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Is it Intuition or Anxiety?

The Practice, Issue IV

April 18, 2024

I have one and a half weeks left in Mysore, and as my time dwindles, I have been thinking a lot about how I got here -- namely, the immense amount of self trust I had to have in order to take the leap and buy a one way plane ticket to the other side of the world.


I wish I could say I have always trusted myself. I wish I could tell you that it was always clear to me that my inner voice/Higher Self would guide me to exactly where I needed to be, and that the voice in my head that comes from anxiety was clearly a different thing. But, like many of my clients, I struggled for most of my life to tell the difference between intuition and anxiety. After all, they are both inner voices -- how could we possibly know who to trust?

I started wearing orange daily shortly after I quit drinking. Now, I always see orange things as a sign from the universe and a message that I need to tune into, a tool to tap into my intuition.

Before getting sober, I was diagnosed with an anxiety disorder. I constantly felt the internal, frenetic pull of anxiety telling me what was wrong with me, my life, and my choices. My biggest goal in life, and honestly the reason I started RISE, was so that I could work without ever having to leave my house again. I did not want to have to go out into the world, encounter new things, or find new sources of anxiety. My anxiety told me that the only way for me to have any sense of comfort in my life was to keep things familiar, static, and "under control" (which was a losing battle -- control is an illusion).

But I wasn't ever just anxious. We all have an intuitive side and an inner voice that wants the best for us. But the problem is, this voice isn't as loud and anxiety often drowns it out. When you live a fast-paced life, fuel yourself with substances like alcohol, caffeine, or medications that cloud your judgement, it's easy to lose that soft but persistent voice of intuition. Sometimes -- especially in my work reading cards for clients -- my intuition was able to peek through and give me glimpses of guidance. But the anxiety was always louder in my day to day life. And often, I'd think that the anxiety was my intuition.

Reiki is one way that I now self-soothe my anxiety and tap into my inner knowing.

The moment that I decided to quit drinking was a huge intuitive moment for me. In fact, I think it was the first time since I was an imaginative child that I had heard the voice and recognized it as important and powerful. Over the last 2 years, my intuition and I have gotten really close and have cultivated a relationship of trust; when intuition speaks, there is no question about the validity of it anymore. In this journey, here's how I've learned to tell the difference:

  • Anxiety is loud and fleeting ; Intuition is quiet and persistent

  • Anxiety is about external perception, other people, things out of my control ; Intuition is internal, about bettering myself, things that may seem out of reach but are in my control

  • Anxiety brings up lots of unanswerable "what if" questions ; Intuition answers questions

  • Anxiety is doubtful and negative ; Intuition is assured and positive

Learning to slack line has been one way I have worked to cultivate self trust

The big challenge in cultivating a stronger relationship with your intuition is learning to really differentiate that voice from anxiety and to trust it. The cool thing is that it's like any other muscle and you can build it with small actions daily!

🌱go on an intuitive walk with no plan: 🚶🏼‍♀️‍➡️ let your intuition guide you about where to turn, where to go. Be present and explore, appreciating the places your intuition brought you.

🌱meditate: 🧘🏼‍♀️ there’s no better way to understand your mind than to sit with it for a few minutes each day

🌱pay attention to your dreams: 🛌 dreams hold keys to our subconscious. Listen to them!

🌱follow your intuition: 🫀how can you expect your intuition to feel confident in big situations if you ignore it in little situations? If you hear the soft and assured voice of intuition, acknowledge it. Let it practice out in the wild!

🌱practice divination: 🎴 tarot cards are just one of many tools that can help you access your intuitive side. Learn about how to read your own cards with my brand new ebook.

🌱keep a journal: 📝 keeping all your thoughts in your head isn’t doing you any favors. Write them down and watch them transform!

The journey to trusting yourself is not a quick one, but it is worth every bit of effort that you put into it. I now look back on the moment that I pulled out the offer on a house in Las Cruces and bought a plane ticket to India as a divine moment made possible only by cultivating a trusting relationship with my Higher Self's inner voice.

I hope that you can find some guidance and wisdom from my experience.

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