Archives For intuition

Who taught you what boundaries were allowed or expected? It’s not a subject taught in kindergarten or elementary school. Boundaries are demonstrated socially. They are both subtle and exacting.

The greatest cause of suffering I see in sensitive people originated from a lack of clear boundaries.

Your parents may have told you “no,” punished, shamed or discouraged you from activities that made them feel uncomfortable, crossed their boundaries. They may have had no boundaries or a lot or rules about touch, words, privacy, food, allowed emotions, money, how to dress, nudity, topics of conversation, personal space, time, performance at school, in sports or work.

The rules you learned at home may not have worked at school or with your friends who had different boundaries.

You need healthy boundaries. When another person shows you their boundaries you know how to relate with them. They create a clear container for understanding your world.

When the adults around you growing up don’t have boundaries, don’t honor your boundaries or change the rules frequently, it creates a state of heightened alert. The good news is that you likely have stronger than average intuition. The bad news is you have it because you didn’t feel safe and had to intuitively read the world around you all the time, to navigate the shifting boundaries.

Intuitively tracking those around you all the time is exhausting and confusing. It’s exhausting because you don’t get to relax into a sense of safety. It’s confusing because often the energy or feelings you sense in those around you gets misinterpreted as your own experience. Keeping your psychic antenna open all the time blurs the boundaries.

For example, you work at an office and have a passive aggressive co-worker. You find yourself feeling angry a lot but can’t say why. When you leave work, the anger subsides. Because you are immersed in their energy with no boundaries it feels like your own anger. Reading the mood of those around you is a skill learned in order to camouflage and create a safe space in an environment with unpredictable boundaries.

As child in an environment of unclear or absent boundaries reading others to protect yourself and prevent harm is essential to survival. But to read someone this way is to get in their psychic space. Over time this survival skill creates suffering because you feel everything around you. So how do you learn to reset your psychic boundaries?

Resetting your boundaries so intuition can work for you rather then against you requires consciously owning your energy field on a regular basis. Practicing simple active meditation tools is what works for me. A series of visualizations that create healthy energy boundaries can be applied on a walk or in a conference room. In the simplest form, you notice your grounding cord, set your aura bubble, put up protection roses and call your energy back to yourself.

To feel more of you and less of those around you isn’t hard-hearted. You still have compassion and can even help others more when you aren’t matching their emotional state.

If you are interested in cultivating these skills Active Meditation training can be purchased HERE.

I often get into conversations with parents of sensitive kids who don’t know how to help.  They were never given the tools to manage their own sensitivity or they don’t have the same sort of sensitivity. I was a sensitive kid.

Some people are simply born with more sensitivity to the energies around them. They have natural empathy, feeling what others feel. And frequently get drained, overstimulated or emotional in response to their surroundings.  They don’t yet know how to recognize when what they are feeling is not their feelings, or how to create healthy boundaries.  Sensitivity has two main roots:

  1. Nature
  2. Trauma

Trauma based sensitivity is a result of conditioning. Many highly sensitive people had childhood trauma. Their sense of safety required heightened alertness, “reading” people in order to minimize abuse or manage stress. A survival skill to navigate home life or societal traumas such as war.

I’ve recently identified a new branch on the trauma root that previous generations did not experience. Sensitive children conditioned by the stress of over stimulation. Constant stimulation has particularly deep impact on developing minds.

What we experience in childhood sets the baseline for normal throughout life.  Trauma that heightens sensitivity doesn’t have to be first hand.  Frequent exposure to unpredictable violence through the media can traumatize a child. Make them feel unsafe at school or other environments where a sense of safety was previously the norm. How a child learns to manage it shapes their life forever.

My parents were sensitive too. Like most of us they were taught or found ways to suppress their sensitivity when it got too uncomfortable. There are a lot of ways we suppress sensitivity:

  • Substances that alter our state of sensitivity, from coffee to alcohol or pharmaceuticals
  • Checking-out, habits that detach us from feeling, TV, internet, video games
  • Staying busy, not allowing enough time to process experiences
  • Eating for comfort
  • Using the mind to deny what one senses

Now that you understand a bit more about the roots of sensitivity and how it is typically suppressed, what can you do to help yourself or your sensitive child?

