I named it El Corazon.
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.
“Mango: Food of the Gods! It is symbolic of love and fertility for Hindus, and is seen as a symbol of attainment when being held by Lord Ganesh.”
And I liked it. I liked it a lot.
All the brilliant layers – One surprise at a time
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.
Tracking Intuition Tip #4
Listen When You Speak: What You Say Makes A Whole Lot Of Sense
Here’s the truth. As a general rule, when we talk, we think it is so other people can hear us. Talking is often not just an automatic but an autonomic response. What I mean by that is there is often an involuntary and un-examined awareness when we speak. In light of tracking intuition, it isn’t just the phrase, “think before you speak” that is important, though in most situations it is not only invaluable, it is well, it’s just kind. The important phrase to remember when tracking intuition is “think while you speak.”
I know, I know, all that RESEARCH on multi-tasking has you questioning your ability to do two things at once! I have the absolute (and ab-soul-ute) confidence you will master this new art of actually listening while you speak. You will find out that what you say makes a lot of sense. And on a side note, what you are moved to say is generally very wise and clever, even if that wasn’t your intention!
As I have tracked intuition the last several years with myself, with family and friends as well as clients, I have noticed we give ourselves so many rich and vital clues in what we say, and we often aren’t paying any attention to it. We are in a Tower of Babble of sorts, all that unexamined talking and it is time to start listening – really listening. Here are several very simple examples of how the very words and phrases we say comes from a deep place of wisdom and we are often missing out on the word-play because we are not listening to ourselves when we speak. I know, I know, the doing two things at once can be tricky, but I have faith that you can do this. You know why? Because it is so important to hear yourself clearly because you make a lot of sense(s.)
Here are some little examples of the connections we make:
- On an episode of Chopped, one of the contestants was running to use something called the blast chiller and one of the judges autonomic response was to say “Cool.”
- My girlfriend was describing how her son almost passed out in church one day and started the story by saying, “Holy smoke, I thought he was going to faint right there.” Turns out that coupled with the heat there was incense in church that day, but she was completely unaware of her ‘holy smoke’ comment. It was indeed ‘holy smoke!’
- The phrase ‘no pun intended’ sums up this experience so completely. I like to say that the pun is the soul’s favorite way to get our attention in a simple, direct way – what I call ‘the power of the pun.’
I have been tracking this for years. I have dubbed it the energy of language or word-play for short and it is a living, sentient expression of directional energy and an often unconscious one. Rather like the Cameron quote above, you can indeed hear yourself clearly if you are willing to really listen to the energy conveyed in the words you speak. Another simple yet powerful way to begin to track your intuition in the 24/7.
Up next in the final part of our Sense and Synchronicity series:
Tracking Intuition Tip #5
…I will tell you next time!
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
Sense and Synchronicity – A Five Part Mini-Series
Tracking Intuition Tip #1
Synchronicity Makes Sense
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:
Tracking Intuition Tip #2
Your Sixth Sense Is One of Your Five on Steroids.