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Intuition. It's something that I've relied on to guide me for most of my life - especially my early adult life when I was choosing a career, a partner, and those other giant decisions that rule our lives as young adults. For the most part my gut has served me well, but I never really understood why. I just assumed everyone was driven a bit by the emotions that they felt.

I shared a few weeks ago that I recently discovered that I am an empath and highly sensitive person. This is still so hard for me to write down because of the fear I have of being written off on this. It's nothing in my family or current circle of friends that is recognized. I keep thinking that someone's going to come in and accuse me of being some kooky whackjob who doesn't know what she's talking about. But, the more I read and learn - and yes from credible sources because that's what I do - I'm starting to understand and accept this. I think back on things like being led by my intuition. Not really that much of a confirmation as many people do the same, but it was the first thing I think of. Then I think of all the people who simply come to me and open up - sharing their lives and fears, pain, and joys. I've always considered myself a venting post because I can sit and listen, and if needed reply with ideas that others' haven't considered. It's just what I do. When people talk a picture comes into my mind and I see a path for them. I share it if I feel it is wanted and needed. Otherwise, it's just interesting for me to see play out.

Personally, I'm seeing that these traits are a lot of why I get stuck - like I am now. Why I can't seem to make a decision. I am taking on a lot of stress wanting to fill others' needs instead of living most authentic to myself. This tendency is manifesting itself physically in me. Through weight gain and depression, and I'm beginning to think that the stomach issues that I've battled for 30 years are probably connected to this. I've connected my worst spams with stress, but sometimes there is no rhyme or reason for them. I don't know what brings them on - not food always. I think it's an emotional overload - taking on so much without a way for it to get out.

So what's I'm curious about now is stepping back and living a little more authentically and based on intuition. I wrote in my personal journal today that I feel like I'm afraid to let my more authentic side come out because I'm trying to live up to others' expectations of who I should be. There is a physical restriction I feel in my chest that doesn't let go, and I think my living an inauthentic and unbalanced life could be part of the cause. And so this part of my midlife makeover is going to be tapping back into that. I want to try to be guided more by my intuition - not for silly and stupid things, but more lifestyle. Eat more intuitively instead of what I'm "supposed" to be eating. To move more intuitively instead of engaging in exercise I've been told is most healthy. Live my days based on what is needed on that specific day. Will it help? Not sure, but it's going to be an interesting experiment.Last thought - when I went to college it was the first time I did this. As much as I love my close friends, I was desperate to get away from the cliques and life where I was desperately trying to fit in. I actually began my transformation during my senior year when I ditched my cheerleading gig for athletic training and my "in" clothes for ponchos and Birkies. Lost the makeup and let the hair grown. Then, when I got to Tacoma I just lived like me and cultivated an amazing group of friends who were right there with me. We were weird and fun. We did whatever moved us in the movement - I felt so happy and free. Sure, I still had bad times, but I was finally being Beth fulltime and it was wonderful.

I don't want to be 18 again, but I do want to get back to a place where I can be Beth fulltime and lived balanced. I don't want to try to live up to the expectations that others are putting on me anymore.

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