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.


Lori Lavender Luz said...

It is a challenge to balance my chatter-brain, the one with all the minutia coming forth, and my deeper-mind, the one that comes from a place of interconnectedness.

Hopefully, the writing exercise will help me know which is speaking to me, and to invite the latter to do more!

Tammy said...

Sheri, I found you through Lori and I am facinated with your writing. I am just getting into your posts and I really enjoy the insight.

I have a few questions for you and I was wondering it I could email you.

I am @ tlc520 at excite dot com