Listening to my intuition likely saved my life

Something that I have discussed a lot in my writings and with my clients is the power of listening to and acting on your intuition. I don’t view connecting to your inner wisdom as a luxury or a tool that is nice to whip out every now and then but a practice that is vital to your wellbeing, wholeness and ultimately your happiness. The past few weeks for me have hit this point home on a personal level.

I had been humming and haing about making an appointment to see my dermatologist about a mole on my arm. To give you some background, I have been diagnosed with 2 melanomas (cancerous moles) in the past so I have a yearly full body check done. My appointment for this year is in September so I contemplated waiting until then. Every time I saw the mole in the mirror, I felt this nudge to get it checked but right away, my mind jumped in and said to wait until September. To top it all off, I had just been in to see my doctor the month before because a mole began to surface on the incision site of a prior melanoma. When I phoned the office, the nurse suggested I come in. It turned out to be nothing to be concerned about but I was feeling a bit ridiculous about making another appointment having just been in.

But I kept feeling the nudges so I swallowed my pride, listened to my intuition and made an appointment. That appointment was two weeks ago. My dermatologist and his resident looked at it and both didn’t think it was a melanoma but because I was quite insistent on having it removed, they acquiesced. One week later, I received a phone call. It was indeed a melanoma. We had caught it really early so there was no need for concern but he said “Thank goodness you came in and insisted that we remove it. I am shocked that it is a melanoma.” Two out of three of my melanomas have been pink which only happens 10-15% of the time. They didn’t even look like moles which makes them even harder to diagnose.

That day that I found out the news, I felt really off. Crazy energy was moving through my body and tears flowed several times. When I checked what emotions were accompanying the tears, I was really feeling gratitude and relief that my inner guidance had given me a message, that I had heard it and that I had acted on it. Melanoma is a nasty skin cancer that often doesn’t have great outcomes once it has spread. I was so grateful that I had caught it early.

That night, I lay on the couch and just let the energy move through me. I didn’t try to analyze or figure it out. I was just present with it. At one point, I felt an opening in my chest which I call a heart opening. It is difficult to describe but there was a lightness and expansiveness that happened along with a feeling of love.  On my way to bed, I stopped at my office and picked up my Oracle cards that I love to use from time to time. They are a lot of fun and when I am faced with a decision or am dealing with something, I like to pull a card to see what guidance is there for me in that moment. So I felt drawn to pull a card while asking the Universe to help me choose the card that will give me a message regarding the reason for another melanoma diagnosis. The card I chose is called Sacred Journey. It spoke to the belief that life is both a physical and spiritual journey and that we are so much more that our physical realities. We are each characters in a play (life) and each play is designed for maximum dramatic effect or else it would be very boring. The line that struck a deep chord in me was “It is through our human drama we expand our understanding of love… Through drama, we come to understand how sacred life is”.  I realized that this diagnosis was another reminder to connect me more to the love that is me, the truth of me, the essence of my soul and to give myself what I need.

The following days were still filled with tears but what came up for me was my human mortality. I have been through this before but never with a husband and daughters. I wasn’t playing a central role in any one’s life back then like I am now and it really impacted me. There was also a message of living in the now and not putting off the really important stuff in life, a reminder to be fully present with the people in my life and not let the busyness get in the way.

I had further surgery on my arm a few days ago to remove more tissue in the area to make sure the melanoma is completely gone. I was able to step into that process with acceptance and love and surrender. It went smoothly and I was quite calm through the surgery. My arm is feeling amazingly much better today and I am quite surprised by the mobility I have despite the 3 inch zipper.

So you may be saying to yourself, that it was just coincidence that I had the mole removed and that I am off my rocker and out in la la land. Maybe, but I have had too many experiences in my life now of listening to and acting from my intuition/inner guidance that I don’t believe it is just a coincidence. I believe that it is the many meditations I have done, including the ones that felt like crap and that I couldn’t connect in the way I wanted to with my essence, that allowed me to hear my intuition. I believe it is the many times I have listened to my intuition even when it made no sense and seemed crazy but gave me evidence that it was truth, that allowed me to hear my intuition this time. I believe it is the many moments when I caught myself worrying about the future or regretting the past and bringing myself back to the present moment that allowed me to hear my intuition. Was the practice, the crappy meditations, doing crazy things that made no sense and the willingness to be open to learning more about my true self worth it? You bet your ass it was!

My invitation to you is to get quiet and check in with yourself to see if there are nudges you have been feeling or a deep knowingness that you haven’t allowed yourself to accept. Fear stops us from doing this but the following truth is what has helped me move through the fear. Once we shine a light on the dark parts, the shadows in ourselves, the darkness disappears and an even greater light replaces it in our being. The dark parts, the pain or the tough experiences in life are the very portals to connecting more with the essence of our souls. Acknowledging the dark parts, embracing them and loving them is the path to wholeness, love and happiness. So if your intuition seems to be leading you towards pain or parts of you that you don’t want to look at, know that is safe and that there is lightness and peace waiting for you.

