There are many names for the voices in our heads: intuition, gut instinct, spirit guide, sixth sense, higher self, guardian angel, or how about just a hunch.
Sometimes the nagging voice says, “Change your tires.” We hate the nag. We don’t have time or money for new tires. We say, “Thank you, but these tires are just fine!”
Oh, but, then we get a flat tire and think, “Ugh, I should have listened to that little voice.”
Sometimes, it’s a feeling that makes us turn right, rather than the usual left we take at that intersection.
We may find out later there was an accident ahead on the road we wanted to take. But, by going the other way, we missed it. Or maybe, by listening to that voice, we discover a billboard that brightens our day. Or possibly, we never know why we went left instead of right. It just felt like the thing to do.
“Your intuition will tell you where you need to go; it will connect you with people you should meet; it will guide you toward work that is meaningful for you—work that brings you joy, work that feels right for you.” ~ Shakti Gawain
I had ignored my intuition for so long that when I started to listen, it was like asking a table of Italian mothers the best way to make Sunday sauce—everyone was talking at once—a complete cacophony.
Although, we get so busy with the frantic day-to-day life distractions, we must not forget to listen to the nagging voice in our head and our gut feelings. After all they are there to help us in our journey.
I soon realized I was not going to survive if I didn’t start listening to my intuition.
Physically, I do not remember anything happening during my Reiki session. I wanted to feel something—anything—touching my body…like a massage. But nope! Nothing happened to my body. My mind, however, was seeing colors—and my intuition was unleashed like a toddler after cake at a birthday party.
I listened to the voice in my head and opened myself up to the feelings in my gut. I remember hearing, “Follow the elephants.”
Um, what? Where did that come from? What does that even mean? I immediately filed it in the “that was weird” column of my brain. But, the voice continued in my head, “Go to where the elephants are. The elephants will heal you.”
Like any good woo-woo skeptic suddenly hearing voices in her head, I freaked out a bit. But, I forced myself to breathe through it. I just sighed and figured I’d better start planning an Eat, Pray, Love kind of trip to Thailand or India. I mean, seriously—WTF does “Go to where the elephants are” mean? But, it wasn’t long before I learned what it meant.
The next morning, I saw an ad for Elephant Journal. I clicked and subscribed to their articles. Then I thought, check one elephant off the list.
Elephant’s daily newsletter became the highlight of my inbox.
A good friend suggested I sign up for CaringBridge.com, a website dedicated to helping sick people post and share their journey. She thought it would be a more productive way for me to keep everyone up to date with my chemo treatment.
While blogging, I discovered I loved writing.
Through my writing, I grew. My posts started out as simple as “I had chemo today,” to my deep feelings about life, death, and healing. Writing soon become part of my spiritual and emotional healing. We find our answers in the strangest places. While blogging, I noticed in the Evernote app that their logo is an elephant. Well, now—check off another elephant.
I took my elephant quest one step further, and I joined Elephant Academy.
It was during this course that I learned to use social media to share my stories to a bigger audience. I received a crash course in journalism ethics and practiced the art of writing and editing.
It’s been two years since I first heard, “Follow the elephants.” And in that time, I’ve learned to implicitly trust the voice in my head and those nagging feelings in my gut.
When I dutifully, followed the elephants, I was led to writing and sharing my story. Evernote, with its elephant logo, gave me a writing tool. Elephant Journal gave me daily hope, insight, and a warm fuzzy feeling. Elephant Academy inspired me to become a real writer.
Through the gift of writing, I discovered not only personal healing, but a bigger purpose in life. I was able to share my experiences and help other cancer patients find hope and offer support.
“That is what the intuition is for: it is the direct messenger of the soul.” ~ Clarissa Pinkola Estes
Our intuition knows what is best for us. It does not listen to our egos. It may have taken me a couple good Reiki sessions and months of meditation to get quiet enough to hear the nagging voice—but, once I stopped thinking, analyzing, and trying to control everything, I was able to hear the message.
I was able to take a leap of faith and trust what my intuition was telling me to do.
We don’t need a health scare to start listening. Sometimes, we just need to turn left when our gut tells us to—and trust where it take us.
Author: Tracy White
Image: Penelope Dullaghan Illustration
Apprentice Editor: Christina Martin // Editor: Yoli Ramazzina
Copy editor: Travis May
Social editor: Cat Monkman