For my birthday last month, my 21 year-old son Maxwell gave me this glorious surprise ball. He went to a beautiful shop in Berkeley called The Tail of the Yak. The shop is a favorite of my sister Lisa and when Max started at UC Berkeley this fall as a junior studying English, we all visited the shop together.
Upon opening the gift, my sister commented that it was a surprise ball and they are typically filled with little trinkets rather like a pinata. She knows the artist, Anandamayi who creates them and suggested that I may not want to open it at all. I agreed. It was so beautiful, so I put it on display in a prominent place in my home office. And though it was clearly designed as a mango complete with a leaf on top, it looked to me like a heart, hence El Corazon. And there I thought it would stay.
A few weeks passed and I was preparing to facilitate a meeting on the topic of the power of receiving. The brilliant Amanda Owen had been the guest author at a women’s luncheon I sponsored last September and I was invited to present some thoughts on receiving at our December meeting for the Natural Healers, a networking group where I have been a member for the past four years.
As I was in the bathroom getting ready that morning, I had a flash of insight. As an intuitive coach and consultant, I have often shared that some of my clearest insights and profound images happen while I am brushing my teeth, or washing my face or putting on make-up. While the cognitive mind is pre-occupied, the intuitive mind is free to play.
Zing. Ping. Flash.
The image of El Corazon, the mango surprise ball, flashed in my mind with the phrase “we are made to be opened.”
I was moved. I was clear. We are the surprise balls and we are designed to be opened and share our humble trinkets with the world. I knew then that I would open El Corazon on new year’s eve as my year-end/year-beginning ritual.
And that’s what I did.
I am a master at seeing the extraordinary in the ordinary, an alchemist who can turn base metals into gold. In my work as a facilitator and teacher, I often say “I am the Rumpelstiltskin of Life Coaching – I can spin shit into gold.” And the truth is, I can. I use “shit” here, (my favorite swear word) instead of straw as the fairy tale goes, because often, shit is what we feel and see when the road gets rough and tumble. The truth is though, we get tunnel vision when things get tough and our peripheral vision narrows, almost to the point of blindness.
Through the symbolic, the ordinary day to day images, words, ideas and synchronicity, there is gold, upon gold, upon gold along that rough road. If we can see it. If we can see past our ideas of perfection and order and the outside looking complete…just like the surprise ball.
So, I knew that when I opened up my heart last night, when I opened up El Corazon, it would speak to me in my native tongue – intuition – fresh and new intuition. And I pleased to tell you, there was a magical message in there.
Setting the Stage
Important background information before we open up El Corazon.
My husband Drew and I have been through the financial wringer the past six years. I won’t tell that story today. I will leave that to another day. Another post. Suffice it to say that the collapse of our financial house became the very foundation for the birth of my business. Life literally took all my money away to shake me awake.
It did. And I am.
We are coming into what feels like the auspicious YEAR SEVEN of financial austerity. And I am done with it. My husband is done with it. We are ready to thrive. Note to self: we are thriving.
Boom. (I am feeling feisty and it feels good.)
Ok. To the background information. This past year ELEPHANTS have continued to be a symbol that has shown up again and again for both Drew and I. Just in this past month alone, I received fabulous elephant pj’s from my friend and coaching partner Keisha, Drew wanted and won the very clever “white elephant” nightlight in our family Christmas exchange last week and my sister Martha gave me a blue elephant-angel Christmas ornament. It was truly beginning to be uncanny. Really, I didn’t even tell you the half of it. So many elephants trumpeted into our lives this past year.
So, I said to Drew on Monday night this week, “I think the Elephant is to be our prosperity and abundance totem for 2015.” Remember, I have shared with you that I am the Queen of the Symbols and they often inspire me to action where other efforts fail. He agreed and I read out a few of the qualities and attributes of the elephant, i.e.commitment, strength and wisdom, ability to remove obstacles and barriers and in the Hindu culture, in the form of Ganesh, the god of luck, fortune and blessing on all new projects.
Brilliant. Inspiring. Motivating.
So, I take you now to last night at 11:11. Yes, that turns out to be the exact time on the clock when I happen to sit down with Drew to open up “my heart” to this new year.
As I pulled that first piece of colored crepe paper, Drew said to me, confident and clear, “there’s an elephant in there.” Note to self: Intuition runs in the family.
Opening – New Beginnings
I will not keep you in suspense because no sooner did he say that then I came upon the first object in the surprise ball, a pack of Smarties. Ok, I will keep you in a wee bit of suspense. I will admit, I was feeling a little uncertain of my decision to break-open this beautiful piece of artwork when the first gift was a cheap penny candy prize. Or it was life’s humorous little joke on me.
The elephant revealed itself in the very next layer, sitting aloft a field of green.
I liked the symbolism. I liked it a lot.
