Read an Excerpt
A Still, Small Voice
A Psychic's Guide to Awakening Intuition
By Echo L. Bodine, Marc Allen, Caroline Pincus
New World LibraryCopyright © 2001 Echo L. Bodine
All rights reserved.
Humanity's Best-Kept Secret
Trust your hunches. They're usually based on facts filed away just below the conscious level.
— Dr. Joyce Brothers
A few years ago, my boyfriend and I were heading out for a boat trip on the St. Croix River in Wisconsin for three days. The weather forecast was that it would be in the low 90s, so I was packing shorts and sleeveless tops, but my intuition kept nudging me to bring my sweats. My logical self argued my intuitive self out of bringing the sweats and, wouldn't you know it, two days later a cold front came in from Canada and I huddled inside the boat with Mike's sweats on. My head said one thing but, as usual, my inner voice knew better.
Think back to the last time you heard yourself say, I knew I should have gone that way, or I knew I was going to run into so and so, or I knew who was on the phone. Maybe you were looking at new cars, and even though the car you wanted looked and sounded great, you just had a feeling, a hunch, something inside that told you not to buy it. Maybe you just got a feeling that the time was right to call that prospective client and you ended up making a great sale with hardly any effort. Or you were driving home and your head wanted you to take the freeway but you just knew that this time you should take the slower surface streets, only to end up getting a flat tire right across the street from a gas station! Remember that feeling of knowing? That's your intuition, the inner wisdom that says take the alternate route, don't buy this car, cancel the trip, make the call.
Every time you act on these "illogical" feelings you are working from intuition. People often ask me why they should bother listening to their inner voice when their life is going fine as it is, living by their intellect. My answer is simple: Life is not only more magical when we live by our inner voice but also extremely efficient. From the life-changing to the mundane, your intuition is always your best guide.
If your child isn't feeling well, your inner voice will tell you if it's serious or something that will pass. When you can't decide whether to take the bus to work or drive, your inner voice will steer you right. If you can't figure out what to wear to that important business meeting, your intuition will help you decide. When you need to buy a present but haven't got a clue what to get, your inner voice will always guide you to the perfect gift. If you've read about a great new herb on the market that can get rid of cellulite but don't know if you should try it, trust your intuition. It's always right.
Why? I have come to believe that it's because intuition is that part of us that is connected to the divine. When our souls were created, the source that created us took a part of its energy and breathed eternal life into us. This part of us is commonly referred to as our Higher Self or the God within. This voice of God, which the Bible refers to as a "still, small voice" (I Kings 19:12) is our guide, our compass, our way shower, our intuition.
When our head is guiding us, we think we know what's going on, but when we're being guided by intuition, we know what's going on. And that knowing comes from the place within us that is connected to our source. Whenever we get that feeling, "I knew that was going to happen," "I knew who was on the phone," "I knew I was going to run into so and so today," "I knew I was going to get a raise," "I knew that publisher would accept my manuscript," we're talking about intuition.
It's not a chatty voice or an intellectual voice and, in fact, it doesn't really come in the form of sound. It's more like a thought that comes from inside your stomach. It's usually quick and to the point. Sometimes, especially when we're still in the process of discovering and hearing the voice, its answers are simply yes, no, or wait. But the more we develop a relationship with this divine part of ourselves, the longer the communication gets. We begin to "hear" full sentences, even paragraphs, of guidance.
The Problem with God
Many people who begin to explore these life-changing things get hung up with the whole concept of God. They don't know what to believe about God, so they just stay away from Him/Her/It altogether. Or they only reach out to God in times of trouble. And they certainly don't relate to the idea of having a divine presence within themselves.
Many of us go to church or synagogue every week, do the rituals we've been taught, say the memorized prayers at the appropriate times, and believe that the hour per week we spend "worshipping God" is all that we need to have a fulfilling intimate relationship with our creator. But look at it this way: If you're trying to have a relationship with someone but only see them once a week for about twenty minutes (we're subtracting time here for weekly announcements, choir time, collection plate time, greeting and good-bye time, and so on), it's absurd.
