Four steps to intuitive living.

INTUITIVELY I knew this was what I needed.

I knew INTUITIVELY this was what my body needed.

Ive blogged for a million years & penned a bazillion posts.

Even with all my prolificnessment (<—technical term) there are two pieces Im most frequently asked about : intuitive eating and intuitive exercising.

Readers/offline friends/family inquire about the specific steps I took to relinquish control, learn to trust myself and eat/workout intuitively.

  • Yeah I kinda parent (playfully &) intuitively (with thanks to my village who helps me ‘check’ my mama-intuition to be certain it’s on target).

After reflecting, however, Ive realized it’s larger than that.

The majority of what I do is the result of mindful, intuitive living.

I make choices after a process of tapping into my inner-misfit, challenging myself with regards to what action to take, and listening to what I intuitively know is the correct answer for me.

mindful living is not IMPULSIVE living.

mindful living is not IMPULSIVE living.

This way of life has become so (waitforit) intuitive it was difficult to break down my thought-process & decipher how I arrived where I am today.

But I finally did.

I give you, aided by the fantastic 20/20 of hindsight, the four steps I took to begin living an intuitive life:

Step one: I spent time IN my body.

This is also when I went gluten-free (I wouldnt realize thats what I eliminated for years).  With hindsight I wonder if I’d always felt symptoms—but lived *outside* my body & never noticed.

The exercises I recall doing during this phase are ones to which I return when I find myself veering toward FEAR-BASED livingI focused on my inner senses.  I skipped the mirror for all but the swiftest of hair brushing.  I s-l-o-w-e-d until I became aware of the inner-workings of my body.  I consistently asked myself to define how my body felt (stressed? electrified? serene? exhausted?) with no attention paid to how it looked.

I didnt live IN this body

I didnt live IN this body

Step two: I began to hear what my body was saying.

As I progressed I demanded more of myself.  Each time I faced a choice I’d stop, focus inward, and listen to what my body instructed me to do.  I tapped into my ‘gut’ (Gavin DeBecker explains this well) and s-l-o-w-l-y developed a sense of intuition.   I experienced my body intuitively offering answers I’d previously looked to others for.  What job to take? Who to date? Where to live? I began ‘feeling’ my intuition/gut emerge when I paid attention.

who knew this held so many answers?

who knew this contained so much knowledge!?

Step three:  I heeded my body’s response.

This was the most terrifying and most rewarding step. In the spirit of “leap and know your intuition net will appear” I squashed my urge for paralysis by OVERanalysis and plunged forward.  I practiced my new body-whisperer skills and *followed* my gut response/intuition. I acted on my intuitionIt was weird, awkward, contrived, frightening and incredibly freeing. I recall these first experiences clearly because I still re-read the journal I used to capture the feelings in at the end of each day (<—-tip alert! tip alert!).


it felt great to let go.

it felt great to let go.

Step four: I launched a meditation practice.

I knew a meditation routine would help me tap into my intuition. Meditation clears the mind & helps us focus. It also (purportedly) provides the intuitive part of our brain the quiet it needs to “see” whats really happening around us. Meditation silences our minds so we can rise ABOVE thinking. It all sounded promising, but I had no time for meditation. I made time. I also created zen moments wherever I could.

it doesnt always look like this

meditation doesnt always look like this

That, in all its edited brevity (yes. it was initially *more* rambling.), is my experience of making my way to mindful living.

Exhausting, exhilarating and enlightening.

And you?

  • In what realm(s) do you live intuitively?
  • What tips might you offer others to ease the transition to mindful living?


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  1. says

    I wish I could say that I always live intuitively but it’s more like I do on occasion. There are days when I listen to my body and what it wants. Others when I let stress and other factors creep in and take over. I’ve been trying to add meditation to my daily routine for years. Can’t seem to get past 5 mins but it’s better than nothing. I will say that even that short amount of time helps me to reconnect to me.

  2. says

    I love this post. Everytime I hear the word intuitively I think of you! Lately I have been intuitive with my kids, figuring out what makes them tick, what aggravates them, what foods make them act differently. It definitely makes me more aware and super present.

  3. says

    Just reading it makes it sound so peaceful! I listen to my body when I’m running and make decisions that way but often times I let a training plan take over that! I do know that I need to spend more time just being/meditating. Often times I let the to do list of the day overtake this!

  4. says

    i definitely try to, or not try to? I think the journaling at the end of the day would be a FABULOUS tip. To see where we need to let go of control and where we did LIVE more.

  5. says

    I love journaling – which is sometimes how I feel about blogging off and on – but also know that I LOVE peace and quiet for those times of meditation between the hustle and bustle!

