Connecting with your intuition can help you make decisions that lead to a happier you.
I was going to write about something completely different this week. But then I listened to my intuition. Here’s what happened. The other morning when I turned on my phone after breakfast (I try to wait an hour after waking before turning on my phone), there was a FB message for me from our lovely former neighbour at the cottage. This struck me because when I was lying in bed that same morning, half awake, having been woken early by Duncan – who needs an alarm clock when we have him? – I was thinking about this lovely neighbour, thinking it would be fun to drop by and see her in her new house in the next few weeks. We have not had contact for months. So, was it a coincidence that she reached out to me the same morning, within an hour or two of my thinking of her? Or was there a deeper wisdom, a deeper knowing at work?
When I was at yoga that same morning I realized that I finally feel courageous enough to write a blog post on intuition. I have been wanting to do so for a long time and it has felt vulnerable for me to do so. I am no expert…but I am so curious and intrigued and I have followed strong intuitive hits in my life that have been very wise guidance. And now, that’s enough to begin a blog post.
The more I learn, the more I crave to move beyond the wisdom of the mind, which we have so celebrated in our culture, to other ways of knowing. I love this Einstein quote: “The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honours the servant and has forgotten the gift.” So when I talk about “Making Room For You” being about connecting mind, body and spirit and the energetic upward spiral of work-life synergy, intuition is in the mix in that conversation. I believe that we need to keep seeking new ways of living and working so that we can thrive in this fast-changing world of ours. I think it is out-dated to believe that the answer is always to push super hard to get a million things done. I believe that there is much to be gained by stopping and reflecting and cultivating other ways of solving problems. The old ways of doing things are overwhelming us and burning many of us out. I believe accessing our intuition more effectively and more often, and having the courage to act on it, to speak it, is key to finding the answers we need to thrive.
Experts such as Dr. Judith Orloff say that we all have intuitive abilities. It’s just a question of knowing how to access those abilities and then practicing. I am sure many of you reading this have had experiences like the one I just described above, or even much more profound and powerful experiences than that. I just googled “intuition” and there are 48 million hits. So you can really dive in and research to your heart’s desire - you could start with Arianna Huffington’s perspective on intuition if you like. Here, to begin this conversation on intuition, I will offer you three more intuition anecdotes from my life. It’s going to be fun to share them with you and I hope they will also inspire you to enhance your relationship with your own intuition, and/or remind you of intuitive knowing you have experienced and maybe forgotten about.
Ok, so here is anecdote number one: I met my husband Andrew in law school here at U of T. We were in the same class. During the first year we were friends, members of a big group that had a lot of fun together. Andrew was interested in me, but he had a girlfriend, so I told him to lay off until he was available, if ever. Months later, in the summer after law school, when I was home in London Ontario working at Western’s law school, I got a call from Andrew. I remember that I was sitting on the kitchen floor talking to him on the phone. He told me he had broken up with his girlfriend. I comforted him as I would any friend who was going through a sad time. We hung up. Then I looked up at my mother who was preparing dinner and said: “You know Mum, I really like that guy. I think I may marry him some day.” We got together later that summer and by the end of September we knew we would get married. We didn’t tell anyone though, because we were so young and we knew it would be hard for others to comprehend. But we knew. Long story short, this June, we will celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary.
Number Two: In the Fall of 1992, we were newlyweds and newly minted lawyers looking to move out of our rented downtown condominium to a neighbourhood with some green – we missed grass and trees. I saw an ad for an Annex apartment: 3rd floor with a deck, and hardwood floors. It sounded great, but the landlord wasn’t returning my calls. However, I didn’t give up and finally we made a date to see the apartment. He greeted us at the door. As soon as I walked into the hall, I fell in love with the house. I had such a strong visceral reaction, a sensation which took over my whole being, and which steadily increased as we climbed the stairs to the apartment. We were not even in the apartment – it was just becoming visible to me as we rose – when I turned to Andrew and said, “We have to live here! Too bad if they don’t take cats!” (And I loved my cats…luckily the cats were allowed.) Another, long story short, we rented the apartment, and then a year later, leveraged ourselves to the hilt and bought the house and became instant landlords for the three other apartments, renovated four times over the years and took over more the house each time as our family grew. We are still here, and I am writing to you from my cosy office on the third floor. Andrew knows it is going to be hard to get me to leave this nest!
Number Three: I have referred to this anecdote before here in my blogs. It is about the intuitive wave I experienced when I read an article about professional coaching about 13 years ago. At the time, I was an “at home parent” having, after much soul-searching and many discussions with Andrew, decided not to return to the practice of law after our eldest son Ian was born. I spent those 8 years raising Ian and Alexandra and learning from the multitude of challenges presented to me in parenting, but also yearning to find work I could be passionate about. At times I despaired that perhaps I was not cut out to work since I seemed to be unable to manage the stress of the demands of work the way I wished I could have. So one day I was up here on the third floor reading an article about coaching. And the wave of intuition hit me. It felt to me like it started deep in my centre and rose up and out of me with a huge: “Yes, this is it! This is what you must do!” I was overwhelmed and so excited. I began taking one step toward coaching and then another, starting with an information session at Adler International where I ultimately completed my training. One of my dear friends, Cindy, joined me at the session, since I was scared as well as excited. She has been a great cheerleader for me ever since – thanks Cindy!! The excitement and energy I gained from coaching was so unexpected and unprecedented for me. I remember being quite pregnant with Duncan and doing one of the intensive week long coaching courses and not being tired. At that same stage in my other two pregnancies I had been so drained. I concluded it was because I was so energized by what I was learning and the potential of this new contribution I could make. And, as you likely know, I have now been a coach for more than 10 years and continue to be energized and excited by the potential in my profession.
So all three of these anecdotes are very powerful for me. They are very positive examples of how intuition has impacted three major areas of my life – my marriage, my work and my home. I am grateful to this deeper wisdom and so curious and eager to learn more, to tap into my intuition more deeply. As I work to create an ever-upwards, expanding spiral of work-life synergy in my own life as well as those of my clients, I know that accessing my intuition and that of my clients will be very important. And, I am excited and energized by that!
My next steps here include learning how to access this gift of intuitive wisdom when I feel I need it, to be of a more active partner with it. As I move toward this ability I see that intuitive wisdom is almost always there but I am not always in a position to receive it. It’s a perspective I need to remember to turn towards and receive before looking to the rational approach. So, in alignment with Einstein’s quote, I want to be true to the gift and then ask the servant to reflect and act in accordance with the wisdom of that gift.
What about you dear, reader? What would you like to add to this conversation now? I would love to hear from you.