A key focus of the LOA is to pay attention to your emotions. In this post, I will discuss how my dad encouraged me to listen to the knot in my stomach.
Note: All quotes are me paraphrasing roughly what people said.
“Dad,” I said last night. “I’m feeling so stressed out; I have a knot in my stomach.”
“Why is that?” he asked.
I told him about all the scholarships, college apps, and confusion. I’m a high school senior planning on graduating this coming June. To make matters confusing, I’m not planning on starting college right away next year because I’m hoping to attend a training cente that will give me independence skills to cook, clean, travel, and the like as a totally blind person.
There were two centers I was looking at, one was is across the country from me, and the other is about forty minutes away in the state where I live. There are people that I respect who tell me that the far program is better because you get to live in apartments instead of dorms, where you have to lock your own door at night rather than having supervisory staff watching you at all hours. Also the far program requires you to cook your own meals; the close program has cooking classes, but cafeteria staff prepares your meals for you. Essentially, these people would argue that the close program is more “custodial” and the fa program is a better, more intense experience. One person said, and I’m paraphrasing, “if you want an easier rout, go to the close program.” And of course I can’t take the easier rout because it’s too easy, right?
When I took the tour of the close program for prospective students last month, I was completely biased; I’d already made the decision that I was going to the one across the country, the “better” one. I looked for all the negative aspects about the center in my state and found things that I told myself I didn’t like. There was one aspect that actually made more sense about the close program, a transition where you can live in the apartment independently at the end of your training instead of spending the whole time in an apartment, even if you don’t know what the heck you’re doing. Doesn’t it make more sense to have a gradual transition than to be thrown to the wolves, so to speak? But I pushed the thought out of my mind; I was going to the far program.
Back to last night, my dad asked me if I really wanted to go to that program that’s miles away. I said, “Yes, but I’m just so scared.” My dad told me maybe I wasn’t ready for that experience and I should start out at the program closer to home. As soon as he said that, I felt relief. He told me I need to listen to that knot in my stomach; that’s my intuition telling me that I’m not ready to go to that other program. And of course I know that; I’ve been studying LOA for almost three years now, and listening to the emotions is a key component to knowing if you’re on the most joyful path for you.
Then I realized a number of reasons why the closer program would be a better fit for me, reasons that I’d thought of before and pushed away because I thought it would be “too easy” or “cheating” to do a program that’s a bit less intense. Even though I know that it’s my life, I’m still at a point where I need permission from others to do what I think is right for me, if it’s something I think they’d disagree with. That’s one of those limiting beliefs I’m working to release.
“The knot in my stomach’s gone,” I told my dad after I’d decided to go to the closer training center. He told me that he knows that knot well, and he knows what happens when you don’t listen to it. He also knows what happens when I don’t listen to it personally; although he wouldn’t talk about it this way, he was reading my energy. “You need to listen to that knot in your stomach,” he said. “It’s telling you you’re not ready for the program across the country.” I’m happy now and feel a lot less anxious because I made the decision that’s right for ME, not other people I trust, not this person or that person, but ME.
Do you have a story about listening to that gut feeling? Or do you have anything at all you want to say? Please feel free to comment! I don’t bite, and if you have a blog, I promise I’ll return the favor.