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Mindful Living

Carla Birnberg

Posted on February 14 2014

I've blogged for years & penned a bazillion posts.

Even with all my online writings, there are two pieces I'm most frequently asked about : intuitive eating andintuitive exercising.

Readers/offline friends/family inquire about the specific steps I took to relinquish control, learn to trust myself and eat/workout intuitively.

Yes I eat intuitively.

Sure I workout intuitively.

Yeah I kinda parent (playfully &) intuitively (with thanks to my village who helps me ‘check’ my mama-intuition to be certain it’s on target).

After reflecting, however, Ive realized it’s larger than that.

The majority of what I do is the result of mindful, intuitive living.

I make choices after a process of tapping into my inner-Carla, challenging myself with regards to what action to take, and listening to what I intuitively know is the correct answer for me.

This way of life has become so (wait for it) intuitive, it was difficult to break down my thought-process & decipher how I arrived where I am today.

But I finally did.

I give you, aided by the fantastic 20/20 of hindsight, the four steps I took to begin living an intuitive life:

Step one: I spent time IN my body.

This is also when I went gluten-free (I wouldn't realize that's what I eliminated for years).  With hindsight I wonder if I’d always felt symptoms—but lived *outside* my body & never noticed.

The exercises I recall doing during this phase are ones to which I return when I find myself veering toward FEAR-BASED living.  I focused on my inner senses.  I skipped the mirror for all but the swiftest of hair brushing.  I s-l-o-w-e-d until I became aware of the inner-workings of my body.  I consistently asked myself to define how my body felt (stressed? electrified? serene? exhausted?) with no attention paid to how it looked.

Step two: I began to hear what my body was saying.

As I progressed I demanded more of myself.  Each time I faced a choice, I’d stop, focus inward, and listen to what my body instructed me to do.  I tapped into my ‘gut’ (Gavin DeBecker explains this well) and s-l-o-w-l-y developed a sense of intuition.   I experienced my body intuitively offering answers I’d previously looked to others for.  What job to take? Who to date? Where to live? I began ‘feeling’ my intuition/gut emerge when I paid attention.

Step three:  I heeded my body’s response.

This was the most terrifying and most rewarding step. In the spirit of “leap and know your net will appear” I squashed my urge for paralysis by OVERanalysis and plunged forward.  I practiced my new body-whisperer skills and *followed* my gut response/intuition. I acted on my intuition.  It was weird, awkward, contrived, frightening and incredibly freeing. I recall these first experiences clearly because I still re-read the journal I used to capture the feelings in at the end of each day (<—-tip alert! tip alert!).

Step four: I launched a meditation practice.

I knew a meditation routine would help me tap into my intuition. Meditation clears the mind & helps us focus. It also (purportedly) provides the intuitive part of our brain the quiet it needs to “see” whats really happening around us. Meditation silences our minds so we can rise ABOVE thinking. It all sounded promising, but I had no time for meditation. I made time. I also created zen moments wherever I could.

That is my experience of making my way to mindful living.

Exhausting, exhilarating and enlightening.

And you?

In what realm(s) do you live intuitively?

What tips might you offer others to ease the transition to mindful living?


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