In this first episode of 2020, I chat with Jody Vallee Smith about the power and responsibility of intuition.
Keri: Today I wanted to talk about like how we make it through our days and on what kind of information. There are a lot of ways we get information or guidance. There’s all kinds of information out there, but then there’s also this incredible power we all have just innately, and that’s our intuition. And yet I think it’s one of the forms of information that is the least is most discounted in our society.
First of all, do you do trust your intuition and do you live off of the sense of intuition?
Jody: I would say that it’s something that I’m working on currently for sure. Every single day for me is this dance between how much… I tend to shut out information or take too much of it in. I can’t really follow politics right now…I do love to take in podcasts and books and I kind of get to control what I’m taking in more than if I’m just on the internet or in a conversation with somebody. So I’m sure there’s some downside to that. But, but lately, I’ve been trying to shut a lot of it down and get really, really quiet.
Keri: Your timing is perfect, because just in my last podcast, I was talking about the the power that comes from quiet and solitude. And I don’t think you’re wrong when you say like, when we just put ourselves in front of the TV, we have very little control as to what is coming at us and especially for those of us that have more sensitive bodies. I think that sounds smart for you to be able to decide what you’re going to take in and when.
Jody: I’m starting to be so attracted to solitude, that right now I feel like I need to understand that I am like a human. I’m having a good experience. I need to actually leave my house. I need to go to school. I need to get out of the car. I need to get to the office. Those are the things right now that I need to push myself a little bit.\
Keri: And it’s cycles, isn’t it? I find that for me there are periods where I just I don’t want to see anybody. And then…you and I, we both belong to the same co working space. And it’s just so great sometimes to be here and other times you’re like, I just want to go hide in the corner. Yeah, put our heads down.
You and I both over the years have probably tapped into every single modality of healing and resources, intuitive and guides on all kinds of planes, I would say.
Jody: I think I have asked every single spiritual healer on this side of the Mississippi! I cannot even imagine how much time and money was spent there. I’ve had so much fun. But now, once again, kind of like I was saying with, you know, maybe getting out into the world a little bit more. I think it’s time I think I just wrapped a bow on that little package of healing arts and healing and I think now, I have all the information that I need inside me. There cannot be another piece of information that I don’t have. Yes. And now I just need to put it into practice.
Keri: Yes, but for those of us who’ve been doing this and dabbling in the arts and the spiritual realms for a long time—when do you feel like it’s okay to say I’ve learned what I need to learn and it’s time to move on.. like it was for me when I stopped teaching yoga. It wasn’t that I’d learned everything there is to learn about yoga. But there was just a time where what I had learned was all I needed to learn for now.
Jody: Right? Because some of it is learning in action. It’s it’s having that fluidity and being able to apply it to real life. I know for me, my last three mentors have all three said to me, you’re done. It’s time. Carry on. You know, why don’t you now share your information and stop taking it in? I kind of feel like I haven’t exhaled for maybe a decade, and now it’s just time to put it into the world and, you know, see where it goes.
Keri: I love that analogy of the inhale and the exhale. Because it is I mean, it almost becomes for me to almost like a little Bit of an addiction to just keep taking in and I, I tend to do that with the news and with certain other forms of information right now if I’m not watching something, I’m listening to something or I picking up a book or I’m scrolling through, you know, it’s it’s dangerous sometimes and it is, what is that exhale look like in our lives. You know, it mean does it it maybe it’s not even teaching right away, maybe it just is what resting in our own authentic self, and really connecting now to all letting this information actually, you know, get processed and digested and what, you know, just become a part of us now.
Jody: Yeah, integration. I think for myself, I had one healer that I worked with in Sedona for a weekend workshop. She kind of you ever get those like over the head with a baseball bat? Like, oh, I think I’ve heard that 50 other ways, but for some reason, the way she said it…basically, she explained to me that the most controlling people are the biggest givers that they are the most controlling. My self righteous, self was like, No, no, no, like I give out of the bottom of my heart… And she was explaining to me that I give because if receiving is where you have to express vulnerability and that you don’t have control. Oh, and so it was really interesting. That was just a really interesting thing for me. So I think right now, receiving is some is going to be part of my practice.
