During my last blog post, I talked about my struggle to discern intuition from fear-based thinking. I’ve since heard from clients and friends that you’ve faced the same struggle. You’ve inspired me to share a story and resource with you that I hope you’ll find useful.
About eight months before my university position would end, my partner, Dana, and I found the home of our dreams: small home, lots of property and privacy, and enormous potential. It also came with a price tag somewhat higher than what felt like a play-it-safe deal. About the same, time, I began reading The Energy of Money: A Spiritual Guide to Financial and Personal Fulfillment by Maria Nemeth, Ph.D., founder of Academy for Coaching Excellence (http://www.academyforcoachingexcellence.com/).
Dr. Nemeth offers a model of the process great ideas must go through before they become outcomes in our lives. First, she explores physical reality that we know so well. This is the place of cause and effect. Much of what we wish to accomplish in this realm involves taking simple steps. In order to balance our checkbook, we have to actually sit down and crunch the numbers. Holding the intention to balance isn’t quite enough to get the job done.
But there’s also the metaphysical reality where energy is “free-flowing and unbounded” (p. 21). This is the place where we receive ideas, visions, and dreams, which are weightless and inspiring because we haven’t yet weighted them down with promises and commitments.
In the space between physical and metaphysical realities, we hold our life’s intentions, which may include to be a writer, to be a healer, to be a leader, to be a visionary. They connect us to concrete goals, to write a novel, to take a Reiki class, to run for political office, to publish a theory. To accomplish our dreams we need the inspiration of metaphysical reality, but it’s equally important to find the drive and courage to take needed steps in our physical reality.
However, right there between the metaphysical and physical we find “Trouble at the Border.” When our weightless ideas encounter the density of physical reality, we may meet, “doubts and fears so strong that they seem to stop us in our tracks almost before our journey begins” (p. 26). We may hold subconscious beliefs that limit our potential, such as life is hard or no pain, no gain. This phase is inevitable in the process of overcoming our own inertia.
I’ve found that it’s easy to discount these fears and doubts as intuitive. Rather, they are of “monkey mind,” a term borrowed from Buddhism to describe, “a self-criticizing aspect of our mind that swings us from doubt, to worry, and back to doubt” (p. 27). In my coach training, I’ve also learned to identify this voice as the “saboteur” or “gremlin.” By any name, it’s a survival-related mechanism of our brain designed to prevent change or risk-taking. Whenever we try to reason with these doubts, they only become louder and more provocative.
To say the least, the Border is uncomfortable. But we have a choice to use that as a teacher, an opportunity to express our courage as we step beyond our comfort zone and address any challenges we experience. Clearly examining our intentions and our choices helps us to create a realistic plan to get where we want to go. It helps us to identify where and how we will direct our energy and actions. Dr. Nemeth tells us, “life is hard when you don’t do what you truly value because you are putting all your energy into trying to get rid of your fears rather than into materializing your dreams” (p. 31).
In the process of deciding whether or not to purchase our home, Dana and I encountered doubts, but we couldn’t differentiate them from intuitive hits at first. We wondered: Could we afford this even as I ended my university career? Could we interpret the plumbing and mechanical problems on the house as signs that we were off track? Could we also afford a four-wheel-drive tractor for snow-removal and landscaping? Would we sell Dana’s house quickly enough to avoid two mortgages over an extended time?
Well, we now have the home and tractor. All the plumbing and mechanical problems are resolved, with compensation from the former owners to cover the repairs. We received an acceptable offer on Dana’s house the first full day it was listed. Yes! Even in this housing market! We are now living the life of our dreams! Now if I could only get Dana to come in off that tractor for dinner…
What does intuition feel like in your body?
What do fear-thoughts feel like in your body?
What do you notice about your thoughts in general?
How do you respond to your thoughts?
Which conscious and subconscious fears keep you from approaching your dreams?