Have you ever started to do something and then become distracted?
An hour (or three) passes and you can’t remember what you were planning to do in the first place? That just happened.
Sometimes, it’s just an ordinary diversion or procrastination technique. But when my essential self wants to chase rabbits, I’ve learned to listen, trust, and follow her lead.
Today, after sitting down to write, I stumbled across some documents from my old work computer. Instead of writing, I started cleaning them out. Of course, that means I now have no idea what I was going to write about an hour ago, but I found something SO much better! To my surprise, one of the documents is a short journal from last spring. This is surprising for three reasons:
- I didn’t journal back then (apparently I did!)
- I had completely forgotten about it (explains #1)
- I have been trying to come up with a good way to illustrate how following your intuition can change your life. Hello?! I’ve just lived through an epic tale of what happens when you embrace intuitive hunches and take a leap of faith. This journal is from the beginning of that journey.
So, I chased a rabbit… and a new blog series on intuition and synchronicities was born in which I illustrate how a state of stuck can be dislodged by listening to your essential self speak.
When your essential self speaks…
Intuition is one of the languages through which your essential self speaks. Your brain might not have yet wrapped a logical reason around why you feel icky around a certain person or excited when you walk into a certain place, but your essential self knows. Your intuition can clue you into the things and people that serve you well or that drain you before you get a chance to rationally understand why. It is also your overall guide to the path you were born to follow.
When your essential self speaks… chase the rabbit.
Come to think of it… Chase it with no regret.
Chasing rabbits is a term I’ve used for years in reference to following intuitive hunches. Following your intuition (a real rabbit) is much different than procrastinating or moving toward socially acceptable goals for the sake of fulfilling desires of the ego (a fake rabbit).
The trick is to know which rabbits are real and which ones are just pulling your leg. I will admit that I’ve been in the company of greyhounds chasing fake rabbits on many occasions, but the more I listen to my intuition, the clearer the difference between the real and the stuffed rabbits become.
What if you realize the rabbit is a sham mid-chase?
Stop. Pause to soak in the lessons learned and then move on.
Corey Ciocchetti is a professor of business law and ethics at the University of Denver who speaks about Cash, the greyhound, who realized one day that the rabbit he was chasing was fake and, without remorse, stopped racing. He poses a great fundamental question: “Do you chase real rabbits? If not, what do you chase and why?”
If, upon reflection, you realize one of your rabbits is full of fluff, Corey makes this solid point: “The great thing about life… is that the road to lasting, authentic success contains many on-ramps. Although we have chased fake rabbits in the past, we can move towards authentic success in a split second.”
Notice that neither Corey nor I said to throw a pity party for time and energy wasted chasing fake rabbits. What I believe he is saying (and what I am suggesting) is that you put down whatever you are using to maintain a stuffed state of numbness—the cookie, the TV remote, the beverage—and simply stop the sham. Feel your emotions, count your blessings, and then find a new passion, hobby, or career that feels real. Tune in to your intuition and find the next on-ramp.
What if you catch the rabbit, keep it as a pet (job, partner, college major) for a while, then realize ten days or ten years later that it no longer makes you happy?
Like Kenny Rogers says: “you gotta know when to hold ‘em; know when to fold ‘em; know when to walk away; know when to run.”
Your essential self knows the minute when that “used-to-be-perfect” situation no longer serves you well. It knows how, what, why, and when… The trick is to trust your gut and listen to the whisper of your intuition. The sooner you look at your desire to change in the eye, the more quickly you can make peace with it, devise an exit strategy, and part ways.
Admittedly, this scenario might carry a bit more emotional and literal baggage than realizing the rabbit was fake before you snared it. Therefore, this is where we’ll pick up in the next post… When Your Essential Self Speaks… Don’t Freak Out
Until then, listen to your intuition. You never know what you’re going to find: a new opportunity, a lost sweater button, or a journal that reminds you of how stuck you were and how far you’ve come. One thing’s for sure—you will be closer to your essential self than when you started.
What rabbits have you chased lately?
In Truth & With Love,
*Originally published May 20, 2009