Keri: Ah, oh, I think that that is so beautiful. And that is a way of exhaling. Have you ever worked with somebody though, when they give you information, and you’re just thinking, That’s not right. And it’s it’s hard to especially when you’re working with a psychic or something. And supposedly they’re tapping into these dimensions that I mean, we you and I can tap into them to maybe we just don’t choose to as often or, but they you know, this is they make their living off of this. And I mean, this just happened to me last week, I went to go and see a psychic. And I was asking about my book promotion. And she suggested that I didn’t need to really do much more with my book promotion, it was already finding its audience and I could just move on to the next thing. And everything in me was like, That’s not right, right.
Jody: …I don’t feel like I’ve ever taken in any of the information that I didn’t agree with or didn’t want. I have somebody in my family who, when I talk about this stuff, she gets so tense and says- what if you sit down and they tell you something that you don’t want to hear? Or what if you don’t like the information?
I’m like, I don’t take it in. I literally don’t. I move on to the night piece of information that was given to me. And that’s kind of where I put my focus. And I think I’ve always done that.
Keri: And yet, being able to do that, it takes it takes a certain amount of personal power, and a certain amount of centeredness in your own self. Because if you go to psychic say, or any of these healers, from a completely powerless situation, and then you just allow them to tell you what your truth is supposed to be. I think that’s dangerous. I think that’s where it becomes problematic for people is if they say, Well, I was told this, so I’m going to do this. So yes, I think that it’s really healthy, like the way that you and I approach these things. And the way that I would suggest people approach these things is with, I don’t know if I want to call it skepticism, but definitely go with your own intuition honed.
WISDOM OF BODY
Jody: Maybe that is the purest form of intuition, is just literally in your body. If somebody says something and your whole body is saying nope, no, I’m not taking that in. Yeah, then don’t regardless of the next piece of information.
Keri: And regardless of the credentials on this other person, because I get sucked into that. I’m like, well look at those credentials. She’s got to be right. And I’ve got to be wrong. And, you know, intuition is a difficult thing to to trust our own personal intuition. There’s a quote about intuition that says, Understanding something immediately, without the need for conscious reasoning. You know, go ahead in our society and go and tell people that you’re making this decision without conscious reasoning!
Jody: You can’t. But that’s what makes us you know, characters in books. You absolutely can. But every animal if you look at nature, every single animal has an intuition that literally keeps them alive. Yeah, every single day, right? And we all have the ability to tap into our physical body…not even to tap into it. Your physical body is usually screaming at you, if you’re not paying attention, it’s like it’s subtle. And then it gets louder and it gets louder. But the trick in our society is you have to be quiet enough to hear it. And if you’re not slow enough and quiet enough, it’s going to carry on. It’ll show up somehow. But you have to be quiet enough to listen. And that is the hardest. That is the work. Yes, that’s it right there.
Keri: I had a situation once years ago, where I was working really hard at living from my intuition and listening to my signals. But I had made some decision and someone actually said to me, Well, your intuition is off. And I’ll tell you, it was really crazy what that does to you, right? Because here I was, really trying, doing this new way of living where I’m not always consciously reasoning, everything. I mean, I’m a list person, by nature. And so this was kind of a new way of me making decisions. And then to have somebody basically say no Your intuition there’s something wrong …
Jody: That’s not possible. And I think like everything else, especially in the spiritual world, everything is a practice. Bravery is a practice. You know, using your intuition is a practice, compassion is a practice, empathy is a practice. These are not things that were just gifted at birth that everybody is naturally great at. So I think listening to your intuition, especially if you are new, and it was kind of surprising, takes a minute.
WORK & PURPOSE
Keri: Well, and it puts you back at the beginning again. Because of course, what I did is I went back to needing to be able to explain this and justify this. And you know, justification of our decisions usually means some kind of money or outcome or some kind of particular result that you’re naming ahead of time. Intuition, sometimes it’s just it’s a little more blind than that, it’s a little bit more, I just feel like I need to turn left right now. And I don’t know what the outcome might be. And that’s really disconcerting for people who like to plan and, you know, and and like to see the end result match their beginning goal.
