Be Your Own Mother: Tap into Your Intuition and the Space In Between

How are you doing these days?

It’s likely this question will bring up all the feels. Maybe some sadness, confusion, joy, anger, even numbness—or a lively combination of everything in between.

If you’re anything like me, it’s likely you’re spending your fair share of time sitting in what I think of as the “space in between.” The space in between is a rich and fertile region where everything and nothing in particular is happening. When you’re feeling impatient, out of sorts, or mired in the busy-ness of your life, going there may seem boring or trivial—after all, there are “so many more important things to attend to.” 

But I find that when I am fully engaged with the present moment, with its spurts of activity and bouts of stillness, the space in between is a vital and mysterious world full of wonder and possibility. 

And it’s a much-needed space for our world right now.

Making Peace with the Limbo

These days, in the midst of the pandemic, I’ve had a lot of opportunities to slow down and feel…well, everything. I’ve noticed the silence, the birdsong, the trees, and the lack of noise in general. That lack of noise extends to my inner world. The whirlwind of thoughts and ideas has suddenly slowed down. I have a lot more room to simply feel.

And let me tell you, I’m loving it. I feel it in my thoughts, my senses, my ears, my body, and the new gaps of inactivity that have entered my life. This space helps me to notice the things I am not usually aware of and re-attune to the parts of my life that matter the most.

Admittedly, the space in-between isn’t a place I’ve always enjoyed hanging out in. I’ve associated the space in between with the upheaval of being in constant limbo throughout my childhood, given the unstable nature of my home life—which included moving around and going to upwards of a dozen schools before the age of 17. I never felt settled, but rather, constantly in between phases and possibilities. All of it was painful, uncomfortable, and crazy-making, to say the least.

So understandably, although I’ve made peace with the “limbo” (and I’ll tell you how in a little bit), this pandemic has kicked up some old debris around the instability of my childhood. Amid the crazy mess of this time—which is full of conflicting news, conspiracy theories, blatant disrespect of one another, and everyone thinking they have it all figured out despite how little we actually understand the virus—I have my personal shit to deal with. Case in point: I’m in the midst of a major house move, which is one of the most stressful experiences I’ve undergone in a long time.

I have learned that in order to access the full extent of my power, I need to move beyond chaos and overwhelm and sit inside the core of my feminine wisdom: my intuition.

Granted, most of us want stability, and we are currently grappling with having it pulled out from beneath us. But as I’ve learned, transitional periods—although they can be the source of a lot of uncertainty—are also rich opportunities for self-exploration. In fact, in order to make them powerful, you simply need to recognize that you have control over something priceless: your inner life and what you are choosing to attune to, notice, and offer your attention.

The Antidote to the Current Chaos: Your Intuition

As I write this blog for a Mother’s Day like no other—in an unprecedented time in our history, a deadly pandemic has ripped through the heart of our society and everything we hold as sacred. As women and feminine beings, every single one of us is a mother—whether we are mothers to children, passion projects, communities, or anything else that we offer our nurturance and devotion to. This includes our very own selves.

I’ve discovered that one of the most powerful ways for me to mother myself and offer myself compassion and love is to go inward, slow down, and tune in to myself. The power of listening is especially vital now, given the mixed messages that are emerging in our extremely divided society. 

We must still ourselves and linger in the quietude that is so essential to navigating the space in between. We must nurture our bodies, minds, and spirits. We must be extremely discerning about the information we are taking in. This means that we do not operate from fear and panic but from a place of centered awareness—which allows us to fine-tune our bullshit radar and let go of excess baggage that does not serve us.

When the noise of the external world becomes too much for us to bear, it is imperative that we as women tap into our superpower: our intuition.

An Excerpt from Your Messy Brilliance: 7 Tools for the Perfectly Imperfect Woman

Below, I’m including an excerpt from Chapter 4 of my bestselling book, Your Messy Brilliance: 7 Tools for the Perfectly Imperfect Woman, that I hope will help you develop an even more powerful relationship with your intuition in this fraught and difficult time.

