I’ve lived in North Carolina for nearly 5 years. I share that with you because that is how long I’ve been, as I call it, in this work.
When I say in this work, I mean going to Life Coaching school, Coaching clients, running programs, public speaking, writing, certifications, therapy, investing in myself, & putting forth the effort to get to a place where I not only like me, but I love me.
No. Matter. What.
About this time, 1 year ago, I received an intuitive hit. A hit that jarred me. A message that said, “Are you doing this right? Is this how this is supposed to feel? Is this the life you want?”
An ‘intuitive hit’ is like an internal voice. It is a message that comes from within. If you’re not familiar with intuition, here is an explanation I’m stealing from, “Arkansas”, a movie that stars Vince Vaughn, Liam Hemsworth, & The Vivica A. Fox. Vivica deserves a ‘The’ before her name because she is a badass folks. She just is.
In the movie, Vivica is asked what intuition is and she replies by answering,
Vivica: “Have you ever prayed?”
Vivica: “Most prayers sound hollow in your head, but every now & then 1 echoes. That is intuition.”
While Vivica suggests they happen during prayer, & I can align with hearing while meditating or in deep focus, I can also hear them when I’m not. Sometimes they pop-up in the middle of no thinking at all. Sometimes they happen unexpectedly & out of nowhere.
For most of my life, I’ve considered those ‘echoes’ nonsense. In all honesty, I have thought that I was nuts or ‘going crazy’ more times than I can count. For as long as I can remember, I have hoped to find & wondered if there are others with talkative & opinionated voices inside of them, too?
Mostly, the voices don’t care too much about what others think or whether others even believe in them. They always want something from me. They want my attention. Sometimes I’ll even experience extreme anxiety while trying to ration with them. Trying to understand why they want me to do what they want me to do & how? Also, if the voice is meant to benefit me or if it is trying to harm me? No matter the message, I have a longstanding relationship with my intuition. It’s not one that I would label good, and that’s because it wasn’t. Because that is what I believed.
Growing up, I didn’t hear many people share that they heard voices, too. That voices tell them what to do or guide them in considering what comes next or what is possible? I didn’t have any frame of reference to know the difference between “I hear voices, I must be going crazy” and “I hear voices, I must be speaking with my intuition.”
There was no one around to explain the difference between the two & so I decided, long ago, that what I was hearing, needed to be turned off. It needed a muzzle. It needed to be quiet, stop freaking me out, & let me be ‘normal’. Let me be like other people who don’t hear, feel, or see the way that I do. I strictly turned toward anything that came with a formula, strategy, or logic, & turned away from all else.
Turning down the volume on the chorus inside of my mind worked for a while or at least I thought it did. I remember going a period of time & then 1-day noticing I hadn’t heard from them in a while. I remember feeling like I had won. I had finally achieved normalcy.
I was no longer plagued by sharp jolts of information or energy that laid upon me like a 500lb weighted blanket. I was no longer poked to consider what I heard, because I decided to turn off, & the voice went, too. I was finally normal. I was finally under control.
They say, “Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory.”
The moment that lead to a reckoning with my intuition, to my awakening, to hear it, to turning back on, wasn’t euphoric. I didn’t suddenly guess all the winning numbers on the lotto & win it big. It wasn’t catastrophic, either. It was painful.
My husband didn’t cheat. I didn’t lose a loved one. I didn’t lose my job. What happened may not sound hurtful to you, but it was to me. What happened was a trigger of an old trauma. I had someone close to me tell me I was “thinking & feeling too much”.
At the time, the assertion was so disruptive that I became emotional at the emotion of it. The sudden way it slammed itself down upon me & mentally ricocheted me about, felt like a car wreck. The impact was undeniable & came at me from all sides. I felt the voice awaken, like an animal that had been in hibernation. I felt it wake up. I felt it come back into being within me. I felt it take a stand.