Much love,


A Different Perspective on Goal Setting

When you hear the word “goals”, do you get excited or do you want to run for the hills? When I was young, goals were exciting for me, a chance to see what I could do. But then it changed and they started stressing me out. I began to have an aversion to them and didn’t want to set any for myself. Looking back, I can see why that happened. When I was young, fear wasn’t getting in the way of me moving forward. The excitement of the possibilities available to me was stronger than any belief that would hold me back. The shift from excitement to fear happened because I began attaching my self-worth to the outcome of achieving the goal. What if I fail? What if I don’t achieve the goal? What will that say about me and what will people think? I was so attached to the outcome of achieving the goal that the fear of possibly not achieving it was either holding me back or stressing me out.

Not only was I attached to the outcome, I tried to rigidly control how I got there. I would set a goal and then try to micromanage every step of the way to ensure that I was successful. I was successful in achieving many of my goals this way but the journey to the goals felt awful and scary. By the time I reached my goal, I was stressed out and exhausted. The joy I thought I would feel in achieving the goal, simply wasn’t there because I was depleted.

The happiness wasn’t there because I was trying to live my life from the outside in. I was using external sources to prove that I was worthy and I spent the whole time up in my head worrying and planning and controlling every step. One of my mentors, Michael Neill, sums it up really well. He says that “without the thinking, goals are just targets, something to aim for that help organize and coordinate actions, not something to determine your self worth or determine your well being”. If goals are tied up with your well being, it puts off how you want to feel until you achieve the goal and even then, we don’t always feel the way we thought we would. Thinking about what it will take to achieve your goals and what it will mean to you if you don’t, can take you out before you even get started.

The mindset shift that has helped me relax more in setting goals is the following. The reality is, there are some goals I will achieve and some that I will fail miserably at. Either result is fine because it has no bearing on who I am and my self worth and well being. Nada! I love Michael’s analogy of goal setting like a game of snakes and ladders. Sometimes on our way to the winning square at the end of the game, we get to climb ladders which propel us forward quickly. Sometimes we just move forward one square at a time. Sometimes we find ourselves going backwards down the snakes. We may say “Oh crap” but we don’t think, I am a loser and not good enough to play this game. We don’t quit the game. We just keep rolling the dice and making our way forwards again until we reach the end. We would all be sitting in the dark if Thomas Edison quit when he failed the first 100 times in attempting to get a light bulb to work. Thank goodness he didn’t let the snakes take him out of the game.

I was listening to a workshop this weekend and I love what Gabriela Madonado-Montano said because it really rang true for me. She said “Thank God we learn to walk when we are children”. If we learned to walk as adults, we wouldn’t get back up and try again after the first 10 fails. We fell down a lot as kids but we didn’t give up and kept moving forward. We forget as adults that this capacity exists in us as adults. It doesn’t leave us as we transition from childhood into adulthood. We have this innate resiliency within us that helps us bounce back in spite of any perceived failure we may experience. Our essence/spirit/soul can not be damaged regardless of our life experiences. It is deep within us from our time of birth into this world and it is never tarnished, damaged or diminished. It is always there within us whether we feel it or not. Life experiences just get in the way of us feeling it. We become disconnected so that we don’t feel it and then we forget that it is within us still. An analogy would be like the sun being covered by clouds. The sun hasn’t disappeared. It is just being obscured by the clouds covering it. It doesn’t shine any less and isn’t any less brilliant. We just can’t see or feel it because it is covered up. In life, the sun is our essence and the clouds are all the life experiences, thoughts, beliefs and emotions we have had. Your essence is always there, shining within you and is not affected by whether you achieve your goals or not.

Remembering this truth has helped me relax into my goals instead of striving and pushing towards them. It feels so much better! I set goals that I really desire, not because I feel I should set them or because they will determine my self worth but because I really want to achieve them. The energy and my “why” underneath setting my goals has shifted from a “needing to” to a “wanting to”. I have also let go of how everything should look along the way. When I tried to control every step before, I was closing off the possibility of something even better than I could imagine from happening. When I am having an unconscious moment in the car when my husband is driving and I start telling him what route to take, he reminds me that there are many ways of getting to the same destination and I need to just trust that he will get me there safely. I immediately can relax, let go and enjoy the ride.

Here is my invitation to you, should you accept it. Where in your life can you let go of the reins a little and relax the controlling behaviour, knowing that regardless of the outcome, you are going to be just fine? Experiment with it and see if you feel differently. It may feel a little wobbly at first because you are not used to it but I promise that over time, with practice, you will feel more relaxed, free and happier. Surrender used to be my “S” word. Oh shit, I’m supposed to surrender. Now it is more my friend than foe.

Until next time, let go and let live!

Much love,