We all know that in order to have a successful relationship with someone, we need to work at it. To develop intimacy, we need to keep the lines of communication open. We need to talk and listen, give and receive, throughout the whole week. Developing a fulfilling relationship with God is no different. It's about communicating on a daily basis, not just when there's a crisis.
As my minister, Rev. Ken Williamson, said in one of his Sunday morning sermons, God's number isn't 911. If we truly want to walk a fulfilling spiritual path we have to develop a deeper relationship with God. We can't just turn to God in times of crisis.
But often when we try to develop a relationship with God, all sorts of uncomfortable emotions come roaring to the surface, including fear, anger, and confusion. We're afraid of God's power; we're angry that He/She hasn't been there for us at some critical time; we're confused about what we can expect. And for most of us, religion hasn't done such a good job of clarifying this. Instead of empowering us at an early age to develop our own personal relationship with God, organized religion has taught us that God is removed from us, distant from us — and for many of us the image hasn't been very loving.
Periodically I teach a class on living by our intuition, and at the beginning of every class I have everyone take turns sharing an experience they had during the past week when they listened to their intuition. In one particular class, as we made our way around the circle, I noticed that 90 percent of the class was telling stories about not acting on the guidance they had received from their intuition. I pointed that out, and asked them to explain to me why they were choosing not to follow their intuition. We ended up having a great discussion that led to our religious views of God, and so many of them expressed a fear of what their intuition might tell them to do if they asked for guidance.
They went on to say that as much as they wanted to live fulfilled, spiritual lives, they worried about what course their lives might take if they really did follow the guidance of their intuition. Many realized that they were looking at their intuition in a religious way, fearing what God might ask them to do. The common fear seemed to be that life would be "no more fun, just a lot more hard work." What became clear to me was that if someone wanted to live by her intuition and if her current relationship with God was based on religion, she would first need to heal her old image of God because it was getting in the way of trusting her inner voice.
We've been taught horrible images of a vengeful, spiteful, jealous, schizophrenic guy up in the sky who decides who gets cancer, whose turn it is to die, who's going bankrupt, who's going to be in a car accident, whose house will be hit by a tornado, whose child will be molested, which town will be flooded, which farmers will lose all their crops. He turns up the heat in the South in the summertime and the cold in the North in the wintertime. He causes hurricanes on the East coast and earthquakes in the West. He doesn't make women thin when they pray to lose weight and he doesn't grow hair on men's heads when they pray to stop going bald. He makes it rain on our wedding day, and causes the tire to go flat on the car. He doesn't prevent the teenager from getting pregnant, doesn't heal our favorite pet when it gets sick, and takes our favorite grandma away from us because He wants her home with Him. Worse yet, He has created an eternal paradise for the best and most faithful of his children, and the rest are cast into an eternal hell.
No wonder we struggle so much with trusting this deity. He sounds like a monster.
The relationship I've developed with God through prayer (talking) and meditation (listening) has shown me that this old-time notion of God couldn't be further from the truth. Even though it may be challenging and difficult, each of us needs to set aside the information we've received through our religious training and find out for ourselves the truth about our creator.
If you are one of those people who has issues with God, I'd like you to take some some time to write out everything that comes to your mind when you think of the word God. Include memories, feelings, experiences you've had that related to God in some way.
Remember, your goal in doing this is to have an open line of communication between you and your higher self, and in order to get that communication as clear as possible, you have to clear the doorway of old rubble so the door can open wide. I can assure you that once you can get rid of the garbage and find the voice inside and begin developing a real relationship with it, you'll discover how completely loving and supportive it is. It will always bring you ease and lightness — but first the old pain has to be healed.
Right now, if you can, get out a journal or notebook and just write out all the thoughts, feelings, memories, resentments, and so on that come to mind when you think of God.
Now I want you to visualize giving this list to God, and to ask for the healing of all this pain. If you would feel better taking the list to a clergy person and sharing it with him or her, do that instead. Your objective here is to forgive God for all the pain you believe He/She has caused you, and to move forward with your relationship with the divine within you.
Continue to pray for healing daily until you feel a shift internally. You'll know when you've forgiven God and can open that door. It may not happen overnight but, believe me, it will happen. Whenever we pray for healing, our prayers are answered.
The guidance available to us through our intuition can help in every area of our lives: love, money, health, business, or whatever else concerns you.
