My first few months in Spain were very calm. All I wanted to do was relax, work on my business and enjoy the sun, but in the last few months, something has shifted and my perspective has changed.
In this article, I’m going to try something new and go into exhaustive detail on how I follow my feelings and my intuition.
Everything in this article comes from personal experience. I personally love reading articles that tell a story from a person’s life, so I thought I’d try it out myself.
Besides, I’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback whenever I’ve shared something from my own life, and if this goes well, you may be seeing more articles like this in the future. I enjoy writing them, so I might keep writing them even if you object ;).
Deep down we all identify with each other, so even when I write about my own experiences, you will be able to translate them into what you need at the moment in your life.
From the Hospital to Language Learning
In my earlier post about Spain, I mentioned that I was to the hospital. It was nothing serious, but in hindsight, it had a huge impact on my life.
What happened was that I got an earplug stuck in my ear. I had to go to a specialist to get it out. It was an interesting experience, because I do not think anything happens at random.
I lost my hearing in one ear. Was I not listening to myself enough? What was going on? It was a small poke from someone, and it got me walking in another direction, so it did work.
A few days after being in the hospital and getting the earplug out, I suddenly got an intense desire to learn Spanish. I swore to myself to learn Spanish—no matter what.
This desire came from the simple fact that I didn’t understand what was going on around me, and I wanted to be able to communicate.
Getting the earplug out was not a pleasant experience at all, but I got something positive out of it. For me, this was another perfect example of the fact that it is impossible to say that something is good or bad, because you never know where the road leads.
This happens to me often, and is the way I operate. Something or someone triggers something in me. I start feeling a pull in another direction, which at this time was learning the Spanish language.
Throughout the years I’ve learned not to get in way of this process. I could easily dismiss whatever comes my way with “logic”. I could’ve said no to learning Spanish, but the truth is that I have no idea where learning Spanish may lead me.
I may meet someone, who knows someone, who has a friend and who can help me do something I need to do. And perhaps this encounter never would’ve happened if I would not have learned Spanish.
Trusting My Intuition
I’ve been independent since I got out of school at the age of 18, and during this time I’ve learned to trust my feelings and my intuition.
I can try to plan, to think and to control my circumstances, but it doesn’t work. I am scared sometimes, but I know that if I started saying no to my feelings, I wouldn’t really be happy, which is why I surrender to my feelings and go with the flow as best I can.
Now, there is always the possibility of mistaking pure, guiding intuition for something else, but that is something we all have to learn to recognize by ourselves.
My intuition is by no means flawless, or to put it another way, I am not perfect in interpreting my own signals. I think few people are. I am okay with that though, because it adds a little bit of spice to my life.
Besides, I have no clue if my “mistake” leads to something amazing. Most of the decisions I’ve made in my life have turned out positive, and this is one of the main reasons I trust myself.
Many of the bad things that have happened to me have taken years to turn into something positive, which has made me realize that I can never really say if something is good or bad.
My days in high school were easy and hard. At one point, I was the popular kid, and later I was the silent one, so I experienced a lot. When I lived through it, it didn’t feel great at times, but in hindsight, I do not regret it, because it made me who I am today.
After a few months of learning Spanish, Ingela met someone here at the organic food store, and he asked her if she was interested in work later this year. She said yes, and gave him our telephone number.
After a month or so, he called, and was curious if we wanted to come help get things up before the official opening, and she said sure.
At first I was skeptical, but my feelings were giving me a green light, so I went with it. Thinking about going felt good. That was all I needed. The funny thing was that before this, we had thought about the fact that we wanted to do some traveling.
We wanted to see nature, and we wanted to someone to show us around. Interestingly enough, when we arrived, there was an Englishman already working there. He showed us around, and we later became good friends.
My job was to help rebuild a wall, and Ingela was in charge of cleaning inside. At first, I really didn’t like my situation, but I decided to use this time to be in the now. I do this by feeling my whole body. It anchors me in the now.
Our experience would have been completely different had we not met our “English guide” ;). This was another example that my feelings really do know what they’re doing.
This trip wasn’t just a chance for me to re-charge my batteries, but it also had me re-reading The Power of Now, which jolted me back to reality. To this day, it is the only book I’ve read seven times, and it keeps changing my life each time I read it.
While I was working, and reading The Power of Now, I noticed that I during the last year, I had slowly fallen back into spending too much time in my mind. I was thinking, worrying, wanting and in general giving my too much energy to my past and future.
