A Lesson in Trusting Your Instincts

power cordThe other morning while I was getting ready for a meeting with a significant potential client for my business, a thought came to me that I should check to make sure my projector and accessories were all geared up in my bag. A few minutes later I grabbed the bag with the projector out of my office closet where I always store it, tucked my laptop into my briefcase, and plopped them next to the door. I felt relieved to have my equipment ready before it was time to rush out the door.

A couple of hours later my business partner and I were making small talk at the conference table with our three prospective clients while I began setting up my laptop and projector.  I plugged my laptop into the wall plug and reached in my bag for the projector’s cord. My hand found the cable that connects the projector to the computer and placed it on the table. I reached back into the side pocket where I always store the power cord and it wasn’t there.  Slightly panicked, my eyes and hands darted around the main part of the bag and back to the pocket a couple more times until I accepted the fact that the power cord was missing.

Normally I would have been shocked because I am meticulous about keeping the components in the bag to avoid what had just happened. Yet the thought that told me to check the bag came back to me during this scene and I was frustrated with myself for not following through.

Luckily the meeting went just fine, although I do believe projecting on the wall would have been much more effective than the three potential clients hovering over my laptop. When we got back to our office, my business partner, who was the last one to use the projector, found the power cord in his computer bag, which did not accompany us that day.

The lesson: Think of your instincts as intelligence you are not consciously in touch with and follow its guidance.

Your Heart: Your Wisest Compass

Giving credibility to messages from your heart is a key step to happiness in all areas of your life. Yet most of us have not been taught to lead our lives this way. We may recognize that a fulfilled heart is the key to a happy life, yet we don’t often trust our hearts to lead us there. It is as if we expect that our heart is going to lead us down an irresponsible path of whim and wild.


How to trust your heart more than your analytical mind:

  1. Allow your heart to play a role in all matters of your life, just as you allow it a significant role in your personal relationships.
  2. Acknowledge that your heart is the center of your spiritual essence. As such, it is the most knowledgeable entity about who you really are at the core and what is right for you.
  3. Believe that your heart always has your best interest in mind.
  4. Practice following your heart for simple decisions so that you can build the experience to trust it in larger issues.

Letting Intuition Lead You

The voice of my intuition paid me a visit today when I wasn’t looking. Thank God I was paying attention. I was in the middle of one of my usual four-mile runs and had stopped to take in the view of the two Bay Area bridges I got from my perch. I had just been thinking about an idea I had for a video series I’ve been wanting to launch before I stopped. It felt like my mind was empty and relaxed as I looked out at the peninsula on the other side of the bay. Then suddenly I noticed that I was hearing a little voice inside of me saying “Yes!” It came across like it was from the mouth of a teenager and accompanied by a high-five gesture. I stopped to consider what was going on and I heard an enthusiastic”yes” a couple more times. I immediately made the link back to the project I had been pondering. It seemed like a no-brainer that my inner voice was telling me that the idea I had was definitely worth pursuing. I shook my head in awe as I reflected on the wonderful mysteries of life that we barely talk about.

I’ve come to give this little voice a lot of credibility. I’ve learned that it is smarter than I am. As I put the pieces of this thought puzzle together it occurred to me that the voice was calling my attention to an insight I’d read earlier that day that struck me. Obviously my inner voice didn’t think I was done considering the idea as much as my thinking mind did.

In the course of blog surfing earlier in the day I had come across an article that spoke to me. In Are You Standing in the Way of Your Financial Abundance?, Ophelia invites us to consider if we might be limiting the abundance that the universe is trying to deliver to us. As I turned around to run back towards my home, I felt like my inner voice had just called me on that one. I had been ready to dismiss my video idea because I thought it had the potential to bring a level of success that some part of my psyche thought was out of my league. Yet I wasn’t even in touch with this until my inner voice provoked me to look at it. And I thought I was a smart girl.

So my inner voice reminded me today of two ideas that I wanted to share with you—

Pay attention to that voice inside of you. It sees through your human weaknesses and knows the greatness you are capable of. Take its hand and let it lead you.

Don’t let your mind limit your abundance. The only difference between you and those whose wealth you admire is their ability to welcome it with open arms.

Thanks for visiting. We’re all in this together, remember?

Wishing you an awesome day.

Susan Hanshaw

answers await your confusion


“Restlessness and discontent are the first necessities of progress.”

— Thomas Edison

I woke up this morning after a long, leisurely northern California holiday weekend wondering just how I would transition back into my work world. I love what I am doing, yet a part of me didn’t feel totally ready to let go of my vacation mode. Why can’t I just continue to play, I thought? I worked my way through my first cup of coffee and a shower when it hit me that I might find inspiration by focusing my attention on why I am here.

