“And you can keep flexing your intuition (because it’s like a muscle) to feel into the next right step.”
Danielle LaPorte, White Hot Truth
“Standing all this while
Makes me realise I am alive
And I won’t settle.”
Vera Blue, Settle
Intuitive night thoughts lead the way
I wake in the night with the words of the song, Settle, running through my head. It’s true, it’s hard to settle into a rhythm now with so much creativity and opportunity running around my head. And now these thoughts… I hop up to note them down as I know I won’t remember them in the morning.
The night thoughts connect up and there’s a triangle with three threads spinning a story about:
- the lyrics of the song, Settle, linking to my swimming in the ocean, feeling alive amongst fish
- the novel I’m reading ‘To the Sea’, by Christine Dibley about women and daughters, ancestry and relationships to the sea, featuring swimming as a central metaphor; and
- movement, yoga and that sense of keeping moving right now amidst a touch of fog and uncertainty but with so many quiet lights of myself shining.
It’s interesting how things come together, in your life and in your mind. The synchronicity of choice, the noticing of this, the connections that you make, the influences that you choose and attract. If you’re paying attention, attuning to the energy and the signs, things come together, messages and a way of working with them emerge in your life.
The guiding hand of intuition
Intuition is a guiding force for me. It’s a dominant MBTI function and gift I’m learning to work with more. It’s one of my five Core Desired Feelings, defined as a result of working through The Desire Map.
It used to be just a vague sort of gut feeling, especially coming in a work context when something just didn’t feel right. But I know now it’s so much deeper. It’s how I want to feel as I work and write. I want it to be the engine of my writing, the heartbeat of my days’ rhythm, the light that guides me one step at a time, knowing the overall destination but with the journey itself as the real discovery.
It’s about feeling it as I go instead of thinking it all the time. Softening into it, being receptive and independent, organised but flexible, influenced by others but allowing my authentic voice and loves to combine and come through, clear and shining.
It’s knowing that my unique collation of experiences and expression may be exactly the ones to strike a light in another and trusting that. The learning I uncover can be shared to help others strike up their own special connections and spark of genius.
Knowing what to do next
I’m finding that I’m writing and working this way more now. For example, I’m finding that I’m reaching out to read what is right for me when I need it. The novel I’m currently reading, ‘To the Sea’, speaks of women, daughters, ancestry, movement and swimming as all these areas align to assume pivotal places in my life.
‘The Butterfly Hours’ on transforming memories into memoirs is a library book picked at random and opened recently at random. I find the perfect words about fiction and memoir writing there that have helped me delineate more clearly what I want to write and how.
Sure I chose these books because they are my interests but it’s about tuning into what I need to know or experience right now, sometimes let it work unknowingly.
It’s also about what I’m choosing to listen to and when to listen, to songs for example, and which ones, which random playlists and what they ignite, the words that run like a stream in the night fuelling creative thoughts.
It’s the podcasts or audiobooks I choose to listen to. Just yesterday, two podcasts acted as perfect counterpoints around the two themes of intuitive writing and intuitive working.
The first from Caroline Donahue’s The Secret Library Podcast was a conversation with Madelyn Kent about sense writing and building connection with body and movement as a way of opening up possibilities in writing. It was about being in movement in the body as a way of connecting with flow in writing and relaxing into new awareness. Deep and rich, I let its insightful messages wash over me as I listened.
The second from Sara Tasker’s Hashtag Authentic was a fabulous chat with Jen Carrington about creating the ideal work week. They talk honestly about being entrepreneurial breadwinners and how to create a work week that honours both self-care and productivity. They get work done in their own ways, following their body’s messages and their spirit and not buying into traditional work structures like measuring effort in hours spent. I felt so refreshed from listening to these women with their distinctive northern English accents talking so comfortably about breaking new ground and not settling for others’ definitions of how to work. They both create outstanding content and entrepreneurial work that supports others to shine from working intuitively with sense and feeling.
Intuition as a guide: Eight ways to work it
So it seems intuition can be a quiet guide in so many ways if we listen to its magic. Here are eight ways to work with intuition that I have discovered are working for me and some questions to prompt you into how to put it into practice. Granted there might be some thinking and sensing work in there too. But it’s not a brick wall, it’s a continuum, so shift to letting your intuition do the talking for a while and see what happens:
- What to read next – What do you need to read now – is it fiction, non-fiction or a combination of both? What does your heart need – to rest with a book, to learn or to be inspired? What do you need to know? What do you want to feel? Are you limiting to yourself to just one book when you could be more spontaneous and read more randomly, picking up pieces of wisdom that way?