Intuition and Your Love Life
A friend of mine decided she wanted to take some active steps toward having a fulfilling intimate relationship in her life. She thought of investing money in a dating service or putting an ad in the personals, but whenever she asked her inner voice for guidance, she got nothing. One day while she was running errands she had a strong inner feeling to visit her mother. It was a little out of her way, and she didn't have much time, but her gut feeling was so strong, she decided to follow it. While she was there, an old acquaintance of the family unexpectedly stopped by, and they both felt an immediate attraction to one another. They began dating and were married nine months later.
Your intuition will guide you with all questions concerning your love life — where you'll meet the next significant person in your life, who you should and shouldn't date, who you should and shouldn't marry, when it's time to break off a relationship, and when you should stay with it.
If you're searching for your soulmate and wondering if you should join a dating service, go to a singles group at a local church, or search the bars for Mr. or Ms. Right, just listen to what your inner voice tells you to do rather than doing what everyone else is doing. I think of it as the Universal Matchmaker. Here's a story of how it worked for me:
I was driving home from a meeting one afternoon and my inner voice told me to stop at the grocery store now and call a friend. When my inner voice tells me to stop and make a phone call now, it usually means the phone and the person are both available, so it struck me as odd when I went into the store and there were two men standing in line to use the phone. At first I wondered if I had misread my intuition, but it was so adamant that I stop now that I decided to be patient and see what happened.
The man in front of me turned around and asked me if I was in a hurry to use the phone. I told him I wasn't and that I'd wait until he was done. He smiled at me and said he hoped I had a nice day, and then said by all means go ahead and use the phone. At that he walked away. I was so struck by his gentleness and his smile that I thought about it on and off throughout the day.
The next day, during my morning meditation, my inner voice told me to go to that same store for some seafood, so I made a mental note to stop there on my errands. When I got to the meat and fish counter at the store, there was the man with the smile — it turns out he was a butcher who worked there. We had a friendly little chat, and we ended up seeing each other seriously for about five years.
That's just how it works when intuition is trying to help us meet someone. If you want to meet someone significant, you need to tell God you're ready and then you need to pay attention. Your inner voice will give you a nudge to call so and so, or maybe direct you to go to a certain place, or join a specific dating service, or put an ad in the paper. It nudges us through our gut feelings to take the steps we need to in order to meet that certain someone.
For people in relationships, intuition gives great suggestions about how to keep them going strong and working well. Communication is a huge part of a relationship, and your intuition will help you know when and what to say and when to listen. It's an amazing helper, and our best teacher.
For those that are thinking of getting out of a relationship, I strongly suggest that you consult your intuition first. Many times we end up in certain relationships to deal with unfinished business, from this life and from past lives. If you get out before the karma is worked out, you'll just end up back in the relationship again, or repeating the same mistakes over and over in other relationships. That's why some couples break up so many times before finally ending it. Your intuition will let you know when the timing is right to get in or get out of a relationship.
Intuition and Business
Stories of intuition in business are legendary. Every successful business is based on an intuitive impulse that was acted upon. I've had my own business since 1979, and I've consulted my inner voice for just about every decision I've had to make — from hiring a secretary to planning future classes. I've never had to put an ad in the paper for a secretary. Whenever I need assistance, I ask God (usually out loud, but silence works fine too) to bring me the perfect person for my business needs, and usually within a week the right person walks into my life and my inner voice nudges me to pay attention. I always ask my intuition what to pay them and each time an amount comes through clearly. No one has ever argued with me about salary. When my first secretary needed to quit for personal reasons, within days my inner voice guided me to the next secretary, who had been getting an inner feeling that she was going to be working for me before we even chatted. When it was time for her to move on, my inner voice nudged me to call a friend of mine, and it turned out his sister was looking for a job.
The key for all of us is to still our minds and not panic. Our heads usually go right to all the things we should do — put an ad in the paper, call an agency, etc. — but none of that may be necessary if we listen to the still, small voice within.
Excerpted from A Still, Small Voice by Echo L. Bodine, Marc Allen, Caroline Pincus. Copyright © 2001 Echo L. Bodine. Excerpted by permission of New World Library.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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