The first step is to shift from thinking sensitivity is bad. Sensitivity is heightened awareness. It is a skill. Even a gift when we get comfortable with it. Getting comfortable with it is the tricky part.

Second, you learn to notice when it’s happening and identify it as something you are experiencing in response to your environment rather than your own emotions or thoughts. To do this ask yourself or ask your child to ask themselves a few questions:

What do I feel? Is it “my” feeling? Is it something I feel around me? What or who around me is feeling like this?

This begins the process of getting clear on what you sense that is your energy and what isn’t your energy that you feel in your environment.

Once you know that something you feel is not yours, you are free to consciously give your Self space from it. You can do this by visualizing the emotion, thought or physical sensation moving into a rose or a pretty rock. Somewhere separate from your body. As you are practicing you might want to have a clean-out rock or crystal that you use for this and periodically soak it in water with Epsom salts to clear the energy.

Over time your awareness of the sources of your sensitivity becomes clearer and your ability to separate from the energy that isn’t yours is a habit. Then you will experience your sensitivity as a tool or a gift to help you navigate life.

The magic of sensitivity is revealed when you are not suppressing it, turning it off or denying it but can see it as valuable information. Then you are free to apply the understanding to your choices in a given situation.

Spiritual Tests

Natalie —  January 29, 2015 — Leave a comment

Life tests us when we least expect it. We can get metaphysical and see it as an opportunity for spiritual growth, yet tests challenge us.  They feel uncomfortable, stressful, confusing and even painful, they may bring up our anger or disappointed. Tests are asking us, or forcing us, to change. It can be as subtle as a shift of our thought patterns or as explicit as how we live every day.

Our physical body, mind, emotions and soul are always unconsciously striving for a state of alignment with each other.  An illness may cause our mind to struggle with our body’s lack of cooperation.  The death of a loved one may cause our heart to question the body’s purpose as we are left behind while their soul has moved on.

In the midst of being tested, there is a temptation and a tendency to suppress discomfort.  But our physical and emotional discomforts are indicators. They will guide us through life’s tests, if we listen. They bring awareness to our combined physical, mental and spiritual state of being.

To lessen the discomfort without just postponing it, we have to pause to listen to our intuition. The act of stilling the mind through meditation, tuning into our breath (body) and listening to our soul, may initially draw our attention to the discomfort. But with a bit of commitment to breathing through the edgy space, it will reduce our suffering.

When we listen to our inner-guidance it shows us what we need in order to walk through the fire of life’s test. It may tell us it is time to step away from a relationship or job. It may point out that it is time to commit to our health by changing the way we eat or to taking regular time for our creativity.

Meditation is deep listening.  By listening we are consciously participating in alignment of our physical experience with our souls intention.  This alone reduces stress regardless of life test we are experiencing.

The beauty is that we don’t have to stop living to listen.  As Thich Nhat Hanh says we can invite inner-peace through consciously breathing in and out no matter where we are or what challenge we are facing.  It is that simple.

The mind does an excellent job of balancing our bank account and other logical tasks. But when it looks to translate our emotional experiences or the more mystical intuitive “knowing”, it gets stuck.  Over analyzing is the number one block to our intuition. We mentally stack the bits of and pieces of our experiences next to each other looking for an answer.

There’s no winning when the mind tries to figure out what we “sense” intuitively using evidence, logic and proof. Or if it tries to figure out what we can’t know, what hasn’t happened yet or is not ready to be revealed.

The monkey mind’s searching, busy; spinning in circles on the same unanswerable thought is merely a distraction from listening. Our inner guidance can only be accessed when we stop trying to figure it out and listen.

I’m never at peace when my mind is stuck thinking and rethinking on a topic, trying to figure out what it means and how that meaning applies to my life or what I need to do in response. The mental effort gets in the way of listening and trusting the inner-knowing.

Recently I’ve been practicing “living in the question” by asking my inner-guidance a question with a commitment to not “think” about the answer.  I simply set the intention that I’m listening for an answer and put it into the universal flow to percolate.

Using this practice, I find that answers to my deepest questions don’t jump into my mind like a thought. They come through experiences life offers me that I feel a “yes” to.  And as I say yes, I realize, “Hey, this is the answer to the question I sent out to the universe.”