I sat at my desk and stared out the window at the trees rustling in the wind. I suddenly felt so alone in the world, like everyone else was out doing their thing and I just couldn’t get in touch with mine. I was feeling like I had one foot in the weekend and one easing its way back to work. Am I the only one feeling like this, I wondered.

I sat down to meditate, knowing that somehow I would be helped by going deep within and asking for some guidance. I sat there on the floor almost in desperation for an answer that would snap me out of my lost fog. What I wanted was some black and white directions on where exactly to place my energy today so that I can feel like I’m doing what I am supposed to be doing. Yet after sitting there for several minutes the only thing that came to me was the inspiration to just respond to the day from my heart. What came with this was the reminder that I am not just this physical being that enjoyed a weekend staining a backyard deck and sipping Chardonnay on a mountainside terrace. My expression is not just happening when I’m vacillating between having fun and being productive. The in-between time counts just as much. For it’s in those quiet times that enable us to listen to what is going on inside and take direction from there.

For me today what’s going on is that I’m feeling unsettled. I am feeling like there is more to what I need to be doing than I’ve yet allowed expression. I don’t know quite what it looks like, though, and to be honest, that bothers me. Yet the good thing with all of this is that I’ve got my own attention. There’s a reason I am bugged and I’m asking why because I’ve learned that answers won’t come unless I ask. Perhaps my answer will rise to the surface from within me. Or maybe I’ll get the answer through the voice of a friend with whom I share my discomfort. Or just maybe an opportunity will present myself that will feel oh so right.

I don’t like feeling this way. Yet I know that being tuned in to the fact that I am unsettled enables me to be totally open to whatever is to come next.

How are you feeling? Are there any confusions that are trying to call your attention? Trust your feelings. They’re there to tell you something.

Thanks for visiting.

Yours in the spirit of peace, light and inspiration,

Susan Hanshaw

your time is limited


I am blessed to have one of the most awesome jobs on the planet. Along with inspirational coach, teacher and writer, I carry the title of wedding officiant. I recognize that this is not your average job and I often get asked how I got into it. As cliched as it might sound, I followed a calling.

My journey has showed me that following your calling is not necessarily the easiest path, yet it definitely is the one which makes you feel the most alive. It’s the path in which you do your thing and when you’re done, your heart tells you that you’ve just done what you were put here to do. And you can drink in the satisfaction of knowing that if you die tomorrow, that you showed up for your life. I don’t know about you, but I absolutely must go to my grave with this understanding.

I know that what I do is not for everybody. Yet for me there is no greater joy than standing up with two people who are glowing in love as I guide them through the act of formally committing their lives to one another in the presence of their closest family and friends. This is an honor that I’ve come to cherish, yet I didn’t arrive here without a tad of fighting and screaming.

First there was the big decision to leave my corporate career. Then there was the learning curve. Getting used to being the one to stand up front and lead the ceremony did not come overnight or with ease. During my first few I wanted to turn around and dash out the back door. As I stood there with everyone looking at me I thought to myself, “What the hell do I think I’m doing up here??” But with a bit of experience, I got over it. Now I absolutely cherish everything about it. I cherish looking into the eyes of the bride and groom, feeling them acknowledging the commitment they are making. I cherish witnessing the depths that love can be felt. I cherish the opportunity to create an event that enables people to feel their hearts, a rare happening in today’s fast-paced world.

While doing research for my book, Unleashing Your Soul, I came across the text from the commencement address that Steve Jobs delivered to the 2005 graduating class of Stanford University. It touched me. Jobs said, “Your time is limited so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice.”

No one can take away your inner voice. It’s the one thing you bring to your birth and take to your death. It’s also the one thing whose expression gauges how much you’ve enabled yourself to truly live. What can you do today to let your inner voice sing? What can you do to keep a song in your heart for the rest of your days?

Thanks for visiting.

Susan Hanshaw
Inspired by A Course in Miracles

communicating love

We celebrated my mother’s 70th birthday yesterday in a low-key yet special gathering with her immediate family at her favorite restaurant. As I looked across the table at this woman who I have been fairly close to for most all of my life, it occurred to me that she didn’t look even close to 70. I told her so and her face lit up. My dad, now 72, sat next to her. It hit me that he didn’t look his age, either. They were my parents getting older, just like me.

Having both my parents now in the age 70 zone has jolted my awareness that they are not going to live forever. I now feel a sense of urgency to enjoy and experience them for who they are. I suddenly feel the urge to make sure that I let them know how much I love them and appreciate all they’ve done for me. I’ve been blessed with wonderfully loving parents and I suppose there have been times I’ve taken them for granted.

