Last week, I was talking with the wonderful business coach Kristin Stevens, and I kept telling her about various things I wanted to do, and prefacing them with, “For some reason.”
“For some reason, I want to move into a smaller apartment.”
“For some reason, I want to streamline and simplify my life.”
Now, some coaches would have gone right to “Okay. Why? Let’s get clear on the reason.”
I would have gone there, if I were coaching someone. And it can be a good way to go.
But Kristin said, “You keep saying, ‘For some reason.’ What if you didn’t need a reason?”
This stopped me. Because, in this case, I already feel clear. I already know that something in me wants to do these things — but my rational mind tells me I don’t have a good enough reason to do them.
For years, I lived in small apartments and had a great need for more space. In 2005, I moved and got the space I wanted. For the past eight years, I’ve lived in a beautiful space where I have plenty of room.
But now it feels oddly too big, like I’m a kid clomping around in my dad’s work shoes. And I realize I’ve filled it up with things I no longer necessarily want or need.
When I moved here, I had this idea of a life I thought I wanted. But now I realize that maybe that life was about who I wanted to be back then, and not who I actually am today.
My rational mind says, “But why would you want to go back to living in a small space? Isn’t that going backwards?”
Is it? I’m not sure it’s a good question, in this case, because questioning my desire is only keeping me in wheel-spinning mode. A good question sparks curiosity and creates spaciousness and movement.
That’s how I know Kristin’s question — what if you didn’t need a reason? — is a good one for me here.
If I didn’t need a reason, I’d start making plans to move. If I didn’t need a reason, I’d free up my energy to focus on things that are more important to me at this point in my life than having a larger living space and the maintenance that goes along with it.
It’s telling that a while ago on Pinterest I created a board called Cozy Spaces. Something in me longs for cozy right now. Why?
Do I really need to know? What if, in fact, I can’t know the answer to that question until I move toward what I’m longing for?
The nudges I get from my intuition feel simple and straightforward. “Do this.” Or, “Don’t do that.” Or, “Wear something blue today.” “Call about that class.”
Intuition doesn’t explain itself. It lives in the world of trust, not the world of guarantees. And often, when I’m clear but I’m still not taking action on that clarity, it’s because I want a guarantee. I want a guarantee that the direction my intuition is pointing me in will be pain-free, that if I go there, “everything will work out.”
Experience tells me there is no such guarantee. Sometimes, I think I am waiting for clarity but it has already arrived. The truth is, I’m not waiting for clarity — I’m waiting for that guarantee.
“Why?” is a good question if it creates more clarity. But if I’m already clear, I don’t need to ask why. I need to act on what I know.
What do you think? Do you ever second-guess the next step that comes to you from your intuition? I’d love to hear how this works for you, in the comments.
Image ©Jill Winski 2013
8 thoughts on “What if you didn’t need a reason?”
I love this!!! Sometimes it’s more important to stop analyzing and just live in the moment and in the world of DO IT NOW. Rock on with your cozy self! 😀
So true, Mackie! And you know how I love to analyze. 🙂 But it’s good to know when enough is enough. I’m glad you stopped by!
“Intuition doesn’t explain itself. It lives in the world of trust, not the world of guarantees.” That is wonderful, Jill, and so, so true. Historically, I’ve always believed wholeheartedly in the importance of trusting your gut or intuition. For me, it is my higher power giving me direction to trust, but without any kind of guarantee. I used to be much, much better at trusting my intuition, but as I get older and I am tied down to more responsibilities – child, home, career, etc – I find it more challenging to trust my gut without a lot of back and forth questioning. Your post is a great reminder that I’d like to get back to that place of trust and acceptance, confidence and peace.
Thanks so much for this, Karl. I hear you. For me, it seems like as I get older, it’s easier to discern the voice of my intuition from other voices (I struggled with that a lot in my 20s, as I recall), but it’s sometimes harder to act on my intuition. Maybe because it feels like my choices have a greater impact at this point in my life. And, I think it’s important to note that the questioning we do is not a bad thing; it’s part of checking out, “Is this what I really want? Is this really true for me?” The problem comes in when the questioning keeps us from moving forward or causes doubt rather than trust.
Here’s to more trust and acceptance, confidence and peace. I love how you put that. 🙂
Love this entry, Jill. Clarity being not the same as a guarantee – great differentiation. Thank you!
Debbie, that distinction is so helpful for me, too! I’m glad the post resonated for you. Thanks so much for reading!
Thank you for this post. A great reminder and unpeeling to the core of why intuition is often ignored. The irony of waiting for a pain free guarantee is ignoring intuition is painful.
Robin, so true, that irony of waiting for a pain-free guarantee. Evidence for how when we try to avoid pain rather than moving toward what enlivens us, we suffer. Thank you for reading and happy holidays!
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