The wonderful thing about the mind is that we get to both benefit from its skill and direct it. To turn off the monkey mind we need to remind ourselves when there is no answer we can “think up.” The answer exists but it’s not one the analytical mind is responsible for deriving.

Here’s an experiement to practice release of the monkey mind, write down whatever your mind is churning on and if you have any possible answers already milling in your head, tell yourself that there are possibilities you can’t even imagine.  Then ask your inner-guidance to show you and set the question aside while you go about your life. This is where the magic comes. By releasing the attachment to “figuring it out” with your mind you are allowing your intuition to inform you.

Please comment and let me know what happens!

You might think your family didn’t teach you much about your intuition but they did.  Whether they taught you to doubt your gut feelings by telling you that you were wrong when you voiced something you sensed but couldn’t prove, or they simply were living examples of listening to their inner-voice; they taught you something.

One way I was taught to tune-in to my intuition by my family was through working with my dad on the ranch. There were always projects to do. The list was never ending with land, livestock, buildings, fences and equipment to keep in order.  Dad would often have me and my brother help him when he was working on a project. He did most of the heavy lifting and our job was to keep him in his efficiency-zone by handing him whatever tool he needed next, holding a board in place or plugging in a power tool.

While he taught us how to do things along the way and verbally asked us to hand him the next tool or piece of material he needed early on, over time we were expected to know what he needed next, to read his mind and be one step ahead of him as he worked.  This was also the way his dad, our grandfather worked.  My brother and I learned to either be savvy enough to know what was next in the project or intuit their next step.

We were experiencing non-verbal communication.  As the helpers we tuned-in to what was happening and kept track of the fast pace that activity was moving. We not only were tuned-in to whether a next tool was needed but if it was time to get dad a drink of water.

Practicing awareness of another through observation and intuitively tuning-in to foresee what they may need next was one of the languages of our family.  In the full throws of a project if we weren’t tuned-in it could mean someone got hurt or the rhythm or efficiency was broken. It also insured we didn’t get scolded for being lazy and not doing our part.

Reading or empathically feeling others emotions and translating that into what to do for them is one of the tricky areas where we can either be affirmed or taught to doubt ourselves in a family.  The nice thing about intuiting the material next steps of a ranch project is that it not as dicey of ground as intuiting someone’s emotions and knowing how to respond.

Our families subtly teach us how to use or disregard our intuition.  As we identify some of the ways this occurred in our life, we can use it to reclaim or further hone our intuitive awareness.

Even the best of us can be fooled sometimes, believing what we are told by someone who is being dishonest. We lean toward accepting what someone says as the truth until it strays outside of believable or we have an experience with them where we discover a lie and become skeptical.

As we cultivate our intuitive awareness, we start to notice when we receive indicators that a person isn’t being forthcoming, a gut feeling. Our belly (third chakra) tightens when we sense dishonesty. Deception is one way people use to maintain power in a situation. That may simply be due to the person’s need to feel in-control, invulnerable or to keep us seeing them in a certain light.

Recognizing dishonesty becomes trickier when the person truly believes what they are saying or feels justified in their actions. For example, a person believes that something should be theirs and steals it but then doesn’t admit it is stolen when confronted. It’s harder to “read” their dishonesty as they are sold on their own entitlement.

Or someone you go on a date with tells you they are a snowboarder and mountain biker but hasn’t actually done either for many years.  They don’t see this as a lie because they see themselves as who they were ten years ago and believe it to be their identity.  When it emerges that they aren’t actively doing these things, they may still adamantly define themselves as that person who they were in the past, rather than being honest with themselves about who they are in the present.

Being lied to and not realizing it until we’ve felt the impact of the betrayal brings up a full gamut of emotions, shame at not recognizing it sooner, feeling foolish, self-doubt, anger, a loss of our innocence in trust for others, disappointment, grief, heartbreak and confusion.

When our intuition signals to us that we aren’t getting a straight story or the person’s actions aren’t lining up with their words, it activates our analyzer. The part of our mind that tries to make sense of the difference between what we intuit and what we are being told.

Our brain wants alignment between what we perceive and what we hear. Incongruity keeps it activated, trying to make sense of the nonsense.  In this way, doubting our intuition when we perceive dishonesty, consumes a lot of our energy. Or as my spiritual mentor says, “Secrets, lies and withholds are toxic.”

To get clear on the truth, we start by noticing our body’s response. Where do we feel tense? If the belly is clenched it is telling us something’s awry. Then we take a few deep breaths to get centered and ask our higher Self some questions, listening deeply for the answers:

  • Has this person lied to me or are they acting without integrity?
  • Do they believe what they are telling me is true?
  • What does this person need me to believe about them and why?
  • Is my own unrelated fear triggering doubt for this situation or person?

Ultimately our peace comes from acknowledging the incongruence within analytical and intuitive aspects of our mind and directly addressing the person whose actions we sense are not following their words.  Encountering dishonesty can be disheartening, feel like betrayal and drain our energy. The more we listen to our intuitive indicators and trust our Self to see the situation clearly by using more than the physical senses, the less energy we will lose in the dance between analyzer and intuitive mind.

Following Your Dreams

Natalie —  October 22, 2014 — 3 Comments

Temple Sunrise

Dreams point us in the direction of what we believe will bring us greater happiness and pleasure in life. Yet often we get stopped short by the enormity of getting from here to there.  Or we get distracted by easier things to do that we don’t value as much (procrastination) and forget to listen to our inner voice as it points us in the direction of that desire.

Occasionally we run headlong in the direction of our dream and the clues the universe delivers along our pathway are a blur. We don’t see them because we’re so focused on an outcome and miss a critical opportunity en route.  Our soul speaks to us always of what is true and right for us, but we have to allow space to listen. This inner guide gives us regular clues, invitations on the journey, to take short cuts or meandering long roads that expand our possibilities, connections, inspiration and foundation as we head toward a vision.

Experience is what living is about. Every meaningful experience is a gem that fills your treasure chest as a soul.  As you reflect on your collection of gems, they evoke emotional resonance. You may still feel surprise and excitement at the synchronicities that occur when you are present and listening. One of these gems may have been your first exposure to your dream.

Such as the time I affirmed a little girl’s insistence that she could see a dog in my truck with me shortly after my dog Luka had died.  Her parents kept telling her “no, there’s no doggie.” That day I was taking a step toward fulfilling a dream of helping others with their spiritual journey that led to the clairvoyance I now offer. This little girl who was able to “see” reminded me what is available when I look at life from a place of innocence and don’t listen to the voices negating my experience.

A more recent gem in my treasure chest of experience was created from the discomfort that pushed me and my friend to change plans, pack up and move camps three days into Burning Man, the first step that led to changing my trajectory for the entire experience.  My soul kept nudging me to embrace a deeper trust that all of my needs would be met without external reassurances. Listening, following what I felt called to do without knowing how many things would work out (food, a place to sleep and transportation back to Oregon). I was never in lack and found the less I concerned myself with survival the more community support and synchronistic connections showed up.

Gems are created from great pressure that creates beauty. We find them in river beds, in caves… the freshest brightest moments of our lives and the darkest most inward times.

Our soul’s assignment is not to achieve something big that will go down in history or arrive at the Summit of a peak. Fulfilling a dream is fantastic, but to have our eyes open on the way there, that is where the magic lies. To choose a path and choose again, a multitude of times as we walk along a path, noticing what feels right and what feels off. Each step in the direction of a dream realized is an opportunity to listen to our soul’s guidance, to the Divine that is us, as it leads us through experiences, energies and obstacles.

People often ask me why I don’t “read” the future in my psychic work. I have a canned answer about us all having “freewill” that allows us to change our future. I believe this, but there is more. Thinking we can know what we “should” do or what is coming next is a way to try to feel in control and limits healthy possibilities.

Whenever I want to know what’s next, I see it as me trying to assure myself, be in control of the unknown. I wonder, “Why don’t I feel safe with the mystery of not knowing?” I may be afraid of failure if I make a poor choice, or attached to a specific outcome that I think will result in my happiness. My attachment to an outcome has narrowed the possibility of what can make me happy because when an alternate experience unfolds, I may not enjoy it even if it’s better than what I thought I wanted!

