Trusting Your Instincts

So, I have spent the entire day cleaning – actually preparing to move.  Now, my dream is to move to Northern California by the end of the year, but I currently don’t have the means to do it.  However, I believe in moving in the direction of what you want, with confidence, and patiently waiting for the answers to show up.

I started this massive project this morning purely  on instinct.  I strongly felt that I should just go ahead and prepare, even though I have no idea how I’m going to pull this off.  This got me to thinking about instincts.

Usually when we talk about instincts, we’re referring to animals – the way they know to fly south for the winter, or prepare nests for their little ones, or how they can smell fear.  However, as humans, we have to be reminded to “trust our instincts.”

On the face of it, why would we doubt them?  You don’t see birds having debates about whether or not they should fly south or who gets to be the leader in their little arrow shaped formation – they just do it, and it works out.  But our human minds often over-think things.  Somewhere in our guts, we know what’s good for us but we do other things instead.  We ask advice from people who have agendas, or we reject advice from people who are wise, or we read and read and read up on a subject, conducting “research” but really trying to drown out the little voice within.

Why are we so suspicious of this little voice, or our instincts, or whatever we choose to call it?  I can only speak for myself, but it’s often the fear of being wrong, or looking foolish. And why is that a problem?  Because our egos convince us that if we are wrong, or look like fools in front of others, that something disastrous is going to happen.  Out of nowhere a spotlight will shine on us, blinding us temporarily, as the entire world points and laughs in our direction – 2 million people tweet about our failure, talk shows  open with the topic of “Why (insert your name here) is an idiot”.

Now, we know that this is ludicrous, but the ego is not rational; it just wants obedience by any means necessary.  But if you ignore the ego and listen to your instincts, and it doesn’t work out, blood will not run in the streets.  No one (at least no decent person) is going to ridicule you.  And if anyone does ridicule you, that is a clear sign that that person needs to be quietly moved over to the shit list and their access to you needs to be ended or limited.  Mistakes are our tuition.  If we are advanced students, one mistake per issue is enough.  If we have more to learn, we may have to retake certain “classes” a few times.  Over the course of many lifetimes we learn what we need to know.

And what we call mistakes are really “first takes”.  No movie director expects to shoot an entire movie in one take;  it takes quite a few to get it right.  Life, being infinitely more complicated and important than a movie, is no different.  But if we try our best to enjoy the journey, even the “first takes” can bring us many rich experiences.  And for writers or artists, all these mistakes are simply material for our work!

So, go forth this week, trusting your instincts, listening to that still small voice within that knows and loves you deeply.  And while you’re at it, don’t forget to follow your bliss…

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