Welcome to another edition of my Weekly Journal! I use this space to share a bit about jewelry, and a lot about my journey from lawyer to jewelry business owner. In this week's journal entry, I'm talking about following your gut and your intuition. If you've been following along with me for a little while, you know that I have made some big changes in the past 3 years. I quit my lawyer job to start a jewelry business, I moved from Chicago to Charleston, and now I'm expanding my online business by opening a brick and mortar jewelry store in Charleston. I guess it's pretty obvious that I'm not someone who enjoys remaining in her comfort zone (we have one lifetime! I'm going to spend it doing all the things I want to experience!). But I truly understand that for most, making big change and approaching an uncertain path is not easy. And let me be clear - none of this has been "easy" for me. All of these decisions have involved some hard work, some hard decisions, and some risk (and only came after 3+ years of pretty intense therapy and hard work on myself). Because I've experienced these 3 big changes recently, I wanted to take a minute to talk about how I did it. How I just knew these were the right decisions for me, even though they were all a little scary at the time. If you've been evaluating a big life change, maybe this will help you think about your decision in a new light.
All three of my recent big decisions had something in common - I had an undeniable knowing, a huge gut feeling, a big intuitive hit that these were the right decisions for me. For example, when I decided to quit my lawyer job, I happened to be in St. John and St. Thomas (my home away from home) and I was on the beach very early in the morning by myself on the last morning of vacation. I was praying for guidance and got this seriously overwhelming feeling that if I had the courage to take the leap and quit my job, that I would be caught. That I would be provided for. These intuitive feelings were so strong, I remember them like they happened yesterday. Then, when I decided to move away from Chicago, I again had the same overwhelming intuitive feeling that it was time to close my chapter in Chicago. Coincidentally (or maybe not), this feeling occurred right after I returned to Chicago from a trip to St. John. All of a sudden, I just knew that my time in Chicago was over. It was this undeniable feeling that it was time to move on. Then, most recently, I decided to sign a lease for a jewelry store in downtown Charleston and again I got this seriously overwhelming "knowing" that this is what I'm supposed to do. A totally undeniable feeling. So undeniable that if I had said "no" to the lease, I would have felt like I was betraying myself. Seriously. That's how strong the feeling was on all three occasions.
Maybe you'll say I'm blessed to have such strong intuition, but I believe everyone has the ability to tune into their intuition. We have all experienced a gut feeling at some point. Maybe some people get them more often than others, but I think it's something we all have in common as humans. We are given this gut instinct as part of our make-up. What's the problem then? I think a lot of people don't get quiet and still enough to actually listen to their gut or pick up on their intuitive hits. For example, a woman who is go-go-go and busy 25 hours per day (that's not a typo) may be getting intuitive hits, but she can't even see or hear them because she is so distracted by life. This doesn't mean she necessarily needs to learn how to meditate for an hour a day, but she does need to find a way to get calm, grounded, and feel more stillness in her daily life so that intuitive thoughts and gut feelings can be seen and heard. Maybe that's doing yoga in the evenings before bed for 20 minutes, or making time for a 30 minute walk a few times per week, or maybe even sipping morning coffee in solitude for 10 minutes without the distractions of an iPhone or TV.
Now, the Universe (or God, or whatever word you like to use) only provides the intuitive hit - it's up to you to take the first step. In all three of my big decisions, I had the courage to take that first big step forward because I have a tremendous amount of faith and trust in my intuition. I knew that all three changes were going to grow me into a better person and - even if they didn't turn out the way I had envisioned - they were going to turn out to be exactly what I needed to grow and evolve into the next chapter of my life. I also knew these big changes were going to involve some growing pains, but that is normal and I didn't freak out about it. I kept my eye on the prize, sort of speak. I like to use this analogy: the Universe provides the intuitive guidance but you have to decide you're ready to crack your shell and grow beyond your current situation. The cracking is going to be a little difficult and might even be painful at times, but you'll make it through because you know there is a bigger shell - a bigger life - waiting for you on the other side.
And now here's the magic: once you take that first step, once you say an undeniable "YES", the Universe (or God) is going to show up again and be right by your side the entire time. Trust me. Have faith in that. I've experienced it firsthand, on more than one occasion. In fact, no less than three times in the last three years :) If you've been following along with me for any part of the last 3 years, I hope I can be an example of what can happen when you say "YES." When you take a risk. When you make a big change (or two, or three!).
So here's a cheers to following your gut and cracking your existing shell to make room for a bigger one!