Upon visiting my dentist during my college years, he said he was concerned about one of my teeth, “Looks like you may need a root canal.” It was not a good time for me so I ignored him as well as the little voice inside my head that nagged at me, “There’s something wrong with your tooth.”
Five years later when I finally made it back to the dentist, I was sent for a root canal that very day. During the entire procedure the Endodontist was shaking his head saying, “Oh no. No, no. This is not good. I can’t save this tooth, it’s got to come out.” He sent me to an oral surgeon that same day.
As I was lying on the table trying not to swallow the bone and tooth fragments in my throat, the oral surgeon was nearly bracing himself to yank and pull the tooth because it was completely fused to the bone. The only way to get it out was to drill. Ouch! I can’t say whether or not that tooth could have been saved had I had the root canal five years earlier…but I believe the chances would have been a lot greater.
I wish I could say this event cured me forever from ignoring that “little voice” inside my head. Unfortunately it took several other situations with much greater consequences to finally get my attention however, as I’ve continued along the path of stepping into my purpose, I’ve come to believe that listening to the “little voice” is essential to my success. The “little voice” is known by many different names but most commonly it’s called intuition.
What is intuition? A deep sense of knowing, a gut feeling, a still small voice, the source of deep wisdom within us, our higher truth. When people say we have all the answers inside of us, this is the part of us that has those answers. It shows up differently for people, but all with the same results…it holds our absolute highest good. I believe it is the voice of God within us.
Connecting with intuition goes beyond intellect, beyond feelings, beyond guessing. It’s a connection with spirit. Carl Jung originally called it the “collective unconscious”. Christians call it the “Holy Spirit”. Most people know exactly what this experience is but few can clearly describe it.
When I live my life guided by intuition, I am in the present moment. I have a connection with my body and all it’s sensations, feelings and messages. I am trusting the outcome of every situation to the God of my understanding. I’m not trying to control what happens in my life. I am living by faith.
It was the voice of intuition that told me to turn down a job offer shortly after I was laid off from a corporate hi-tech job. At the time, I was in school to become a life coach, I was on unemployment and being a practical person and fearful of financial insecurity, I started looking for a job.
I was excited to have found a job listing that was even remotely related to something I had been trained for and there was a vague promise I might be able to do some coaching as well. Although the pay was much less than I had been making in my last job and it was likely to require long hours, I wasn’t thinking of it as long term.
When I went in for the second round of interviews, I had just attended a weekend of coaching school. I was feeling high on spirit and possibilities as I sat there listening to my new boss ask if I could start the following week. My whole body sank, my spirit felt dark and cold and the little voice inside said, “I can’t do this”.
I realized that I had arrived at a crossroads. I could go back into security (or relative security) for a steady paycheck and benefits and attempt to fulfill my passion on the side, or I could trust in the call of spirit to an unknown future. I went home and slept on it…but the answer was very clear, if I said “yes” to that job, I would be saying “No” to God, “No”, to the call of purpose, “No”, to possibility, “No”, to growth, “No”, to the future. I would once again be trading my soul for a paycheck. My intution was telling me to trust in a higher vision for my life and my work. The voice of spirit within me was telling me, “I will lead and guide you. I will take care of you. Don’t give up on me now.”
So I turned down the job and forged ahead into uncertainty.
Learning to listen to intuition is a process. It requires a relationship with the Self. It doesn’t work to listen to intuition just some of the time or to listen only when it’s something I don’t care about or don’t have a stake in. Living by and being guided by intuition requires complete and total trust in God, a commitment to faith and a willingness to live in uncertainty. It also requires living in the present moment. Not in the past, ruminating over what I did or didn’t have, or the future, anticipating what could happen. The present moment is where all power lies because it is the only moment in which I can take any action.
Many years later, I am still at it. Still walking the path of an unfolding purpose with an uncertain future. What is different is that I feel in harmony with my Self. I start my day by asking for guidance, where to place my focus and energies, and courage to do the work. So many times through these years I have encountered situations that previously would have terrified and paralyzed me. Today, I walk through them with the calm assurance that I am taken care of and guided by a God who loves me and holds my highest good.
I don’t know what God’s plan is for me, I can’t know. I can’t predict the future or see the end result but I can successfully live in the present moment through my commitment to intuition and when I do that my life works.
Jaqui Duvall works as an author, trainer, and spiritual life coach and counselor to help people live authentically and genuinely through defining and connecting with their inner spirit. She develops and delivers workshops, leads mentoring groups and works with individuals to help them identify and express their inner spirit and live a life of consciousness and intention.