Greetings! I am Karen Lock Kolp, Human Development Expert and Executive/Leadership/Play Coach.
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Okay, here is today’s letter:
Happy Tuesday! (Yes, for anyone keeping track it’s a bit early this week – next week will be back to our usual “newsletter-on-Thursday” schedule : )
Going deep and getting vulnerable again this week, with an essay from the subscription-only resource I write and publish each month that teaches simple, powerful tools…
It’s called the We Turned Out Okay Playbook. June’s issue is all about intuition.
I begin each issue with an essay, and as June’s issue is all about intuition, I wanted to share something extra special in the essay.
Because for me, getting better at recognizing my intuition has been one of the cornerstones of wellness and happiness in my adult life.
So I want to share this with you.
I feel vulnerable because, in all honesty, this is a bit of a weird one.
I am about to share an outstanding exercise that I learned during a recent Coaching Intensive that I attended.
As you will read, the exercise invites us to listen to different parts of our bodies, and it can feel extremely peculiar!
But it’s one of the best exercises I’ve ever done for tuning into intuition, reducing anxiety, and feeling better.
For feeling good.
So without further ado, I am excited to bring you this essay!
Heart; Gut; Deepest Part of Yourself
Welcome to Issue 11 of the We Turned Out Okay Playbook!
I’ve just attended a wonderful, virtual conference for coaches. (Before the conference, I would never have thought that you could use the words “wonderful” and “virtual” to describe the same event. Now I know different!)
It was called a Coaching Intensive. The Intensive took place over nine days between late April and early May, and as a group we went really deep. I got way out of my comfort zone, realized some important truths – and danced at least one half hour per day. Because the organizers employed a DJ, and prioritized music and movement.
There were dozens of truly profound, life-changing moments during the Intensive. I honed my mission when we visited the year 2030; coached and was coached by the leaders of my field; and made a connection with a woman whose job title was Curator of Magical Experiences – in which I provided the magic for her. It was so cool!
I want to share with you one key, deeply profound exercise. It took place on Intensity Day, which really turned up the volume from previous days (in order: Money Day, Meaning Day, Mission Day, and Impossible Day).
I found that this exercise gave me words to help myself feel better in times of doubt or fear. I’ve adopted them in the week or so since the end of the Intensive as words to live by. I hope that by sharing exercise in this space that you will be able to adopt this tool for your own use, in your life.
So here goes!
First, sit comfortably in a quiet space, preferably with a door you can close so that you won’t be disturbed. (The whole thing will take like five minutes. Maybe even less.)
Next, breathe into your body. Become conscious of the rise and fall of your belly and chest. Allow your eyes to close and just breathe deeply for a few moments. Once you feel truly present in this moment, you can open your eyes and keep going with the exercise.
Now, place one hand over your heart. Feel it beating. Connect with your heart… Ask yourself the following question: “What does my heart need me to know right now?”
(At the end of this exercise I will share my answers. For now, stay present with your heart and listen carefully so it can tell you what it needs you to know in this moment.)
Breathe deeply again. Now ask:” What else does my heart need me to know right now?”
Once you have your answer, take a moment to tell your heart “thank you.” Your heart does a lot for you behind the scenes! Saying thank you, sending appreciation to this key organ, is an important part of this exercise.
Remove your hand from over your heart, and place it on your belly. Breathe deeply as you feel the connection with your gut.
Ask yourself: “What does my gut need me to know right now?”
Pause, breathe, and listen for the answer.
Then ask, “What else does my gut need me to know right now?”
Wrapping up with your gut, once you listen for the answers be sure to say “thank you” to your stomach, intestines, and other organs in the digestive system. As with the heart they do an important job! They’ll appreciate the recognition.
An aside… Sometimes, there will be multiple things that your heart or your gut need you to know. And sometimes there will just be one important thought coming from these areas. If you can, be open to what your heart and your gut tell you.
That goes for the third part of this exercise is well.
Now, move your hand down just below your belly, to what I think of as “the deepest part of you.” (It’s okay if this feels a little strange at first.)
There is a lot going on in this area of our body! Reproductive organs, nerves moving out from the base of the spine and connecting through the pelvis, not to mention the terminus of the digestive system. In some Eastern traditions, this area is called the “root.” The deepest part of us. The part that keeps us grounded.
Placing a hand just below the belly, ask this deepest part “what do you need me to know right now?”
Pausing, listening, being open to the answer.
And then asking “what else do you need me to know right now?”
Finally, after pausing, listening, and being open for something more, saying thank you to this deepest part.
To wrap up, bring your attention back up to your chest and belly and take a few slow, deep breaths.
What did these three areas – heart, gut, and deepest part – share with you?
Here’s what mine told me:
My heart said “I’m strong… You don’t need to worry about me.”
My gut said “You’re safe… And you are on the right track.”
My deepest part said “You’re safe… And I’ve got you.”
I cannot tell you how good these statements made me feel. I was filled with wonder that consulting with three different parts of my body would produce three such completely different responses.
At first it was a real challenge to overcome the negative thoughts I had in even beginning to attempt this exercise. I had thoughts such as “this is so silly.”
It felt tremendously uncomfortable to physically put my hand over my heart, my gut, and worst of all over the deepest part of me!
The exercise took me way out of my comfort zone, for sure.
But once I was there, I allowed intuition to take over.
Ever since I feel stronger, safer, and aligned with my values and goals in a way I did not before.
Are you attuned to your instincts, to your intuition? Or do you shy away from even the idea of going with your gut?
We’ll spend this month getting out of our head and into our body. It’s going to be awesome.
Let’s dive in!
Cheers and thanks for reading –
PS Subscriptions for the July Playbook close TOMORROW, Wednesday, June 16
If you enjoyed this essay from the current Playbook issue, all about intuition, I invite you to subscribe and get the We Turned Out Okay Playbook delivered to you by the first of every month!
“Wow Karen, this is sooooooo good. The actions are so small, so simple, and yet so powerful.”
That’s what one subscriber says about the Playbook.
Each issue is:
– Relevant to what’s going on in your life as a parent
– An ideal space for you to write and think out your ideas about kids and life at home
– Helpful in creating family harmony, and happiness within you
July’s Playbook is all about play!
No matter what is going on, no matter how anxious or sad or frustrated we feel, play holds an important role in working through our emotions and figuring out the solutions to our challenges.
This is true for adults as well as kids.
Fortunately play is an inexpensive, fun, creative, and engaging way to accomplish all of the above!
So we will “play with play” all during July 2021.
Click this link to learn more and subscribe to the We Turned Out Okay Playbook:
PLUS… The latest We Turned Out Okay episode is out!
Episode 365, which I almost called “Is this something that I care about, or is this something that someone else thinks I should care about?” because today’s guest shares this in our conversation.
If you want help with handling all the stuff that is flying at you…
If you want to feel better about the choices that you have that maybe you didn’t even realize…
You will love this talk with Shari Medini, one half of the duo at Adore Them Parenting! Shari and her cofounder Karissa Tunis have written a great book, Parenting While Working from Home, and offer their help and support to parents from their website.
They brought me into their virtual summit this winter – you can hear the audio from my presentation at the end of today’s episode in fact, presenting on a subject that is near and dear to my heart!
Watch our conversation by going to https://weturnedoutokay.com/365
Or, listen in your favorite podcatcher: