Recently I checked out a book from the library on vision boards. This is a concept that has crossed my path multiple times over the last 20 years. I always groan. “More magazines. More cutting and gluing. This is stupid.” Can you tell I have issues with it? But here I was trying it again. I didn’t make it much further than the table of contents before I closed the book and thought “Not again.” But this time there was also the realization that I’d rather listen for what the Universe wants for me than tell it what I want.
What I realized is that, in a way, they are the same thing. The problem is that when I do the “I want” thing, I usually end up “wanting” what someone else thinks is a good idea — and I have the degrees to prove it! I still catch myself in new situations wondering what’s the “right” thing to do, or watching to see what others do so I’ll know how to proceed. Listening for and learning what I want was not a skill that was encouraged when I was growing up. All those adults meant well, but I’ve had to learn the hard way that someone else’s idea of success doesn’t work for me. So, instead, I’ve been working on my listening skills.
Listening, in essence, becomes a sort of “I want 101.” Training wheels for the spiritually inclined. A few years ago I found a great exercise* where, in separate columns, you were to list major turning points in your life, then list any intuitions or nudges you had around each one. Then you were to note whether you followed the nudge or not and how that turned out for you. Sadly, in something like 8 out of 10 events, I didn’t follow the nudge and went the “you should” route, and it was a disaster. Blessedly, in 2 instances, I did follow the nudge. Things were rocky but eventually worked out well. For years I thought I never received any nudges. This exercise let me know I HEAR them just fine — I just don’t follow them worth a shit! Crap. I really hoped to lay the blame elsewhere…
So now I am trying to listen — and let go of knowing the grand plan. It’s taking practice — and trust — but at least so far it hasn’t involved getting another degree!
*The Power of Flow by Charlene Belitz & Meg Lundstrom Flow exercise: Life Lessons, page 140 (C1998)