Intuition. That little voice in your head. A feeling in your gut. The strange sense in your chest and heart. Visions or dreams which seem so very real you can almost touch them. However your intuition notifies you, it is there, always. Whether you listen to your inner guidance or not, I believe we always have an incredible innate sense of where our paths in life should or shouldn't go. There have probably been many instances where I've ignored the little voice, and not so good things happened, or maybe nothing seemingly happened at all. (Although every experience has substance, pushes us in a certain direction.)
It is impossible to tell how many bad situations we've nearly missed because our intuition steered us clear of disaster. It is very easy to recognize, though, that particular déjà vu- like feeling where you know you are in the exact right place at the right time. You can look back on how you met certain people who you know belong in your life, and you realize, wow, what a magical experience. The way our paths interconnect without force, yet it is these invisible forces which direct us.
If my mother-in-law had decided not to leave the beautiful state of Oregon (a place very near and dear to her heart) for Ohio for a few years before heading to San Diego, my husband might not have made friends with my friends to introduce us years later, our paths leading us to all connect together in Orange County. Another reason why we cannot look back on the "coulda, shoulda, woulda," but instead enjoy the events going on as they happen, and smile in hindsight at how we were lead to the roads we needed to take (though we are incessantly traveling)....
Maybe the wrong direction develops forks, which eventually lead us the right away. Maybe every wrong step was the right one, as we meet people and see places we might have missed along the way.
As a writer, my intuition shows up not just in moments of disaster, but in moments where an idea must be communicated. Intuition and inspiration, hand in hand, are constantly dishing out stories, which tug at our imagination, transforming into real characters on our computer screens. As I research for my next novel, I push the worry away that I will not be able to determine what will happen next. For my first novel, I did not map out every little detail before writing it, but rather, found myself writing to figure out what would happen next. People and events in my life would spark inspiration for characters. Still, sometimes I thought I might be "stuck," wondering where the story would go, only to let my intuition do the talking.
For me, I constantly receive messages from my intuition through indistinct thoughts nonchalantly entering my mind. I recall time after time, this voice in the back of my mind, reminding me, warning me, guiding me.
I very clearly remember the warm night back in high school when my friends and I stopped for a night stroll along the beach. I remember not locking my car doors, but not being concerned about it due to lack of cash in our purses. Rookie mistake #120,480. When we got back our stuff was gone. Ironically, my intuition did not tell me to lock the car doors, but rather, led me to believe everything would be okay. Stupid I know. Odds were that the person who took our stuff would not be found. Still, there was a calm that fell over me and I told myself everything would be fine. We reported our things at our local police department, then went home to sleep.
I woke up the next morning to the phone ringing downstairs. The thought crossed my mind that the call was someone reporting our stolen stuff, but I pushed the thought out of my mind and went back to sleep. I later listened to the message which was left by an undercover cop. He had caught a man trying to buy lobster at a supermarket miles from my home using my debit card. And so it was, we got our stuff back and indeed, everything ended up okay. I did, however, learn not to take any more chances on leaving an unlocked vehicle.
And so I continue to believe, through intuition, inspiration, interconnection, all people and events in our lives, however insignificant or meaningless, connect us to where our path should lead, no matter how dreary things seem along the way. The way seemingly good things fall apart, but actually make way for the best things, and in the process, make us stronger people.
Looking back at my very first publishing experience, although things did not work out as originally planned, I smile as I realize how the pieces of the puzzle were all dropped at my feet. Only thing I needed to do was simply pick them up, and put them together.
It was one year ago that I set up a Law of Attraction Craft Brew Meet-up for a potluck and hike behind my home. As fate should have it, one of the members accidentally came to my house a week early. Not by coincidence, we took a short hike around my creek, where she offered me invaluable information on publishing, being a ghostwriter herself. I listened to her ideas about self-publishing, although in graduate school, we had always learned that looking for an agent or publisher was the best route to enter the publishing world. Yet she urged me that the way I was going at the time did not seem right. A few days later, she sent me an email about a Publishers and Writers of San Diego event lead by #1 best-selling award-winning independent children's author, Sheri Fink. But my mother had already found the event and passed the information along to me, and I was already going.
I was forced to find a sub for my coaching job that day. I drove up to the library in Carlsbad, and listened eagerly as Sheri shared her journey of leaving her corporate job to becoming a #1 best-selling author and international speaker--to write the story which had existed inside her for so long, but it was not until she fatefully met a woman at a conference urging her to write that story for the woman's grandchildren that she let go of her safety net and moved in the direction of her inspiration. I was nearly in tears several times as I listened to her incredible story, and scribbled down all of the information I needed to follow in her footsteps. Was I supposed to follow in her footsteps? It was odd, because that day Sheri had no idea who I was, yet I felt she was speaking right to me. Like her message was for me. I introduced myself, got a few of her incredible books, and drove home, excited about the recent turn of events.
While I did not act upon the synchronicity immediately, I realized after being asked to sub for the in-home daycare where I used to work that indeed I needed to get my book out there. After reading the book (printed out on computer paper) and hearing cheers from the little ones, "Read it again!" and watching them roll, and cartwheel, and smile, I knew I could not wait any longer. Regardless of the advice I'd heard for years to find an agent or publisher, I simply could not wait.
Now, one year later, I can officially call myself an author, hold my "baby" in my hands. The best part? Other kids can hold my baby too. My book, no longer just my childhood story and dream, but an actual thing to be held in the hands of others. My book no longer belongs to just me, but to many kids, and many more in years to come. And I know without all of the miscues, wrong steps, things that did not work out, it was all for this, to get me here.
Still, I know the search is not over. Where to go next? What choice is the right one? Am I listening to my inner guidance, letting go of doubt and ego? The answer, it must be yes. No matter how many steps and stumbles I take, I am going the right way and I will not stop.