One thing you may not know about me is that I was once an elementary school teacher, and my first year of teaching changed the whole trajectory of my life!
As most any teacher will tell you, your first year of teaching is hard. Everything is new. Every school has their way of doing things. Every teaching team has its own dynamics, and getting a handle on those things AND learning to manage your classroom and lessons can be overwhelming.
My first year wasn’t just hard, it was miserable. Sure, there are some things that were good. I learned A LOT, but, overall, it wasn’t a good fit for me, and I felt it mentally and physically. Despite that, I did what I thought I was supposed to do and signed a contract to come back for a second year.
I’m not sure when the new contracts came out. Maybe March or April. But between signing that contract and the end of the school year, things escalated for me and I could. not. wait. to find a way out of another year there.
I relaxed for a bit in the first part of summer (the REAL reason I became a teacher if I’m being honest) then started looking for other work. Serendipitously, I found a nanny position in FL that seemed interesting. I interviewed for it, fell in love with the family, and LOVED the idea of leaving my childhood home to start anew.
I got the job and I immediately accepted! All I needed to do was let the school know I wouldn’t be coming back, pack my things, and I’d be all set. I could figure out the details as I went along.
Here’s where it gets interesting. Remember I’m only one year out of college...24 years old and this was a SUPER small town and school district.
Naively, I let my principal and superintendent know I wouldn’t be coming back to school 10 days before the new school year was to begin. Apparently, there were rules and a standard procedure about how to break my contract that I never knew, and my superintendent was not happy.
We had several phone conversations during which he advised me to stay. He said he would have no choice but to pursue having my teaching certificate revoked if I chose not to come back.
Now as a people pleaser, normally, a threat like that would have crippled me into conforming. But this time was different.
This time I KNEW with every cell of my being that I was meant to make that move. I was meant to leave for this new position. I felt it so strongly that nearly 22 years later I still remember that feeling. It felt strong, calm, and peaceful. It felt like the good kind of butterflies in my stomach. It felt light and airy. It felt like KNOWING.
So on a recorded call, my superintendent asked me if I would be returning on Aug 10th to my position and I calmly, confidently, without one single doubt about what I was doing answered, “No I will not be coming back,” despite the consequences. Despite everyone ELSE’S displeasure.
I moved to FL and I never looked back. To this day, I KNOW it was the right thing for ME.
I shudder to think of how drastically different my life would be had I taken the advice to stay.
I’m very tuned into my intuition, but I don’t recall a time when I ever felt it so strongly guiding me, and in hindsight, I know why.
You see, it was in the family that I started working for that I met my husband! Once we were married, we lived in FL for 17 years and had three awesome kids. It’s been nearly 22 years since we met, and he’s still my BFF!
Wanna know what the beautiful thing about this is?
We ALL have this. Every one of us has an inner gps to help guide us towards what’s best for us. We just have to learn to tune into it, and even more, actually follow what it’s telling you because it will never lead you wrong.
So how can you learn to tune into your intuition?
Get still or spend quiet time alone.
When you create some quiet time in your day and you can be alone with your thoughts, you will begin to notice a small whisper of a voice. THAT voice is your intuition. She might say something like…
Wouldn’t it be cool if…?
Let’s take a nap.
Start the passion project you’ve been dreaming of.
The loud voice that’s usually barking orders, telling you what you should do, and probably pointing out all the things you’re doing wrong? That’s your inner critic, and it’s time to move her to the back burner.
Get familiar with the way your body feels.
Think back to a time when you made a decision that you wholeheartedly knew was the right thing and things played out exactly as you wanted and expected them to. How did you feel in your body? What did it physically feel like to KNOW what was right for you?
Conversely, think of a time when you knew the right thing to do and you didn’t listen. You did the opposite. How did THAT feel in your body? How does it feel when you’re in a job/relationship/an event/etc you KNOW is not what’s best for you?
Once you can differentiate between the two feelings, it’s easier to know when you’re intuition is leading the way. Then, just one time follow it. See where it leads you.
Learning to recognize and follow your intuition is a practice for sure, and it requires trust.
Why am I sharing all this? Because I want you to remember that only YOU know what’s best for you. All we can do for each other is share our knowledge and experiences and witness each other. But YOU are the expert at you!
Tell me about a time you listened to your gut!
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