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Do You Know Where You're Going To?
When it hasn’t been raining like the end of times, I’ve been taking walks in Fort Greene Park to get a little nature fix and some fresh air before sitting down to toil at the computer. Quite the creature of habit, I’ve practically worn a groove in the sidewalk because I take the same route, every time, to and from the park. Blech. I was starting to drive myself crazy. It’s like when someone’s scratching your back, which is a nice thing, but they only scratch the same place over and over again until your eye starts twitching.
On my way home the other morning, I stopped at an intersection and asked myself which way I should go. I stayed put, wondering what kind of information I was going to get. And I swear, the right side of my body started tingling as if someone had plugged my toe into a socket. So I went right where I normally would have gone straight, toward the main drag in my neighborhood that I generally avoid because it is crowded with people. When I got to the busy street, I took a left, the direction of home. But my right side was still humming, so I crossed over to the other side. One block later, I spied a friend I had been meaning to call. He was sitting at a sidewalk café and we had nice cup of tea together. Coincidence? Or did my right side have some kind of ESP?
On my next walk, there was an enormous steam roller partially blocking an intersection, and a large piece of the sidewalk was roped off. My right side was humming again, which made no sense because to the right was where the sidewalk was blocked. But when I looked to my immediate right I saw a small path leading to a college campus I had never stepped foot on before. What the heck, I figured, I’ll learn a little more about my neighborhood. As soon as I got on campus, I spied a set of stairs off to the left that led to the front door of a building. The staircase was lined with flower pots, and looked so pretty I was compelled to take it, even though I had no business in the building. What I couldn’t see until I got to the top was that the stairs also led to a path that dumped me back out on the sidewalk, just beyond the wet cement. Hmmmm.
While neither of these events is particularly earth-shattering, they are convincing me that we have access to a lot more information than we realize, and trusting this information can lead us to lovely places and people we might never find if we only stick to our well-worn paths, both physical and mental. Next time you’re out for a stroll, or even in your car, try asking which way you should go when you come to a crossroads. The information can come in many forms – I tend to feel it in my body, but you could get an image, or a song might pop into your head, or you might feel it as an emotion. By practicing on small decisions, you’ll be able to learn more about how your intuition speaks to you. Next time you’ve got a bigger decision to deal with, you’ll know how to access your inner wisdom and be better able to trust the information it gives you.
Kate Hanley is a freelance writer who specializes in exploring the mind-body connection. She completed her yoga teacher training at OM Yoga in New York City and has studied with yoga experts like Rodney Yee and Cyndi Lee and meditation teacher Sharon Salzberg.