I was on my way to pick up my kids from school. My usual route is to take the freeway which takes about 10 minutes. But on this particular day I saw a huge and unusual back up on the freeway. It was jam packed and cars were just inching along. My intuition said, “Get on the freeway anyway.” But logic jumped in and said, “No way, it could take 30 minutes if you get on the freeway. Just take surface streets. It will be so much faster and you know it.” I took note of how certain my intuition was to just get on the freeway. I wanted to believe it, but I just couldn’t see how it could possibly be faster than taking the streets. I decided I would be a fool to listen to my gut so I decided to take surface streets. As I passed the on-ramp I said a silent prayer for the poor schlubs already stuck on a freeway they couldn’t get off of for another 2 miles.
So I’m tooling along happily on the surface streets of Summerlin, the new area we’ve moved to. Summerlin uses a lot of roundabouts instead of stop signs in an attempt to keep traffic flowing smoothly. At one point I came upon a roundabout and had to angle to the left because to keep going straight would have landed me in the library parking lot. Now I’m not really going in the right direction so at the next roundabout I angled more to the right. A couple of minutes later I somehow found myself back at the first roundabout I’d already been through! Huh? How did I get back here?
Confused, I tried again, taking as straight a direction as I possibly could. Once again I somehow ended up back at the same roundabout I started from. It seemed impossible as I had made all different turns. Now I’m frustrated but not panicked. I tried once again and this time took yet other turns in an attempt to get out of this circular situation. I finally got free of the devilish roundabouts and started heading east in an attempt to find a main road where I could just shoot up in the direction I know I need to go. I’m humming happily to myself when all of a sudden I find that the street I’m on has no exits and seems to be winding around and going up. Before I know it, I’ve reached the top of a hill and am faced with a bunch of billion dollar homes all glaring at me like I had all the audacity in the world to be traveling up their private driveways! There’s no way out of there! I had to backtrack a full 5 minutes to get out of snooty-land. I came out at - you guessed it - the roundabouts from hell again! I am right back where I started and now it’s been 20 minutes. Now I’m really getting upset. I am lost in Summerlin.
I called Steve who had navigated me out of these situations many times in the past. After chortling good-naturedly at my plight he suggested I take Summerlin parkway (a short, above ground highway that will basically get you out of the Summerlin surface streets). He navigated me there and I said goodbye, certain I was finally on my way. Well… I missed my exit! Just zipped right past it because I wasn’t expecting it to come up so quickly. And the next exit? 2 miles ahead!! Oh for the love of Pete! This is getting ridiculous! I got off at the next exit and now I’m finally sure of where I am but I am just miles and miles out of my way. I finally got to the school and saw that it took me 45 minutes to get there. I took my regular freeway back and saw that what I initially thought was a really bad backup turned out to be just an intense merging that quickly resolved itself around a bend I couldn’t see. I saw that if I had actually gotten on the freeway like my intuition told me to, it would have taken maybe 15 minutes instead of the usual 10 to get to the school. Way better than 45 minutes!
If my logic had been a person I might have pummeled him to death and I am not the violent sort. When I told Steve my story he laughed for a minute and said, “Why didn’t you listen to your intuition in the first place?” I replied, “Because it just didn’t seem possible that it could be right. The freeway looked packed beyond belief.” And he said, “Well that’s what you get then for letting your logic talk you out of something your gut told you to do.” And he was right. That is what we get when we let logic talk us out of our gut feelings.
I cannot tell you how many times in the past 4 months this has happened to me. I will get a strong intuitive feeling to do something or go a certain direction only to have that darn pesky logic swoop in and talk me out of it with its false promise of scientific certainty. Well no more! I decided to go on a 30 day intuition-only binge. No matter how crazy it seemed I was going to follow my intuition and not allow logic to talk me out of it. And the results have been amazing. In one case I was passing by an ATM when my intuition said, “Go get $40.” Logic said, “You don’t need any cash and you’re in a hurry. Just go home.” To which I replied, “I’m getting the money. I don’t know why but I’m sure it’s necessary.” Two hours later Steve asked me to pick up the kids for him because he was finishing up some work. When I got to Emily’s school the Safe Key lady told me I owe them $40 for the next week. Oh. Sure. Here. Done.
In another case Steve and I had an appointment about 15-20 minutes away. But at 25 minutes ’til my intuition said, “You need to leave now.” Logic said, “It’s a quick drive with no traffic. Just wait. No need to get there early.” I told my logic to step off and I told Steve we needed to leave immediately. As it turned out we got stuck in unexpected traffic and made it to our appointment right on time. We would have been 10 minutes late if we didn’t leave when my intuition told me to.
In still another case, I had lined up a target speaker for our evaluation contest in Toastmasters, a friend who was going to come and give a speech for our contestants to evaluate. A couple of days before the speech day she called to tell me she was extremely ill and would probably not be able to make it. My logic jumped at me, waving its hands at me frantically and said, “Quick, call everyone you know and find a back up speaker. Someone willing to come give a speech with just 2 days notice. Hurry!” But I consulted my intuition which said, “No need. Everything will be just fine.” Logic almost resorted to fisticuffs, “Are you mad, intuition? Her speaker is canceling on her. How can it possibly be okay to show up to that contest without a back up speaker?! What an irresponsible lout you are for putting her in this jam. Now put up your dukes!” But my intuition put up her hand and said, “Enough of you, logic. I am in charge here. Now I said it’s going to be fine and I mean it. Get back!” The next day I still had no speaker and had not made a single call. I had put all my faith and trust in my intuition. That night my original speaker called me to say she’d gotten a shot of antibiotics from her doctor and she felt much better. She was coming after all. And she did. And her speech was good. And logic pouted.
There were at least a dozen incidences that I could point to during that 30 day intuition binge where listening to my intuition instead of my logic was the right thing to do. It isn’t easy to put your faith and trust in intuition if you’re not used to seeing it work out for the best.
I want to recommend to all of you reading that you get to know the voice or feeling of your intuition. The first step is to become aware of it. If you’re someone who has conversations in your head a lot, your intuition will probably come in short, clipped phrases like, “Turn here,” “Leave now,” “He’s bad news, get away from him,” etc. But some people just feel it in their gut, like when you first meet someone and get a twisty or uneasy feeling in your stomach and it turns out the person is out to hurt you. Or maybe you feel uneasy for some reason and you go home because something doesn’t feel right and sure enough you find someone trying to break into your house.
If you are at the point where you can tell the difference between intuition and logic do what I did and go on a 30 day intuition binge. Listen and act on your intuition for 30 days and see what kind of results you get.
If you find yourself saying, “Shoot, I knew that was going to happen. Why didn’t I just trust my gut?” then you are someone who needs to go on a 30 day intuition binge. Start small if you have to, to build trust in your intuition. I have yet to find a situation where my intuition let me down. Kick that pesky logic to the curb and give your intuition its time in the sun. Your intuition could be your new best friend. Mine certainly has saved me a ton of grief. Now if your intuition happens to give you lottery numbers, be sure to call me…