When I meditate, a magical unicorn doesn’t suddenly appear in my mind’s eye to whisper what I should do next with my life. Truth be told, most of the time, nothing appears except lots of annoying tasks and to-do’s.
When I get personal knowledge about someone in an instant, I often wonder, “Why do I need to know this?”
When I see/hear/or do something and the little hairs on my arms, neck, and back stand up, I often ask, “What does this mean?”
When I’m doing mundane things like weeding in the garden, brushing my teeth, or folding laundry, and a call to action comes through, I think, “Was that my intuition calling or just one of many random thoughts?”
There lies the conundrum. Just because I notice or listen to my intuition doesn’t mean that I understand it. As my energy healer Heidi has told me before, “Sometimes, you won’t know why your intuition told you to do this thing until you get through it and look back on it in hindsight.”
Before we go any further, let’s make sure we’re on the same page about intuition.
The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines intuition as “the power or faculty of attaining to direct knowledge or cognition without evident rational thought and inference.”
The first part of the definition of intuition appeals to me. The power to attain direct knowledge or cognition? Yes, please!
But I find the second part challenging. To gain this knowledge or cognition without evident rational thought and inference? This is when I second guess myself, try to apply logic to situations that don’t call for it, and then use my head instead of my heart, which more often than not, leads me to actions that don’t serve me.
Living an intuitive life has not been easy. It often doesn’t make sense. Still, I try my best to follow my intuition. Because when I don’t, things inevitably go wrong.
I’m learning that living the intuitive life requires trust, faith, discipline, and tons of patience. I don’t know about you, but I wasn’t born with these things. Having grown up in a dysfunctional family and oppressive society as a woman of color, I’ve experienced distrust before understanding trust, developed discipline and patience through challenges and opposition, and tested my faith many, many times in order to finally believe in it. My life has been made up of thousands of experiments, both good and bad, and everything in between.
Even now, working full-time at my newish job (it’s been seven months now) while also trying to keep up my writing life and indie publishing business makes me wonder, is this what I’m supposed to be doing?
On my most challenging days, I think about chucking it all, but my intuition tells me to have patience and keep going. Some days, staying put is the hardest thing to do. But here I am. Still writing, still working, still trying to remember, the path is the gift.
I’m curious. Do you follow your intuition? If yes, what has it told you lately?
Peg Cheng is the author of Rebel Millionaire, a guide for how to retire as a millionaire even if you make a modest income, and The Contenders, a novel that asks, can enemies become friends? She is also the proud owner of Plaid Frog Press with her husband Marcus Donner. Born in Southern California to Taiwanese parents, Peg currently lives in Seattle, Washington.
Photo by Mathew Schwartz.