Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Guidepost #5- Cultivating Intuition and Trusting Faith : Letting Go of the Need for Certainty

With all the things going on right now I am feeling a little lost, and so will return to the Guideposts of "The Gifts of Imperfection" to help me focus on my work.

It is fitting that this guidepost is about letting go of the need for certainty.  Much like my "unbeknown to her" mentor Brene Brown....I like to be a logic and reason kind of gal....head over heart I would say.  But over the years I have also developed a healthy sense of intuition and faith --which is a key component of Wholehearted living.

Brown's research has led her to the conclusion that intuition is not just a belief in something independent from any logic or reasoning, instead, intuition is in play when we use our database of memories and experiences from which we can measure and asses new situation to get a "feeling" about what we have observed.  We input the data--and the output may be ---I need more data,  which I recognize as the feeling of not being sure---which is your guy saying "I gotta look into this more".

I have always felt I have a healthy "gut instinct" even to the point of being intuitive in the face of logic.  A few years ago my sister suffered a badly executed "routine" surgery that left her on life support.  When I first visited her in the hospital, she was all tubes and machines.  I held her hand and got the immediate "vibe" that she was going to be fine and I started to smile. It  was not her time and all this fuss needed to be reigned in for when she came out of this---THAT was when she would need her family. People thought I was in denial.  Maybe it was because I had not been there when things initially went wrong that I was able to look at her differently?  I hadn't talked to a single doctor or seen how bad she had been when she retuned to the hospital a week after her initial surgery---full of infection and fecal matter due to the knick in her bowel.

It was a very clear message that came through to me when I touched her---she would be fine.  This is a special intuition---which is not what Brene Brown is discussing and unfortunately, I can't turn on and off.  I wish I could. I would probably be a lot richer if I could predict the lotto.... 

I often joke that the one gift God gave me was the ability  to find a good parking space---for which I am grateful, don't get me wrong!  I can always find a great spot. It is the parking lot lotto?

I have had other moments of clarity, where I have taken a leap of faith, and done some things that turned out great and others not so much.  I have gathered my data--checked in with my gut and just taken a leap of faith that all will work out.  So what is the hold up now?  What make it possible to do then but not now? 

What is common to each of these leaps is me.  At the core....I know I can do anything. 

Wow.  I had no idea how small my voice had gotten during all of this.  At 24 I took a leap and travelled Australia by myself, confident it would be ok.  At 25 I took a leap and followed my boyfriend across the country to a place where I had no job, confident it would be ok. At 27 I took a leap and got married, then pregnant and my husband left me---in that order--- in 7 months and I was confident it would be ok. 

At 34 when I had my first go at reclaiming my self with a medical leave for mental health reasons, I took a leap and returned home to acquire my Masters in Library and Information Science while single parenting, and heading for financial disaster, confident that it would be ok.  These messages should fill me with the confidence I need to realize that I can do anything....and will be ok.  That a leap of faith is backed by this knowledge means this time for myself is an amazing opportunity to be quiet and listen to my intuition and realize it doesn't MATTER what I decide to do.  I can do anything.  Now ---the tricky part---what do you WANT TO DO? I just don't know what the right answer is!

Brown talks about how our need for certainty is what prevents us from hearing our intuition.  I so get what would YOU do?

I am DESPERATE for my therapist, my doctor, my psychiatrist to just tell me what to do.  That way I can forge ahead with something someone ELSE thinks is the right thing. That way if it goes wrong I can blame someone else.  A warning sign you are feeling vulnerable about a making a decision is when you start polling your friends, colleagues, family --

I get that some of these decisions I have to make are big ones---career, where we live, how we live--and clearly, I would love for someone else to make the decision.  My new psychologist is encouraging me to use my "gut"--follow my heart-- but the challenge lies in sitting still long enough to hear what my heart says.  And maybe it says --you need to look into things a little more--but I don't seem to be doing much of that either.

My youngest being restrained from doing "bunny ears" \
behind his brother.  Sit still---one picure!!!

It is a bit like trying to get my 8 year old to sit still.  STILL.  Not move--wiggle--giggle---jiggle, turn your head---make a face---tap your toes---SIT STILL!!!  I am the 8 year old.  Just get on with it.  Thinking about this is too stressful and uncomfortable--I pick option A.  Browns says this is her warning sign to slow down even more and gather more information.  She says, " If I'm afraid to run the numbers or put pencil to paper, I shouldn't do it." 

Faith is the one thing that I do have --small words right now but.  I can do anything (that's a bit better).  That is certainly one I will have to work on.  I always want to make the "right" decision but as my oldest son reminds me, "Whatever decision you make Mom will be the right one.  It will be the right one because you will not have the chance to do the others and therefor have no idea how they would turn out."

 (This is where of course my perfectionista dances into the conversation shaking her maracas. Because she always imagines the 'right' decision is always one more lighting bolt moment  away so don't decide anything yet....or better still....she whispers in my ear..."ah, well...I knew you should have chosen option B....tisk tisk").  I have a friend who reminds me often she has a trunk if I would like to dispose of anyone.  Maybe I will introduce her to my perfectionista...... at least for a while.  WHAT?  They can go for coffee---take her off my hands for a couple hours....

So.  Since I CAN DO ANYTHING...(woah..way better....) what will I do?  Hmmmm.

Finish the work--do the math--pencil to paper--take a leap!

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