Cashier: “Would you like a bag for this bleach?”
Me: “No, that’s not necessary. I will just throw it in the cart.”
Immediately my mind visualizes the entire back end of my car soaked in bleach!
Me: “Okay, so I just had this visual of my car soaked in bleach. Right now I am actually rethinking the decision for no bag. You know, if I don’t bag it I am going to regret this decision and I am going to be thinking about this moment over and over. I am definitely thinking I need a bag for the bleach.”
Let me be clear. The cashier is now laughing out loud, on the verge of tears because apparently I am the most entertainment she has had all day. Perhaps she thought she was witnessing the Long Island Medium conversing with a spirit from beyond, I’m not sure, but she bought into my crazy!
Cashier: “I am definitely giving you an extra bag for that bleach. I cannot have this on my conscience.”
I did arrive home safely with my bleach still in the bottle, but I have learned that not listening to these seemingly innocuous messages can lead to unfortunate outcomes.
Everyone has some level of intuition, but how many of us intentionally use it or rely on it?
I look at my intuition in two ways. First, is the gut feeling I get about something, someone, or a situation and the other is the random thought that crosses my mind. Right now you are probably thinking you have a million random thoughts each day so how does one decipher what is important and what isn’t? Refer back to the first example: your gut.
Let’s start with the gut. We’ve all heard stories about people whose gut told them something was wrong, but they ignored it because they wanted to be polite or it didn’t make sense. I had an experience in college while walking on campus late at night after an exam. There was a man walking in front of me. Something about his demeanor gave me a bad feeling but I kept walking. He began to look over his shoulder at me increasing my uneasiness. I told myself that I was following him; I had nothing to worry about. Suddenly, he stopped to tie his shoe and I had to pass him or turn around. I continued forward and as I got to him he stood up and began following closely. I knew I was in trouble and there was nowhere to go. I began walking faster and thinking about my friends who I was planning to meet. I was already late and began praying they would wonder where I was. I began to walk faster, so did the man behind me. As I looked ahead and tried to sort out my options I saw someone running…it was one of my friends. He had come to find me. I took off running as fast as I could and when I reached him I just cried. I knew in my gut that he had just saved me. His intuition had told him something was wrong when I had not shown up for dinner. Thankfully he listened to his gut. From that moment forward I have never ignored my gut feeling even when everyone around me says otherwise.
On a more light-hearted note, we all have had those experiences where a friend we haven’t thought about in years, pops into our head for no reason and later that day you get a call from them or you read something about them.
Cue the twilight music.
I have learned not to ignore these thoughts. Rather I think of them as a message and I try to act on them. Often, when I reach out to that person with a note or phone call I get a response from them that goes something like this: “You have no idea how much I needed that.”
This weekend my oldest spent 2 hours researching information about PA (Physician Assistant) school. She will be applying next spring and she was trying to reassure herself that she is doing everything she can to prepare. The only person she was discussing this with was me! About 30 minutes later, she received a random text from her roommate:
“My mom and I are at Ikea shopping and she just said, ‘Alex is going to be a kickass PA!’ Just wanted to pass on this message.”
This is exactly what Alex needed to hear in this moment. It was a message just for her and the timing was perfect!
Be intentional when listening to your intuition. Give it a try and see what happens. You may become a believer in the power of you or at least you’ll bag your bleach before you leave the grocery store.
Sunshine & Sarcasm,
Lowi & G