Archive for October, 2011

Life is meant to be a fun adventure. Little children know this until it gets bred out of them: “Life  goes on long after the thrill of living is gone”  as the song goes. I don’t think it is supposed to be that way. If  life’s journey isn’t a fun adventure, then there are too many shoulds and musts and such running the show. People have  goals and accomplishing them takes an effort. But it ought to be fun too. Using intuition to guide your actions plays a significant role in making the journey fruitful as well as interesting and again, a fun adventure.  The trick is, which of your internal voices is  intuition? How does one develop intuition?

  Intuition feels calm: the “still small voice” we’ve all heard about.  But there is usually  tickle of joy in it. It can be insistent if you are in a life or death situation.  We all know the experience of intuition now and then, but  this voice can be elusive.  I have a friend who described it in terms of holding a conch shell next to your ear, and in the same way you will “hear” the ocean, you can hear your intuition. That sounds like a plan and I will have to try it sometime. Presently,  I look for an internal nudge coupled with a sense of wellbeing. Intuition and wellbeing go together.  But how do you get in touch with “it” reliably on a daily basis especially when life is so noisy?  When there is a decision to make there are competing internal voices as well.

It could be that there are certain areas of life in which you  already reliably are in touch with intuition. When my kids were little, I would sometimes have to shop for a friend’s birthday party gift with little clue to what the child might like and no young helper to assist in the purchase.  So I would go to the toy aisle and “feel” my way down it. More often than not the resulting purchase was a hit. I began developing my intuition and honing my intuitive sense with these smaller tasks with not so much at stake.  

Another exercise  that I have often suggested for having a fun adventure with intuition, is to make a regular date with yourself for an hour or two were intuition leads all choices during that time. I found this idea in the book  The Artists Way by Julia Cameron, although the details here may differ a bit. It is fun. It will strengthen and develop  your intuitive sense.  Here is how it works:

1. Give yourself a 1-2 hours all to yourself, no cellphones etc.

2. Get in your car, on your bike, on foot, whatever feels like the most fun way to have your adventure at the time.

3. Once on your way, every time you come to a stop sign or stop light or major intersection, ask yourself which way feel like the “right” way to go. This is done in a lighthearted way. There is after all no defined destination for this journey.

4.See where you end up! It could be the movie theatre, or a scenic spot or a shopping center or a park. wherever you end up, continue to follow the “which way seems best rule” by listening to intuition during the time alloted.

5. When your date is over examine the results. You will have fed your soul in some way. You may run into someone you’ve been thinking about but lost track of or just never have time to call. You might find information you were looking for or a particular item you have wanted to buy but unable to locate. You might come up with an insight or idea to solve a problem. It could be  you just have a really good time,  Its magic. And it develops your intuitive sense. 

My biggest result from this process was finding the lot where my house now sits. I had gone down the connecting street any number of times without making the right turn that brought me face to face with a wonderful lot I could afford. I had not seriously considered building before that moment. It ended up being doable as well.  Naturally,the results  are not always so momentous. I also found a citrus zester at the flea market once,  sat on a dock for an hour in the warm sun on another day and saw a pair of eagles another time. the results are as varied as your mindset and internal compass on a given day. Intuition will have your best interests in mind.

The most significant result of this practice by far was listening and recognizing the voice of intuition and coming to trust it. to further develop my ituition  has been well worth the effort and I had fun adventures in the process.  Try it, and let me know what happens. I would truly be interested.

There are a lot of small things I just adore.  I can get immense pleasure from small things. the flip side is that sometimes I can make myself utterly miserable from a really small thing as well. Looking at a crack, that was what I was doing yesterday…. and proceeded to beat myself up a bit about a very small thing even though that is not  productive. A  hundred times or maybe even a thousand I have said to people, “What you focus on gets larger”.  I should listen to my own advice.

Figure out what you could have done differently, practice mentally, move on. That is what I want to do. The trick is talking  myself into doing just that. So here was a chance to practice reframing a small thing.

Get it In Perspective

 Meany me is a title I gave the part of myself that is overly self-critical.  It puts it in a more lighthearted context like the movie character that inspired the title.  I  imagine this character shaking his finger at me saying the mean things you might say to yourself when you make a mistake. It takes the edge off. This is a much better perspective. I really hate meany me and wasn’t fond of the character in the movie either. It really motivates me to do something else.

Reframe Still Further

Then it helps to think of something I am grateful for.  It helps to remember that maybe a missed opportunity was a good opportunity to miss and there will certainly be others. There are always others. It helps to remember what my best friend would say.  

Mental Rehearsal

 I can mentally replay my mistake with the better actions I wish I had made. When people do that it is much more likely they will actually do something different the next time a similar situation arises. The sting of the mistake makes it more likely I will remember to make the change as well. This doesn’t have to be realistic. It can be fanciful or silly at first if I am having a hard time thinking of a good solution.  I can play out lots of different ideas. It makes it all much more fluid. The better idea will arise from this process.

Once that is done, time to forgive myself  and relish the view, the improved one that results from letting go regrets from things I cannot change. So what was it that I got so wound up about? I missed a phone call. It was such a small thing. This embarrasses me. It was just I did not want to.  It was not a flood or a famine or the Phillies losing the playoff after having a winning season all year.  

One last thing:  I ran across this quote today.”Never regret. If  it is good, it’s wonderful. If it’s bad, it’s experience.” – Victoria Holt. Next time I plan to remember to check for messages when I get out of the tomb with no cell signal.