Hello Epic friends!
I want to talk to you about a skill I have been learning my entire life and only just now realizing the significance: recognizing and following your intuition.
A few weeks ago, I was itching to get out of town and was faced with a choice: east or west? Our wave was crappy at the time and I was either going to surf in Boise or on the Oregon coast. I really wanted to go to Boise but felt a strong pull to choose west instead and went with my gut feeling. I was apprehensive at first because I didn’t know what to expect and had no plan whereas I had friends and a plan if I had chosen Boise. I told myself to relax, go with the flow and enjoy the ride.
Now, if you have ever spent any significant time on the Oregon coast you know that the scenery is stunning but the weather is routinely dreary. On this particular afternoon, the clouds parted and the sun was allowed to radiate glorious warmth upon us beachgoers. I decided to take this rare opportunity to bask in the glow before covering every inch of my body in thick neoprene and braving the frigid Pacific. I spread out my towel and laid down for a nap…
The author of our overriding theme book, Women Who Run With The Wolves, Clarissa Pinkola Estés describes intuition as the direct messenger of the soul and co-created an audio discussion on the subject called Intuition and the Mystical Life. I have been doing an inordinate amount of solo driving over the past month and have been devouring audio content like a hungry wolf. (You see what I did there?) In this discussion, she speaks about how intuitive women have been thought of as witches and were feared or mocked, even mocking themselves or belittling their intuitive power to mitigate ridicule. Intuition is one of the greatest gifts and skills we can rely on to guide us along our journey of life and ignoring it is not only foolish but can also be dangerous.
My mom, Paula, who is incredibly well read and has always been my spiritual guide refers to her intuition along the same lines as Clarissa: spirit. When she needs to know something, find something, or make a decision in her life, she asks for help from Spirit and is shown the path or given the answer. My mom is in town this week and brought with her some new tools from Access Consciousness to tap into spirit and your inner, intuitive guide: your true self.
#1 Light or heavy?
Think about your options when considering a decision and ask yourself: does this feel heavy or does this feel light? If the answer is heavy, say no or choose a different option. If the answer is light, go for it! Really think about and listen to your feelings because the choice may be something you would enjoy doing or have been looking forward to but can feel heavy in the moment. The example Paula gave was a friend who was invited to the movies but declined because it felt like the wrong thing to do at that time. A few minutes later, she received an invitation from another friend to see a sold out show in town and was able to accept because she had listened to her intuition and had declined the first invitation.
#2 How can it get any better?
When thinking about any situation or even your life as a whole, ask yourself: how can it get any better? This is not the traditional, rhetorical question you shout at the top of your lungs while running into the Mediterranean Sea naked with your three best friends. This is a serious question meant to spur on your intuitive higher self to show you the best possible pathway. When this pathway is illuminated for you, be courageous and take it!
#3 What else is possible?
Some situations appear to be one thing but in reality can be something completely different or be leading you to something else. Often times we jump to conclusions and can miss other opportunities. If you are constantly asking yourself what else is possible, you keep yourself from conclusion thinking and stay open to any possibilities that arise.
#4 Well, that’s an interesting point of view.
We all find ourselves judging and making assumptions about others, large and small, on a daily basis. The next time you find yourself judging someone based on their hairstyle, choice of breakfast foods (Yes, I did this the other day and had to have a serious conversation with myself.), or sexual orientation, say to yourself “Well, that’s an interesting point of view.” and forgive yourself for passing judgement. This statement refers to our perception of judgement and assumption and calls back any negative thoughts you may have had towards that person. It also releases us from the guilt we feel when judging others. This is important because we are all connected and are all on this journey together. Passing judgement and making assumptions about people causes you to live outside of yourauthentic self and stifles intuition. Looking at people who may be different from yourself as opportunities to learn and grow means there is no room for judgement, only acceptance and love.
… and now back to my trip west to the Oregon coast…
I awoke from my nap to find myself staring at a tiny slip of paper in the sand with words printed on it. The paper was sticking out of the sand, the message was facing me, and the words were right side up as if placed there intentionally. The message (Which was, in reality, a Panda Express fortune.) said: Your kindness will lead you to happiness. Wow. I was blown away by this sign from my intuition letting me know that my recent identity crisis where I questioned my entire philosophy on life and how I have approached my relationships with myself and others was inauthentic. It affirmed that I should continue to ride the river of kindness and be confident that my true self is my best self. I got up, smiled at everyone I saw, started conversations with strangers, and went surfing with my newly made friends!
By challenging myself, listening to my intuition and choosing to be open to new experiences, I discovered a fun surf spot, met amazing new friends, and received a life-affirming message from the universe to be true to myself.
All of this boils down to acting, thinking, and living according to your true self. Guru Paula says that living in authenticity is like being in a boat going down a river in the current: it’s easy and feels natural. (Now my river metaphor from earlier makes more sense, huh?) When we deviate from living in authenticity, we are fighting the current and are susceptible to hardship. This is the universe’s way of letting us know we have gone off course. If life seems hard and filled with pain, struggle, and/or illness, think about what truly matters to you and if you are living according to those principles or if you have started listening to what society or others expect of you.
Until next time, stay EPIC!