Intuition. Braving the Unthinkable.

In a recent session with a client (let's call her Sarah), inquiry and examination kept circling us back to heart-heavy sighs and four dreaded words: I just. don't. know.

When Sarah has clarity, she has an uncanny ability to make shit happen. So you might imagine her frustration that her typical precursor to bold action -
 knowing exactly what she wants - feels far from reach. How in the hell is she supposed to know what to do next when she doesn't have any clue where it is she is headed?

Eventually our discussion led us to a pivotal doorway when she off-handedly revealed a growing desire to trust her intuition. BINGO!... it was as if all the lights in the room went on at once. It suddenly became apparent that she doesn't "know" what to do because she deeply yearns to trust and tune into the intelligence and clarity that emerges when there's no clear and linear path in sight.

Life's most mammoth choices put us face to face with
not knowing. In such moments, a focus on certainty and know-how can keep us reeling in a sort of rational madness; frustration reigns as that which we seek remains unknowable. Intuition is how we navigate more subtle undercurrents that will invariably lead to the knowledge we seek. Far more nebulous than knowledge, intuition doesn't rely on (or even point to) certain pathways or known outcomes on the horizon. It instead haphazardly charts our course through uncertainty... guiding us one choice at a time toward unforeseeable experiences and alliances. 

Intuition often defies logic. Ungoverned by reason, intuition's laws operate more subtly. Ignoring intuitive guidance creates deep disturbances within. When we repeatedly refuse (or are afraid) to follow our authentic instinctual yearnings,
anxiety results. We remain stuck and feel perpetually out-of-sorts because we aren't willing to trust the honest urges that attempt to move us forward through an uncertain future. 

Gut sensations, instinctual hunches, and the endless ways in which "not-that experiences" nudge us to move in new directions... these are all intuition at work. Seem esoteric? It's really far from it. Honoring intuitive guidance
 is no lackadaisical walk in the park. It's scary shit... and it's the real and ultimate antidote to paralysis and fear. 

Honoring intuition is a fierce and authentic embodiment of your potential. Living authentically means being honest and responsive to what moves you (and what doesn't)... outwardly choosing in accordance with your truth, again and again and again. This requires tremendous courage as you take continual action in the face of irrationality and fear... openly owning deep vulnerabilities and inexplicable truths... and bravely being willing to risk expression in the face of confusion or seemingly insurmountable odds.

Intuition often requires we do the "unthinkable" simply because that rumbling
tremor within won't go away until we do. 

And yet we must also offer reverential allowance for reason. Feelings are multifaceted and constantly in flux; you can't build a life on the fluid foundations of instinct alone. When we rely solely on intuition, and refuse to yield to what-is-knowable or when we fight against the natural parameters of our physical reality, expression can become etheric and untethered to the world. If you habitually isolate yourself from reason and retreat into emotionality, 
depression results. To fully ACTualize your humanity, your expression must also be acted upon and grounded in something tangible. 

May you be brave enough to trust your instincts and your authentic sensibilities AND bold enough to take actions that stand to reason. 
~ Candice

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Power through Reach - what are you waiting for?

What are you waiting for?
Clarity? Time? Money? Permission? Perfect Love?

I’m calling your bluff. When you continually want something and you refuse to rise and claim it, you’re not waiting for anything or anyone. . .
hesitation has you in a holding pattern.

Don’t get me wrong... a healthy dose of contemplation is wise. However, at times, you are sure to get caught in the infinite pause... putting off what you know you need, denying what you dare want. And as a result... you find reasons “not to.” Excuses to postpone getting on board with what would light you up like no other.

And most of your excuses are total and complete BS. Sorry my dear, but it’s the truth. They are just stories based on faulty assumptions. Habits to stay small... to avoid the risk of exposure... to question being an actual exception to the mediocrity of the masses. Hesitation can be exhausting. Denying your right to be ridiculously happy and free can be a ton of work.

As a coach, I continually encounter individuals who are overwhelmed. They are dog-tired and perplexed at the way life seems to be delivering blow after blow... they can’t seem to put their finger on why “x” keeps happening to them... they feel like an emotional wreck. They wonder at the challenges stacked before them... why can’t life be easier?

Upon closer examination, it becomes clear...
They are stuck waiting. Deliberation has become a debilitation.

It’s what I call a “riverbank moment.” The flow of their life is calling them forward... urging them to trust and GO... and yet they hesitate anxiously... anchoring themselves to a reality (or pattern of indecision) that no longer serves them.

At times, something (or someone) refuses to move with them, and they use it as an excuse to stay put. Other times they await the perfect invitation, losing faith when “it” doesn’t show up. Most often it’s a simple shift of perspective that will set them free and get their life moving again.
Regardless, they cling to the sidelines as life lovingly fights to free them from inertia... flowing forth like a river, faster and faster and faster... at first offering a gentle invitation, but eventually beating them with a force that aches.

It is tough love at its finest.

Boats pass by again and again... vessels offering passage to freedom... yet still, they cling to the rocks in white-knuckled terror... so damned scared to make the wrong move... terrified of getting into the “wrong boat.” They keep fighting against the currents of their own desire...

Sometimes we prefer the safety of dysfunction
. . . to the mysterious journey around the bend.

But in the end, the Universe will force its hand upon us... and we WILL have to let go.
Eventually we will be ripped from the shore.

Why? Because
life will bang our drum of discontent with a bitter-sweet rhythm until we listen. Growth is the perfect contender... offering resistance... something to push against so we can grow stronger. If we don’t back down and yield to our own desires, it offers a knockout punch... one that pushes us to yield to the ultimate power - surrender.