- What to listen to and when – Do you need music right now or to hear the spoken work like a podcast? What are you tuning into? What do you need to be learning? What random playlist, podcast or subject is calling you or popping up consistently for your attention?
- Which project to work on next – Of all the projects waving at you for your attention, which one can you work on now with ease and which will be harder? Which one feels right? Even though one might be harder, does that need to be done first even though you are not sure why?
- When to move and how – Which form of physical exercise will get you moving in the right way to free you up? What environment will ignite your feelings and inspire you? Is it walking to the local cafe, being by the beach, wandering through the bush or walking around the city? Is it yoga, walking, running or cycling? What type of exercise might free up your writing eg free-writing, making a list or colouring in first?
- How to structure your week to best reach your goals – Whether you have a day job or are self-employed, how can you manage your work week best to manage self-care and reach your goals? How can it be both enjoyable and productive? Is there anything you can do to find the creative space you need? Which days are best for which projects? How can you reach your goals in ways that work for you?
- What rhythms can you bring into your life to support flow – When do you work best and how can you take advantage of that? How can exercise and movement help establish a rhythm you can take into other areas of your life? What time of day do you work best and how can you make the most of that? What about working with the moon and other cycles to facilitate a balance between receptivity and action?
- What intuitive tools do you choose to help guide you – Which tarot or oracle decks or cards are speaking to you? What about lunar cycles, astrology, spirit guides or quotations that inspire you? How are you working with them and how can you harness their power more effectively?
- Which rich combination of influences will come together to make you shine your most radiant light to help others along the way? Take the time to dream, journal, mind-map, brainstorm, draw, draft, blog, write a poem, to bring together connections for new insights and share them with others to inspire them.
Intuition, discovery and seeing anew
So taking these learnings and reflections, I weave a new narrative through an intuitive and creative work week.
Rebecca Campbell, in Rise, Sister, Rise, talks of needing to learn what her subtle mental, emotional and spiritual bodies needed:
…I have discovered that my subtle bodies most yearn for meaningful, flowing, physical movement where I can move and express myself freely. I find that my creations actually depend on it. As I allow my body to release and fluidly move it’s as if I am both strengthening my ability to be moved by my soul and unlocking wisdom within my spiritual body.
That is the case for me also and I feel the flow of: my arms stroking the water steadily and stronger; my breath acting as an anchor as I stretch into yin yoga moves; and words arriving at night and then shaping them into a rough draft in the daytime.
I feel the rhythm of what a new work week could look and feel like – how to balance my creative desires and serve others in the best way I can whilst also managing self-care and the all important care of special others.
I feel, I feel, I feel the rhythm of the sea, of movement, of words on a page calling me to a new sense of home and being settled.
It’s also about learning to balance this intuitive flow and be practical and of service:
- writing in a way that reflects and expresses me but is helping and encouraging for others, not just self-focused;
- managing my self-care so I can support the care of others and not fall over in the process; and
- honouring the influence of others in informing and finding my own unique, creative path.
It’s not about abandoning goals. We need a roadmap, we need to set goals so we know our overall direction and the three most important things to do this quarter, this week to help us get there. But knowing we can be flexible in our creativity, not working so slavishly, can be immensely freeing.
As Danielle LaPorte says in ‘Wisdom is Paradoxical‘:
Have a vision and…Go with the flow.
The Knight of Wands card arrived this morning as my daily weather report and he captures the feeling perfectly. Via the Art of Life Tarot, this Knight reminds us:
“The real voyage of discovery lies not in finding new landscapes but in having new eyes.”
Thought Pieces and key references:
Songs influencing post:
Settle – Vera Blue
Awake Me – Rosie Carney
Mercy – Duffy (this was for the movement part!)
The Secret Library Podcast with Caroline Donahue (@thebookdr): #48 Madelyn Kent Unlocks Writers block within the Body, 27 April 2017
Hashtag Authentic with Sara Tasker (@meandorla): Podcast 14 Creating your ideal working week, with Jen Carrington, 3 May 2017
The problem with consistency (aka the beautiful wabi sabiness of it all) – The Mojo Lab with Victoria Smith
The 3X3 Project – Week 10 – Crone Confidence with Diana Frajman
Feature image from Shutterstock.com and used with permission and thanks.
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