Is Intuition a Skill or a Talent?

“If you can learn it, it’s a skill.

 If it’s important, but innate, it’s a talent.”

 Seth Godin

 

Here is what I know.  

 

Everyone is intuitive, just like singing, we can all sing.

Some of us sing Opera and some of us can’t hold a note, but we can all sing.

So, some of us have innate intuitive talents meant to be used directly for the benefit of all, and all of us have intuition to be used for the benefit of a life well lived, which will then benefit all.

 

That means that intuition is a skill and can be learned.

Learning the skill of intuition means your world will absolutely expand and blossom.

It will give your life depth, clarity, purpose and connect you to life in ways  you just can’t fathom until you experience it for yourself.

Cultivate your intuition. Open your life.

 

Re-Invention or Easter…

You might know by now that there is nothing I love more than a new beginning. A re-invention.  A fresh start.Every year, and I do mean ever year until Mom stopped being able to remember me properly, and I was on my own in that department, my Mom, (Daisy, or Daisy Dear as my Dad used to call her) would say to me, with passionate conviction,

“Dear, this year is going to be the best year ever, I just know it!”

I’d hear that, we’d hug and I would be comforted by the mingling scents of Estee Lauder’s “Youth Dew” and the faint eucalyptus smell of the Noxzema face cream she wore every night and day, and a small weight I didn’t know I was carrying would lift.

Why did she know to say that? What could she see that I couldn’t ? So much seemed out of reach to me, but  I trusted my Mother.
I loved her.

Hope would bloom. Maybe things would be better after all!

For awhile before I understood myself and how I’m wired, the driving restlessness I tried to ignore, and the unrecognized anxiousness that lived in me daily, would somehow be fed and leave me be for awhile.

As It turns out, I was right, my Mommyo did see something I didn’t, something that has taken me all my life to understand and recognize.

This is what she saw, this is what she knew…

My Mother saw a cherished daughter she loved.
She said that to me every year because my Mother didn’t share the doubts I had about myself.
She believed in me absolutely and completely, she was for me, she was on team me.
The problem was that I was not on that team, and so I struggled.

Those words of confidence and faith were uttered each year with the fierce power of love riding through them and home to my heart. She steadily and faithfully re-ignited a spark of self love that insisted on extinguishing itself on a regular basis.

Mom never gave up, never wavered, she loved me and loved me and loved me until I finally came to understand how to do that on my own and even now, although we no longer communicate through words, that love, and her belief in me lives in me too now.
These days I can take those words and the force behind them and say them to myself.

You might say it’s an ongoing mini re-invention.

Of course I have times where I forget that my voice is important, and that who I am and what I contribute in the world is worthwhile, that I matter. The doubts slip in and I become afraid of life, of my value and place in the world.

I forget the power of love, I forget to be on team me.
Then I remember my Mom and all that love…

Mom gave me a gift of re-invention and persistence.
I remember all the second and third and fifty million chances she lovingly and willingly gave me, and I remember I can cut myself some slack, slow it down.

You can too…you can have the BEST YEAR EVER!…Today…

Happy Easter,
Namaste,
Elizabeth

The Unlived Life

“Most of us have two lives. The life we live, and the unlived life within us.  Between the two stands Resistance.”

Steven Pressfield

 

(Warning! Controversial Material!)

Last week I went to see “The Monuments Men”, a George Clooney movie based on a true story about a group of men who were sent out to rescue and return to their rightful owners, artistic masterpieces that Hitler stole from invaded countries in the second world war.

It’s always good to see a movie that celebrates Art, but what reverberated for me throughout the entire movie, what I’ve been thinking about ever since, is something that Steven Pressfield said in his book, his  genius creation called, “The War Of Art”.

This is what he said.

 

“You know, Hilter wanted to be an Artist.  At eighteen he took his inheritance, seven hundred kronen, and moved to Vienna to live and study.  He applied to the Academy of Fine Arts and later to the School of Architecture.  Ever see one of his paintings? Neither have I.  Resistance beat him.  Call it an overstatement but I’ll say it anyway: it was easier for Hilter to start World War 2 than it was for him to face a blank square of canvas”.

 

I was sitting alone ( I do mean alone, there was no one else there but me, slow night I guess!) in the theatre, watching the movie discovery of these treasures hidden in numerous mining sites destined for Hitler’s “super museum”. A museum  that would contain every important artwork in the world; thinking about the ruthlessness of resistance, and its remorseless need to pulverize every impulse to be who we were meant to be.

 

Along with the other horrors of Hitler’s reign of terror, we see in his quest to fill his museum, the painter who stopped painting because he caved to his shadow, the toxic force called resistance.

 

Steven Pressfield also says,

“To yield to resistance deforms our spirit, it stunts us and makes us less than we were born to be”

What if Hilter, after his non-acceptance to art school, kept painting? Decided that he was an artist, kept learning, got up every day and painted, found a job to support himself and just painted?

