Intuition is a skill. Its sort of like being an animal tracker... following the trail of an animal that you can't physically see... but you know was in the space you now occupy. You can see the tracks they left behind... sometimes you see a few hairs or maybe some fur if you are lucky.
A few weeks ago, I was feeling very frustrated with the disjointed national response to the current pandemic. Before I became an artist, before I became a coach, and before I learned to hone my intuitive skills... I worked as a writer in public health.
"Where is the national public health campaign," I wondered? "Simple, consistent public health messaging could go a long way in curbing this outbreak," I thought to myself as my heart was breaking over rising case numbers.
My curiosity peaked. There was something here for me, I could feel it. So I started to follow the trail.
I did some internet sleuthing and searched for "successful public health campaigns." I found a few references to mass media campaigns.
And I remembered that egg in the frying pan from about 1986. Oooh, how that image seared into my brain. Needless to say, I didn't do drugs.
I stumbled upon an article by a small company. I read the article and I was totally hooked by plain, easy to understand writing. The tracks were interesting, so I sleuthed some more.
I poked around the company website. I liked their vibe. And then...there, right on the trail in front of me... they outlined their company values: we are empowered, curious, kind, and fun.
My heart skipped a beat. Oooooh. I like those values. I identify with those values.
I immediately submitted an application.
What was happening? I was excited about public health again? This had not occurred for over 10 years. It felt effortless to submit my application. Their vibe matched my vibe.
When I received an email from their VP of Talent a week later, I was over the top excited.
Even more excited as I signed a contract this week to be on their roster for freelance work.
And bonus, their company name reminds me of an image I had of myself several years ago when I started this adventure in intuition. I kept seeing myself as this gawky teenage girl, with a red cape and goggles on... flying her bike around the DC metro area.
Some of this is true. I do ride my bike around the DC metro area... but I do not wear a cape in real life. Though sometimes I like to pretend I have one on when I ride. The point is, the image of me on a bike with a cape and goggles on resonates with the feeling of the company. Another indicator that I'm on the right track.
Following my intuition is a skill that I have honed. I had to learn how to listen for, feel into, and be on the lookout for the clues on the trail. And, it's damn near fun, every time I do it. No matter what the outcome.
This morning, I left the house at 7:30 am for a walk. This was painfully early for me. It has been almost two weeks of sweltering heat and humidity in the DC region. Not unusual for this time of year, but we were spoiled by an unusually cool spring that lasted well into June. In order to have a walk where the heat index is below 95 requires early rising. I have been resisting this need to get up at the crack of dawn... but the last few days, my cranky factor has gone up dramatically... indicating a certain urgency for exercise.
Yesterday, I heard an owl on my walk in a section along a tributary of the Anacostia River. It was magical and wonderful. And unusual. It is only the second time I've heard an owl while out walking in the slim pickin's forest patches of DC. So, understandably, I was mesmerized. That magic carried me through another day of what feels like slogging through COVID lock down torture.
Today, I decided to walk a different route to the river trail. About a mile into my walk, as I was approaching the stretch of path where I had heard the owl... something inside said, "No. Not this way." So, I stopped right before the crossing with Windom Road and just turned around.
My brain said, "Well, that's weird, why did you do that?" If I had been walking with a friend I probably would have dismissed the impulse to stop and turn around and just kept walking the way I had been going. But since I was alone, I indulged the urge to turn.
My walk continued. About half a mile of backtracking and I again randomly turned left. And then, as I approached the corner of Upshur Street and 37th... I could hear my thoughts saying, "Well... this is good enough for today. Not every day is going to be as magical as yesterday with the owl." Since I had turned away from the river and was walking in the opposite direction, I just assumed my walk would be run of the mill, no magic, just get it done before the heat kicks in kind of walk.
Literally seconds after I had that thought, I looked up and to the left. There, standing in someone's front yard... a deer. She was literally 5 feet in front of me!
The early morning light was streaming in behind her. It made the tips of her ears look all lit up. We had a moment, she and I... where we just sort of stared at each other. Then, she moved a few feet to the right and started munching on the tree leaves that she was eating for breakfast.
Pure magic, at least to me. And we all need a bit of magic these days.
Had I not listened to the strange urge to turn around abruptly... I would have never had the privilege to encounter this beautiful creature. Intuition works in strange and wonderful ways and when we follow it... we are often led down a wondrous path of magic and mystery.
And, it's never really a straight line like we think it's going to be.
Looking at the world from above the fray. Houkje writes about following her intuition, observerations on the magic of the natural world, and navigating creativity and chaos in an uncertain world.