I have no problems with visualization and dreaming now and then, but we all have that problem where we just cannot seem to turn off our thinking. It becomes obsessive.
Right now, as I am writing this, I am aware of my whole body. I am aware of my breath and I keep myself anchored in the now, as best I can, while I am writing this.
It sounds simple to just be in your body, but it is what works. When I catch my mind wandering, I do my best to take it back to the now and feel my whole body.
A Shift in Feelings
Now that I’ve reached a point where I can actually communicate quite well, I want to use my Spanish and improve my fluency, which is really a blessing in disguise, because it helps me get out of my head and interacting with people.
In the last month I’ve discovered something called CouchSurfing through Karol and Benny. A few days later, I was in contact with a couple from Estonia and we went to a CouchSurfing event and had a lot of fun.
It didn’t immediately dawn on me that my initial visit to the hospital was responsible for all this, but looking back now, it is becoming clearer and clearer.
I’ve never liked going out much, because the people that I meet don’t interest me, but when I discovered the CouchSurfing community, I was in a bit of a shock, because the people were so real, authentic and right up my alley.
The funny thing is that I met Ingela in a pub back home, but that is a story for another time 😉
Reaching the Edge
Getting sick of something is a really powerful force for change. For example, it wasn’t until I got sick of relaxing and not doing much that I really felt motivated to get out there. I wanted to use my Spanish, I wanted to meet people and I wanted to experience things.
I do not worry about changing if I don’t feel like it. I can only live my own life, and if I don’t feel like doing something, I probably won’t. Even the alternative crowd have their shoulds. Everyone thinks they are right, but the only path I follow is my own.
It has taken me a few years to become comfortable with this, which is why I want to remind you that there is no rush. You will get to where you need to be. Follow the subtle signs and feelings you get and you’ll be well on your way.
When you really want something, synchronicity happens. This happened to me as I went from being a professional poker player to building websites and writing. I stopped playing poker cold turkey in early 2009. I gave myself no other option than to succeed in making a living online.
This is probably one of the more personal pieces I’ve written. The more I put myself out there, the more I notice that the right things come into my life.
I do not know exactly how this happens. Is it the Law of Attraction, energy or just something else? I don’t know, and at the moment I do not care. All I know is that it works.
The trip I took to the mountains of Spain changed me. I came back calmer, happier and more focused.
If you’ve been on the brink of doing something, don’t worry about it. Take the jump, put yourself out there and be yourself. Whatever happens, happens. You cannot control the world, you can only enjoy the ride.
The Power of Action
Taking action is not only about working and making things happen. For me it’s also about going out there, meeting people and having fun.
I never know who I’ll meet and where I will end up. It’s interesting to observe the ways in which the universe works.
If you want something, you won’t get it delivered to your front door on a silver platter (or then again, you might). You have to take action.
Even when you don’t know what you’re doing, you can always take one step, and that is enough. When I started playing poker, blogging, learning a new language or anything else, I didn’t know what I was doing.
I had no clue, but I kept going anyway, and I kept doing my best. Eventually I got better. Everything got clearer, and I grew. This is how my life works. You have to find your own path. You have to learn how your life works and what kind of signals your soul is sending you.
Synchronicity, and following your feelings are two very powerful, yet very simple things.
All of this started with an earplug stuck in my ear.
Was it meant to be, or was it just a coincidence?
(Update: I no longer live in Spain. Life goes on, and it moves fast.)
Jen Smith says
Thanks for sharing this Henri. Sometimes we don’t know why something has happened until we look back and see all the things that have happened as a result of it. It’s really interesting to hear about your ear and subsequent adventures. Recently I have started really taking action on my intuitions. I have always had strong intuitions but have sometimes ignored or reasoned them but I have stopped doing that and just try and do what feels right.
Following your intuition sure does lead you into interesting experiences 😉
Angela Artemis says
I write almost exclusively about following your intuition, and I thought this was an excellent article! Everyone’s process is a little different, and this post illustrated very well how your intuition guides you. Terrific!
Thanks so much for sharing with us Henri.
All the best,
You’ve got quite an interesting niche going on there! Keep rocking!
