something you use when you sit down to order food at a restaurant, when you have 30 free minutes and you are trying to decide what to do, or when you are deciding what to wear in the morning.
To do this:
Close your eyes and take a few deep belly breaths. Allow your belly to expand. Ask yourself, "What do I need in this moment?". Notice the first thing that comes to you. Without judgement or analysis, follow through by fulfilling that need. Take inventory after to assess how that felt. Are there any residual feelings? How did your body respond to getting its requested need met?
Strengthen your imagination. We often pass our imagination off as unimportant or made-up. However, the imagination is the route through which our intuition arrives to us. The food that pops us that we desire, the color we want to wear that day, the activity that sounds appealing for our 30 free minutes are all things we imagine! Therefore, when we strengthen our imagination, we also strengthen our ability to perceive our intuition.
To do this:
Do something that allows your imagination to be supported:
1) such as free paint or free write without any agenda or vision of what you will create
2) Let yourself be bored! Stepping away from input will stir the imagination and bring it to life.
3) Task your brain with imagination by cultivating a detailed vision in your mind. For example, this could be a vision of the dinner you will create for yourself, your dream house, or the ultimate vacation. Call to mind the specifics of the vision, really seeing it clearly in your imagination.
The more clearly you receive your intuitive guidance, the more freedom you gain in your relationship with your food, body, and beyond.