Monday, June 23, 2008

Listening to Your Intuition

Note: I write a column for our local newspaper and wanted to include it on my blog. See the Coaching Challenge below to explore your own intuition. Enjoy.

When my kids were younger, it felt like life would be better if my hands could simply keep up with the voice in my head. “Don’t forget the sunscreen; start the laundry; pay the mortgage…” Although nagging, that voice helped me to maintain some kind of chaotic order in my life.

I still hear the voice in my head. It isn’t as nagging as before; most times it seems wise and creative, giving me direction, ideas, timing, etc. Is this the same voice? Am I like a young adult who heard my parents’ voices as “nagging” until I had the maturity to hear their guiding messages?

As I listened to my life coaching client, Jane, excitedly tell me about her business and as ideas sprang forth from her mouth, it hit me that she too heard a stream of information. And, like mine, the voice could be overwhelming as the messages poured forth, adding to the To Do list…or, I later realized, it could provide a sense of direction.

Jane sounded frustrated as she sorted through at least five distinct business ideas. Each one could become a full time position, but she didn’t have that kind of time. “Which idea draws you towards your goals?” I asked, trying to narrow it down.

“They are all important. When I try to narrow it down, the ideas keep coming. It’s like I’m hearing a voice in my head.”

“Tell me what you mean by, ‘hearing a voice in your head.’”

She went on to explain a situation where she had been in a business meeting. As another woman was describing a problem in her business, Jane began hearing a message for the other woman. “Tell her to monitor her receivables and check the cost of the paper products,” she heard.

Jane continued with her story, “Before I even thought about it, the message was rolling off my tongue to the woman across the table. After the meeting, the woman expressed her gratitude. I accepted her appreciation and realized that the message came through me, but didn’t feel like it was from me.”

I asked Jane, “Do you consider yourself intuitive? Could your multitude of ideas possibly be intended for other people?”

She paused reflectively and said, “I’ve always had a sense of what would happen before it did. I can sense people’s feelings and at times, get very clear messages for me and other people. I’ve never thought of myself as intuitive, but maybe I am. If I am, wouldn’t I already know it?” she joked.

“Maybe you didn’t realize what these messages were or where they were coming from,” I added. “How would it feel if you became more comfortable receiving these messages?”

“I don’t have time to explore my intuition, but I want to find a place for all of the ideas in my head. There’s so much chatter that I don’t get anything done!”

“Have you heard of ‘automatic writing’? I asked. “It’s where you listen AND write what comes to you. It’s the act of writing from a stream of consciousness perspective; that is, whatever pops into your head, you write it down – whether it makes sense or not. Focus on the topic of which business idea to follow first and try to write for ten minutes. Then read it to see if it makes any sense. It might not, but you may be surprised. Are you willing to try it out?”

“I’m excited to try it and will let you know how it goes the next time we meet. Who knows? Maybe I’ll have some important messages for you!”

Coaching Challenge: If your mind is faster at giving you directions than your body is at carrying out the actions, try automatic writing. Get a pen and paper and set a timer for 15 minutes. Sit quietly; listen and write what comes to you. Once the timer goes off, read through what you have written and see what messages are there. It may start out like a To Do list, but push further to get more details. Try to do automatic writing at least twice a week to become familiar with the flow of information.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Can You Be A Christian and Read Tarot Cards?

I gave a presentation the other day called, "I Knew It!" The content focused on learning about the right and left brain and how to tap into your intuitive voice. The women loved the information, enjoyed the exercises on how to switch sides of your brain and especially on how to trust and tap into their own intuition.

This was a group of mainstream professionals, but I had been given creative latitude for my 90-minute presentation. They had contracted with me to do an interesting, entertaining presentation that the women would enjoy and give them skills they could use in their everyday lives. Although the presentation was fairly mainstream, some of the exercise materials I had them use included Oracle and Tarot cards, among more neutral magazine print outs and polished rocks.

In addition, the women could see in the conference program that I was also one of four "readers" who would join them as part of the evening activities. Ten minute readings would be available and included a tarot card reader (me), a palm reader, a face reader and an expert handwriting analyst. What a great evening! I read cards for 2 1/2 hours and when I left, I still had six people in line waiting for a reading.

A Question About Mixing Tarot and Christianity
During my morning presentation, one woman said she gained a lot of information from the exercises, but did not like or believe in tarot cards. She explained that she was a Christian and thought the cards were dark and scary.

I acknowledged her feelings and even related how I had felt the same way in the beginning. But as I was around the cards more often, I had become more comfortable with them and how they related to my Christian beliefs.

Then someone asked me directly how I integrated tarot cards with my Christian background. I had never really answered this question, especially in front of a group, but answer I did.

I explained that I was raised a Christian and had a great upbringing in the Lutheran church. I believe in God and Jesus Christ and I believe that they bring into our lives different ways to bring in love and light. I look at my tarot cards this way and in every reading I have ever done, I believe it was done in light. Just as guns and knives can be protective tools or weapons that can kill, it depends on the intent of the user. It is the same with divination tools.

Several people in the audience thanked me for my response and my openness. Even though I was put on the spot, after further reflection, I wouldn't change my answer. I still believe the work I do through tarot cards is from the light, and my intuitive voice is one of the many blessings God has given me to use to help me fulfill my purpose here on earth -- and help others. I believe as long as my intentions are good, I will continue to be able to serve in this manner. I thank God for this opportunity and for these gifts.