It won’t hurt so much if you surrender... you can let go at anytime. You don’t have to be tormented by stagnancy’s cry and its taunting echo. Heed the call of your desires for more... trust in the flow of your life. Let go. Movement is progress. Release is rebirth. Any freakin’ boat will take you forward...

Can’t see what’s around the bend?... reach forward anyway. Risk the reach.
Don’t like where you are headed?... steer the sails. Own the flow.
Find your vessel unfit for the journey?... make some repairs or find another.
Therein lies power... to understand that you always have a choice.


Indecision. What Do I Do?

“Help! I am so unsure about what to do.
And it terrifies me that I may make the wrong decision.”

It’s not always apparent which direction we should go in. Sometimes we feel pulled apart at the seams by two distinct courses of action. Maybe the option we are faced with overwhelms us with perceived pressure or insecurity... we ask ourselves, “Is this REALLY what I want?” And in some cases, we’re just scared shitless. There is no perfect answer to serve all occasions, but I can offer you a few tried-and-true strategies that will help you to find your answer every time!

#1 :: Pay Attention to the Voice in your Head....
Are your reasons for doing it empowering or disempowering?

The first step to gaining clarity involves an exercise in self-awareness. Noticing the internal language you use around a particular course of action can immediately reveal your deepest truth. When you debate this issue in your heart and mind, what words do you use most?

For example, said-action is disempowering when you use words/phrases such as:
I really have to this because... (there is no “have-to” in empowerment)
If I don’t do this then...
(indicates fear is guiding you vs. possibility)
I’m not sure what else I would do, so I probably should...
(should’s are just shitty reasons, period.)
This worked for so-and-so, so it must be the right thing to do...
(fyi, it’s your life)

On the other hand, said-action is empowering when you use words/phrases such as:
It’s so exciting to think about doing this because... (a feeling of exhilaration)
Even though I’m scared, the possibilities this opens me to are... (moving toward expansiveness)
If I don’t do this now, I just know I will regret it later... (guided by intuition)
Even if this doesn’t work out, I have a feeling it will lead to something great... (a sense of *optimism)

Essential aside regarding optimism: I find it an unfortunate (and misguided) use of optimism when people talk themselves into loving an idea just because it COULD work out. Of course it could! But that doesn’t mean that you want to do it! An optimist can talk him or herself into doing anything. Save your rose-colored glasses for another day. Making important decisions requires you be honest with yourself and what is really guiding your choices. What matters more that IF it could work is whether or not a course of action lights you up or dims you down. Do you feel more or less powerful when you imagine doing it?

#2 :: Ask Your Body....
What is your gut telling you? Literally.

It’s easy to get caught in the cross-fire of the heart and mind. A part of us yearns to do something driven by our passion around a cause... while our mind frantically tries to keep up with us while weighing the pros and cons. The result of this banter can be maddening, as we drive ourselves crazy with scenarios. The heart professes the pleas of the artist-within... the mind is ever-concerned with the logistics... and no one conclusion seems apparent. That, my sweet, is the time when you just gotta listen to your gut!

Your body speaks its own language, and when you learn how to listen to it... you’ll never make decisions the same. Sit quietly and breathe for a bit. Get your bearings first... and then go back to the place where the heart and mind are tossing this choice you are about to make. First turn down the volume on the mind... let lawyering fade into the distance a bit to create a little space for the heart to step in. Then slowly do the same with it... allow the passionate pleas of the heart die down as you place your attention on your lower belly. Stay there for a moment. What do you feel? Likely, a flutter of some sort... anxiety is common when a major choice presents itself. But here is the question you must ask your gut:
Do I feel the sickness of apprehension?... or Do I feel the stirring of desire? There can be a fine line between the two, but with practice you will learn to discern between Lionheart Fear (that calls upon courage) and the Inner Sage (that tells us when to hold out for something better).

If you’re still not sure whether or not to trust your gut... then ask your most observant and trusted friend to do a body read for you. Say what?!! Yea... seriously. It’s easier than it sounds. Tell them that you want to talk it out, and you just want them to focus SOLELY on your body language, not the content of your argument. Then, just let it rip... I mean really pour out your thoughts and fears around this decision. Go on until you feel empty... then ask them this question: Did I seem bigger or smaller when I talked about do said-action? You may be surprised by their answer... honest friends are always a good read.

#3 :: Reality Check - It’s Not WHAT you choose, it’s THAT you choose
I often offer my clients The River Metaphor as a way of understanding how essential it is to keep moving in life (more on that soon). Essentially, your life will move with or without you. When you go with it, it’s a much smoother ride. Choice is one of the greatest gifts we have been given, and it is the most essential aspect in our evolution both individually and collectively. When we refuse to make a choice around something, it postpones our growth. Growth is inevitable, while grace is defined by how we choose to go about it. Movement requires saying YES and saying NO... over and over again and again. The sooner you allow for an answer (any answer!), the sooner you free yourself up for the next opportunity. There is no right or wrong in movement... there is only forward. Whether you say yes or no, you have spoken and the current of life will move you that much faster. More on responding to the now, and release the how.

Still not sure what to choose? Then, quite honestly, it’s not a decision that warrants your energy. Let it go.
Say yes... say no... say anything(!), and move on. Being stuck is far more detrimental to your growth than any direction you might choose. You can’t mess this up. The lesson will be learned, either way.