Teacher, friend, co-pilot

Teacher, friend, co-pilot

From Romania to Tanzania, India, Mongolia, Costa Rica, Peru, India, Nepal, Jordan, Cambodia and onward… my intuition has led me gently but firmly across the globe, speaking in whispers when possible but thundering demands when necessary. Intuition makes itself known to me through inspiration, energy, joy and ideas. It fills me with anticipation and excitement. Even when I am nervous or uncertain, my intuition speaks louder than my fears. And so, I’ve learned to trust this sense fully.

But the road to trust has been long and fraught with painful learning. Intuition denied feels like a painful knot in the belly. From the moment I resist a direction or impulse, the tension begins and the sickening, dread-filled sensation begins to gain momentum within. I’ve tried to out-run, out-eat, and sleep away the pain… but it does not relent. Intuition denied is not the type of stomach ache or digestive distress that you can remedy with warmth, water or stretching. It demands full attention and total understanding. It requires me to acknowledge and absorb the teaching without reservation… whatever the given lesson. And if denied, it waits patiently to serve me another opportunity to make the decision – to learn the lesson.

In 2003 I dreamed vividly about Tanzania for months – I knew I was to go and work there, and I knew it meant uprooting and abandoning my so-called life in Canada. In fact, I had worked diligently to make various Tanzanian job opportunities a reality, and yet when one finally came, I pushed it away and said “no” – my answer stemming reactively from fear alone. And the regret – a tsunami of regret – began immediately to move toward me and consume me for months. It wasn’t that I regretted “a lost opportunity” – this was the much deeper regret of ignoring my intuition. It was as if Angels themselves had walked up to me and excitedly handed me a gift, but I just turned away coldly and dismissively.

By 2004, my intuition began to nudge me again, gently but firmly. Tanzania began once again to dance around the horizon of my life – in images, stories, media, my dreams. And I “knew”… it was coming for me again.

This time, when the Angels walked up to me with “the gift”, it was as though I ran up to greet them, hugged them, and said “yes!” before they even asked. Then – because intuition must always be followed by action – I moved mountains to sell my belongings, my house, my car and I quit my job, to move my life to Tanzania and follow a dream. I had no definite answers and I had no definite plan as to how it would all work… but I had my intuition, and it told me everything was exactly as it should be.

From my current vantage point, some 17 years out, I look back on that fateful time and I see it clearly… Tanzania was a gateway on so many levels for me. It wasn’t just the beginning of a heartfelt career, it was the start of my love affair with the world, culture, storytelling and with the capacity of the human spirit to flourish despite poverty, disease and disaster. It was also the genesis of my spiritual journey and (what would prove to be) a lifelong and evolving relationship with my own intuition as the benevolent yet demanding teacher and friend that she has truly come to be.