Turns out he was an “Ikea model.” It feels like Humpty-Dumpty in reverse as we took all the little pieces and put him together.
I liked it. I liked it a lot.
Ready to Go 2015
Each layer revealed a new item, the hummingbird sticker, the single-wrapped Swedish fish, the plastic white hen and star-stamped top. The final gift at the center of the mango was a tin of Fairy Rose mints.
And one final shot of all the treasures inside:
I will leave you with two additional pieces of the story that feel equal parts magical and poignant.
Max arrived home this morning and I shared with him my decision to open his gift along with the insight that we humans were designed to be opened. I then told him about his dad’s prediction that there was an elephant in there. He was genuinely giddy with excitement and so pleased to have been the one to have bestowed this gift upon me, indeed upon our whole family.
He shared that when he was in the shop on the day of my birthday, he was drawn to the mango. The saleswoman explained what they were and he was enchanted. It however was an investment for something so simple. I asked how much he had paid and he said $40. I felt my eyes well with tears that this young man, on a budget, would buy me something so frivolous and fun and play-full for my birthday. My very practical self was glad I didn’t know what he paid for it BEFORE I broke it open or I may have been tempted to leave it intact.
And I would have missed the call to open. I would have missed the message. I would have missed the gift.
And I wouldn’t have liked that. I wouldn’t have liked that one bit.
Final piece of the story. As I finished writing about the elephant symbolism and Lord Ganesh, I wrote “as I opened up my heart to this new year.” I realized that even though I have referred to the surprise ball as El Corazon – My Heart, it is actually a mango. So, I was curious to know the symbolic meaning of the mango. So I googled. And here is what I found.
So, I invite you on this first day, of this new year, to recognize that you too are “made to be opened” – all of you. And those glorious colored layers inside you, each vulnerable and precious prize, is there when you are ready to open your heart.
Your El Corazon.
I like that. I like that a lot.
Written by Mary Welty-Dapkus, January 01st, 2015 | 2 Comments »
“Briefly, intuition, so viewed, is taken to be an integral process of the mind, which culminates in an act of insight. The process involves reasoning, but the insight in which the process culminates does not. Intuition, is not a form of knowledge; rather it is only one means to knowledge which together with reason, sense-experience, and revelation (in the Heideggerian sense) make possible knowledge and understanding.” – Hope K. Fitz, Intuition: Its Nature and Uses In Human Experience.
There is a wonderful quote by Jonathan Ellerby that says “inspiration is not an idea, it is an experience.” I think the same may be said for intuition.
In my work as an intuitive coach and consultant, I am often asked questions about developing intuition. I tell people, and this comes directly from my own experience, we lose touch with our innate intuitive ability when we get stuck in the idea of intuition instead of the experience of intuition.
It’s that simple.
So, let’s begin there with how one experiences intuition and then exercises these mind, body and soul muscles. I like the phrase sense-experience. In The Intuitive Gym, my intuitive development program, we create the sense-experience each week as a model for practicing the art and science of intuition.
And intuition, like art or medicine for that matter, takes practice; a lifetime of practice. Begin that new life today with your fresh intuition. As the Ellerby quote suggests, begin by expanding your knowing about the world, YOUR world, through exercising your senses. Intuition isn’t static – like a noun waiting to be defined by others. Intuition is a living-breathing verb and is an invaluable tool and way of being – not just a way of thinking.
Drop your story. Your idea about being intuitive or not being intuitive, or your pre-conceived judgments won’t bring you closer to your intuitive sense. Time to conceive of an intelligent-intuitive YOU. I know it feels riskier, but I guarantee you, it is a high-octane fuel that will empower your life in unimaginable ways. Time to imagine it.
And that is what tracking intuition is about – feeling, sensing and navigating with new insights and awareness. So, discover the character of your intuition by its actions, by the inspired insights that come through the use of your senses…all six of them.
Up next in the Sense and Synchronicity Mini-Series:
Tracking Intuition Tip #4
Listen When You Speak: What You Say Makes A Lot Of Sense
Being thrown of the habitual path is an experience that happens to all of us at one time or another in our lives. The truth is it happens multiple times. And as Tolstoy reflects in the quote above, “it is in the experience of being lost, that we come to our proverbial senses.” And this is the place from which we discover ourselves…all of ourselves.
We spend an inordinate amount of time everyday THINKING we are thinking. The cognitive part of our brain thinks it is the big boss and if we haven’t the time or the inclination, we build a wall around our senses.
So, how do you take that first step back on a new path after all feels lost. Ah, there is the word. Feel. I know, messy huh. But tracking our feelings – what we sense is the very way in to all SIX of our senses. So, here is the tracking intuition tip for this week in the five-part series.
Tracking Intuition Tip #2
Your Sixth Sense is one of your five on steroids.
