When thinking about creating your whole life from the inside out, there is one major question you must answer. To what degree to you honor your intuition?
If you were answering this question to me and we were sitting face to face, I believe that I would have a fairly good idea of the level of flow and joy which you experience on a regular basis.
When you are walking by a flyer at the library, and see an event posted, and have a good feeling about it, do you go?
If you’re on a first or third date with someone, and suddenly their energy makes you uncomfortable, do you find a way to get away from them or just excuse it and end up regretting it later?
If you’re in a strange city and feel a call to wander off the beaten track because it feels right, do you let yourself go there?
If you are called to create something and have an idea for it, do you find support for your project right away? Or, do you let it ruminate for years, until it’s about to drive you crazy, and then begin?
Do you primarily use the excuses of time or money as to why you do not have the life you want?
Believe me, I’ve been there. Many times in many ways, despite the fact that my intuition talks to me in a way that is direct, loud and clear. It really always has, getting me out of dangerous situations when I was young and dumb living in NYC and taking stupid risks.
It told me clearly and directly to leave NYC for Santa Fe, sight unseen, as well as a toxic marriage. I’m extremely grateful that I listened in both cases. I’m sorry that I didn’t listen sooner, actually.
Now, every day, my practice is to live my life and make my choices according to my intuition. Who I choose to work with, what I choose to work on, clients I choose to accept, decisions about purchases or investing, are all run by my intuition.
This practice literally shaves years off mistakes I would otherwise make and puts me on the fast-track for success and joy.
This is one of those things that happy, creative and prosperous people know and practice, but don’t always speak about. Many of them may do it easily and naturally. I was not one of those people. For me, it was a learned behavior that unfolded over time. Now, a practice of radical faith is necessary for my continued growth and joy. I would not go back to living any other way, ever again. And, the results as of the past two years have been too dramatic for me to ignore.
So, how does one practice listening to one’s deepest, wisest knowing and having the courage to act upon it?
Here are a few of my suggestions:
1) Write about it. Go back to your Wisdom Writing practice. This involves writing a question to your Inner Being at the top of the page, pausing, and letting yourself free write an answer to yourself.
2) Trust the feeling in your body that brings you the greatest sense of peace, love, excitement, joy or knowing. When you have a few options, which one makes your body feel good? The body, in my experience, never lies.
That reminds me of a good story I have about intuition, the body and dreams….
I had been married for six months to the man who, I thought at the time, was the love of my life. While he was away in NYC on a business trip, I awoke from a terrible dream. It was entirely lifelike.
In my dream, I saw a woman’s face. She was Asian and I intuitively knew that she was Vietnamese and also that she was twenty-two years old. While I never saw anything specific play out visually in the dream, I knew that D, my husband at the time, had been sexual with her.
My face was bathed in sweat when I woke up. I looked at the clock. It was 2:00 a.m. in Santa Fe, which would be 4:00 a.m. in NYC. I assured myself that it was “just” a dream and that D. would never do anything like that. As a matter of fact, I knew that he loved me deeply and also, that we had a great sexual connection.
I forgot about it by the next morning and went about my life, taking my daughter to school and working in my business.
He arrived home three days later. It was June 30th, my 41st birthday.
He came home in the middle of the day, while my daughter was at school. The first thing he did was begin kissing me. By the way he kissed me, I could feel that he was intent on making love right away, which was not our pattern during the day. I was happy he was home though and game. I remember myself laughing as we crossed the threshold into our bedroom. I remember him pushing me down on the green velvet bedspread. I see his face in my mind’s eye, looking down on me, as I gazed back up at him, feeling so much love and passion. We could always get hot for each other right away.
He began to urgently undress me. He tugged my jeans off, then my panties.
With little hesitation, his head was between my legs. I looked down at him and of course knew what he was doing.
But in that moment, a strange awareness came over me. I could see him and the act he was performing, but right then, I realized that from my waist down, I had gone completely numb. No feeling. No sensation at all. Then, right in that moment, the young woman’s face from the dream flashed before me, over his head. Like the apparition that she was, she was there for only a flash, then gone.
I sat up and pushed him away. He looked surprised. Looking right into his eyes I said, “You had sex with a young Vietnamese woman with long hair while you were in New York.”
The words flew out of my mouth and just landed. I didn’t think about it. Didn’t even think until they were out.
He drew back, a look of shock on his face, terror in his eyes.
He tried to stammer, deny, take it back. But the look had said it all.
It took me two days before I finally got him to break down and admit the truth. He had not only had sex with a woman, exactly like I described, he had sex with numerous other Asian women and one man that week in NYC. Turns out that he had a fetish for Asian massage parlor prostitutes and simply had forgotten to mention it to me before we wed.
However, I cannot blame him entirely. One month into that relationship, I was driving home in my green Honda civic after spending the night with him. All seemed well on the outside. We’d had a lovely dinner with my young daughter the night before. We three had all laughed together while watching Seinfeld repeats. After Chloe had gone to sleep in his guest room, D. and I shared some wine and made love while listening to Mary Black’s music. We feel asleep wound up in each others arms. It had been perfect.
And yet, in the light of day, that following morning, my intuition was literally screaming at me in my car, headed back to my house. It told me to “Get out now!”
By the time I did finally leave, five wasted years after the first incident of infidelity and the repeats yet to follow, I had one last intuitive epiphany about him:
One day, sitting in my studio, I was meditating and a “ping” dropped into the top of my head. The message was short, sweet and simple:
“If you do not get out of this marriage, you will manifest breast cancer within the year.”
I packed my bags, left with my daughter and almost no financial resources, and began again at forty-four.
I’ve never regretted listening to that voice. I only ever regretted not listening sooner.
3) When messages that feel out of your linear realm of thinking drop in, do not dismiss them. Pay attention.
4) Notice how you feel around other people’s energy. Pay attention to your feelings over the words they are saying.
5) Meditate. This is your most direct phone line to The Divine. Ask a question, breathe and get very quiet and wait for the answer to drop in.
6) Take walks by yourself. Let your mind wander. Notice where you are called to go. Follow the energy. See what happens.
7) Take the risk of trusting your intuition. Play with it. Invite it in. But once you do this, it’s up to you to follow it. The only way to do this is the same as what it takes to do anything else worthwhile: practice and learn to manage and walk through your fear.
Your entire creative, spiritual and prosperous life is on the other side of your fear. You know that, right?
For the love of story,