There are plenty of ways you can learn to exercise your intuition. Clearing your mind daily and tuning into your body by meditating is one surefire method of cleaning up the external clutter and gauging your internal climate. In addition, you can keep an intuition journal; write down what your intuition is telling you, based on sensations in your body, and report what happens when you act on this subtle knowledge. Having a record of these moments will hone your confidence in following your internal voice.

Exercising the right side of your brain, which is where holistic expression and nonverbally based knowledge reside, can also be strengthened through practices like free-writes, painting, dancing, and creativity. If you want to get a feeling for a prospective lover or simply gauge whether your environment is safe, learn to trust the contractions, expansions, and surging fluctuations of your intuition as inroads into information that isn’t always immediately accessible when you’re navigating conventional paths or seeking the “right” answers. You will discover that trusting your intuition is about getting acquainted with your mind, body, heart, gut, and spirit, all at once. You will learn that following your intuition is all about staying in a place of dynamic tension, of riding the wave between peaks and valleys, remaining open to changes in your sensations and emotions, and continuing to check into your body and sense of your environment rather than dissociating when it becomes too difficult to stay present.

Ask yourself: Where does my intuition generally reside in my body? My gut? My heart? My womb? Wherever you find that voice to be just a little louder and more persistent than usual, be sure to tune in, listen, and trust from a place that honors both the visceral and contemplative experience of being alive.

Many of us are walking around in the world, searching for our power in wealth, success, relationships, or even yoga and meditation. Moreover, we often depend on the people around us—from close friends to spiritual gurus to people who claim to have highly sensitive psychic powers—to give us the answers we are looking for. But as Glinda the Good Witch tells Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz, “You’ve always had the power.” It’s just a matter of reclaiming it, noticing it, and being aware of it—and there’s no better way of doing this than learning to act on your intuition, with the following exercises.

Take a Power Pause

This week, when you find yourself feeling stuck or stumped by something in your life—whether it’s a difficult conversation, a frustrating encounter, a big decision you need to make, or a troubling emotion—let yourself stop whatever it is you are doing. Take ten deep breaths. Then, take a couple of minutes to do a quick body scan; starting from your head and moving down all the way to your toes, notice whatever sensations you are feeling in your body. Taking a long pause and bringing your attention back to what is going on in your body can help to neutralize the effects of the spinning mind, which can keep you from receiving your intuition. The power of the pause is that it stops circular thinking in its tracks and makes you far more open to the wisdom that wants to come through.

The True Test: Trust Yourself

It’s a wonderful thing to seek out good information and remain open to the world around you, but the true test of this pandemic is the ability to go inward and trust ourselves when the world is bursting with chaos and contradiction. Newscasters and pundits may be able to give us the facts on the ground (to a certain extent, anyway), but there are some answers that can only arise when we are able to sink into stillness and find support in the space in between.

So take this opportunity to slow down, breathe, and tune into the radio signal of your intuition. As a woman, as a mother, this is your birthright. Please honor it and let it be a solace to you in these tumultuous and paradigm-shifting times. Let it bring you back to yourself and a peace of mind, body, and spirit that can never be taken from you.

For more tips on how to access your own messy brilliance in crazy messy times, be sure to read my book, Your Messy Brilliance: 7 Tools for the Perfectly Imperfect Woman.

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About the Author | Kelly McNelis

Kelly McNelis is the founder of Women For One, a global community that empowers women to embrace their voices and make life happen on their own terms. With more than 25 years of experience as a nonprofit and small-business consultant, Kelly empowers generations of women around the world to build the relationships, community, and confidence they need to achieve their wildest dreams. As a speaker, coach, and gifted facilitator, Kelly helps people tap into lives powered by truth. Her dedication to truthtelling inspires people to share their powerful stories with the world. Kelly is also a bestselling author whose first book, Your Messy Brilliance: 7 Tools for the Perfectly Imperfect Woman, was released in Fall 2017 by Enrealment Press. She finds daily inspiration in spending time with her husband and children in her home outside of Seattle.

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