  6. says

    i feel like my eating has become much more intuitive…right now I’m feeling this inner pull to make a choice about job, but I don’t know what it is yet. I feel like I’ve gotten quiet to listen but no answers yet…probably still moving too fast! good reminder

  7. says

    Intuition, and listening to it, gets better with age,don’t you think? I find I am very in tune with my body and do my best to listen…I’m especially good at this with rest! : )

    • MIZ says

      great point too. it DOES get easier the longer you do it as your intuition muscle becomes stronger.
      as with any muscle–the more you use it the more powerful it becomes.

  8. says

    I’m very intuitive, but also a bit impulsive although I’ve learned to pay attention.

    It works most of the time :-)

  9. Runner Girl says

    I find it really hard to slow down and have benefited from meditation which isn’t traditional.
    Like your breath walking, Miz.

  10. says

    I love this line: mindful living is not IMPULSIVE living. And meditation has been coming up over and over again as I study holistic health… so important to slow down enough to be in tune with ourselves!

  11. says

    Great read Carla & lots to digest as usual! I wish I could have learned this when I was young. Still figuring it out BUT I knew some things way back when that were not right for me – the work path – went that way anyway – not a good choice!

    Sometimes my prob is I am not sure if the intuitive is really right OR I just want it to be right! 😉

  12. says

    Well said Carla. I struggle terribly with what I call “analysis paralysis”. Perhaps if I took the meditative part of yoga that I love so much I might be able to calm my overactive mind a bit but this New Yorker still hasn’t allowed LA to creep that far in yet.

    Work in progress.

  13. says

    I think I intuitively parent. I take this mommy-gig very seriously. I listen to the little ladies and determine what they need. Not necessarily what they WANT. (I’m a little different from a lot of other parents these days.) So far, this is working for us. Both kids are still alive, happy and healthy.
    Sometimes I think about eating intuitively, but then–LOOK–there’s a brownie! And that’s as far as I get.

  14. says

    Intuition is not my strong suit! I’m more about thinking and plotting and scheming; those “lightbulb” intuitive moments are rare for me.

    Is there, um, a handy pill for that? :)

  15. says

    Meditation keeps popping up at me too. It was recommended to my husband to help quiet his mind down too. I’m not great at evaluating things in the moment intuitively, but I’m good as listening to my gut to evaluate a decision I’ve made. Does that make sense?

  16. says

    Love this! I’m getting more and more intuitive but still struggle with the monkey mind where sugar is concerned. I want it out of habit even though my body clearly tells me it does not.

  17. cheryl says

    EVERYONE has intuition-
    It’s called living with one’s GUT and not over-thinking every little thing you DO, EAT, SAY, etc. etc.
    Personally I don’t have time to do so, as I am too busy living and doing what I want and need to do!

  18. says

    I fall in and out of mindfulness. I wish it came naturally to me, but the truth is, I have to work to be present… don’t get me wrong, it’s work I am happy to do, but work nonetheless, however the benefit and reward are not just worth it, they are essential to joy, self love and peace.

  19. says

    Great post! I’ve been realizing in the last few months how important it is to trust my intuition with business, as well. I already do the majority of the time, but I’ve been realizing that when I get approached for a project where my first thought is “Ugh, this will be a hassle” – guess what, it will be, and I need to listen to that! I love the peaceful photo of you meditating; that is something I want to pursue more.

  20. says

    Is it weird that I go through phases of inner peace/mindfullness/intuitive living and then utter chaos?! The craziness of life phases seem to get shorter and I find my balance again, but I’d love to not have any phases of home life feeling like we’re quite the motley crew (and not in a good way. lol)

  21. says

    Beautiful post. You know I love me some mindfulness. It’s come to me rather recently. Especially necessary in this time of injury/healing/reflection. The most challenging part I think is being aware of choices that we make and knowing it’s a choice.

  22. says

    Intuitive relationships!

    At 46, I’ve spent enough time with people who don’t make me feel my best. I’ve learned to trust my instinct when it comes to people and to not be afraid to both jump into new friendships and leave old ones behind if they’re no longer serving me.

    So much going on inside that belly of yours!

  23. says

    Love this post, Miz! Although the phrases “intuitive eating” and “exercising” are not unknown to me, I haven’t thought about “intuitive living,” but I like it! I do, however, use the word “intentional” a lot which I think is very similar to what you’re saying. As far as tips, I think the more you practice being mindful about how you’re living, what you’re thinking, etc the more real it becomes and the better you get at it. Meditation is important to me in the form of prayer and connecting with God…but I don’t spend near enough time in this one area that makes such a huge impact in my life! Thanks for the reminder and thoughtful post. :)

  24. says

    I’m completely comfortable in my body but I don’t know if I live intuitively!! I don’t really ever take the time to meditate so I’m sure that I’m lacking in the “checking-in” department.
    On the parent front, I think that I’m getting better at the intuitive thing now that my boys are older. When they were little – I was pretty much a hot mess!!