What if he turned toward his genius ( defined as the guardian spark of the inner spirit) away from his shadow, resistance, and did the work? Turned all that ego-mania into Art instead of distruction? I don’t know what would have happened, but I do know that the path would have been very different for all of us, of that I am sure.

 

Want to paint?

Paint.

Want to write?

Write.

Want to be a Yoga teacher? A mother, a doctor, run for office?

Do it.

The world is filled with writers who don’t write, but own cafes where writers who are actually  writing meet, artists who want to paint but don’t, who staff art galleries featuring artists who do paint, people who cheer on the marathoner but are too afraid to become one themselves and the list goes on.

This is what I thought of, in that movie theatre, that resistance is an equal opportunity player, it infects all of us if we allow it to define us.

Resistance is an excellent teacher if we decide to challenge it.

Do it, challenge it, throw down the guantlet, say hell to the yes…

I CAN DO IT MYSELF!

“Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family. Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one.” Jane Howard

One of the biggest stumbling blocks, the killer of dreams and the sure fire way to make sure, you keep yourself stuck is to try going it alone.
Isolation can shrivel up even the most passionate idea and yet, somehow, the idea persists that being a “lone wolf” is admirable, honourable and even spiritual!
That, my friends just isn’t so…

Do you know what happens to a real lone wolf?

That’s right, they die mostly…They are pack animals, being removed from the pack is not good!
It’s a dangerous path.  A lone wolf is more vulnerable to predators,  will have to travel farther and longer to find food, will have to try and find a new pack or slink back to the old one.  It’s a life of hard survival, day in and day out and it’s lonely.

We need our tribe, our like minded folk, our people! I have a friend who is always getting text messages and one day I teased her and said,
” Hey you, get off yer phone!” She said, “Hey! I have people!”.  Yes! People ! People who need people! That’s us! We need each other, we need our tribe.
Especially, if we are about to embark on a path that is about a long held dream that we are finally taking brave steps to fulfil!
Like the lone wolf, we are more vulnerable to predatory thoughts and worldly indifference.
Nourishing our dreams takes more effort, we can easily go into survival mode and quickly lose our brave, bright ideas to the comfort of the familiar.

If you have a dream? Do not go it alone. Do not try to figure it all out by yourself. Do not huddle it close and end up smothering the very thing you so want to bring to life.

In fact, to really stop romanticising the notion that your dream can only happen if you bootstrap it all by yourself, the very first connection  you must make is to your own thoughts! Yes!

Where are your thoughts taking you? Do you think it’s a weakness to ask for help? Do you think you have to know everything already? What are your thoughts doing? Do they support you or de-rail you?

Here is the secret to non starter thoughts designed to keep you small, isolated and stuck…ready?

You can change your thoughts! Yes! It’s a miracle!

Listen, it took me a long time to figure this out! (I know you are much more clever then I am…)  but for me this was a revelation.The powerful knowledge that I have complete power over my thoughts and subsequently my feelings has changed my life!
So, I know first hand, if you want to bust open the lone wolf syndrome, begin by recognizing that by opening the door to better feeling thoughts that are inclusive will free you.

Next, find a group to connect with, find your people! Read books by people who have walked the path you want to walk in, immerse yourself in the world, connect, connect, connect and keep finding new ways to keep yourself our of isolation and in inclusion, your dreams will begin to thrive!

Sometimes you just need to let it go…

Ok, here’s the skinny on Surrender. When we decide to lay down the fight, when we allow “what is” to just be, what we areactually doing is relinquishing the micro management of the Universe, that part of us that thinks we know more then the energy that created Earth and Mars!
We get it all mixed up with not following through, with taking action and forging ahead. Yet, there is a big difference between not trying or not acting on our ideas or dreams.
Action is necessary in whatever we choose to do in life, this is true. If you want to write a book, you have to write it! If you want a new job, you have to do the things to bring the job into fruition. If you want to win the lottery, buy the ticket!
Surrender on the other hand not about not “getting out there and getting it done” although that can be a part of surrender, if you are “getting it done” in the state of surrender. Surrender is about showing up in a whole way. It’s all about stopping the small mind or ego from “pushing the river”. Have you tried to push a river lately?
Surrender, is about yielding, It’s about allowing and staying present, it’s about joining with the stuff of the Universe. That energy that creates stars and planets and us that I was just talking about. It’s really about aligning ourselves to ourselves! Our bigger selves that is, our higher selves, our divine selves.
So, surrender isn’t about giving up at all, it is about becoming more of who you are! It’s about allowing ourselves to really get in sync with possibilities that we don’t even know existed.
When we stop trying to work our will, on “making” things happen, we actually move into a greater resource pool! Who knew?
In the land of surrender, getting what we really want, stands a much better chance, than trying to wrestle with our doubts and frustrations and forcing our will onto others or situations.
This doesn’t mean it’s easy to let go! It’s easy to fall into despair and worry and uncertainty when we start to surrender because we think we have to be in control, we think we are being pro-active, being “on top” of things. We have scary thoughts about what will happen if we just let go…which is why, practicingsurrender is such a good plan:)
First, as with anything you have to decide to surrender! Yes, it’s a decision:) Life can force you to surrender, but why wait?
Once you decide, then you can expect to find all your worries and fears to take center stage! Yea! Happy days…Which is why it’s good to be ready with some tools to help you.
Here are some tools I personally use, the easiest and quickest way I have found to slow down.

