Over the years, I’ve worked on strengthening my intuition. Part of strengthening that muscle means being open to information as it comes, rather than letting my rational mind overrule it. I’m not talking about earth shattering, booming voice on high messages. I’m talking about acting on the whisper. The feeling you get in a meeting: “don’t jump into this conversation.” Or when you get angry with someone but find yourself thinking, “If I say that, there may be no going back.” No matter how insignificant things seem, I find myself following the guidance rather than starting in with a bunch of “wait – but why should I do this?” questions.
I was reminded of a story by inspirational author, Laura Day. Laura has a really easy, conversational style that’s understandable and engaging if you haven’t had a chance to read some of her books. I’m partial to Welcome To Your Crisis.
Several years ago Laura told an interesting story about 9/11. She lives in downtown New York, and someone asked her if she had a premonition about the terrible events. Laura said that she hadn’t, but she did have a series of small messages that came to her in the months leading up to the attacks.
Initially she got a message that her family should have backpacks. Laura laughed as she remembered making the decision; she’s much more of a city girl than a hiker. Nevertheless, she thought it might be fun for them to be able to go on a picnic together over the Summer, and everyone could carry lunch in their own backpack. So she bought the backpacks.
Next, she thought it was important to keep some cash in the house. It was kind of an odd thing to do for Laura. She had never kept a lot of money around, but she went to the ATM, pulled out some cash, and put it away.
Then 9/11 happened. Like the rest of the world, she was devastated; her neighborhood was in ruins. But in the days that followed, motorcyclists began to take people out of Manhattan into New Jersey. It was easy for her family to leave the City for a few days. They had the $50 necessary to pay the bikers. And they all had backpacks rather than luggage.
This week you may be facing your own internal nudge. Follow it, even if it doesn’t initially make sense. Like me, don’t mess with the message!