These are hard times, and there is nothing easy about the kinds of decisions we’re having to make for ourselves and our children right now.
I see you. I feel it, too. You’re not alone.
As you navigate your way through the opinions and information that is changing nearly every day, remember to breathe.
Some people will feel they need to have all of the facts, and others will feel they just don’t have the capacity to hear or process all of them right now. You’re enough no matter what. At the end of the day, with or without all of the facts, there is one thing you’ll need to rely on for this decision: your intuition.
You know your child and yourself best, and whatever decision you make, please remember that you always have permission to change your mind.
Things will look different this year. When the school year starts, let’s take it one day at a time. Let’s be kind to one another and extend some extra grace. Everyone will experience this differently, and that’s okay.
We need to remember that our children are resilient. What they need most is our unconditional and unwavering love and support. In the midst of turbulent times, they don’t need to see us as fearless—they need to see us as present and doing our best, whatever that is in each moment.
We don’t need to put pressure on ourselves to navigate this pandemic perfectly. There is no manual for any of this, but we all have deep wisdom within us, and tuning into and trusting that can make these difficult things easier. Letting our intuition guide us can create more peace and confidence in the days and weeks ahead—and we all deserve that.
It can be hard to discern between intuition and fear. Here’s how we can tell the difference:
>> Dwells in “what if” and has you feeling anxious about the future.
>> Tells you that you aren’t good enough and is condescending.
>> Has you comparing yourself to others and making decisions with worry and concern for their reactions.
>> Makes you feel small and creates a feeling of constriction inside of you.
>> Creates a sense of panic and has you feeling extreme emotions.
>> Keeps you stuck in your analytical mind, going back and forth and weighing options logically, to no end.
>> Leads you to more confusion.
>> Leads to physical discomfort, like an upset tummy or heavy chest, and creates anxiety.
>> Has you asking others for approval and wanting to know everyone else’s opinions.
>> Leans into trust and has you feeling grounded in the present moment.
>> Tells you that you are wise and capable of making the right decision for you and your family.
>> Reminds you that you know yourself and your child best, and that you’re not competing with anyone.
>> Makes you feel strong and creates a feeling of expansion inside of you.
>> Creates a sense of calm and, while you may still be feeling a range of emotions, you feel grounded.
>> Allows you to drop into your heart, feeling into what is best and using your inner guidance to make decisions with greater ease.
>> Leads you to clarity.
>> Has you sharing your decision with the people you trust and letting go of needing to ask everyone else for their opinions.
If you’re struggling to listen to your intuition, here are eight things you can do to get more in touch with it:
1. Find a quiet space to breathe and just be. Put one hand on your heart and one hand on your belly. Take a few gentle deep breaths. Let your shoulders drop, feel the muscles in your face and your neck soften.
2. In this quiet space, tune into your body and notice how it feels. Consider the options that you have and sit with each one for a little while, noticing the sensations in your body with each one. Is there contraction or expansion? Fear or anxiety? Peace or relaxation? No need to make any decisions right now, just allow your body to feel what it’s feeling and notice. Be a loving witness to yourself.
3. Remind yourself that you were chosen as the guardian of your child’s spirit for a reason. You are their parent and you know them best. Without the clutter of all of the information, what do you instinctively feel would serve and support your child in the highest way right now? Notice what comes up. Don’t get in your mind about it; just feel into the guidance coming forward from within.
4. Let the voice of your soul and intuition be louder than the noise of the world. If there are any people or sources in your life who have been overwhelming you, know that it’s okay to engage and listen less. There is a lot out there right now; you don’t have to know it all if that doesn’t feel good to you. If it feels good, by all means carry on! Just take the time to discern what does feel good and what doesn’t and trust that.
5. Stay curious. As new questions or new information arises, filter it through your intuition. Notice how you feel and what your body is telling you.
6. Take time out to do what fills and expands your heart. When you are cared for and making space for the things that fill your cup, it is far easier to connect to and trust your intuition.
7. When you feel that inner guidance around a decision, it’s natural to feel fear and doubt rise up. It can help to write your fears down. Consider writing a list of reasons not to trust yourself; see how it feels as you read them and know that your response to them is wisdom, too.
8. Remind yourself of all of the times you trusted yourself and it worked out. Also, remind yourself of all of the times you had a gut feeling about something and decided not to listen to it. We all have these examples. It can feel so hard to trust ourselves, but when we reflect back on our lives, we will see the contrast and this will offer some support as we root into the courage to continue to trust ourselves now.
Lastly, keep in mind that it’s not all or nothing.
I’m not suggesting you ditch the facts and make decisions without knowing anything. I’m simply inviting you to remember that you are wise and your inner knowing and discernment is strong. You know your child. You know yourself. It’s safe to trust your intuition, even around these types of decisions.
It’s also okay to factor yourself and your own capacity into the decision you make. Your child needs you to do that.
In the end, our decisions may look different, but we are all in this together. Let’s trust ourselves and let’s trust that we each have it within us to make the right decisions for our own families and to support one another in that. Let’s choose kindness and compassion, and let’s take it one day, one choice at a time.