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.

Finding Clues of Guidance in the Midst of Everyday Life

I have just returned from BookExpo America (BEA), the book industry’s annual event held this year at the Los Angeles Convention Center, where I went to promote the debut of my book, Inner Architect: How to Build the Life You Were Designed to Live. I expected the experience to be one of value, learning, and building relationships. What I didn’t expect was to discover what occurred to me while I mentally noted the highlights of the event during our final day. As I focused on these highlights, I saw a common thread that weaved throughout the launch of my book that would have totally bypassed my consciousness had I not stopped to casually review. I believe this common thread provides a direction for me that I would not have taken seriously had the energy of life not have shoved it in my face.

I’d like to share my clues and my perception of the guidance they provide, and then invite you to look at recent, or not so recent, events in your life where there might be direction sitting there for you.

Clue #1: My company, inner architect, published the book using a standard off-set printer who specializes in the book industry. Upon our request for production samples, the printer we ultimately chose sent us two books published by Hay House. I didn’t think anything more about this at the time than the printer wanted to promote that they had a well known, prestigious client.

Clue #2: Louise Hay author and founder of Hay House, happened to be autographing books in the Hay House booth at BEA while my partner, Dean and I walked by. Dean took my bashful arm and led me to stand next to him in the line to meet Louise. When it was our turn to greet her, Dean introduced me and thanked her for the inspiration she provided to us to launch our publishing company. Once again, I didn’t take this for anything more than shear luck of being in the right place at the right time to meet Louise Hay, a woman I respect and honor for her contribution to the human development movement.

Clue #3: Later that day at BEA we stopped to talk with a man promoting international distribution services. We proudly showed him our new book and he responded with a comment about it being along the lines of what Hay House publishes. He went on to tell us that a company that had recently lost the Hay House account would likely welcome something to replace it. I felt encouraged by his comment, yet didn’t see the meaning in this exchange until I put all three of these clues together.

My interpretation of these clues: I was led to look at a woman who I deeply admire as a model for my own work in a way that I had never considered on my own.

What to take away from my experience:

  1. Look at the events that unfold in your life as having meaningful messages for you.
  2. Take the messages that you interpret seriously, even if they seem grander than visions you’ve created for yourself.
  3. Trust that these messages are meant to lead you in the direction where you will find the most fulfillment.
  4. Believe that you are capable in carrying out these messages and commit to doing the steps that will see it through.

12 Steps to Make Your Dream Your Life

I delivered the pdf file for my upcoming book, Inner Architect: How to Build the Life You Were Designed to Live, to the printer this past Thursday. On Friday afternoon something incredible hit me. I am in the process of bringing life to my dream! Holy cow. Why did it take me so long to see clearly what is right in front of me? What was I thinking to expect that one single event would bring my dream to life? It really is all about baby steps.

Three years ago this month, I walked away from a successful 20-year career in the corporate world to follow a dream. It hasn’t been an easy journey, that’s for sure, and I’ve got a ways to go. But I can see now that I am on my way.

Your way to your dream can be found in these steps:

  1. Recognize that you have the choice to create a different life.
  2. Believe that it is possible to successfully build your dream.
  3. Define the obstacles that are holding you back.
  4. Replace your obstacles with ideas that support you.
  5. Give credibility to the desires of your heart and learn to trust it.
  6. Outline your training and development needs.
  7. Crystallize your vision.
  8. Identify your major goals.
  9. Define the steps necessary to achieve your goals.
  10. Stay committed to doing the necessary work.
  11. Support your external work with thoughts that help to build it.
  12. See yourself now in the beginning stages of your new life.

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.

Science Shows the Amazing Benefits of Meditation

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Over the past couple of weeks I’ve been deep in study of the scientific evidence that has come to light that supports many of the spiritual principles that have resonated with me without any hard proof. It has been fascinating and exciting to learn about all the correlations! In particular, I’d like to recommend Lynne McTaggart’s book, The Intention Experiment to anyone interested in learning about this new frontier where science and spirituality come together.

In her book, Lynne McTaggart has taught me much that I didn’t know about meditation. I have viewed meditation as a method for tuning in to my inner wisdom and to connect with divine energy, yet there are so many practical benefits that I am guessing many of us are unaware of. If we were, we might all be clamoring to make it a vital practice in our lives. Here’s what I’ve learned:

Experienced meditators can be more effective in their ability to use their thoughts to effectively influence desired outcomes. Generally speaking, there are two different forms of meditation. Each may produce different brain waves, and consequently offer different benefits:

Concentrative meditation holds attention on the breath, an image, or a sound to still the mind and allow a greater awareness and clarity to emerge. With practice, it appears to enlarge the mechanism by which we receive information and clarify the reception.