  25. says

    I live somewhat intuitively, but I’m one of those people who thrives on a schedule, on a plan, and on goals. So really, following a plan is kind of intuitive to me, so long as I’m the one setting and occasionally revising that plan.

  26. MizFit says

    I really love that. And it just goes back to how different we all are. Love how you phrase it that plan following is intuitive for you.

  27. says

    I love this!! I mostly live intuitively –and I def eat intuitively. Most of this has come from trial, practice, and life, but my husband is GOOD at it, so it helps me <3

  28. says

    Somewhere along the way, i lost a lot of the ability to trust my gut. It’s something i need to find again.

  29. says

    I do always think of you when I hear the word intuitive(ly). Love this post and these tips. I wish that I lived my life more intuitively but I know that it’s a work in progress for me. So much better than I was years ago but still more work to be done.

  30. says

    Being raised without choices or the ability to figure out what I was actually about- myself, without overload of input from others I have to actually, literally stop and erase all outside info.
    It is not easy. I cannot just rely on intuition when it comes to things that should just be ‘gut’. It seems the simpler the answer should be from within, the more likely I am to accidentally slip back into old patterns ingrained in me from outside myself.
    In contrast, the BIG life issues are so much easier to handle. Go figure!
    I like your ideas as to breaking things down into very small bits that make us stop and analyze things we think might not need to be.

  31. says

    I definitely eat intuitively. And now I even sleep and workout intuitively although that was definitely hard for awhile.

    It’s crazy how much better you feel when you actually listen to what your body wants!

  32. says

    wow I love this post. Thank you for laying it all out like this. Everyone always says to write a journal but I never could bring myself to do it – I am just afraid of making it another obsession or that I won’t stick to it. Two separate exact ends of spectrum. Do you have any tips for writing in a journal for beginning an intuitive eating journey?

  33. says

    This is a great post at a time when I needed to read it! Are you a mind reader as well? I was just on vacation when I realized it didn’t really feel like a vacation but more like a mindless running around -ish thing. I decided upon my return I would take up a more mindful, intuitive style of living. . . and your post came up! I’m so glad you wrote this.

  34. says

    hearing what my body was saying, and also heeding the response, are two things that are still HUGE to me in my ED recovery. whenever i find myself tempted to go back to ED ways, my body starts trying to tell me to eat more, or to rest more, and whenever i heed the response i feel better physically. so i try to take note of that and remember it for the mental battle!

  35. says

    Hello! Absolutely loved this post! It is a great reminder to stop and listen to your body. The challenge to stop doing what you think you need to be doing and do what your body is telling you to do. Thanks for sharing!

  36. says

    When it comes to giving advice to clients and friends regarding mindful living, I always tell them to be patient. This is so hard for most people, but I will repeat myself until they get it and believe it. Be patient, experiment, and listen to YOUR body, and find what works for YOU and what makes YOU happy. :)

  37. says

    I have been trying to achieve this way of life for a while, but never seems to maintain it. It is really inspiring to read that you have successfully become ‘more intuitive’.

  38. says

    I feel like I eat intuitively and often parent intuitively, but I need to make meditation a part of my daily life. I’ve known this for a while but it can be really difficult to just STOP what you are doing and settle down for a few moments.

  39. says

    I can really related to living in fear and not living intuitively. I know what I should be doing, but for some reason I am avoiding what is healthy lately. I should really try some mediation to get back in touch with my inner self.

  40. says

    Ah in my early 20s i was fearless and made a lot of mistakes that sort made me timid to take more. i spent my late twenties taking the safer route and i built a good support system, i figured out what im good at, what i like and what i need to be happy. now that im 30, what do i need? to take more risks :) its terrifying, but its time.

  41. says

    I’ve been working towards intuitive living for quite a while now and in the past year I’ve learned something HUGE: when I slooooow down, I am much more likely to hear what my body/mind/spirit is trying to tell me! In fact, it’s when I empty the dishwasher (random, I know, but it’s come to symbolize mindfulness for me) that I specifically choose to tap into what I am thinking and feeling.

    Also, I’ve been working on learning to tell the difference between my intuition and The Voice (ego). If I immediately question myself (“Really?? Are you sure??”) then I am pretty sure that’s my fear-based Voice trying to protect me. But if what I am hearing in my head is calm and peaceful, then I am filled with a sense of “knowing.” Now that’s not to say that I am always going to like what my intuition tells me, but I know it’s important to listen in those moments :-)

  42. says

    It’s funny. I’d say that – more and more – I live mindfully. But… I do have some troubles eating / exercising mindfully or allowing myself to!

  43. says

    we as humans have so much capacity as spiritual beings which we are, it is not just for seekers everyone should look at and learn the true nature of ourselves

  44. says

    Thanks for the great explanation about intuitive living, how I wish I’ll be able to do these 4 ways. I believe, this will help me to become a stronger individual. :)