When teaching intuitive awareness, one of the things I stress is that the world around us can be our teacher as long as we are willing to listen. For the highly sensitive, it is through our sensitivity in which this quiet voice speaks to us. Unfortunately, in daily living there come those moments when the responsibilities of life blow in like a harsh winter wind and distracted by the weight of these responsibilities, our minds can lose sight of the truths behind our actions.
Stress As An Intuitive Opening
For me, one of these moments came during a business trip which required I drive three hours from Albany, NY to Rochester. Already short on sleep and over five hours behind schedule due to problems that morning at the Albany location, I was tense and impatient as I began my trip.
In an effort make up for lost time, I drove the fast lane of the highway above the speed limit. Keeping an eye out for any speed traps, I was aware of two different trains of thought going through my mind. My ego was pontificating like a politician who got caught with his hand in the cookie jar; outlining every injustice I had encountered that morning since getting out of bed. Faced with the prospect of a 450-mile round trip to finish out the day, it had a soapbox of monumental proportions on which to stand. Yet, there was also a second line of thought; the quiet voice of intuition urging me to slow down and focus on my breathing during the long ride which would allow me time to relax a bit.
The only problem with this line of thought was the darkening sky I observed while driving further west. A cold front was heading towards me and I knew I would encounter the weather associated with it on my way to Rochester. Although it had been raining when leaving Albany, the cars heading to Albany were covered in wet snow and I had a sinking feeling that my day wasn’t about to get better.
The wind picked up around Utica, causing it to rain harder. Slowing down due to the poor visibility I was aware of my ego complaining of how the weather was conspiring against me and reminding me that I was going to be even later for my appointment with the Plant Manager in Rochester.
Just outside of Syracuse, I discovered that if there is one thing that shuts the ego up, it is fear. The outside air temperature readout on my dashboard showed a sudden temperature drop to below thirty degrees. I had no sooner acknowledged that fact when the snow squall hit; a mix of heavy, wet snow with the force of the wind behind it, swallowing up what little visibility there was. Adding to the mix was that everything started icing up. Seeing cars start to slide off the road around me, I decided to pull in a nearby rest area until the squall passed.
The rest area parking lot was crowded as I pulled in, forcing me to park farther away from the main building than I would have liked. My ego which had been hiding since the squall hit decided to make it presence known again as I opened the car door and stepped into a cold pile of slushy snow. I cursed under my breath as it reminded me of how inappropriate the low cut dress shoes I was wearing were in this weather. Putting my head down against the swirling snow I pulled my jacket out from where it lay on the back seat. As I zipped up my jacket, I heard a most unexpected sound; the honking of migrating geese. Startled, I looked up to see a V-shaped flock of geese overhead, flying south for the winter.
Intuitive Knowing Of The Highest Good
It was a surreal moment and my time stressed ego was having none of it. I found myself thinking that in the midst of all the craziness of the day, now I was seeing geese flying through the air. But I paid little attention to that thought. Surrounded by the blowing snow, with no hat or gloves on, I stood rooted to the spot while gazing up at the sky; captivated by the sudden realization that these creatures were following their own voice of intuitive knowing. In a flash of insight, I realized that while my ego labeled the birds as ignorant creatures for not taking shelter from the storm, I had to acknowledge the fact that they were acting in a manner which served their highest good. Their migration was not one of ignorance but a journey reflective of the intuition which inhabits every living creature. Instead, it was my journey which was one of ignorance; pressed for time, many of my decisions had no sense of intuition to them. With that humbling acknowledgment, in my heart, I knew there was no difference between the birds or me; each of us was on our own journey to self-realization. If there was a difference, it was only that their blood pressure was much lower than mine was at that moment.
“Toward a philosopher endowed with knowledge and discipline, toward a cow, toward an elephant, and toward a dog as well as toward a cremation ground attendant, the wise are of a single eye.”
~ Verse 18 of The Bhagavad Gita
At the rest area, it would have been easy to let my ego label the birds as ignorant and continue on with my stressed out journey. But for the highly sensitive, the choices faced are not that simple. Armed with an intuitive awareness of the bigger picture of our journey through this life, the bird’s migration became my teacher. Just as the geese need to migrate south for the winter, I too, need to migrate from a world driven by my responsibilities to a world where my actions reflect the voice of my intuition while meeting those responsibilities.
For me, intuition always reminds me of birds. Both are creatures of the heavens and equipped with sharp sight, both take flight above the environment which surrounds us. Metaphorically, our task is to watch these flights and see the direction to which they lead.
Later that evening on my ride back from Rochester, I looked at the southern horizon and silently wished the birds well. As I contemplated the choices I had made earlier that day, I knew there would be more lessons learned from these creatures of the heavens. At some future point, our paths would cross again. Not because I wished it, but because the final destination of our journeys was the same; to the warmth and light realized when we migrate from the self-imposed world of ego to the intuitive world of our highly sensitive selves.