I was pretty sure my foot had grown, deformed, or something else had happened overnight the other day to explain why my shoes were SO uncomfortable. All day, I was wiggling my foot around, side to side, trying to adjust it. Convinced my foot had decided to make a bigger footprint, literally, I had decided to throw the shoes away when I got home. It’s not you, shoes, it’s me, but we’re breaking up.
Cut to a video meeting I had the afternoon of that same day. A demo, actually. I was feeling fairly snoozy and looking for ways to stay awake. I looked down at the shoes that had betrayed me and realized they were on…the…wrong…feet. I was so startled that I, in all professionalism, stopped the meeting to call myself out on it. I mean, I’m a 50-year-old woman, what the heck?
I’d spent all day in discomfort, thinking something else was wrong, that it wasn’t the shoes, that maybe my shoes were in Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, and forgot me. But no, it was a situation I put myself in.
My shoes made me think about those times in life when we’re in uncomfortable situations. When it feels like our life is out of sync. So often, we put ourselves there in the first place. And in the same vein, the change to be more comfortable is one that we must initiate. No one can do it for us. But how quickly do we turn to wanting to ditch that which causes discomfort? And what does that do?
Nothing. Sure, in my case my foot would have been more comfortable…but I would have been out a good pair of shoes. But, let’s say the problem really was that my foot had spread out like peanut butter on a hot day. Throwing the shoes away would have done nothing to solve that challenge. We’re so quick to jump to the solution that causes us the least struggle, that puts the onus on someone or something else. But unless we look at the piece of the struggle we’ve caused, we’re no further along.
Shoe-gate also made me key into my intuition. It was a simple situation, but I knew something was off and I couldn’t quite get to the answer. I had the feeling it was something else besides the idea that my foot had grown, but instead of trusting myself and my intuition, I kept looking outward. I believe my intuition is strong, but my past pattern has been to rely on what I can see and touch rather than what I know.
Trusting our intuition is part of looking inward. Trusting ourselves instead of external forces. We know what is true for us, what we need. We’re programmed to not trust that, but instead to look externally for answers. I’ve been challenging myself to trust my intuition, to tap into it. It requires tuning out the noise of the world and tuning into that still small voice inside of me.
Somedays it feels like life throws us constant curveballs, but I’d suggest it doesn’t have to feel like that. What if what we face is not really a curveball at all, but a chance to turn internally and make a choice to let it slide by? To ask ourselves if it we need to respond at all? And to trust what comes up. It may be that the curveball is an opportunity to grow part of us, or an opportunity to let go of a belief or action that no longer serves us. Reacting to the external curveball won’t produce growth, looking internally will.
Listening to ourselves, to the inner voice, making a choice to respond, or not…it’s all part of shaping our authentic self. Of sorting out life and determining which pieces we want as part of our story. It’s being brave. It’s looking past the obvious, the shoes, to see what else could be happening. And knowing in some cases it actually is the shoes and to save our energy for other true changes.
Today, can you choose to let those so-called challenges sit in front of you and simply observe them? Don’t react. Observe. And trust that you have the answer inside you. Trust your intuition. You’ll find peace in staying within your true self. And you may even keep that pair of shoes.