"When you know, you know."
I never understood this quote, until I understood it.
Nine years ago, I stood in the doorway of the house in which I currently live, and declared, "I'm home," without ever stepping foot inside.
One month later, I moved in.
Two and a half years ago, I visited my friend at her studio for a massage. Afterwards, she asked if I wanted to see the only available space on the property (which had just been listed for rent). I didn't know why I wanted to see it, until I knew.
I paused in the doorway, groggy from body work and stated, "This is my yoga studio." A week later, I signed a lease.
I know when I have arrived home. We all do.
There is a clear difference between impulse and intuition.
Impulsive action leads to a stampede of second guessing, the feeling of being out in the cold, confused and indecisive. The aftershocks of impulse may take a while to appear, but they always do.
Intuitive action leads us home, without a doubt in our minds, we are safe-inside of ourselves.
A few months ago, a student of mine sent me a private message. She asked, "What do you do when you don't know what to do? When you don't get the intuitive feeling you described, but you don't get an outright 'this is wrong' gut feeling either?"
My answer, "Sit and wait for awhile." When we don't know, it is an indication we are not listening.
She replied, "It is hard to wait when I want to be proactive."
We can easily confuse being impulsive with being proactive.
It is hard to stay quiet and wait. We want something to grasp in order to feel in control of our lives. Waiting is painful. In the lull, we are presented with all of our fears, and we have no choice but to feel and experience them.
We are conditioned to believe waiting/stillness is a symptom of laziness and lack of motivation. We think we must forge ahead, blazing a path of decision and direction, yet if we stop to listen, we will discover -- we are always on the path, because we are the path. Taking time to stop and listen, does not halt our journey, it is the journey.
Being proactive is not about being active, it is about being patient. Impulse can not survive when patience is present. Patience reserves all of its space for intuition -- this is where the answer, the "I know" resides.
We always know -- this is what I believe. If we are quiet enough, the answer is there. The true answer -- the one which protects the integrity of our spirit.
As we mature, we learn how to discern between the voice of the mind and the voice of the spirit. One can not exist without the other. I think the stronger the mind, the stronger the intuition and vice versa. When we don't know the answer right away and engage with patience, we observe the mind at work -- questioning. We honor it as we hone in on the answer of the spirit.
However, the mind will second guess until our heart stops beating. It is enticing to live within the questions. There is safety and comfort on the carousel of analysis; it churns the sensation of control within us. We have been trained to think, making the right decision takes deliberation, vacillation and deep consideration.
I believe it is the opposite: Analysis is a sign of the absence of intuition.
When I signed the lease for the studio, I wasn't sure what I was going to do, I just knew I was supposed to do it. It was one of the few times in my life I was completely sure and petrified, equally. I knew if I allowed the what ifs and analytics to direct me, I would lose my overwhelming connection to the feeling I first received when I walked through the door.
When we act from our intuition, we trust in the unknown, because it is our only choice: The unknown is the "I know."
Once we have experienced the action of intuition, jumping into our fear is the only option -- we welcome it. We don't waste time weighing the pros and cons, because there are pros and cons to everything in life. Ultimately, it is the feeling we receive from our experiences that matter.
Before we function from our intuitive center, we must do the opposite-be impulsive and second guess. We will recognize how depleting and exhausting impulsive action is, once we discover the ease of intuitive action-the simplicity of honoring our spirit.
The truest answer is the first whisper and the first feeling. Our spirit is efficient and honest. She is not a game player or a manipulator. When she says yes, she means yes and when she says no, she means no. She wants us to expend as little energy possible deciding, so we reserve all of our energy to live our lives completely, genuinely and happily.
We begin living life, not just surviving and enduring life, when we discover -- all of our answers are within us. We are always safe and sound amidst the fear. Once we know this, not knowing this is no longer an option.
First published on Elephant Journal