Adrienne's work and teachings have been a great inspiration to
me! In August of 1998, about four months after my father
passed away, I read about one of Carol's workshops in a
Learning Annex catalog and synchronistically found her book on
a bookshelf at the bookstore. The themes of her
teachings were familiar and comforting, as they confirmed the
thoughts and ideas my father had shared with me shortly before
his passing. Her books and workshops ignited my
spiritual curiosity, setting me on my soulful life path, which
led to the very creation of SoulfulLiving.com! Carol's
participation has been an integral part of SoulfulLiving.com,
at its soul level! Thank you, Carol, with all my heart!
~Valerie, Founder and Soul, SoulfulLiving.com
"Letting Go and Tuning In"
One of my readers emailed me with the
question "How do you know the difference between
intuition and synchronicity and wishful thinking?" Later
that day, I got a phone call from my peripatetic friend
"Bob," whom I wrote about in The Purpose of Your
Life Experiential Guide. You may remember that Bob felt
his life purpose had to do with "standing in front of
people and inspiring them." Last year Bob was depressed
and feeling very disconnected from meaningful work. I had
chided him for never answering his phone (he was afraid heíd
have to talk to his creditors, so he kept the answering
machine off all the time). What we discovered in his pile of
telephone messages was a message from someone who was inviting
him to do a training at a Silicon Valley company. The happy
ending to this story is that Bob is now flying all over the
country giving trainings; he is very happy and is making a lot
of money. His story picks up from this point.
Bob called me this morning, and I
asked him if heíd had any interesting synchronicities. He
laughed and said, "I was coming home last night from my
last flight after about a month of corporate training
sessions. I had traveled through nine airports in three days.
This was the very last one, and obviously my mind had started
to let go. I was very tired and distracted. During the flight,
I had stuck my palm pilot in my seat belt. When I stood up to
leave, it slipped into the seat crevice.
"I had to wait thirty minutes
for the airport shuttle to go home to Marin County where my
car was parked. After I got on the shuttle and settled down
for the hour and a half ride home, I realized within ten
minutes that I didnít have my palm pilot. I had been
travelling for nearly twelve hours; I was hungry; I was
exhausted, and my prostate was hurting. The last thing on
earth I wanted to do was to return to the airport, which would
be a four and a half hour trip once I picked up my car. My
mind raced over my alternatives. I thought, ĎI can buy a new
one for three hundred dollars. However, I had over three
hundred contact names on it, plus my leads for future work and
all my friendsí numbers. On top of that, I had no back up of
the data since my main computer crashed just as I left on my
trip. Losing the palm pilot meant I would have lost everything
connected to my business life, including my billing records
for invoicing. Groaning inwardly to myself as the bus hurtled
along, I began to estimate just how many hours it would take
to try to reconstruct new records. Maybe twenty! Maybe more.
It was a horrible thought any way I looked at it.
"Normally this kind of snafu
drives me up the wall. I could gnash my teeth and imagine
smashing my fist through a wall, but I had the hour and a half
ride on the bus to take a different tack. The first thing I
decided to do was observe how attached I could get to
having the pilot back. I felt my frustration and helplessness.
But this time I decided to go beyond that immediate reaction.
Iíd been studying some spiritual ideas about letting go of
attachment to outcomes, so I began to get into a different
frame of mind. I imagined really disengaging from caring about
getting the pilot back. By that I mean, I had to let go of
caring about whether or not I found the pilot, let go of
caring about how long it would take to reenter the data, and
let go of caring about driving four hours back and forth from
the airport to even try to find it.
"During that hour and a half, I
was able to get to a point of being willing to accept whatever
was going to happen. During that process I also found myself
making the assumption that perhaps some good would come out of
this situation. It was curious to me that I could look for a
higher purpose to show itself, because at other times I would
probably have accused myself of self-sabotage. I would have
beaten myself up for being so negligent, and so forth. But
this time I decided to make the assumption that there must be
something good that would come out of all this. I thought, Ďmaybe
Iíll meet somebody, or maybe something good will happen once
I get to the airport. By the time I could see this new
perspective, I felt that I didnít need to know what
that good was going to be. I kept myself focused on the
curiosity about what would show up. I tried to stay focused on
being in the moment so I could notice anything special. This
was totally opposite to my normal way of reacting to things.
"When I got to my car, I tried
the logical move of calling the airport to see if my palm
pilot had been found. Of course, I always want the answer
first before I do things! But that effort was in vain. I must
have dialed six or seven numbers before I got to a recording,
which told me that it would take ten days to locate a missing
item. There was no one to talk to. Ten days, I decided was too
long to wait.
"Now at this point, I had been
up for about fourteen hours. I was ten minutes from home, and
I had a tremendous desire to go home. I was so tired, my mind
said, Ďjust drive home and deal with it tomorrow, which I
decided was the prudent thing to do. But even having made that
decision, I found that I unconsciously got in the wrong lane
to go north, and found myself unwillingly going south towards
the airport anyway.