Your Intuitive-How – Mapping the Muscles
A great and simple way to begin to exercise your intuition and develop it as a tool is to look at your five senses in a new way. The first and most important tool isn’t to understand intuition; it is to understand YOUR intuition.
Your 6th sense is a frame of reference with the 5 senses you already use.
Each of us is a blend, with a few of these being our predominant ways receiving information. We are getting intuitive information all the time. When you understand how you are likely to be getting information, you will be able to lift more “wait” with your right mind!
Why is it important?
I always say, once you are aware of your patterns, you are 70% of the way to change. In this case, the change is the increased power and reliability of your intuitive voice. It is important to suspend your disbelief when learning to trust your intuition. Sometimes the impressions we receive make no logical sense, but carry valuable symbolic information for us to decipher.
Think back to a time when you acted on your intuition. Do you remember HOW you received the information? Was it a feeling in your body, a thought, an image, a voice, or a sense of knowing? Now try to think of another time. How did you receive that information? And another? Is there a pattern to the information? Once you start to notice a pattern in the way information comes, you will be better able to recognize it as valuable rather than random chatter.
When you know your intuitive type, you will notice the clues coming your way IN the way your intuition speaks to YOU.
Time to exercise this “common sense”. Indeed, it is “here that the new and the good things begin.”
Up next in the Sense and Synchronicity Mini-Series:
Tracking Intuition Tip #3
Intuition is not an idea, it is an experience
Written by Mary Welty-Dapkus, May 13th, 2013 | 1 Comment »
As you may have gathered from the title, I am a huge Jane Austen fan. HUGE. I suspect that in a past life, I lived in Bath, a featured location in the Austen’s novels. I was thrilled to travel there with family and friends many years ago and visit the City of Bath, walk the streets of a place so real to me from the novels I had read and the scenes I had watched in favorite BBC shows over the years.
Oh, yes, I have read the books multiple times and I go on these binge weekends where I will watch my favorite Jane Austen films. From Pride and Prejudice, to Emma (just happens to be my daughters’ name) to Persuasion, (my personal favorite – but don’t let the others know, I would want anyone of them to feel slighted) to Sense and Sensibility. I just watched the wonderful Ang Lee film again last week for the umpteenth time.
But I digress.
This isn’t a post about Jane Austen or Sense and Sensibility, (though, I’m tempted) it is about tracking intuition – one sense and one synchronicity at a time. I actually started writing this post several weeks ago and it has sat patiently awaiting my return.
And it is poignant and synchronistic that today is the day because I just pressed the PAUSE button on my Daily Dose subscription. It just went on hiatus while I find sustainable ways to develop that creative work and bring it to more subscribers. It is hard to leave the familiar routine of the Dose format and offer up something new to you today. Today is the first day in almost a year I didn’t press that send button. Today, I feel vulnerable and exposed as I share something else of my own making with words to inspire your journey.
I am reminded of one of my favorite quotes, and I am tearing up at the synchronicity as I write this. On this day, as I leave the familiar Dose and offering this in its place, I just realized that this happens to be the very quote I used then. First day’s offering then and now. I am stunned. And once again, as I begin something new today, I find the solace and the courage in these words that I sent out to subscribers on June 11, 2012 and here it is again as I start this journey anew today.
You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition. What you’ll discover will be wonderful, what you’ll discover is yourself.
So, let’s go into this new wilderness together.
I hear all the time from clients about my unique way of seeing the world and the wisdom of developing authentic intuition and I want to reflect on some of those tips from my own experience today. So, even though I leave the Daily Dose behind for today, here is a different “dose” of vitamin C for your soul.
As the founder and co-facilitator of an intuitive development program called The Intuitive Gym, my coaching partner Keisha Gallegos and I give each Gym member a private assessment, much like a personal trainer does when assessing your fitness level and current strengths. We apply this same method to assessing intuitive awareness and ability. And our findings thus far are significant. In our assessment, we ask a series of general questions to start. Take a moment and respond. How true is each statement for you?
1. I use my intuition on a daily basis.
2. I apply my intuitive awareness to all areas of my life.
3. I trust my inner voice.
4. I notice when synchronicity occurs in my life.
5. I trust and act upon my intuition.
How did you answer #4?
Well, I would love to hear how you answered all five if you would like to share.
#4 is a standout in our assessment. Almost every member, to a one, answered in the affirmative. And this did not surprise me in the least. Synchronicity is a powerful magnifier of intuition by its very definition. You are the only one who knows whether an outer experience mirrors and inner one. And when you greet these deeply meaning-full experiences through synchronicity, they awaken something within you. You sense that there is something greater than your own small experience. Synchronicity is expansive and everyone, even when they answer No to question #3 and No to question #5, which most do when they begin, they answer Yes to #4. And that, that is a vital clue.