Believing we can know the future allows us to feel we are in control but it is actually a way of giving our power away.  I think of the family who has planned a vacation to Hawaii.  The reservations for hotel, flights, and specific tours are all scheduled in advance. The kids are going to be in surf lessons while the parents are on a dolphin sighting boat tour.  But then something doesn’t turn out as planned. The tour bus taking them to the beach gets a flat. They are waiting on the side of the road for hours; sweating, hungry, feeling like their vacation is ruined.  Disappointed because what they had envisioned for their holiday isn’t happening. 

Beside them another couple is talking with two locals in a old truck that stopped to see if the bus driver needed help.  The other couple accepts the invitation to walk down the road to a few houses and sit on the porch in the shade with coconut water, enjoying conversation. They make new friends and give up on the tour bus all together, walking a bit farther to a local’s beach to explore the tide pools. They have a better day than they ever imagined because they are open to the possibility of what the universe offers rather than staying attached to their vision of how the future should have looked.

Like the more adventurous couple, we claim our power by trusting our intuition to guide us in the moment. There’s only power in the present.  In the present we have options, choices that direct our life toward either fulfillment or disappointment.  Disappointment is rooted in wanting something that doesn’t happen.

Making plans and having dreams are some of the best parts of being human.  Allowing our intuition to be our life tour guide is where the magic comes in.  When we surrender to the mystery, our journey’s take the most remarkable turns! I have no interest in knowing the future because I want to be surprised by life’s infinite possibility.

Well it Matter in 50 Years?

Natalie —  September 11, 2013 — 2 Comments

At times in life I notice I’m not putting my priorities in the right order. The tyranny of the urgent, whether it’s someone else’s request or something I expect of myself, has me neglecting what I know in my heart is most important… my physical/mental/spiritual health, the people I love, life balance. Two weeks ago my priorities were put to the test. I had a business trip lined up, meetings, airfare, hotel, rental car and my dad was being hospitalized for a blood transfusion with a mystery illness that had been wearing him down for six weeks with fever, fatigue, then stomach pain and lots of weight loss.  I live in Colorado, he lives in Oregon. I intuitively knew his life was in danger when I had seen him last but he was too feverish to realize it, besides no one in Urgent Care had expressed much worry about his progressive deterioration.

That Monday morning I was struggling with what to do, Dad was playing down how serious it was when I spoke with him on the phone.  Should I keep my work commitments or go be with my Dad who I knew was fighting for his life, without a diagnosis?  In the state of emotional stress I realized I needed support to follow through with my desire to drop everything and drive to Oregon. I texted a friend and asked if he would drive with me. When he said yes, I felt a huge relief and started taking action to cancel my business trip that was meant for the next day. As soon as it was decided a big wave of peace washed over me. I didn’t know what tomorrow would bring but I knew that my priorities were right and I would have no regrets.

In moments of crisis, decisions can feel overwhelming and doing what we need to do feel impossible.  It seemed all the tools I had for centering, self-reflection and getting clear weren’t within reach.  I called on those who know me best to be my anchor and remind me not to doubt my intuition.  To ignore my dad’s “don’t worry,” to set aside my clients “I need the demonstration this week,” and choose what would bring peace for my soul.  I had to press beyond my fear of letting others down, be it family or business associates, and lean on the strength of friends.

At my technology job it was one of the worst possible times for me to need to redirect my energy to family. I reflected on the sage advice from my manager Bill at my first job after college, “Is it going to matter in 50 years? If not, don’t stress about it.”  In 50 years it would matter if I was there for my dad and it wouldn’t matter if I postponed my business trip.

When the time came to let work know my circumstances, I received 100% support from colleagues, clients and management.  I felt the grace of their understanding and acknowledgement that we are all human with needs that come before work.

After being quarantined and run through many tests, they discovered my dad had a parasite, one that kills 100,000 people a year and almost killed him, but is curable! What a relief that it was discovered in time.  And while he’s recovering, I’ve been able to be here at the family Ranch for more time than I thought would be possible for me this year; a blessing in disguise.  This is in a profoundly nurturing place for my soul.  I’ve also had time to spend with my mom and brother who are both facing different mystery health challenges, and witnessed many surprising layers of family healing.

I was reminded from this experience that when I feel confused and am struggling to get clear on my intuitive truth, it’s still there.  I just have too much emotion between me and it, to see it clearly. At those times I can call on the people who know me best to help me clear away the emotional-charge and get grounded enough to see.