Intuition. Intuitive living. Intuitive eating.
The word intuitive is a power word at the moment. Much like it’s predecessors (holistic, nourish, conscious, healthy, organic, paleo, clean, diet and wellness), intuition is being used left, right and centre in many spaces across the health industry. Scrolling through Instagram using hashtags like “health” and “holistic nutrition”, you will find a plethora of businesses and entrepreneurs who are promoting themselves as intuitive healers and who practice intuitive eating (including myself, might I add).
So what does this word even mean? And why are so many people jumping on the intuition train?
The websters dictionary defines intuition as ‘a natural ability or power that makes it possible to know something without any proof or evidence’. We all have intuition. Some of us are further predisposed and connected to our intuition- but we absolutely all have that deep, inner sense that trumps all reason and logic.
Yesterday, I was featured on a really amazing podcast hosted by Madelyn Moon, who is a former fitness model and fellow un-diet advocate. We crossed paths just over a year ago and since then I have followed her entrepreneur and health journey with such love and adoration. Her podcast is truly a wonderful platform and she has done a wonderful job of having really interesting and diverse speakers from all walks of the wellness world (including people like Jordan Younger (The Balanced Blonde), Tero Isokauppila (Foursigmatic founder), Matt Stone, and many more. I was so excited to chat with her and our conversation couldn’t have come at a better time- as I have really hit a hot spot with my business journey in terms of intuition (there it is again), insight and lessons.
We discussed many topics, some of which I was a bit nervous about. In hindsight, I realise that the topics that I was most excited to talk about, involve people and issues that are still very raw and fresh in my life. It’s difficult when you feel ready to release energy and discuss things that have been causing you pain- and they involve people that you love and want to protect. I realise now, I had a subconscious resistance to speaking about some of these things on the podcast. So, I am so happy that we did discuss them; despite the pain, growth and movement truly does take place when you release energy and get uncomfortable.
When Maddy and I decided to do the podcast, Maddy asked me to offer some topics that would make the podcast individual and differentiate from the rest. Although when it came to the facts- I could absolutely offer that, in that moment, Maddy’s suggestion triggered an inner pattern of “I am not good enough”. Suddenly, I completely lost sight of the truth, or what was really within me- and became completely consumed with doubt, fear and anxiety.
This situation became the origin of a sequence of events that ended up pushing me to anxiously become confused and indecisive. Instead of facing the underlying anxiety and where it was coming from- I began to doubt that I could do it and even tried to change the date of the podcast. What ended up happening? Thank goodness, I decided to face my fear head on- and just go for it. I talk about this in the podcast, but it is all about this desire to feel prepared, planned and perfect. This issue really does relate to absolutely everything in life and the truth is- you will never feel 100% ready, prepared and perfect. Because that is an unrealistic and unattainable standard that our minds create- in order to keep us in a place of safety and comfort. Aka- we don’t grow.
What I have come to realise over the past few months is that my space of focus is really around the mind- and how we use our minds improperly. With eating disorders, the idea is that our minds are so incredibly powerful- and we have repetitively fed our minds with thoughts and beliefs that are false and harmful to our wellbeing. Imagine how incredible your life could be if you spent less time hating, judging and hurting- and more time loving and supporting. Much like our bodies, our minds are amazing and so powerful, intelligent and resilient. However, in so many areas of living- we have spent too much time working against our minds, as opposed to working with them. We are human- we will never be without our minds completely. Everyone has an ego. That won’t change. What can change, is the amount that we ‘mindlessly’ go into ego- and choose to give into it’s power.
On the podcast, Maddy and I talk in depth about losing control, how to ‘recover’ from an eating disorder/bulimia and how to stop having bulimic tendencies. As with anything in life, the idea is to truly let go of control. We have to stop trying to figure things out- that is when these powerful and harmful behaviours will begin to slowly leave us- and get a lot less quiet. Thoughts will never fully ‘disappear’ and there will be times that they can be re-triggered- however, much like what we learn in yoga and meditation- it is all about a daily practice of intention and mindfulness.
I spent a lot of my University days trying to get rid of bulimia. I continued to focus on ‘healing’ myself. What ended up happening is that bulimia stuck around, and at times, it even got worse. I talk about this a lot with my clients- the idea of eating and restriction. When we focus on controlling something, it not only sticks around, it most likely gets louder and comes back with a vengeance. This is where intuitive eating comes into play.
Intuitive eating is about re-establishing the connection between your mind and body- slowly.
This connection has been cut over many years of practice towards silencing our bodies messages. For me, the moment I let go of the image and idea of ‘recovered’ and ‘healed’- bulimia became a lot less powerful. I decided to drop the label and allow what was happening to happen- without the story, without the judgement and without the attachment.
If this topic interests you and you would like to hear/read more about it, I highly recommend listening to my podcast on MaddyMoon called: How To Eat Consciously And Stop Judging Your Past (Or Present!) Disordered-Eating Self. Also, my ebook, which will be coming out by the end of April (stay tuned for a release date soon) surrounds a lot of these issues and discusses my work and my story in more detail. Finally, I will be accepting clients soon, in my new coaching program- which relates a lot to these topics as well. Coming soon!