5 Key Times to Go With Your Gut

Jennifer Wolfe

More and more lately, I’ve experienced moments when my intuition speaks to me. You know that feeling, right? Sometimes it’s telling me that I’ve left something behind as I’m rushing out the door, late for work. Or that I’ve forgotten to turn off the burner (sorry, John, I know you hate it when I do that).

It’s regularly something mundane, uneventful, or routine in my everyday life.

No big deal, right?

Well, not so fast. I’m beginning to realize that those ordinary reminders are a sort of entry-level intuitive practice – a life pre-test, if you will, priming me for the big time.

Kind of like a warm up before a track meet. Or studying for a final exam.

I’ve had these intuitions my whole life, and I’ve spent a large chunk of time ignoring them. I would tell myself to stop worrying, that I did lock the door or let the dog back inside the house. I’d chastise my anxiety-ridden side and shut down that little voice that was trying to help me out.

But there’s something about growing older and wiser that prompts me to stop and take notice to that tiny message gnawing in my ear, a bit of a call to attention on a Universal level.

And as I pause and consider the whispers, I realize that it dives deep below the surface, offering me more than just a simple hint; I’m learning that the Universe is tipping its hand and showing me a clearer path. After recognizing the penultimate power of my inner voice, I’ve realized there are:

Five Key Times To Go With Your Gut:

1.  When choosing a major

By the time I settled into college and figured out what I was doing, my choice of a major was clear. I went with what I loved to do: read and write. I had no idea what an English major would offer me regarding employment, but I did know that if I had any hope of completing college promptly, I needed to be studying something that I was passionate about. My boyfriend (now husband) was equally ambiguous and settled on music as his course of study. One takeaway I have from our decision is the multiple conversations we would have with fellow undergrads who would exclaim with awe and a dose of jealousy that they too had wanted to be a music major, but their parents insisted on something more practical. So while those computer studies students of the late eighties may in all likelihood be tech wizards and multimillionaires, I often wonder if they satisfied their soul with their bank accounts.

2.  When your friends are making a choice you’re not certain about. 

Oh, to be thirteen again. Or nineteen. Or twenty-three. No thank you, really – watching my middle school students go through the most awkward phase of their lives is painful. Transitioning from childhood to a teen is rife with struggle. Daily, my students are bombarded with choices about who to listen to, what to do and who to be. My children, 16 and 19, grapple with similar but different issues about studying and college and majors and where to live. One thing I’ve learned from listening to my gut is that when I feel uncomfortable with the choices in front of me, I should listen to my intuition. Excusing ourselves from situations, blaming our parents for having to leave a party or ask for a ride home is exactly what we should do when we know our friends are acting questionably. Chances are, they are tussling with the same dilemma and would appreciate you giving them an ‘out.’

3. When you’re choosing a life partner. 

I’ve been with my husband for just over thirty years – we met when we were teens and became instantly attached to each other. At nineteen, I had no idea that I would marry this delightful man – at least not for the first three months. But I remember a moment in September 1985 when my gut whispered in my ear, and I announced that he was the one. Two kids later, he still is. “Choosing” isn’t an accurate term – I believe that “recognizing” a life partner might be more accurate. With so many marriages falling into divorce after only a decade or so, recognizing the person in front of you as the one to have by your side on life’s journey is one crucial time to go with your gut.

4. When life gets hard.

Thirty years ago when J and I started our journey together, I couldn’t have fathomed the bumps -ok, the moments-when-I-felt-life-was-hammering-me-with-devastation. At 50, I’ve experienced the blessings of life as well as the challenges and am learning to go with my gut when I don’t know where else to turn. I’m learning not to think so much, not to give into the paralysis of getting stuck in my head. Instead, I’m trusting just to take a plunge, hold back, or say no. My intuition knows what it is doing.

5. When you think you’ve left the tea kettle on. 

Yes, this is a perfect time to go with your gut because it in these ordinary, extraordinary moments that we are our best students. If we ignore the little message the Universe sends us every day, how can we train ourselves to trust the mightier directives that come our way? The next time you wonder if you left your shopping bags in the back seat, or if you forgot to turn the water off in your roses, just take a breath, listen to your gut, and say a little ‘thank you’ to the Universe for showing you the way.



5 times you need to go with your gut

This post was syndicated with permission to BonBon Break Media LLC.

Jennifer Wolfe, a mom, middle school teacher, and storyteller, writes about thinking deeply, loving fiercely, and teaching audaciously. Jennifer shares stories and reflections on her blog, mamawolfe, as well as on The Huffington Post, Listen To Your Mother, Bonbon Break, Mamapedia, Mamalode, and BlogHer.