Start there. Exercise that muscle of recognizing where synchronicity is showing up in your life today. It is taking you to a place of deeper consciousness and connection…and that my friends, that is the place where our authentic intuition resides. And synchronicity is one of the keys to this wild-new kingdom.
Up next in the Sense and Synchronicity Mini-Series:
Dip into the radiance before you.
Immerse into the radiance within you.
Splash the radiance OF you.
You are positively shimmering in this light.
As many of you know, I create the Daily Dose, an M-F email subscription of visual vitamin C – consciousness. Each Monday, I will feature one of Doses for the week on the blog. Last Monday was “Eeny, Meeny, Miny, MOI.” Today’s Dose is “Radiance Bathe.”
Daily transformation, sometimes soul-busting, pain-staking transformation, is what inspires me to be, do, and feel more expanded and filled with the light of possibility than the limitations of fear and regret. I am transformed by how I see the world each and everyday. So, as I have shared, I love how the original photo I start with is transformed in the process of creating the Dose.
Here is a before and after of this week’s offering. When I was in Phoenix visiting my mother a few weeks ago, my sister Lisa brought my mother a bouquet of beautiful flowers. Brilliant purple tulips, and orange and white ranunculus. A visual feast for the eye. I took several pictures of the bouquet and the picture of the white ranunculus was the one I played with at PicMonkey. An the results were, dare I say, radiant.
May you have the courage to see with new eyes, to be transformed by what the light reveals, and to see yourself and the world anew today. Just for today.
If you are interested in receiving this visual daily Dose of inspiration to your inbox, you can learn more about this Fresh Intuition offering here.
And no one is more surprised by this than eeny, meeny, miny…MOI!
Let me give you a brief history of The Dose and how this creative fuel has changed lives. Starting with mine.
Heard about Pinterest last spring – one GIANT online bulletin board. A huge oversimplification but you get the idea. I resisted, too much going on.
Attended a networking meeting March 2012 about social media that featured…Pinterest. I stopped resisting.
Fell in LOVE with Pinterest but discovered I wanted to CREATE my OWN posters. Only one problem. I didn’t have a clue how to do it.
Got a CLUE! I got a bunch of them which included a camera, a few simple software tools, some “fresh intuition”, a healthy dose of passion and a desire to create that was so strong, there was no turning back. (And believe me, sometimes I think what have I gotten myself into!)
Stopped the Dose on the VERY first day when someone unsubscribed and I thought – “oh, sh**, maybe people don’t want this, maybe I am not suppose to do this?” HUGE crisis of confidence. But the urge to create was even stronger. So…
I put on my courageous and creative BIG girl pants and here I AM, EIGHT months later creating FIVE posters a week for my growing list of “fresh” fans.
Which has led to friends Colleen and Madison Altendorf and Wendy Squire lending their creative eye and photos along with my own and a smattering of Microsoft Images for what I call “Dose fodder.” I have heard from scores of other people who have shared the Dose, who quote what consciousness has to say, shared a note with me about how they feel inspired, heard, seen, felt and touched in their daily lives. We are all coming to our senses. But that is a post for another day.
Huh, what a little Dose will do! A little like the children’s book “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie.” Watch what happens with that creative spark…it turns into fire.
Now, here is an example of the creative fun I have ‘seeing’ a finished Dose out of all my potential creative options each week.
I am highly visual and I generally start with the picture. I drop it in PicMonkey and put it through the creative ringer until I land on a combination that pleases my eye. Then the words. More wrangling with text, fonts, spacing, layout and impact. Then, into Mailchimp where I then drop the image in my daily campaign and I write the copy for what “Consciousness” has to say about the wise words or quote on the poster. I then schedule the Dose to be delivered to YOU. (Unless you aren’t on the Dose yet, then head on over here and get fresh.)
My favorite part of the Dose creative process is the transformation of the image into the final poster. Hmmmmmmmmmm, not unlike the process of coaching someone and seeing them transform right before my eyes. I will likely drop YOU in the photo editor and then into a campaign for your own creative unleashing in the world…for your own dose of conscious insight. So, you may have come for the Dose, but check out the Coach.
Here are a few of my favorite Dose transformations. And indeed, the curiosity about transformation, creativity and change is what keeps my eye coming back to the page day after day after day.
This grand Gerber daisy from a bouquet from a friend became this.
The quote says, “you are brilliant and the earth is hiring.”
And this moss on the tree photo from Madison became this.
The quote says, “heroes take journeys, confront dragons and discover the treasure of their true selves.”
And today’s Dose? It was created last night from a photo of a stack of coasters on my sister Amy’s coffee table this weekend. I was in town visiting and noticed a bunch of “Dose fodder” at her house. I arranged the coasters thus and it became this.
So, take a moment today and find yourself as the Dose prompts.