Looking at ourselves and the world through the lens of the 21st century.

Saturday, July 6, 2024

Got Questions? Listen to Your Intuition


I hope you enjoyed this week’s episode about The Book of Questions and The Kid’s Book of Questions by Gregory Stock, Ph.D.  I know some of the questions were hard, especially trying to answer the questions designed for kids. Christen and Amber expressed a great deal of dislike for the questions from the kids’ book, primarily because they seemed to be shallow, asking about things like looks and popularity, but I maintain that kids are already in that mindset all on their own, and that questions like that are a great way to introduce family discussions on things like race, disability, discrimination, lookism, and more. And while it might be hard for fair-minded adults to hear those questions, sometimes we need to look deeper at our biases, too. 

Those weren’t the only hard questions I’ve been faced with lately. This year, I’ve been faced with a lot of questions about how to move forward in my life and what my goals and ambitions might be. Those are hard questions for someone who is almost 60 years old and recently widowed. If someone had asked those questions this time last year, I would have an easy answer right at my fingertips, but now everything has changed. Things that were important to me last year suddenly aren’t so important, and things I didn’t have to worry about before are now staring me right in the face. So, in January, I realized I couldn't answer all the questions as I started working out my goals in the Goals Girl workbook that we have been creating and answering prompts in my One Little Word project.

As I answered the prompts, I kept circling back to questions about my highest calling and deepest dreams. I honestly didn’t know. For so many years, my greatest calling was to be a great mom and wife, provide a safe and loving home for my family, and try to be a better person. That last part is still true, but my kids are grown. I just spent the better part of four years creating the most loving and nurturing environment I could for loved ones with dementia and cancer, and all of that was super taxing on my physical and emotional energy. I was (still am) exhausted. It wasn’t very helpful to my travel business either, as I didn’t have the time to devote to my clients or rebuilding after COVID that I felt I should. And that brought up another hard question…should I keep working as an agent or simply let it go?

So then I had two hard questions, decision fatigue from dealing with all the stuff widowhood throws at you, and hey, let’s throw a question about whether I should take a once-in-a-lifetime trip (or not) into the mix. I just didn’t know. I couldn’t decide. I tried everything. I meditated, wrote out lists of pros and cons, and did extra “homework” in my goal-setting to get to the root of my “dreams.” I asked my friends; I asked my therapist. I even consulted my tarot cards (multiple times!), a pendulum, and a charm reader. I just kept getting mixed answers, but nothing definitive. Everything kept coming back to “trust your intuition,” and that was the problem. I had gotten into the habit of ignoring my intuition. I had been doing it for so long that I no longer heard it.

How did that happen? Mostly from making bad choices (ignoring what my intuition told me), but also because I was listening to all those voices that made me believe I wasn’t smart or capable of making the right choices. Trusting your intuition is hard when you’ve spent your whole life thinking it was faulty. After a while, you just stop listening…even when it’s right.

That was a big revelation, but I wasn’t sure where to go from there. I did a little searching on the internet, and everything pointed to more meditation (clearing the other voices out of your head), journaling (doing a bit of shadow work), and being open to whatever my intuition might have to say – all the time. That was helpful, but I still had questions I couldn’t resolve, and then I stumbled across this blog and video from podcaster and YouTube creator Marie Forleo. 

The blog was helpful and mentioned some of the things I had already been trying, but the video was a game-changer for me. Marie helped put some of my issues into perspective, and by using her suggestions, I got so much closer to the answers to my questions. I particularly liked the journaling prompt and the idea that “clarity comes from engagement, not thought,” which I learned back in 2020 when “clarity” was my One Little Word

Do I have all the answers now? No. Did I learn how to hear my inner voice? Yes, and it’s getting louder every day. The more I listen and the more I follow my own instincts, the louder that voice will become and the more sure I will be of it. And, by the way, I’m still a travel agent, and I’ll be going to Paris in the fall with the GreenMan Group

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