The season is changing, and with it, we can slowly begin to turn inward. But for today, it’s still warm outside, warm and sunny enough for me to feel compelled to go outside, to find any opportunity to go to the woods. So I head for the forest preserve, a new park, to me, but the trees and the birds are very familiar. Once I am under the canopy, I find numerous deer paths crossing the dirt path I am walking.
So often I am told by potential clients that it is hard to trust their intuition, to follow their inner voice. I know what they mean. I feel it, too, especially here, in the woods. It feels scary to me every time— this flat landscape (so unlike the mountains I grew up wandering) threatens to disorient me, I am afraid I will lose my way. And, though I move steadily and quietly, a part of my energy is always alert, ready to pounce if I hear an unusual noise behind me. In my head, I can hear all the fears I have adopted since childhood, about the dangers of the forest for a woman alone, raising their clamoring voices, warning me.
This is one reason why I so often come to the woods. Because I must find a way to hear them, those voices of caution, but also to hear beyond them, to the quiet, steady sound of my Knowing, choosing a path for me to follow. And here, in the woods, scary as it feels, I know I can do this, practice, with risks I can manage.
Being able to trust my intuition requires an openness, perhaps a curiosity, about what I may encounter, and a willingness to let go —better yet, to acknowledge— that there is very little that I truly can control. So I allow myself to be drawn forward, away from the relative safety of the deer path, to discover the minty fragrance rising from the leaves I crush with my steps, and the white fungus spread at the foot of a towering oak, and beyond it, the first cluster of red leaves peering through a crowd of green ones. I keep my wits about me, continue relying on my common sense, but relinquish my path to the familiar directions of my intuition.
Because I am writing this, you can be sure that I found my way back and all is well. It’s good practice for me to wander out there. This way, I recognize the voices that get in my way when I really need to access my Knowing. What about you? In the sacred space and time that we build now, here, together, how do you access it? What choices are waiting for you to make them? What do your voices of caution say? And your intuition, what does it have to say? I would love to hear what your answers are!