Its presence permeated through me like a blunt-force wind & it took my breath away. The intention of it gathered strength from deep inside of my heart. The ache of it rested in my stomach & billowed into a feeling. The intensity, stifled against my own self-denial, transformed into an energy that was ready to blow like a train whistle. And, in the palpable noticing, as quickly as I could feel it mounting, the resistance of my resistance stopped, calmed, gathered reverence, slowed down, gained composure, & birthed the most sound thought & stable feeling which spoke in every inch of me, “THAT IS NOT MY TRUTH!”
IT WAS BACK.
The voice. And, it was not going to let me accept this about me.
“I am thinking & feeling too much!” It exclaimed.
“Too much!?” It asked.
“Too much, Shannon? Are you really going to let someone else tell you how much is the appropriate amount to think or feel? Is this what we’ve succumb to? We’ve aligned ourselves with the belief that thinking and feeling are an enemy?! That you are an enemy to yourself? We’re going to let someone tell you that your psyche is too much?”
Psyche (noun) the human soul, mind, or spirit
The questions flowed furiously throughout my body. They came rapid-fire. I couldn’t keep up. As soon as I started to rebuttal, explain, or refute, another one came. Then, another one. And, ANOTHER. For every justification I would come up with to validate why THEY were or could be right, the voice would not hear it. It was unrelenting & unwilling to receive it.
And if hearing them wasn’t enough, I could feel it. I could feel it everywhere; heavy on my chest, deep in my lungs, coursing through my veins, ringing in my ears, dripping out of my eyes, nose, & mouth. Before I knew it, I was in full body convulsions, gasping for air & crying. Not only my body had begun to respond, but my energy. I was shaking & I felt sick, but dammit, I was AWAKE.
Receiving the questions wasn’t the shocking part. Rather, the answer.
Are you doing this right? A voice from within said breathily, calmly, but without a doubt, “NO.”
Is this how this is supposed to feel?
Another voice, again from within, peacefully but ardently chimed-in, “NO.”
Is this the life you want? Again, eerily tranquil but with the certainty of a thousand lifetimes came the confirmation, “NO.”
At the time, I had no idea how enormous this moment of awareness would be. Today. In this moment. Here with you. Nearly to the day, 1 year later, it has arrived.
In the wake of all of my realizations, this and others, I never really know what the outcome will be. In the past, I’ve been in a hurry for their discovery. I’ve rushed myself and my growth. I’ve demonized my difference. I’ve denied my honesty. I’ve denied my way, my thoughts, my feelings. I’ve denied more than I’ve welcomed & it was the voice within begging me to consider, What if enough is enough?
What if I didn’t have to be in a hurry?
What if I didn’t have to fit in?
What if I didn’t have to be normal? Also, what in the fuck is normal?
What my intuition taught me, is not only to trust myself, but also to be curious & to engage the ‘what ifs‘. To allow me to be the deeply feeling & deeply thinking individual that I have always been. To allow ME to think, see, & feel, experiences in my life the exact way that I DO. To stop outsourcing the way of my existence to anyone other than me. To embrace what I feel, think, & know to be true about me & EMERGE curious about life. Curious about myself. Constantly curious about the answer to my what-ifs.
So, what is your ‘what if’? I firmly believe we all have them, but some of us have out tuned the ask. Some of us have turned off to ourselves. And, in writing this to you, I can feel that some of you are ready to turn back on & WAKE UP.
If you find yourself him-hawing around some of your own questions, some I have been considering lately are…
What if other people’s shit is NOT actually about me?
What if my shit IS about me? And, is here to teach me?
What if I am only responsible for figuring out what I need?
What if I put me 1st for the 1st time EVER?
What if I became my favorite person/BFF/love of my life?
Whatever you’re considering, I welcome you to do so without judgment & if some creeps in, consider it a lesson.
What if this is trying to teach me?
What if this is a moment to learn about me?
What if I gave myself the presence of patience to discover what I want & who I AM?
What if you aren’t too old, out of time, inexperienced?
What if that deep, sinking suspicion of a larger than life destiny or the peaceful tranquil existence you’re after, is on the other side of you, too, waking up?
Be Good to Yourself for Fuck’s Sake!