Jody: Let’s be honest, who really wants to put that much trust…I don’t know where this is going. But I’m just going to trust that the next right thing following breadcrumbs, and it is the hardest thing I have ever done in my lifetime.
Keri: And the only validation I think that we really do get from following your intuition is in hindsight, because usually during the moment, you don’t know. And even though you’ve been doing this for 10 years or more, you don’t know that this time it’s going to work. When I look in hindsight at some of the decisions that I’ve made based solely on intuition, they have been the best decisions I could have made. Not necessarily for outcomes that the physical world can see and look at and point at and go, wow. But for my own growth, and my own soul’s journey, which has a greater priority in my life than my, you know, outer goals.
Jody: Sometimes what our soul needs …I love this song by the Dixie Chicks. that’s called Taking the Long Way Around.
Because sometimes I feel like maybe I’m not quite ready to just step right into something. And so my intuition will guide me to kind of maybe go the harder route or go through a door that I wasn’t expecting. Because there’s a lesson there that I need to have a deeper understanding. Yes, you know, of what I’m trying to get to on the other side. And those aren’t always easy because when you trust your intuition, and then you end up in the quagmire…yes, everyone around you is just quick to point that out.
Keri: Absolutely. And that’s when you know, you lose that sense of self again. This sucks away your power a little bit again. And then, maybe that’s the point where you start reaching out to other people again and saying, what did I get wrong? And the truth is, we didn’t get anything wrong. It was exactly what we were supposed to learn. I don’t necessarily believe the phrase.things always happen for a reason. I do think that there’s a fair amount of chaos in our universe, and things just do happen sometimes. But yet, I still think that our soul can take out of this chaos. What it needs. It doesn’t need this thing to have already been planned out any more than then our personal journeys need to be completely planned out. That’s right. I think the soul works creating chaos.
Jody: Depending on the day! Yes, yes. I do think we are it the whole experience is a lot more dynamic than…we as human beings we’re always trying to be put things in polarity. It’s like, Is it good or bad? Was that experience good or bad? Did you need that or not need that. And sometimes most of the time I have found, it’s like on a spectrum, it’s both, it’s not one or the other. But the whole experience, it’s just more dynamic. Those things tend to not be binary at all.
Keri: Now, you’re a mother, right? And how are you approaching teaching your daughter, two daughters? How are you teaching them to trust their intuition? In a world that boy, is really going to look at teenagers following their intuition with some crossed eyes?
Jody: I am. I have taught both of them is literally to keep yourself alive. Your body is going to try to keep you alive. And you have to trust no matter what. If you get that pit in your stomach, or that feeling that you should not be in that room in that elevator in that car on that trail, whatever, you cut bait and you turn around. It does not matter if you’re going to hurt anybody’s feelings. I think that’s what I’ve really tried to instill at them at the ages that they are. I know it might be uncomfortable, I know you might have to hurt somebody’s feelings. But if you walk into a room and you really don’t feel like you should be there, you need to turn around and walk out. Yes, um, and then on top of that, you know, I’d maybe call it following your heart versus your head. I think it’s some of the verbiage that I’ve used with my girls. But I encourage both of them at every single turn to just get quiet and take a moment. And I make sure that I am not inserting myself or I try to that I am not projecting any of my issues on them when they’re trying to make decisions.
Keri: Well, and for me, I have to be really careful that I am not imposing my own fears. I have a personal fear of failure. I think I think a lot of us do, but mine is very tactile, it’s very alive within me. It’s something that I have to work on. And so when I’m talking to my daughters about their future and their choice of college or major or boyfriend…I have to be very careful, first, that I’m not trying to push them into a direction that I think is less likely to fail. And also, as mothers, I have to be very careful that I’m not pushing them in directions that are based on my own personal fears for them.
Yeah, but it is hard, you know, as mothers to not impose our own fears in this world that, you know, we know it’s not safe out there for young women.
Jody: It’s the scariest part of raising daughters. It’s absolutely yeah.
