From as early as grade school, we come to know that we live in a world that guides us toward conformity, encouraging us to color in the lines, follow the leader, and earn golden stars for socially acceptable behavior in the classroom. It’s not always easy to take “the road less traveled” when we are encouraged and even rewarded for taking the road most popularly accepted.
For some people, the road less traveled includes living a life that is free from pleasing, approval seeking, and fitting in. It’s a life of freedom where we seek divine acceptance, self-acceptance, and acceptance from a small, healthy tribe that is in our inner circle. A life where we develop the skill of trusting our “gut” and the guidance of the Holy Spirit above all logic, opinions, and ideas.
Learning to attune to our internal guide takes self-awareness and practice as we become mindful of when we are being inauthentic, going along just to get along, wearing a social mask, or overriding what our “gut” signals for us to do. Let’s face it–inauthenticity can be exhausting. Oftentimes when we experience burnout, it is because we are not being authentic in some way. Or perhaps we are overstepping boundaries or failing to set them for ourselves at all.
Our gut is our internal tuning fork; it’s the voice of God. It’s the GPS we arrived on the planet with: God’s Positioning System. Each of us have this internal tuning fork. For example, if you’ve ever observe animals in the wild, you notice they follow their internal tuning for guiding them away from danger and toward food and other life-sustaining provisions. Over time, as human beings, we’re often taught to ignore our internal system, diminish or override it.
I have a mentor who often says to me, “Before you make a decision, check in to see how it sits with your system.” What system is this? It’s my gut and my central nervous system. It took daily practice and self-awareness to start listening to my internal system and trusting my gut.
The central nervous system controls most functions of the body and mind. It consists of two parts: the brain and the spinal cord. The brain is the center of our thoughts, the interpreter of our external environment, and the origin of control over body movement. As we learn to tune into our system, get quiet within, and trust God’s divine nudging and guidance, we begin to feel comfortable walking the road less traveled, living freely and authentically.
God made you an original, so why try to be a copy?
Your body has simple wisdom. Intuition never needs explanation; it simply points the way. It may not always seem logical, but it will lead you.
Remember, you need not explain yourself either. Your internal “yes” will always be with you. The more you practice and follow your internal “yes,” the stronger it will become and the more confidence you’ll gain. Before you know it, it will become second nature, trusting your gut and God’s presence within you.
Michigan born, Texan at heart, global citizen, Junice (J-Rock) Rockman enjoys delving into the deep waters of conversations that invite authenticity, healing, and connection. Lover of yoga, nature, libraries, and studying abroad, she embraces each day and new person she meets with wonderment and curiosity. Her passion for facilitating conversations that help humanity heal is expanded through her work as a journalist, media correspondent, neurophychotherapist (LPC), and public policy advocate. While out in nature, she often remembers lessons learned growing up from her Nigerian-Native-Irish American grandmother who would tell her, “Put your feet in the earth’s soil; feel God’s creation. Look to the plants to nourish and find healing for yourself through God’s creation. Quiet your anxious heart, listen to the sound of the wind—hear God’s creation. You are one with Creation; you are one with GOD.”