I start with my breath. Are you holding your breath? I do. I do it when I am in the “pushing the river” mode,this is what I do:
Take a slow breath in through your mouth and out through your nose. Do this as many times as it takes, until you feel yourself calming. Once I can feel myself calming, the next thing I do is slow down my body.
I’m a brisk walker, I motor along at a fast clip, I’ve got places to go! People to see! Things are happening baby!! So, as you might think, slowing down is not natural for me! But guess what? It works! I slow down my breathing, I slow down my breathing, I slow down my movements, I slow, I slow and then the next thing you know, I’ve slowed down my tiny mind… when I have stopped cruising around at a hundred miles an hour in my head and in life, I can begin to let it all go.
The stress, the worry, the projection into tomorrow…sometimes I even say out loud; ” I surrender”. Sometimes I use Ho’oponopono;
“I’m Sorry. Please Forgive Me. I Love You. Thank You”. Sometimes, I say the prayer of St. Francis of Assisi. Sometimes I tell myself that “this to shall pass”. Sometimes I have a good cry. Sometimes I go to Yoga. Sometimes, I go for a big walk and breathe and focus on what is right in front of me, becoming mindful as I walk. Sometimes, I have to say, I do all of it and I still am holding on to an undercurrent of edgy anxiety. However, I promise you, the more I stay with it, the more you stay with it, eventually surrender happens, it kicks in. It works! I move into the flow, into the greater, clearer, part of myself, my day is softer, my way in the world is softer, I am more connected and then…that’s when the magic starts to happen…:)
Try it. You’ll like it:)

What We Tell Ourselves…

I have begun to draw! I went out and bought a set of coloured pencils and watercolour paints, some paper, (the kind you use for your printer because where I am right now that was all I could find) and began! Ta Da! Now, I draw like a 5 year old. Or, like the 5 year old I once was. You know what I mean, stick people, lop sided houses, lots of stars and suns, easy things. Yes, it is true I can’t draw, but it doesn’t matter because what I’m after is … colour. I love colour! It’s something about the shades merging into one another, the magic as a deep red morphs into raspberry red and intersects with indigo that drifts into pale yellow I’s yummy. It’s delicious. It’s a luscious extravagance for the soul. So why has it taken me so long to allow myself this delectable pleasure? Maybe it was what my 6th grade art teacher thoughtlessly said, after I proudly showed her my version of a landscape or whatever it was we drawing that day, “ Oh, well, we can do much better than that can’t we dear” delivered in what can be described that benevolent yet patronizing voice adults in authority in the 60’s often affected. I was crushed. I loved my drawing! I loved the color! Maybe that was it, or maybe it was the myriad of mixed messages about what it meant to be creative. I wanted to learn to draw as a kid. I tried to teach myself from a book I found in my parents bookshelf but I just didn’t understand perspective. I couldn’t figure it out and I didn’t know who to ask, so instead I decided that I wasn’t creative. I couldn’t draw, so that must mean I wasn’t creative, right? Then in Grade 12, an exciting new vocational test came out, designed to help us figure out what our talents were and to make sure we took the right courses to steer us in the right direction. When it came to my evalution I sat uncomfortably in front of the Guidance counsellor as he stared at me in disbelief. “You aren’t taking any Art classes” he said for the second time. “No” I said. “Are you sure” he said, “Yes” I said. He looked at me and said something like “ But you have scored in the highest percentile of creativity” he stared some more at me in case I was just pulling his leg. “ Did you take Art classes before” “No” I said . “I have never taken Art classes”. I was getting embarrassed and I little panicked, like I had done something horribly wrong, Should I sign up for Art classes? I couldn’t draw! I couldn’t be an artist! I didn’t know what to do. I felt ashamed. “Well” he said, finally, putting down the test results, a look of resignation and disappointment on his face, I guess it’s too late now”. I didn’t say anything, I didn’t know what to say. I felt ridiculous, I was confused. I guess I had really blown it, I should have taken Art classes! I don’t know what happened after that but I left his office, armed with some new information about myself with no idea what it meant or what to do about it. I probably was too occupied with my practicing my dance routine for our High School play or had to get home and get ready for my ballet class or maybe I had to get to the Gym because as head of the Social Committee we needed to finish decorating for our High School Dance. It might have been the one where “Heart” played, right before they made it big, the band my friend and I had chosen. Or maybe I wanted to discuss “ The Female Enuch” with my English teacher, or maybe I wanted to add to the on-going stories my friend and I would write and pass to each other in the hall in between classes. Yeah, I wasn’t creative, I couldn’t draw…