In order to rebuild our instincts and trust that our body knows best, we need to receive these messages that come to mind without judgment. That is not to say you are going to meet your body’s every demand or whim, but you are going to listen to your body like never before.
As a mindset-wellness coach, I work with a lot of ambitious people who are already well on their way on their wellness journey. That is to say, the type of person who is usually seeking a high-level coach is well aware of what all the experts say in terms of diet, calories, macros, exercise, superfoods, supplements, bio-hacks, bodywork and energy healing. They have a long list of wellness to-dos they should or at the very least could be doing. They are so hyper-aware that it is stressing them out, even potentially starting to contribute to their burnout. Their wellness checklist is long, and it just keeps growing.
Keeping up with wellness trends is exhausting. Here is why.
There is no one-size-fits-all wellness. If you are working with an expert who says they have the diet, or the exercise plan or the wellness solution that works for everyone, run the other way because their objective is purely financial, and they don’t have your best interest at heart.
We are animals and we are all very bio-individual, meaning which wellness tools align with us at a given time in our lives, given events we are preparing for, given area of the world we are living in or given season—are extremely unique.
What is missing from the advice from all these experts is the nuanced transparency that a given solution might work perfectly for you, but it might not: Feel free to try it, but you will have to decide for yourself. This message is missing because it is seemingly more complicated for the masses, but I think it is because we underestimate the masses who are really and truly seeking answers.
Get Back to Embodiment
We are in fact very intelligent beings. Our bodies on their own carry a deep intelligence and instinct that we can hone and learn to trust again. As children, we naturally practiced embodiment, meaning we innately trust our instincts, our likes and our dislikes until at a very young age we as a society start to condition it out of ourselves. We learn that authority figures know best, when in fact that is not always the case, and moreover a given authority might know what is best for themself, but that does not necessarily carry over to everyone else.
Wellness lifestyle depends on the culture, the geographical location, the stage of life, our gender, our level of activity, our blood type, and our current state of physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health and wellness.
This is why I find myself working with more women who need to in fact do less. They start thriving when they take a step back and give themselves permission to really listen to their instincts about which wellness practices they really love, which wellness practices really serve them at the moment, at this stage, in their body as it is now, in this season, and in this moment.
The 3-Part Embodiment Process
When we start tuning into our intuition about what is best for us, it is essential that we learn to let go of the layer of guilt and self-judgement we carry around with us regarding what everyone else seems to think, say or do. It is about learning to trust ourselves and letting go of the fear that we are missing out or doing it wrong, or not doing enough—because it is that fear that is keeping us from feeling truly whole and truly well in our own skin.
How do you learn to trust your instincts more so that you know which wellness tools to use and which to let go of?
1. Check in. First of all, it is as simple as taking a moment every day, as little as 30 seconds to just check in with yourself and ask, “What do I need today?’” Whatever pops into your mind, respect, listen and take in. This doesn’t mean you have to change your entire plan for the day. Just start by asking and actually listening to your inner knowing. Does it say you need more rest? Something fresh and sweet? Some fresh air? Time alone? A strong coffee or tea? No judgement, just listen.
2. Practice nonjudgement. In order to rebuild our instincts and trust that our body knows best, we need to receive these messages that come to mind without judgement. That is not to say you are going to meet your body’s every demand or whim, but you are going to listen to your body like never before. Develop this new connection and foster a deeper respect for the messages it has been sending you all along.
3. Trust. The third thing you are going to do—as your build up first self-awareness and hone your ability to allow your body to communicate what it needs without outside interference—is build a deep trust in your body’s intelligence and its connection to nature, its animalistic instincts and inner knowing. With this deep trust comes a new level of ease that you don’t have to do what some outside authority claims is the thing and instead you can open up your wellness toolbox mentally and select what speaks to you on a given day—minus the guilt and judgement that you are not doing a given practice enough or not doing it at all!
Self-Trust Builds Embodiment
The last major point I want to make here when it comes to letting this less-is-more concept truly sink into your cells: Just like we need to start to trust that some wellness trends are just not for us, we also need to trust our instincts that we can take wisdom, knowledge and practice and make them our own.
For example, some people benefit from practicing yoga every day. Others, like myself, benefit from practicing it once in a while. Sometimes we may need a more structured container or discipline around a given wellness tool, such as eating more plants, meditation, running, going to bed early, spending time in nature, journaling or a breathing exercise.
However, we also need to know and trust that sometimes we don’t need to be so structured and disciplined about wellness.
For me the litmus test is to ask myself, “Am I feeling pressure more than desire to do a given thing that used to be integral to my wellness but now feels like a chore?” Instead of serving me, like it once did, is it now stressing me out and therefore being counterproductive to my wellness? If you answered yes to these questions, take a break entirely or only do this practice when you are called to, and see how you feel.
Less is more in that we have hit a breaking point in the age of information overload that we no longer trust our instincts to tell us what we should do and what we should shrug off. The reality is, now that we have access to a global cascade of experts and trends, we need to reconnect with our bodies so that we can learn to trust our own innate intelligence and inner knowing around which wellness tools are in alignment with us at a given time, if at all.
About the Author
Megan Swan is a mindset-and-wellness coach who designs custom, approachable wellness lifestyles for the ambitious woman. She helps women optimize their wellness through nutrition, mindfulness, mindset and movement so that they can feel magnetic energy and confidence in their own skin so that ultimately they can accomplish their dreams and stop playing small. She is a certified IIN health coach, plant-based chef, detox expert, and yoga teacher with over 10 years of integrative wellness experience.