(#15) Horse Spirit Says: “Trust Your Feelings”
—Obi Wan Kenobi’s voice to Luke Skywalker in ‘Star Wars’“Love God and trust your feelings. Be loyal to them. Don’t betray them.”
— Robert C. Pollock
Your body is designed to be responsive to your environment and will give you cues about anything in your surroundings that represent a threat or that will satisfy your basic needs, such as for food, water, and shelter. The sensations in your body are prompted by your instinctual self, that aspect that’s in service to your survival. It’s doing its very best to keep you alive—something we have in common with all animals.
Children learn through their experiences and through parental guidance what will bring pleasure and what will bring pain. For parents it’s a continual balancing act between allowing your children to take age-appropriate risks and providing for their safety. The earlier parents can encourage their children to listen to their feelings, especially their “gut instinct,” the more likely it is that they will heed these feeling sensations as teenagers and adults.
Horse spirit’s counsel in the Children’s Spirit Animal Cards addresses this concern by encouraging children to trust their instinct as follows:
It’s so tempting sometimes to just go along with something. Like when a friend invites you somewhere that you know is off limits and even though it just doesn’t feel right, you ignore your true feelings and go there anyway. Other times something doesn’t feel right in your gut and so you decide to listen to your feelings, like when someone you meet makes your stomach tight or upset for no obvious reason so you keep your distance. This is often called your intuition.
On the other hand if you try something out like dance, soccer, or swimming, and it feels good, you keep at it. Regardless of whether they are good or bad feelings, listen to them. Those sensations in your body, especially in your stomach or gut, can be a clue as to what your real feelings are. They help you know what and who to avoid and what or who you can trust. The more you practice paying attention to and trusting your truest inner feelings, the more you will make the right choices.
In addition there are a few activities designed to further facilitate this message:
* In your journal write about the last time you trusted your feelings about something and you turned out to be right.
* When you’re playing any games, see if you can sense through your intuition what the next move will be or the next roll of the dice.
* To develop your intuition sit quietly out in Nature and just listen to the sounds around you as you breathe. What do you hear?
* Take responsibility for your feelings and don’t blame others.
Each of the 24 cards identifies certain values that nearly all parents would support, including this one. To further support this value of your children learning to trust their feelings, the section for parents in the accompanying guidebook offers some suggestions.
* Help them develop their intuitive skills by playing games that encourage this, such as finding something hidden, or guessing shapes or numbers on playing cards.
* Occasionally ask them what they notice is going on in their body, particularly physical sensations, as this type of awareness is an important aspect of intuition.
*Teach your child to meditate. Different techniques work better for different ages however it will begin a practice of checking within for the truth of a matter, whether about them or others.
* Teach your child to name their emotional feelings, such as mad, sad, glad, scared, etc.
By teaching your children to listen to the instinct driven sensations in their bodies, you can rest assured that they will ultimately adopt this as a test of whether a situation is safe and also help them determine those activities that will bring them pleasure and satisfaction. Even emotional feelings are based on physical sensations, so teaching them to tune in to their body’s messages helps give them the vocabulary for their emotions so they can identify and communicate these feelings much more easily and readily.
Many perceive spiritual communication first through physical sensations, such as warmth, coolness, tingling, or tensing. These may be accompanied by emotion feelings and sometimes visual and/or auditory impressions, yet these all start in the instinctual body. Being aware like this also encourages the child to be Witness to their own experience, starting with their body’s instinctual responses to the environment that can literally help them survive. This is why it’s so important for children to learn to trust their feelings, and for you to guide them along their path to do so. If you need guidance in this, call on Horse spirit to help out in teaching this to your children and perhaps even yourself.
“Feelings are your guide. Trust your feelings and learn to express them, and do not blame anyone for how you feel. Be yourself, observe yourself.
― Barbara Marciniak