An Almost Biblical Mistake

It felt almost biblical.

Indeed, the event definitely stirred some low-grade apocalyptic feelings.

Two weeks ago, during the middle of my first pottery class––the one I wrote about HERE––I caused a flood.

Specifically, after watering my vacationing upstairs neighbor’s terrace, I didn’t quite turn off their hose properly.

Soon after, while I was fumbling around with clay, it sprang a tiny leak.

An hour or two later, water had dripped down to a tenant two floors below who alerted the super.

Only after completing the cleanup portion of the pottery class, “accidentally” leaving an artful smudge of clay on my cheek, did I glance at my watch to see the dozen concerned texts from my vacationing neighbors and super.

I rushed home to see what havoc I had inadvertently caused.

Fortunately, the damage was minimal.

At the source of the leak, three bath towels were enough to absorb everything.

In my apartment directly below, a roll of paper towels was all I needed for clean-up.

And below me, when I went down with the super, that neighbor’s wall only required a tiny bit of plaster to be good as new.

Nothing was remotely damaged…except perhaps my pride.

Besides just the mistake with the hose on/off valve, I realized the more humbling oversight was that I had ignored my own crystal-clear last-minute impulse to double-check things upstairs before leaving.

Usually, I trust my intuition completely.

Yet that day, having rearranged my Sunday schedule to take my raffle-won class, distracted and hurrying off to get there in time, I dismissed my Inner Guidance.

Particularly during this birthday season, I’ve been reflecting on how in my own past, just how strong and helpful a force my Intuition has been.

It’s been both a reliable guide and a sturdy anchor.

That––plus a little nudge from the flood––is why I’ve made this month’s meditation theme Accessing Your Intuition HERE.

Reflecting further, many other non-flood moments in the past when I didn’t heed my intuitive knowing have yielded painfully obvious problems.

One particular relationship and one particular project spring foremost to mind.

In each case, I more or less let myself be talked into situations based on the very sound arguments of others.

Each decision to proceed made sense, at least on paper.

And yet when each of those universes collapsed in on itself exactly as I sensed they would, there was little surprise.

Instead, there was just the quiet, gentle, and only slightly self-mocking voice of my Intuition telling me:

Genuinely Sorrybut I told you so.

And yet, on the other hand…

This week I had the great pleasure of appearing on my friend and fellow DailyOM teacher Mary Joye’s podcast.

You can listen to it HERE.

One of the things that really resonated during our conversation together was sharing that most often I teach as the prodigal.

In other words, I believe that the greatest value I offer comes not from my “effortless triumphs” but from my hard-won (often barely-won) battles, i.e., my (many) Recoveries from Failure.

Again, intuition always proves vital in those moments.

While not listening to my inner guidance has gotten me into tons of trouble, tuning in again to that voice has also proven the best way to get back on course.

More stories about that on the podcast HERE.

There are lots of ways you can describe Intuition.

For example, my great friend SARK often writes about connecting with your “Inner Wise Self.”

In the same way, Lissa Rankin employs the phrase “Inner Pilot Light.”

I’ve used various terms in my own courses, trusting you’ll find the ones that resonates most strongly for you.

That’s partly why I love this poem by Emily Dickinson, someone who advocated for intuition in so many different ways, knowing that it doesn’t matter what you call it:

You’ll know it — as you know ’tis Noon —
By Glory —
As you do the Sun —
By Glory —
As you will in Heaven —
Know God the Father — and the Son.
By intuition, Mightiest Things
Assert themselves — and not by terms —
“I’m Midnight” — need the Midnight say —
“I’m Sunrise” — Need the Majesty?
Omnipotence — had not a Tongue —
His lisp — is Lightning — and the Sun —
His Conversation — with the Sea —
“How shall you know”?
Consult your Eye!

I’m extremely excited about exploring the theme of intuition this month, particularly because so many great artists and scientists have shared countless quotes and stories about their own experiences with it.

They range from Vincent van Gogh’s

“I dream of painting,
and then I paint my dream…” 

to Bob Dylan’s

“I can’t tell you where it all came from.
It all just came out of me.” 

More than just reminding us to double-check the faucets, intuition is our most powerful and mysterious connection to creative inspiration itself.

Intuition guides our artistic and spiritual path and also helps us course correct during that journey.

Indeed, even my accidental flash flood yielded one surprising discovery.

When I rushed back from pottery class, I found that the super had moved my refrigerator completely away from its framed place along the counter cabinets.

Besides now realizing that the fridge was actually on coasters that make it incredibly easy to slide around, I found that there were at least two dozen jigsaw puzzle pieces fallen behind it.

These were from an incomplete puzzle I thought I’d carefully stored on posterboard atop the refrigerator, not realizing how many had jiggled down and fallen completely out of sight.

I’m not completely sure why, but for me this discovery had all the excitement of a major archeological find.

That satisfaction was at least perhaps my small consolation prize for causing a minor, relatively uneventful flood.

Even so, grateful as I am to have whisked away those behind-the-fridge dust bunnies that have haunted my imagination, I’ve (once again) learned my lesson:

Trust your intuition, always––or be ready to face the flood and to clean up the mess afterwards if you don’t…

Namaste for Now,

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