Embracing Unrest and Fine Tuning My Intuition

When I was younger, wearing jeans would send me into full on panic attacks. It wasn’t the material that bothered me, it was the fact that they didn’t hug my ankles like my in-at-the-time stirrup pants did – the bagginess alone had the ability to make my palms sweat and my heart beat a little faster. If I was coerced into actually putting them on, I would spend a good thirty minutes (at least) attempting to roll the bottoms so they actually touched my skin. 

Even though the fact that a clothing item caused me such distressed was a bit, well, psychotic, it made one thing very clear: I knew from a young age – as we all do if we’re tuned into ourselves and our intuition – when things just didn’t feel right.  

For the past few years – and the past few days in particular – I’ve been wrestling with this feeling of unrest, attempting to find the “rightness” in where I am in this moment. Constantly feeling unsettled is driving me to the brink of insanity. 

Just for a moment I’d like to shut it off, forget the “big picture,” and convince myself that I don’t need to keep searching for fulfillment. You know – lose myself in a few days of drinking and pure indulgence and quiet that voice that keeps telling me there’s more out there.

Yesterday as I was spewing all this craziness out to anyone that would listen, my mom shed some much-needed light on the situation:

That ability to tell when things aren’t right is a blessing. It’s the Universe’s way of guiding you to something that fits better for you. If you didn’t have that you’d never move forward, never get out of your comfort zone, and never experience some of the greatest things life has to offer. That nagging feeling is there for a reason – it’s pushing you in the right direction. 

The truth is, she’s right (yes mom, I said you’re right). Every time I’ve made a big move in my life it was spurred on by this feeling that there was a better place for me – that I had the capacity to experience even more happiness than I was already experiencing. 

It’s not about failing to find happiness and beauty in the current moment, or looking outside for solutions to internal problems, it’s about allowing these feelings – something most people find as inconsequential – to serve as a guide to what should come next.

Out of all the things we strive to accomplish in our lives, I believe that nothing is more rewarding than experiencing a deeper sense of joy. The fact that we are able to discern between what will bring us closer to this state of being – and what will take us farther away – is amazing.

I still have that feeling of unrest, but instead of allowing it to represent what is currently lacking in my life, I’ll choose to see it as a guidance tool – a very clear indication that I have some really spectacular things waiting for me just around the corner.

After all, our reality is only as good or bad as we choose to see it…

What My Stomach Tells Me (and other intuition tales)

I turned down a second interview today.  Not only because the job didn’t fit for the direction that I am attempting to funnel my life into but because I am a sucker for following signs.  As I frantically searched craigslist the other day (I still haven’t been able to get rid of that nervous tick that makes me do this every five minutes, even though I am now convinced that everything on the site is a scam), begging for some guidance on which direction to take my potential “career” in, I received two unexpected responses to emails that had been sent out weeks prior and promptly forgotten about.  These told me that there were opportunities and avenues out there that I didn’t even really know existed, and taking something simply because I am sick of searching wouldn’t really sit well with my psyche.  And god damn it, I just can’t be tied to this state because someone offers me a salary and benefits.  (This is what I have to keep repeating to myself…bear with me here). 

Paying attention to that queasy feeling I get in my stomach when I know that something just isn’t right hasn’t always been my way of operating.  Last year I accepted a job nannying for a family I had worked for a few summers before.  I promptly stuffed the memories of dealing with their insolent brats to the back of my mind and smiled through gritted teeth as I said I would love to take the job.  I was so desperate by that time that I didn’t even think twice when the mother told me that they would be firing their current pregnant nanny in order to give me the job.  It was ok she said, the girl was overweight and rarely wanted to play with the kids.  Instead of paying attention to the flaming red flag that was flailing in front of my face I told her that I would love nothing more then to take her little tykes on ten mile bike rides and play strenuous bouts of tag at the park.

A few weeks into the gig (this was about the time when the extreme acid reflux that set in upon entering their house began to feel like second nature) I was in the middle of completing their meal prep when the universe attempted to show me just how absurd this job really was.  After huffing and puffing through slicing and dicing vegetables I couldn’t pronounce and dousing them in fish sauce I tried to turn on the food processor-to no avail.  Thinking that my employer might just tell me to move on to another task (like scrubbing their dirty laundry or the like) I was flabbergasted when instead she told me to pull out the mortar and pestle she had in the pantry and muscle through it.  Let me just say that grinding cloves of garlic by hand is nearly impossible for someone that has literally no muscle mass. 

This situation, I realized after some much needed reflection, was simply the icing on the cake.  I had put up with unnecessary power struggles with an eight year old that could insult me better then most adults I knew, and the insane antics of a five year old that I swore had to be crack related.  And of course I had nodded understandingly when the mother had told me that they couldn’t afford to pay me more then they had a few summers before (when I had little experience under my belt) because of the poor economy.  Come to find out they were both lawyers and her husband had made partner.  Funny, I didn’t think lawyers were really struggling, but I digress…

This, I would say, was about the time when I began to appreciate my body’s ability to instigate illness when I wasn’t in the right situation, right job, or simply the right state of mind.  And everyday I am learning to be better at tuning into my intuition- even when, irritatingly enough, it starts to sound like something my parents would say.