March 26, 2010
A Christmas Cactus Explodes Into Bloom
There seems to be an interesting relationship between faith and intuition. It was St. Thomas Aquinas who said, “To one who has faith, no explanation is necessary. To one without faith, no explanation is possible.” Although I suspect he was referring very specifically to faith in Christianity, my observation is that this perspective extends across many traditions. I recall during the many frequent debates with my parents around my disbelief in their traditional Christian doctrine, my mother said in response to my logical dissection of her argument “You have got to have faith” My response was “Mother, you can’t ‘got to’ with faith. You either have it or don’t.” Part of the argument for their beliefs were the miracles performed in the name of God. At the time I did find it puzzling that on occasion their prayers could be uncannily effective. On one occasion in answer to a prayer to help them avoid having to sell the house, an envelope arrived unexpectedly from a friend saying that ‘God had guided her to send this money.”
My study since that time has suggested equally amazing and provocative stories from almost every spiritual tradition. Whether it is Islam, Christianity, Hinduism, Judaism – miracles are performed in the name of God. Unfortunately this common relationship between power and different beliefs does nothing to reconcile conflict or competition between them. For my own part I have had to conclude that there is a relationship between faith and acts of synchronicity that defy the wisdom of logic.
For many years I felt excluded from accessing what appeared to be a universal energy. I knew I could not create faith just because there appeared to be power associated with having it and I suspect that having ‘false faith’ would not be as effective. As the years passed I found a belief system that worked for me. It has no formal connection with a spiritual tradition but has evolved from a sense that the universe is power. That there is a connection between us and that power and that within that connection is a guiding force that we can access through our intuition.
Intuition is an amazing gift but it requires a pre-requisite step of faith in order for us to harness it. It reminds me of my Christmas cactus that breaks into an explosion of colour when treated to water. When we believe in our intuitive capacity and set an intention to explore, it responds similarly. I believe it is as natural a human phenomenon as seeing or hearing but most of us have lost touch with it. I suspect that we are born these amazing intuitive beings but at the age of six something terrible happens to us. We get sent to school and for the next fourteen plus years we are confined within a paradigm that does not respect intuition as a tool of learning. In a workshop recently an attendee shared with me how her five-year old daughter could intuitively solve complex problems at a nearby science center without trying to work them out.
So how do we create a sense of trust in something with which we have lost trust? When working with people I try to find a language that resonates for them. For some, it is as simple as a belief that guidance comes from God, for others it may be based on the conviction that we have a higher self to help direct our journey on this earth; some have an instinctive belief in their intuitive sense of just ‘knowing something’. Intuition according to the dictionary is the faculty of knowing without the use of rational process.
When I first began coaching people on intuitive decision-making, I had a rude awakening when trying to communicate the concept to a logical skeptic. God, higher self and intuition were words that meant nothing to him. It was only when I recalled a language from a brain workshop that I attended in the eighties that I was able to break through this barrier. This language concerns the biology of the brain; within the right hemisphere of the brain we have an area that I will loosely refer to as the sub-conscious; it has the capacity to multitask and work without us being aware of it. Once we develop tools to access this aspect of who we are then we can bring this unconscious processing into our conscious awareness, this results in “the faculty of knowing without the use of rational process – we are all hard wired to be intuitive!
March 4, 2010
A Sebring 2002 Convertible - Is this my next car?
I woke up on Monday following the completion of the Olympics with the realization that my vehicle had not yet appeared and now the Olympics was over, perhaps it was time to resort to more traditional methods of buying a car. The idea of the car coming to me rather than me going to the car seemed to have been less than successful. I had decided that what I wanted was a used Suburu Outback. So what if they were hard to find and over-priced, I felt I wanted one and perhaps it was time to do something tangible to acquire it. How long could I continue to affirm, “Let my vehicle appear” and have nothing concrete manifest? That was all well and good while I was in Mexico and even right through the Olympics but now my confidence was beginning to wane. Perhaps I was in a delusionary state about this; my friend Lorne had already tried to show me how easy it could be to locate one through Craig’s List but at the time I was in no mood to listen, preferring to try my own strange and different method of finding my car.
Feeling a little sad about having to give up what I was hoping would be an amazing example of synchronicity and manifestation, I went to check my e-mail and to my astonishment there was a comment on the blog I had written back on February where I had described the process of trying to buy a car through meaningful coincidence. At that time I had been given a tentative offer of a Sebring Convertible but at the time it seemed too nebulous, uncertain and not really what I was looking for. The comment read “Buy the Sebring ! Buy the Sebring ! I have one and I love it ! I too, went from a 20 year old VW Van, I love my baby and still have it, to a used 2002 Sebring Convertible. Feel the love even more!” I sat back feeling a little bemused “Was this the sign I had been waiting for?” It seemed like an astonishing coincidence to get this e-mail on this particular day. I decided to send the e-mail to my friend who owned the Sebring. The response I got back practically knocked me out of my chair. “I may have a “manifestation compromise” option for you to consider. I leave for South Africa on March 22 and won’t return until May 11. My car will sit in the garage for that whole time so you are more than welcome to “try it out” and use while I am away.” What an amazing and generous offer, I had absolutely nothing to lose. Who knows if I will buy the Sebring or not but this evidence of the universe responding to my intention could not be ignored. I decided to accept
While out on my bike later that day, I found my usual route blocked by road works so I detoured to an alternative street. Then the thought crossed my mind that I should continue with my affirmation “Let my vehicle appear”. For some reason, in that same moment, I glanced to my right and there right beside me was – yes you guessed it – a Sebring Convertible. The universe is a wondrous place to play.
March 2, 2010
True Patriot Love
It starts in the center of the chest; it feels like a warm, uncontrollable glow; it rapidly moves to the eyes, followed by the exquisite sensation of tears conjoined with joy. It is not something you create; it seems to have a life of its own and of course is feared by men the world over. Yet NBC reported that 25% of males admitted to shedding tears during the recent Olympics. Most of us shared the drama, courage, hopes, disappointments, heartbreak and ecstasy of vibrant young people competing at the Olympic Games and many of us will have felt this spontaneous eruption of emotion. Hearing our anthem, observing the athlete’s exultation and watching the Maple Leaf ascend was almost guaranteed to trigger my response. So what does this have to do with Decision-making?
The DecisionClarity model is an approach to encourage you to access your inner knowing. One of the tools it suggests is exploring your passions. When we connect to the heart we are open to an aspect of our essential nature that is connected to soul or psyche and is the home of our deepest wisdom. When we open ourselves to its power through tears of joy we create an altered state and when combined with a conscious intention set through the process, it can help to open our eyes in a new and different way. Insight that occurs in such a moment is particularly relevant to our question.
A friend reviewed this piece for me and passed on a lovely quote from Christina Baldwin, author of Storycatcher amongst others, she said “…and where there are tears, there is truth…and that is where you must pay attention to your story’s message.”