Last fall I had a pretty profound series of small events that taught me the key to following your intuition. I came to realize that if we all were to choose, at any given moment, the thing that makes us go “Wow!” or “Yay!” or “Awesome!” then we are allowing ourselves to follow our intuition. It’s. That. Simple. Yet it’s so easy NOT to do it. So, first, let me ’splain…
My son Denis is a mental health counselor and lives in San Francisco (I live in Connecticut). He and I are big fans of Jack Kornfield. Jack is a Buddhist teacher and author. (If you have never read any of his books I highly recommend you do.) Jack has a meditation center just outside of S.F. called Spirit Rock and apparently I somehow got myself on their mailing list. One day I received an e-newsletter from Spirit Rock and I notice they are having a class on Buddhist Psychology the following Saturday. I thought “OH, WOW, I bet that class would be perfect for Denis.” In my excitement I emailed him the info and told him I definitely thought he should go. I felt so strongly about it that if money was an issue I would gladly pay for it. He did decide to go (and got to meet Jack and shake his hand and have a brief conversation!!! woot-woot!)
Unbeknownst to me he went to the gift shop afterward and bought me a thank you gift — a DVD recording of one of Jack’s lectures on creativity. A few days later the DVD arrives, I opened it and immediately thought “COOL! I want to listen to this right away” and I popped it in my computer and started to listen while I worked.
During the course of the lecture, Jack happens to mention Planetree hospitals and talks about what a wonderful experience it is to stay in a Planetree hospital. I literally stopped in my tracks and thought “HUH! I need to know more about that so if I ever get sick I can find myself a Planetree hospital.” I had never even heard of Planetree but their mission to help people heal through patient-centered care and creation of a healing environment spoke to my little reiki-master heart. I quickly Googled Planetree and realized “HOLY SHIT! they’re located about 15 minutes from me!”. How weird is that?! For some reason, my next thought was “HEY!, maybe they use outside resources for graphic design. HOW COOL would it be to have a client whose mission is so closely aligned with my belief system!” So I found the person on their website who was the most obvious contact and I reached out to her via email. I gave a very brief explanation of why I was reaching out and asked if they ever used outside graphic design resources. I clicked “Send” and in about 30 seconds I had a response back asking me to come in and meet. WAIT, WHAT??!! I can tell you that in my 17 years of self employment, that almost never happens. But “YAY!!!” And so I did, and we met and guess what… they are now a client of mine.
If you’ve read this far, thanks… I realize that was kind of long-winded! But I wanted you to see how the dots were connected through the different points in the story where I chose to do the thing that made me intrigued or happy or excited. (Bold words = dots.) That, in a nutshell, was me following my intuition. No, seriously. It’s really that freakin’ simple. Each time I did the thing that excited or intrigued me, another awesome thing happened. Literally, your intuition shows up as the excited feeling and sounds like the happy little voice inside your head. It loves life and wants to help you to follow your true path.
The moral of the story is, allow your intuition to sit in the front seat and drive the car, and ask your logical/rational mind to hop in the back seat and take a chill. Now, logical/rational doesn’t like to be a back seat driver. In fact, mine usually has a white knuckle grip on the steering wheel. So we have to practice escorting it into the back seat by paying close attention to those excited feelings and Aha! moments when they arise.
Today I encourage you to pay attention to the things that make you go Wow!, Hey!, Cool!, Awesome!… especially in regard to making choices. Doesn’t have to be a big thing… maybe whether to have that leftover spaghetti for lunch or a PB&J sandwich. (Often a dilemma of mine). Practice with small things. And then once you learn to do it in small ways it’ll be easier to do it for the more important things. I promise.