After an all-day excursion exploring San Diego County, it was time to return to the home I was house sitting for the weekend. Knowing I’m a woman with no sense
of direction, I pulled out my phone, entered the address, and waited for the English voice of Nigel from Google Maps to begin directing me.

In 600 feet, take Highway 5 South to San Diego and travel 20 miles.

 I began my journey, confident that Nigel would get me there.

Then I heard, In one mile, take the offramp to Escondido then veer left.  Turn right on Mission and left on Mesa.

“What the hell?” I screamed. “If I take the exit to Escondido, I’ll be going east. I need to go south. And where is Mission? I see no sign for that.”

Approaching the east onramp, Nigel began yelling, Take the turn, take the turn! To which I yelled back, “What the…”

 It’s true I’m often geographically challenged, but on occasion I can tell left from right and south from east. Tapping into that persistent inner voice that never lies, I decided to stay the course that made sense. Thirty minutes later, I found my way back to Point Loma with Nigel still demanding, Take the turn.

All my life, I’ve heard voices in my head. Well, maybe not actual voices (trust me, I’m not schizophrenic), but I have had those gut feelings when something wasn’t right. Many times, I paid attention to them, acted accordingly, and all turned out wonderfully. Other times, not so much. I was too busy being on auto pilot, which didn’t allow for deviation. And without fail, when I blocked my intuition, the outcome wasn’t pretty.

There were the times I felt I might get into a car accident but forged ahead anyway, only to call AAA not long after for help. Then there were the relationships since my divorce that didn’t feel right, but I stayed in because I didn’t want to be alone. Needless to say, those ended ugly.

I’ve heard listening to that voice deep within, that hunch, inkling, or sense, is like exercising a muscle. God knows I work on my abs, biceps, and quads constantly, but I often neglect the most important aspect of my being. Who has time to go deep each moment of the day and massage the intuition muscle?

Webster defines intuition as the ability to understand something immediately without the need for conscious reasoning. It’s as if your soul is having a conversation your brain. The question becomes are we truly paying attention and trusting in its message. When listened to, our intuition becomes that shining beacon in the night leading us safely home.

As I walked into the house, I felt proud for doing what I instinctually knew was right. Then I spotted my tennis shoes, who seemed to be crying out for a walk. My body wanted a walk too—I hadn’t exercised since arriving two days earlier. But the magnificent view of the ocean from the balcony distracted me. Instead of lacing up my shoes, I poured myself a lovely glass of cabernet and set it on the table. Within seconds, I accidently knocked the glass over, splattering red wine droplets all over the owner’s beautiful white linen (yes, white) Pottery Barn chairs. Horrified, how I wished I was taking that walk at that very minute.

Albert Einstein once wrote, “The only valuable thing is intuition.” Our gut feelings are like some divine magic that we don’t understand but should be revered as sacred. After this latest faux pas, I decided perhaps it was time I changed the lightbulb in my beacon to a higher wattage, with increased trust providing the power. It’s time I no longer take that little voice within for granted.

Do you take time to listen to your internal GPS? I’d love to hear one of your stories when you neglected to hear it.