Intuition Archives

Listening to Your Inner Authority

Have you ever taken the advice of a doctor or teacher and later regretted it because you knew deep inside that your idea on how to handle the situation was the right one? Over the years, I have come to realize how important it is to check in with my inner authority before making decisions. It doesn’t matter how experienced or skilled an adviser is, I need to make my decisions for myself. This is empowering and in the end I get much better results.

A couple years ago, I hurt my back. I went to a doctor I had seen once before. I was really impressed with how she handled my first issue. I told her my back hurt at the level of “distraction.” I had walked 3 blocks to get to her office. I definitely wasn’t debilitated. She started writing out a number of prescriptions which right away concerned me. I’m sensitive to medicines and avoid taking them. She comforted me by saying the medicines were gentle and would help me heal.

Pills in womans hands

I decided to try them. I figured if I got a side effect, I could always stop taking them. I had no idea how powerful they were. The first medicine to show it’s bad effects was the anti-inflammatory. I went from nausea to vomiting very quickly. It took me over 2 years to recover from this damage to my digestive system. I didn’t know if I’d ever fully recover.

The second medicine showed it’s bad effect a couple days later. It was the painkiller. My digestive system was majorly stopped. The nurse on the health insurance’s hotline sent me straight to the emergency room where they informed me, based on the medicines I was taking, they weren’t surprised to see me there! They, then, proceeded to prescribe yet another medicine and put tremendous amounts of pressure on me to take it.

It was a tremendous challenge to walk out of that emergency room and not give into the fears they had impressed on me to take the medicine they wanted me to. I agonized over whether to take that medicine they said was so critical to my recovery or go a more natural route. I took the natural route… and with good results.

This experience was a major lesson for me on listening to my inner authority. If I had, I would have taken natural approach from the start. I probably would have been fine with just a heating pad. I would have gone to the physical therapist as the doctor prescribed to address the root cause of my pain. And I wouldn’t have had to suffer for 2-1/2 years and paid all those medical expenses trying to figure what had happened and how to fix it.

Now, I let my doctors know that I’m hiring them as a consultant. I will listen to what they say and then decide for myself how I will handle my issue.

This also applies to teachers and coaches I work with. If I turn my authority over to them, I become filled with turmoil and drift into places that aren’t good for me. It can be scary not following the advice of someone who is very knowledgeable and skilled in the area that they are advising in, but they don’t always know what’s best for me. It’s my job to sort that out.


Image courtesy of marin /

What’s Your Longing Trying to Tell You?

A few years ago, for a period of six months, we lived in Portland, Oregon. We knew it was temporary so we rented a small one-bedroom apartment. Our focus was to enjoy that beautiful area of the country. One of our loves is food. Portland is a major restaurant town so we decided we’d eat out 3 to 4 times a week for the whole six months. It was luxurious!

Pazzo Restaurant, Portland, OR

Recently, both my husband and I had suddenly started longing for Portland. My husband even asked if I wanted to move there. Fortunately, I knew this longing was about something different than actually moving. We both love where we live and really missed it when we were in Portland.

One day as I was deciding what to have for dinner, I realized our lives had become too much work and not enough fun. On weekends we had long lists of things to do in our yard and house. We had gradually come to a place where we were no longer taking a day to go have fun.

This life style totally snuck up on us. The first weekend we started it, we did projects the whole weekend. We felt so good about what we had accomplished. We thought we could continue at that pace and make major headway toward those things we’d been wanting to accomplish around the house.

The ironic thing is we quickly became inefficient. We were making long lists to do for the weekend but we weren’t really getting much accomplished. Part of us knew we needed a break and was slowing us down. That part was also trying to communicate through our fond memories of Portland.

When I realized what was going on, I decided to have a Portland-style dinner. I relished the gourmet foods I had and even drank a Portland beer. It felt so nourishing, not only physically, but in my whole being.

I told my husband that one day each weekend I was going to have fun. He was welcome to join me. But I was no longer going to fill my weekends with to-do’s.

I’m glad I had the discernment to know that my longing for Portland wasn’t about actually moving. It was about a small change I needed to make in my current life, much easier than making a total move. And I got instant results.

Is there there anything you’re longing for in your life? If so, what qualities about what you long for can you incorporate into your life right now?

Trusting Your Instincts

Yesterday, I had a disturbing experience. As I worked at my computer, I looked out the window to see my new next-door neighbor go into a violent rage and abuse his dog. I immediately ran out of the room and called the city to report the abuse.

Besides being concerned for the dogs welfare, I was afraid for my own. The type of rage I saw was scary. I believe this man is dangerous. After I spent some time on the phone with my family getting emotional support, I called the police non-emergency number to ask if they had any suggestions on how to deal with a neighbor you’re afraid of. The officer told me to continue doing my own business and follow my instincts with how I related with him.

So much of my training in life has been about NOT following my instincts, but instead on following a formula. When I went to college, my dad told me to get a technical degree because that’s how he became successful. My dad never told me to follow my instincts to pick out my major. So I followed his formula, which brought me very limited success because it wasn’t my passion. My instincts were telling me to get a degree in interior design! But I had been so trained to ignore and not trust my instincts and to instead follow an authorities formula, I couldn’t find the courage to do what I really wanted to do.

Over the years, I’ve had the fortune of people coming into my life who knew the value of their instincts. When I was in my first marriage, which was very dysfunctional, I had a close friend who kept encouraging me to listen to my gut. She said my instincts were right on, and they were.

Sometimes, my instincts would tell me something wasn’t in the right timing. When I have ignored that message, I have later seen why my instincts were right. Observing this phenomenon has helped me build trust in my instincts.

Over time, I’ve learned to work with my instincts in productive ways. I listen to them now. For example, my instincts will tell me an interaction with someone isn’t healthy. My mind will make up a story to go make sense of it. The story may or may not be true, but the underlying message my instincts are telling me, “this interaction isn’t healthy,” is always true. So I decide how I will handle things based on that underlying message.

Are your instincts trying to tell you something? If so, what’s the underlying message?