Calling on intuition

Everything’s Connected-- Looking Outside the Well!

One spring evening when I was a freshman in college hanging out on campus, I met a stranger from another country who told me there were four phrases that were indispensable for getting you through life.  Occasionally several of them float through my mind, but one is always there-- “Everything’s connected.”  

            It’s a universal spiritual principle that all of life is connected-- and you can easily notice it in the realm of the physical world of the planet, as well.  For one thing, all of us living and non-living aspects of the world are connected in our dependence on the earth and the air and the sun for our existence.  For another, when we come together to work in a common cause or to celebrate, we can feel the energy that connects us all.  And yet, so many of us cut off our awareness of this connection, often because it seems easier simply to see things from a smaller perspective. 

            There’s a story about a frog at the bottom of a well always looking up at the small circle of sky at the top of the well.  A toad at the top of the well urges the frog to come up outside the well and see the grandeur and the bounty of the world.  But the frog refuses, not wishing to change her mind about what she already knows is there. 

            The people I see for coaching usually come with a particular goal-- for example, a career change.  I ask them to write down three goals, which surprises them when there was only one thing they wanted to change.  Often, they find their other goals have more to do with increasing their sense of well-being, having more quality time with their families, or committing to completing a creative project.  They’re often amazed that these different change areas are really connected-- that if they’re looking for work they love, they might as well also make sure they’re building in time to play with their children each evening or swim daily or write a chapter a week in their new book.  

            Everything’s really connected!  Just climb up out of your well and see all the possibilities around you.  Create your dance that touches everything you want to do and become!  Feel the all the possibilities that weave into your expanded reality. 

               Join in the Discussion! 

  • What was an experience you’ve had where you felt in connection-- with your deeper self, with others in a shared experience, with the world around you? 
  • What is the value of feeling that everything’s connected?
  • What is the risk in feeling unconnected?

Going for the Unknown in Weimar, Germany

 I’m not there yet, but Weimar has been a place of mystery and enticement to me ever since a German architect friend of mine, Carsten, told me I should go there.  So far, what I know is that it was home to two of the best-known German poets, Goethe and Schiller, who were also great friends.  So this will touch the poet in me! 

    Sometimes it’s absolutely necessary just to go for a dream, to follow a longing for opening and wonder, without worrying about how it will fit into your career plans or search for a good mate.  Sometimes, you have to do something for your soul that may not matter to anyone else.  As Thomas Moore writes in his book, Care of the Soul:  “‘Soul’ is not a thing, but a quality or a dimension of experiencing life and ourselves.  It has to do with depth, value, relatedness, heart, and personal substance.”   

    This depth and heart-quality of living life are what gives life its richness and meaning.  The search for a place with a magical name or a work path that is different from anything you’ve done before or a taking out a moment of your busy time to read a poem or listen to a bird sing-- all of these add to the quality of our lives.  This “soul” in our lives is the zest that gives our lives the delight worth living. 

       What are some “soul” moments in your life?  How have they helped you in your career and life transitions?

Creating a Path with Heart for Your Career & Life Transitions

Last week I gave a tele-class with this title for about a dozen people, most of whom were graduates from Stanford University, my alma mater.  One was a freelance writer wanting to open her life to include a satisfying intimate relationship.  Another was a mother who yearned to get back into the world of work as a professional with a world health organization.  In general, the participants were intelligent people seeking ways to expand the parameters of their lives and move into a greater sense of wholeness and fulfillment.

What I found with the people in this group-- as with many others I've worked with as a certified life coach and somatic therapist-- is that the willingness to bring forward your deepest desire is often the beginning of a spiritual awakening, a way of knowing your wholeness as a person and joy in living.

In this class, we walked the basic steps for creating a path with heart (or in other words, your dream) in your life, which are simple and often overlooked, because they are require going deep into yourself.  The first is Awareness, or bringing into clarity what it is that you truly want and what this means to you.  Here are some questions to evoke awareness-- What kind of change would you like to bring into your life?   What's the risk?  What's the gain?  What would bring more joy and fulfillment into your life?

Step two is Visioning, or allowing yourself to enter fully into the change you want to make through inner visualization or creating a picture of what you want through external manifestations such as collage or computer design.  Some questions to evoke Visioning are:  What are the colors of your dream?  What are you feeling & where are you sensing it in your body?  What are you really wanting?  What is the look of how to live fulfilled?  Because fear often arises when the door to change begins to open, it's important to feel supported by a good friend, a caring family member, or a life coach as you dare to envision a life or a career that is larger than you may have dared to dream ever before.

The third step is Intention, or claiming your dream and your direction for change.  This step is vital for making changes that matter.  An intention can be very simple.  For example, "My intention is to make three job-related calls today."  Or it can be more expansive-- "I intend to create a place of beauty in my kitchen to inspire me every day."  Or it can be one that may shake up your life as you know it-- "My intention is to spend a year painting in Italy."

Creating a path with heart to change your career or your life in some significant way asks that you first go inward and know what makes you feel alive and true to yourself.  Then you can take action that is right for you, and find the support you need to go forward into the realm of your heart's desire.

Looking for Your Truth

"The pull into the truth of things is very strong.  Often the only way to resist it is to deny what we are seeing, to pretend our lives do not have to grow or change.  Yet when we do this, our spirit, which doesn't know how to pretend, keeps moving."  (Mark Nepo,   The Book of Awakening)

I love this quote because it's so undeniably true.  You only have to think ofsome choice point where you decided, or not, to move forward towards something that you really wanted to do or become.  If you let yourself go with the energy pulling inside you towards this new direction, letting yourself explore and feel the new experiences, something powerful emerged-- as when you were a crawling baby irresistibly drawn to pulling yourself up on the bars of your playpen to standing, seeing the world from wide new vantage point of your full height.

During a coaching session today, I asked a client-- a woman who has raised a family and is going through her first professional training program-- to take a leap, physically, towards her new direction in life.  She did-- & had the breakthrough realization that even more than becoming a professional paid for her work, she wanted to become "an expert."  Her heart's desire right now is to become masterful at the work she really wants to be doing-- & to let nothing stop her from this goal.  This is her truth now-- & it is leading her beyond unskilled service to others in her family and community into a new realm of commitment and knowledge so she can help others to her full potential through her chosen work.

It took her many years of life experience before she was ready to acknowledge the truth of her longing.  Now she literally feels inside herself that this is exactly the right time to commit to her dream.  She has cleared the path of her particular obstacles-- fear of not knowing enough to begin and fear of what others in her life will think-- and is going boldly forward.  It's a thrilling time for her to experience and a privilege for me to witness.