What has come up for me as a result of all these thoughts is the awareness that I need to make sure that I always communicate my love to my parents. I don’t want them to not know what I feel because we never know when something is going to be taken away from us. That really is true for all of your relationships. You just can’t take life for granted. You never know what is going to hit your life once you get out of bed in the morning. That’s where a belief in the care of the universe comes in. Having a sense that there is something you can hold your faith and trust in can be the strongest belief you can build your faith on.

What ideas do you want to communicate to those you love?

faith is the secret


Trusting that the universe knows better than you do about what is
best for the evolution of your soul is the key to inner peace.

I hang my hat on this belief day after day.  I call it faith. It keeps me from falling down in disappointment when things don’t go the way I want.  It gives me the courage to continue to follow my heart instead of getting a “real job” when it seems my business isn’t growing fast enough.  It led me to stop wigging out when a guy I was attracted to didn’t call me again after what I thought was a great first date.

You’ve probably heard the adage, “Everything happens for a reason.” What that means is there is something for you to learn or grow from in any situation.  If you’ve been struggling with attracting the right job or partner despite all your efforts of putting yourself out there, perhaps you’ve not yet fully defined in your own mind what the right criteria is.  Or maybe you’re trying to force something to happen that just isn’t meant to be or there are other things you need to accomplish first. When you can get to the point where you can surrender in faith that whatever is unfolding is happening for your higher good, you turn yourself over to the divine flow.  Life then becomes much easier because you are going with the flow instead of fighting against it.  Try practicing it yourself.  When something doesn’t go your way, turn it over and let it go in faith.

a stubborn’s lesson in abundance

One of the biggest rewards I get from my work is hearing people tell me that I have somehow inspired them with a sense of hope and positive expectation. Yet the one drawback to what I do is that I need to make sure that I am always walking my own talk. Because my work is an expression of how I show up naturally, I usually am pretty good about this. Yet sometimes I catch myself with my pants down. Sometimes I need a good reminder to practice what I preach. It turned out to be one of those weekends where I needed to expand my own consciousness to accept the abundance that has been trying to make its way to me.

It started off on Saturday morning. I was lying in bed as I often do, acknowledging gratitude for the blessings in my life. Then like a crashing wave came a vision of such magnitude that I was moved to tears. I realized at that moment that either through fear or habit, I had been blind to the abundant gift of love and partnership that had come banging at my door. I recognized how hesitant I’d been to open it and invite it into my life. In an instant I had come to understand that in order to accept my gifts, I had to open my heart.

For the most part I’ve been a single woman for the past twelve years. I’m used to operating my life as a solo endeavor that runs the gamut from grocery shopping, housecleaning and garden work to business planning and marketing. Somewhere along the way I developed the belief that this venture of helping people to create change had to successfully come together all on my own.

Just shy of four months ago a man walked into my life who has thrown a wrench at this. He so supports what I am trying to accomplish with my business that he’ll do almost anything to help me. And while I was able to see this rather easily early on, what hit me this weekend was my awakening to how hesitant I’ve been to accept the abundance he represents. What helped me to get beyond my own fears was my getting the message that this relationship is a divine gift. I do feel like I am showing up for my life’s purpose now and clearly the universe recognizes that I need some assistance and support.

While I can see the practical purposes for this relationship, what touches me greater is the richness of the love I feel from it. It feels like my reward for having the faith that the universe would take care of me if I let go of my corporate job to follow the work of my heart.

So my lesson this weekend was the awareness that all this abundance was staring me in the face, yet I hadn’t really allowed it in my life because I hadn’t totally opened my heart to it. I’d been blocking my channel to receive. I’ve since made the mental shift to be open to its flow. The relationship has taken on a deeper meaning as I’ve recognized it as a gift the universe has wanted to bestow. Moving forward I’ll try not to get so much in its way.

it’s not about the money



I received an email the other day from someone who was asking me to justify the sanity of leaving a secure, well-paying job to follow one’s heart.  I can certainly understand the question because it is one that stayed lodged in my head for a long time.  Yet now that it has been two years since I made such a leap, I find myself completely on the other side of the fence.  I ask how one can justify denying one’s heart for the sake of money.

Following one’s heart is not a frivilous desire or act.  It’s actually quite the opposite.  It’s an owning up to be responsible to your spirit to live the life it wishes to express.  It’s a following through on the will that was placed within you when you were created.  You can choose to deny this God-given purpose as long as you want.  Yet your denial of it doesn’t make it go away.  It just means that you’ve chosen not to let your soul come alive.

Let me ask you this.  Do you really want to make your life all about the money?