Tuesday, July 30, 2013 | By: Lynn

Take the 30-Day Intuition Challenge

How would you live your life if you followed your heart?

Does that question make you sigh with beautiful thoughts of what could be? Or does it make you agitated because you’ve tried to answer that question and found it’s a nonsense, maybe hopeless question? I fit both those categories.

Like many people, I learned early in life the rules for right living according to someone. I learned it’s important to contain urges and rely on others’ input, usually a parent’s, for direction. That’s a practical way to learn to live in a society. But in learning to conform to logic and reason I also learned to tune out my inner knowing. Without inner direction to guide me, I realized recently, I have little authority over my life. I’ve been walking the path, for the most part, that I was trained to walk and always looking for outer approval or direction to make sure I was doing “it right” in so many circumstances. Trying to do things perfectly can exert so much pressure that I can get stuck just in the trying-to-figure-out mode.

So what does my inner reflection have to do with writing? A lot.

If you’re a writer who is writing regularly, your answer to the question I first posed—how would you live your life if you followed your heart—is that you are; you’re writing. That is major for a writer. But if you break it down further, what do you find? Is the pathway to your heart’s knowing knowable beyond the big question? You can know the answer to the big question, but how do you deal with all the steps in between your life as it is and where you want to be?

That’s my challenge to you for the next 30 days. To pay attention because your intuition is calling. Start acknowledging that you have inner knowing and that that knowing is worth listening to about your writing, but also about your drive to work, what you choose to do with your time tonight, and how you respond to your spouse, coworker, or boss tomorrow. It may not be easy to tap into your intuition for daily input but it will be interesting. You may notice the part of you pop up that has learned so well how to follow outer direction and it will offer compelling reason to tune out your inner voice, to disregard it. But give yourself a chance to develop the ability you’ve always had to steer your own boat—and deal with the results, because you can.

People won’t always support you when you try to live by your heart and live autonomously. They may tell you you’re being rash or foolish. I mean after all, they know better than you what you “should” do.

Why bother? Because all of us are entitled to live by our hearts. But also because our inner knowing is a sure source for inspiration, something that encourages us to keep pursuing our writing goals and our dreams. In tapping into your inner knowing, you’ll find a refreshing source of inspiration that may prompt more interesting writing. And maybe a richer more meaningful life.

What has been your experience with using your intuition?

This post is excerpted from the Romancing the Prairie newsletter.