Tag Archives: intuition

epilogue: independence day


“We must be free not because we claim freedom, but because we practice it.”
      –  William Faulkner

Ask and you shall receive…

I asked for self development, growth and transformation. I requested change and challenge in the form of written chapters that could help guide my story forward. The Living Chapters structure and its players generously provided, giving all that and more. Trusting my initial intuition, I let go and put faith and trust in the ones I loved to guide my path.  Now it is “Independence day”.

Just a few days into freedom from the structured chapters and how do I feel? It’s as if I just finished a 12-month marathon, or a 12-step program? Either way – an intensive mind-body and soul makeover.  I’m a bit sore, in shock, and invigorated at the same time.

Now that the year has addicted me to the process of reflecting through writing, I feel the need to take at least the month of July to wean myself off the program by responding (in writing) to the feedback, questions, critique and comments I have been given from the Living Chapters participants and readers.

This “Independence day” post is directed in response to question #1 from radio producer/interviewer extraordinaire, Aaron Henkin.  Aaron played the wild card for chapter six and also invited the Living Chapters players and I on his popular Baltimore radio show The Signal. Today Aaron asks me, what many have been asking all along, what will I now do with my new-found freedom? Freedom! A scary thing to many – a blank slate and abyss of choices!  Just what will I do?

IMG_5219    “What’s it like for you now that LC is over and done?  Do you know what to do with yourself when you wake up in the morning?”

Well Aaron… yes, I actually do know what to do each morning! Even without a monthly chapter prescription!  It seems these days, there is rarely a moment when I don’t know how to utilize my time.  And as far as mornings, I am very specific about it!  After waking, I have, for once in my life, become remarkably consistent. Chapter 4 brought a new meditation practice into my life: 15 min in the morning and 15 min in the evening each day.  I have kept with this practice and am now averaging 30 minutes in the morning and 30 minutes in the evening.  Meditation isn’t the only thing that has stuck with me through the roller coaster existence moving through one month to the next.  But it’s one of the most helpful and useful tools I’ve picked up.

I was inundated with a plethora of requests filling each month. I thought it virtually impossible to accomplish them all in four week’s time.  I tried though and merely scratched the surface of many tasks attempted. I am now eager to dive in and try some out again. Returning to the past chapter tasks will not only help me understand how the LC process has changed me, but will be a good way to test and try on the lessons learned.

In addition to meditation, the major transformation occurring, now that the project is over is my love of writing.  Writing for me was the main physical goal of this project – an act that I had been avoiding both personally and professionally for years. This task, before June of last year, seemed incomprehensible and made me anxious. Instead of writing, I would grab my camera, or my audio recorder as a means to reflect, express or document my world.  Through Living Chapters this has now changed.

So what will I do now that it’s over?  All I can say is that I will continue to write.  In what form, I don’t know yet. Living my 12 chapters and writing about them this year helped me find my voice and use it in a new way.  I had always felt my strong sense of intuition and inner guidance but now, after living out my chapters, I can honestly say that I hear my voice more clearly and trust it more fully.  As I continue to live on my story, the logical next steps are, of course, to hone my skills in using my voice more frequently. Time to put more trust in myself and start learning how to write and sing my own soundtrack.


Just finding this blog today? Read the prologue for more details on what Living Chapters is all about. Check out the Chapter Summaries Page to learn more about what happens when you live your life through chapters.

thinking vs sensing


It’s been a week now into my new mission. While trying to translate the clues on how this chapter would roll out and follow where it might lead, I fell into some secret spy-training sessions. My trainer Grace has helped guide my path in the quest to uncover some of the mysteries that live somewhere deeply hidden within our interpersonal relationships.


this is the training book Grace uses

During the month of February many of us take the time to stop and think about the ones that we love, hold dear, and care for. We show our love and project our thoughts and feelings through plans, gifts, or words. But do we often show our love by taking the time to really understand or feel who that one we love is? Do we accept openly and unconditionally what they would like to receive and would like to offer us? Do we know how to truly listen?

What if we could hear, see or feel in ways that are outside of what we know? Would we realize that it is quite similar or much different from what we understand about ourselves? Be the person you are engaging with is the mission of this month. Have you tried it? Can this strengthen or create unique connections in our relationships?

Grace’s spy training sessions have given me some tools that sharpening my awareness and sensitivity, a first step in learning how to truly listen. I obviously can’t tell you everything that we do in our secret sessions but I will share some of the things we’ve been working on thus far.

1. Imagination/Visualization

2. Observation/Memorization

3. Intuition/Mind Reading

Imagination/Visualization : In this physical landscape of imaginary places, I am finding it easier to access my ability to let go of what “I think I know” to be true and I am becoming more open to seeing and feeling what may actually be true in this new place and time.

Imagine you are listening to yourself talking when someone else speaks to you. Is it possible to conjure a new set of thoughts values and viewpoints for a moment? Could I imagine that I am living in someone else’s skin, another body, working from a different set of circumstances? If so would I start to think like they do, feel like they do?

This visualization helps me to step outside of myself, allowing me to empathize and sympathize. It allows me let go of my own assumptions and prohibits me from projecting my own feelings about that person or the situation. Learning to listen as if I am the person speaking is a step toward becoming more open and accepting to what is being said whether I agree or fully understand it.


Spy Training Practice: Creating secret forts with invisible force fields using only the natural objects found in the garden

Observation/Memorization: Looking and memorizing through observation is another form of listening. A person’s facial and body movements hold so much information to decode. Are they nervous, relaxed, excited, calm, or curious? I find the answers in their foreheads, their eyebrows, their shoulder blades and hands. I observe and try to remember what it feels like to be crunching my shoulders or tilting my head or cracking a smile. I observe and remember their motions and emotions under certain circumstances or with certain people. Can I recreate a similar situation in my next interaction with them?


Spy Training Practice: Hunting hermit crabs and keeping them in captivity. Observing their climbing and nesting tendencies. Memorizing flying patterns of hummingbirds.

Intuition/Mind reading: Sometimes to do the best listening, I tune out all the sounds and clues that are right in front of me and tune into what is happening around me that is not always clear. Turning on my peripheral vision, I can get a feel for the outside environment. Is it cold, are there bright lights, is it loud, are there a lot of other people? How is the wing blowing? What in the environment could affect the interaction with the person you are with? These observation skills come quickly and naturally after a while. Through these exercises, I am defining and honing my intuition. Being omniscient of all that is going on externally creates a sharper sense and clearer picture of what is going on internally. Without verbally asking or intentionally trying, this observation practice becomes involuntary and I naturally start to know or absorb certain information before asking or being told.


Spy Training Practice: Dodging golden orb spider webs in the backyard using peripheral vision and web sensing skills. Where would you live if you were a Golden Orb spider?

Practicing these new skills, pushes me beyond thinking and requires full on sensing. I must thank Grace. One week in and I am equipped and energized to dive into new engagements, interactions, and conversations.  The quicker I dive in and sense that natural flow the quicker I feel connected. Now’s the time to put the training to the test.  Time to come off this hill.


Just finding this blog today? Read the prologue for more details on what Living Chapters is all about. Check out the Chapter Summaries Page to get caught up to date.