By concentrating on focused thoughts, the portion of the brain that handles attention is exercised. This exercise enables its cortical thickness to grow larger. Ordinarily cortical thickness deteriorates with age, yet regular meditation appears to reduce or reverse this process.

Mindfulness meditation involves sitting quietly and being a witness to whatever goes through your mind, not becoming involved or reacting to thoughts, worries, or images. This helps to condition a more calm, clear, and non-reactive state of mind to whatever is happening around and within you.

Studies have shown some other general benefits of meditation to include:

  • Higher levels of gamma waves, which often are associated with feelings of joy
  • A predominance of alpha rhythms, which is the optimal state for the manifestation of your thoughts
  • More coherent brain waves
  • A positive affect on the brain’s reasoning and analytical ability
  • An increase in ability to receive intuitive information, as well as the conscious awareness of it.

Guidance on how to practice either of these types of meditations is enough for two new articles, so I won’t go any further right here. I’m happy to answer any questions you might have in the meantime.

 

My 30-Year High School Reunion: A Party for My Soul

I went to my 30-year high school reunion on Saturday night. Actually, I did much more than just go to the reunion. I was a part of the four-person committee that made it happen. So I had the privilege of greeting every person as they walked through the door. That in itself was an amazing experience. It set the tone for what I took away from this monumental event.

During the evening I talked with a number of people who had been classmates since kindergarten. I spent some longer chunks of time with women I’d been close with during our junior and senior high years. I chatted with some classmates that I don’t recall ever talking with in my youth. There were a couple of people with whom I exchanged a warm hug and that was all. We had a DJ, dancing, and karaoke, and it was a lot of fun. But to me, it was very sweet.

You see, I feel like I picked up some precious pieces of my life that I had somehow dropped along the journey through my adult life. I feel like I have rekindled the spark that remembers where I came from. I don’t know why that means so much to me at this point in my life, but I guess it does. Somehow I now feel like I can move forward again with a new fervor. I don’t understand intellectually, but I’ve surrendered to an instinct that I’ve just taken care of a need of my soul’s. And now in a funny way, I feel more complete.

Accepting the Flow without the Hissie Fit

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I had an experience yesterday that left me shaking my head in awe at the wonder of the universe. I recently started working on a proposal for my second book, a project that I find rather daunting. I had spent much of the day before toiling over how to best present the overview for the book. I knew at the time that it felt like I was forcing ideas, yet I was more focused on making progress than I was paying attention to what was not flowing naturally. So by the end of the day I had pushed three pages to the surface. I wasn’t thrilled about my work, yet I figured I could clean it up with some good word-smithing when I was more in the mood. It had been a hard day of work and I was thrilled to have that portion of the proposal pretty much behind me.

The next morning I turned my computer on and opened the file to continue on with the proposal. “Oh my God!” I screamed from my home office. My partner, Dean, thought I was responding to a piece of horrific world news, but instead I was shouting my disbelief that all my hard work was gone. The file on my computer contained only the first couple of paragraphs I had started the week before. So for the next hour, in between hissie fits about my bad luck, I searched feverishly to uncover a file that held my work. When I exhausted all the ways I knew to look for files, I told Dean that I was giving up. When he suggested that I make a call to my computer consultant, I got in touch with what I knew was really going on. I had been led to ditch my first effort because it wasn’t good enough. It hadn’t come from my heart.

I know that there are skeptics out there who believe that sometimes, maybe even most of the time, that things happen by chance. My inner being knows that losing this file was not an event of chance. You see, I very rarely lose files. And when I do, I know my way around a computer well enough to be able to recover them. This time the file was nowhere to be found. I searched the hard drive, the hidden files and the temporary files. The manner in which it had completely vanished still has me shaking my head.

My conclusion? I believe the universe was telling me that the way I had presented my book in the first effort was not representative of what I am proposing to bring to the world. So I started all over again, this time speaking from my heart. And this time, my proposal is in total alignment with my book. This experience has served as yet another example of how the universe is always supporting me for my higher good. I just wish I could have embraced this idea without the hissie fits. Maybe next time…

How about you?  What ugly thing have you encountered that just might ring with purpose?

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