Have you ever met someone and just known they were meant to be in your life? What about seeing a photo of a place and being irresistibly drawn to it? Or being pulled like a magnet toward a way of being in the world, a mode of expression, or a career?
I call this kind of experience a “Resounding Yes.” There is an experience of knowing that something is innately right for us, and when we look back, we can see how this knowing has led to something extraordinarily beautiful.
Did that person you had the knowing about become your best friend or your mate for life? When you visited the place you were drawn to in photos, were you overwhelmed with a feeling of coming home? And has the magnetic pull toward a calling or a way of being resulted in deeply fulfilling and meaningful work that feeds your soul?
I remember meeting my dear friend, Anne Bérubé, back in 2012. In fact, we had our very first conversation, which blew the top of my head off, on December 21, the day the world was supposed to end. I love that this is our friend-iversary! I walked away from the conversation that day knowing I had just met someone who would become very important to me. I also walked away with an “oh, shit” feeling – scared as hell. I knew that I was being offered an open door in that moment and a chance to walk through and realize some of the things I had been longing for, including more authentic and soulful friendships.
I really liked Anne as a person and I also really admired what she was doing in the world. She was a mirror for my deep desire to inspire people and to make an impact in other people’s lives in a meaningful way. But that day, as I walked away from the conversation, I questioned if I was ready. I realize now that the “oh shit” feeling was just residual crap, a mix of fear and unworthiness, left over from the hard parts of childhood. But, here was a chance to step out of that, to “step up.” Here was an opportunity to come face to face with these feelings, but move forward anyhow. Here was a choice: did I let those old feelings stop me or did I trust that the universe was saying I was ready and be open to whatever was on offer?
I chose to focus on the resounding yes that was drawing me to Anne. I moved forward despite my jitters and have been blessed with one of the meaningful friendships of my life. It turns out Anne liked me just as much as I liked her, and both personally and professionally we have helped each other enormously. I think of us as travellers on the same journey, both attuned to the breadcrumbs that line the path. Sometimes our knapsacks get crazy heavy and we need to help each other, and sometimes one of us loses the map, but we both stay on the move, keeping each other company, and listening to the call of the bells in the distance that lead us home.
Of course there is a flip side. And I call that “the Niggling No.” It’s that feeling of knowing something in your life isn’t feeling quite right, but you either don’t want it to be true or don’t feel you have the energy to do anything about it. I think for many of us this shows up in work situations and in relationships.
I know that I spent (and sometimes still spend) an awful lot of time and energy trying to make these no’s a yes. Or on simply not dealing with them. Does this sound familiar to you too? (If there is one thing I am learning by writing this blog, it is that so much of our lives are shared. When I feel or experience something, chances are other people do too. And thank you to those who write and say: “Me too!”)
I have come to know that the resounding yes’s and niggling no’s are guidance from the divine (universe, higher self, god, or whatever you want to call it). When I have followed the yes’s, amazing things have happened. When I haven’t heeded the no’s, usually something occurs that would have been a lot less dramatic if only I had listened the first time!
So, if we think of these feelings inside ourselves as guidance from some wiser, more knowing part of ourselves, what would ever cause us not to listen?
I think it might come down to two things. In order to take action on a niggling no or walk through the door of a resounding yes, you have to really trust yourself, and you must feel worthy. Worthy of the changes you seek in your life.
How do we learn trust and worthiness? With great gentleness, I think. And small steps. I have found that even the smallest of steps results in a certain kind of magic. The universe seems quick to remind us it’s right there–happy we are listening to our inner guidance and ready with more cooperation and communication. You may get a rush of energy and an overwhelming “I’m on the right path” feeling that instantly affirms your choice.
Here’s your mission. Listen inside this week. What are your resounding yes’s and your niggling no’s? Can you make a leap and take a little action on this guidance? If something is a definite yes, take a small step toward it. If something is a niggling no, take a small step away.
And see what happens.