Gut instincts

Snake images don’t often make the featured photo for the blog, but when they do, there’s a good story behind them.   Oaks has been expecting a package in the mail for quite some time and I finally received the notification yesterday that it had arrived.  With all the “Back To School Night” activities last night, I neglected to mention it to him until we were already passed bedtime at 9:30.  But being the spontaneous mama I am, always wanting to carpe the diem, I said, “Let’s just go now, in our jammies, without shoes!”

He, of course, obliged and we ran snickering down the stairs. 

In the new house, it’s not a matter of just popping out to the front yard, the mailbox is actually down the street.  So we hopped in the car to head that way.  Right before we got there, I saw an unusual shape in the street.  I backed up and opened my door to see thousands of ants dining on a long, skinny, bright blue snake on the side of the road.  We’ve been on the lookout for snakes and have only seen one small racer since we moved, so it seemed out of the ordinary to see that one.  Especially bright blue.  We took his picture and moved along.  (I will spare you that one) 

We arrived at the box and Oaks jumped out with the key, in his bare feet.  

As he ran over to the box in the darkness, I had this unusual feeling that I should shine a light his direction.  I pulled out my phone to use the flashlight and hopped out of the car, watching carefully where I stepped.  No sooner than we emptied the box, I noticed an unusual dark figure right next to Oaks on the concrete, as he walked right past.  I shined the light that direction, only to discover this sinister looking creature staring us both in the eyes.  Oaks was begging to try to pet him, but for once, I was feeling uneasy.  I wasn’t so sure about that shiny black head.

We snapped a couple of pics and hopped back in the car. 

I uploaded them to the helpful Facebook group called, “What kind of snake is this? North Texas” where, almost instantly, we had answers.  He was a plain bellied water snake.  Nonvenomous.  But in a quick Wiki search, I learned that they are not friendly like other snakes we’ve encountered.  In fact, they are quick to vigorously defend themselves by striking repeatedly.  While a few “strikes” by this guy wouldn’t have been deadly, it certainly doesn’t sound like the kind of evening joy ride we had in mind.

Call it whatever you like.

Call it gut instinct, intuition, or assimilating facts.  It doesn’t matter what you call it.  The important thing is that it’s there, in all of us.  I have it and so do you.  It’s that feeling inside, when you notice that something doesn’t seem quite right.  Something feels a little “off” even when you can’t put your finger on it at first.

Pay attention to it. 

Of course, don’t walk around overcome with anxiety about every possible outcome.  But when you notice that feeling, don’t completely disregard it either.  Your brain is  ingeniously wired to organize the information you take in.  When something doesn’t compute as expected, it sends your body signals.  They may come as thoughts, feelings or a combination of both.

Observe them.  

If it turns out everything is fine and makes sense.  You can decide to do nothing – no harm, no foul.  But if it turns out they were founded, your brain is one step ahead, and ready to take action.

The intent of this story isn’t to inspire ANY sort of fear. 

In fact, quite the opposite.  When you empower yourself with awareness, you don’t have to walk in fear.  In fact, you can enjoy an extra dose of courage because you know you’re paying attention and processing information.

You’ll be ready to act when you are needed. 

Whether it’s on a walk with your kiddo, in a conversation with your boss, making a career decision, or planning for your future; pay attention to your gut instincts.  If they’re rooted solely in fear, ignore them.

Fear will always be there, trying to hold you back.  

But if your intuition is a result of little pieces of information you’ve been collecting along the way, now is your moment.  Orient yourself to the situation.  Confidently decide what you want to do and take action.

Learn to pay attention to your gut instincts, they can be an incredible tool on your journey.  

to more love,


P.S.  This is a huge part of what we’ll be learning from Heidi next Thursday night at our 70’s themed “Staying Alive” GNO.  If you’re local, join us.  You’ll have a blast, but most importantly, it could literally save your life.

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