Keri: So at some point, you know, you have to let them go out there and live their lives. But I agree with you, I think that that’s what I’ve been doing with my daughters too is to trust your body, and especially like with food, right, you and I talked a lot about food. And you know, if if you if you don’t feel well after you ate something, it’s I mean, it’s there’s a sign that’s a message you have to pay attentionto. I don’t think we all need to do a cleanse or all need to get on the Paleo diet or we all need to be keto. But if we can all find our own way to healthy eating through just listening to our intuition. Imagine what that would look like!
Jody: Oh, I am actually in the process…from having a not the greatest relationship with food my entire life. And I am in the process of learning how to eat intuitively. There are a bunch of books on it. Now, there’s a lot of doctors. You have to let go of all of the rules and all the conditioning and everything, all the habits, everything that you’ve believed up until this point, and it’s that it is literally having that 100% raw trust that your body will not lead you the wrong way.
Keri: Well, and I think it’s fair to say that all these things can be a combination. Like for instance, so I taught yoga for a number of years and one of the first things you learn in AYURVEDA is about the three doshas. They’re the three basic ways that our bodies are made up. There’s Vata, which is more air and ether, Pitta, which is more fire, and Kapha, which is more Earth and water. And for each of these body types, there are particular ways of eating that are probably more beneficial and less beneficial. For me, when I first started undertaking an Ayurvedic diet, I was strictly following the guidelines that I was given for my dosha. But as I spent more time in it, I started to learn that but you know, this is a great guideline. And then there’s also intuition. There’s must be fluidity and flexibility in all of these styles.
Our bodies know this stuff. I mean, this is what is in our DNA, we do know how to eat. And this whole idea that we don’t is I just think little silly.
Jody: Well, we don’t know how to eat in a car. For the third time in a day after we’ve had three coffees and we’ve been at work and have been checking emails since six o’clock in the morning, and it’s now eight o’clock at night. Our bodies don’t function…they don’t know how to thrive in that setting. So it just boils down to again, like we talked about, getting quiet, even if it’s just getting quiet for five minutes before you put food in your mouth.
FRIENDSHIPS & RELATIONSHIPS
Keri: Yeah, exactly. So we’ve talked about intuition in terms of our work and in terms of our children. And in terms of food. One more thing I’d like to talk about intuition in terms of friendships and relationships, and particularly, how do you follow your own intuition? When it comes to letting go of a friendship which is really hard for women, especially long term relationships.
Jody: It really is hard. I’m probably in practice with this because I think the last couple years for me, I’ve been a little intense on the spiritual journey piece. And there has been Fallout and I’ve had to let it go. It’s nothing personal. We only have so much time, right? So I also happened to meet this amazing circle of women that I now talk to every single day. And before I had met this circle of women, I don’t know where I spent those hours. So I’m kind of like, something’s gotta give. And so I find things just kind of falling off the bottom and new things like Jenga, like life Jenga…t’s just pulling some off the bottom and putting different things on the top. I’m also a writer, and you’re moving forward in this creative project. And you have to, you have to require help, because people have to help you put this thing into the world. And I’ve had a couple times now where I’ve been maybe 50% down the road and my body says, No, yeah, like, stop. This is not the right person. This is not the right place. And it’s really hard because you’re good financially, emotionally. All this time invested with this person, and my intuition just says Nope. Right turn right.
Keri: And it’s hard to because we are so culturally programmed to not say NO. Oh, of course. And especially once we’ve committed to something. I mean, this takes an incredible amount of strength and inner power. And yeah, and trust in ourselves and trust in that intuition. For sure.
ABOUT MY GUEST – JODY VALLEE SMITH
Jody Smith is a first-time author and longtime believer in fairytales. A former interior designer and store owner, this now present mama, dreamer and explorer is telling stories just outside of Mpls, MN. She loves watching her two charismatic girls use their imagination, grit, smarts and whimsy to navigate this world. It inspired her to write a book for all the princesses who are capable of saving themselves and for all the mindful mothers who revel in raising strong daughters.Her socials: http://princessmonroe.com