"By now I am feeling enormously
conflicted about what to do. Three different times, I actually
turned around to go home, telling myself ĎThis is stupid. Iím
exhausted. I donít even know who to ask about it at the
airport once I get there.í I pictured trying to park, and it
all felt so impossible and stupid. But each time I made a turn
to go home, I got this feeling in my body that I can only
describe as a "bump". Going home didnít feel
right, so I turned back south. I did this three times.
"Finally when I got there, the
parking lot for the United terminal was full, so I had to park
somewhere else further away. I went up an escalator that I
normally wouldnít have taken, and began to think about how I
would find Unitedís lost and found. As I come up the
escalator, a man who looked like he worked there was leaning
up against one of the baggage carts. He was just kind of
staring out into space. Since he looked like he worked there,
I said, ĎI left my palm pilot on United flight from Denver.
Where would I go for the lost and found? He said, "Which
flight was it from Denver? I told him the flight number and
time, and he said, ĎThis is your lucky day. I was the one
who found that.í He took me over to the office where they
keep stuff, and he pulled it right out. He said to me, ĎYou
know itís a good thing you came back today. You didnít
have your name and address in it, and if items arenít
claimed in twenty-four hours, people take these things home.í
If I had waited till the next day, like my tired body was
telling me, my palm pilot would have been gone.
"Iíll never understand how the
only guy in the airport who would have known where this thing
was, just happened to be standing in the baggage area right at
the escalator where I came up. Ordinarily, I wouldnít even
have talked to anyone," said Bob. "Usually I try to
sort out information without getting involved with people.
This was different behavior for me, and he was placed so that
I had to walk right by him." Bob and I talked a little
about his new behavior, and his new way of handling this very
distressing situation. I asked him why he thought he needed to
get this lesson at this point in his life.
"Well," he said, " I
am learning that whatever guidance you need is always there.
As long as you are willing to let God be in control, you can
have anything you want. I think I had this experience to help
me realize that Iím not in charge and I donít need to be.
No matter what solution I think of, God has a better one. My
normal problem solving, which I have to admit is a pretty
standard male approach-- maybe even arrogant--was stymied at
every turn. There was no other person in the whole airport
except for this one guy who would have known what happened to
that palm pilot." In this case, Bob had a visceral
reaction (the feeling of a bump when he tried to turn around
and go home) that was his intuition speaking to him as clearly
as if he had heard: "Go to the airport now."
An even more interesting point is
that Bob probably never would have even thought of asking for
the perfect solution to appear. In this case, what if he had
said, "Okay, universe. Iíll drive back to the airport,
but I want the guy who found the pilot to be standing at any escalator I
choose to go up. I want this to be totally effortless."
Most of us donít really believe in a million years that
something that perfect could be a possibility. What problem
are you facing? What would be the most perfect solution you
could possibly think of? Then go one step toward even more
perfection.... if you can or if you dare!
Another example of everyday intuitive
insights comes from, Linda Nanfria, a woman who attended one
of my lectures. We started talking how intuition sometimes
comes as a vivid picture, and she mentioned her experiences
brainstorming with clients to come up with new graphic
solutions for advertising. "Ideas just flood in. I expect
them and they come. Also, on the personal side, about a year
ago, I was thinking about turning fifty. A vivid picture came
into my mind of myself painting. I subsequently took a class
in drawing and painting. Even though it wasnít a very good
class for me, I kept painting because the desire to paint grew
stronger and stronger. I had never ever painted before and now
Iím in love with it. My landscapes are really good, and
people say I should sell them.
"I have also used my intuition
for many years to find things that are lost," Linda
continued. "I first focus on the object that Iíve lost.
But then I let go of caring about whether I find it or not. I
donít have to know where it is. I donít have to find it.
And then I say, ĎJust take me to the object, whatever it is.í
One last example comes from Jackie
Nunes, another person I interviewed for The Purpose of Your
Life Experiential Guide. Jackie had been wondering how to
break into the field of decorative painting, and one day got
the inspiration to volunteer at a homeless shelter after
overhearing two colleagues talk. This led her to offering her
services there to paint the walls of the shelterís cafť.
This morning we talked by phone and she told me that she had
been furniture shopping and found a magnificent desk that she
wanted, although it was far too expensive for her to buy.
Recently, she had been repeatedly asked to paint the walls of
a house belonging to a man she knew. "I resisted because
it was straight house painting, and I didnít really want to
do it. I finally accepted after he asked me for the fifth
time. On the first day, I noticed that he had this very desk
in his bedroom. I touched it and said, ĎThis is my desk!í
But I had to let go of owning it because it was so costly. As
it turns out, at the end of the painting job, the man decides
he no longer needs the desk because he feels the room is too
cluttered. He sold it to me for a price I could afford.
"I wasnít raised to believe I
was entitled to nice things. Now when I panic, I try to
remember to breathe and say, ĎIím taken care of; what ever
the problem is, it doesnít matter. Iím taken care of.í"
Have a lovely month following your
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