By Rachel Levy Lesser
Usually, I don't make New Year's resolutions, but this year I have made an exception to my rule. I have one resolution and I plan to stick to it: I resolve to go with my gut - to use my intuition at all times.
Most of us have a sense of our own intuition. You know that nagging feeling telling you that something just feels right or perhaps very wrong. I've had those feelings ever since childhood.
When I was in elementary school, I remember coming home one day disappointed on the outcome of a test I had taken. I told my mother that I had put down the correct answer, but then erased at the last minute because I had figured out a new way to solve the problem.
I can hear her voice so clearly . "Stick with your first answer," she told me. " It's usually the right one."
Throughout the rest of my academic career, I went with my mother's advice. It's one of the reasons I earned a respectable score on my SATs.
When it comes to less concrete matters, I have always been in tune with my own thoughts and feelings as well as those of others. Often, I begin to think about someone, the phone rings and that person is on the other end of the line. I have had detailed dreams about people I have not seen in years and the next day someone else will mention their name in casual conversation.
I do not attribute these coincidences to having special powers or some sort of psychic nature. But maybe that is what intuition is all about? A social worker and good friend, Melanie, explained it best: Having intuition results from being able to clear your head from the must-dos of everyday life and focus on what is really important.
Melanie relied on her own tuition to change her mind about a big career decision. She accepted a promotion because it seemed like the next logical step. She had been at her organization for the appropriate amount of time, her boss had left and she was next in line for the job.
She took it knowing in her gut that the job was not for her, but she felt outside pressures to take it. Just a few weeks into the new role, she did what many others would never consider. Melanie listened to that voice in her head and went back to her former job, which was better suited for her. She took my mother's 30-year-old advice.
My mother died one year before I met Melanie. I sometimes wonder if there is a reason she came into my life after my mother left it too quickly. The rational me says it's a coincidence, but the intuitive me asks if there is more to it.
My friend and my mother came together in an unexplainable meeting. A few years ago, Melanie sat down with a well-known
Melanie was not looking to learn anything and sarcastically remarked "she didn't know too many dead people to channel" but she kept an open mind. The medium soon began asking about me and telling stories about my mother.
Apparently, said the medium, my mother had cancer and did not want to leave me, but she knew that I would be okay in the long run.
She went on to say my name that I had attended Penn (which I did) that my mother loved our summers in Maine (true) and that I should wear the earrings of hers - the ones with the gold fringe that I had put away but really shouldn't have. All very true.
The medium explained that my mother had a lot of energy in life and that energy does not die. Melanie and I shared so much of the same energy that my mother could connect to me through her.
Lastly, the medium reported that my mother was proud of the writing I did after she died and that I should pursue it. How did she know about the book? I wrote a memoir about my mother's battle with cancer and how the times we spent shopping together helped to extend the quality and quantity of her life.
For whatever reason, I did pursue the writing. The book got published and was recently optioned to be made into a movie.
Perhaps the whole medium incident was a scam? In many ways, the medium didn't tell Melanie anything I didn't already know. She did, however, make me take a step back, listen carefully to myself.
My mother's advice of so long ago still makes sense. From now on, I will go with my gut.
Rachel Levy Lesser is a writer who lives in Yardley. Her book is called Shopping Love.