Michelle Wolfe says
I have come to understand intuition to be like the workings of a computer. It is the processor handing me an answer without my knowledge of all the workings that went into the creation of that answer. If I insist that I see the working happen in my consciousness – it seriously slows the processor down to the point that it doesn’t function well, if at all. Like insisting that all processing be displayed on my monitor – my computer would never be able to function. When I free up and let go – and TRUST my intuiton – I get the right answers – for me. . . for now. . .
This comes with time though and not everyone can let go of their thoughts and trust themselves to just know. If you don’t use it you will not develop it. It is a skill that requires development. Stay loose and let the universe flow around and with you. It is The Law of Attraction at work and play – with a hefty dose of emotional intelligence. You are a special One Henri – very rare. Thanks for opening up and sharing something so valuable.
Thanks Michelle! That is a great analogy. Relax, let it flow and do your best!
rob white says
Trusting our intuition will never lead us astray. My biggest accomplishments have been a consequence of trusting my gut. Conversely, my failures have all began with ignoring that something didn’t feel right. When I started as a real estate developer I had no prior knowledge or experience in real estate! Ignorance can be bliss when our mind doesn’t complicate matters.
Yes indeed! I wonder if that’s what they call beginner’s luck? 😉
What an interesting article for me to stumble on at this particular moment… for a couple of weeks now, I’ve had an elusive, intermittent, untraceable ache in my left ear…
I found you through poker but have quietly observed your blog and eagerly look forward to the pearls that come on Monday mornings. I just want to tell you that you have had a profoundly positive affect on my life. I realized after this raw and inspiring post I couldn’t go another blog post without conveying this to you. I really appreciate your work Henri and you have inspired me continually to become a better person and follow my passions. Godspeed my dear friend from far away!
Awesome stuff, Sean! I remember when you e-mailed me for the first time. I’m glad you’ve stuck around and decided to follow your passions!
Katie Brandt says
Thank you so much for sharing your story and reflections on it. I personally believe that everything happens for a reason…..a reason you may or may not ever realize. I just have faith that this is true. Good or bad, it doesn’t matter, all that matters is how I decide to action on the situation….and my gut usually tells me where to start.
There are so many different ways we can interpret a situation that it really is up to us how we react. Not always a walk in the park, but 😉
Tom Huntington says
Thanks for sharing your story and your belief in yourself. You call it intuition and synchronicity, and I think what you are really sharing is your belief in yourself, your trust in yourself, and your skill at being able to “be with yourself” in the present moment. The more I study the skill of “living in the present” the more convinced I am that “life only happens in the present moment”, and you can only “know yourself” or “trust yourself” or “believe in yourself” in one specific moment in time. Then if you really want to live fully, you need to know yourself, trust yourself, and believe in yourself the next moment and then the next moment. That’s what I get you are learning to do from your story and what you are inspiring others to do by sharing your life, your truth. Thanks!!!
Thank you, Tom!
Nice to read this story about the now. It always helps to remember our breathing and that we are in our bodies. Most of the times we are just heads walking around…
Yes! Too much thinking, not enough being.
Another inspirational post, Henri – thanks! I totally agree with you about “The Power of Now.” It gets better with each read. Glad you came away from the earplug incident unscathed, by the way! As for following one’s intuition, mine has apparently taken a holiday recently; am hoping for its return soon. 😉
I hope your intuition returns relaxed and recharged!
Kirstine Vergara says
My nephew put a pellet in his ear when he was 3. He underwent a minor surgery to get that pellet off, luckily his hearing was not affected. 😉 Anyway, this is very inspiring. Thanks for sharing this. I have learned to trust my intuition after a very life-changing incident. I’m also glad that it happened, otherwise I wouldn’t be the strong person that I am today.
Ouch! I’m glad I didn’t need anything more than a “vacuuming” of my ear. Although I’m scared of using earplugs now.
Nina Sharabati says
Wow, this is so true to me at the present moment, because before, i have never trusted my intuition or listened to my “gut” in my life, it always felt impaired.. then a few months back, my best friend became best friends with one of our yoga teachers, and since i usually trusted her intuition, i tried to accept him as well, but something was wrong and i just couldn’t.
Then i discovered that my intuition was right and he was a manipulator, and it hit me like lightening: i CAN trust my intuition! it was such a breakthrough for me, that i started testing myself, when it comes to my passion (photography), my work, my friends, and it turns out that my intuition is healed, or maybe i was healed, but the important thing is, i follow it, i trust it, and even though i take action and use my brain, it is still my guide, my drive, and both my motivator to move forward, and my regulator to accept the path and the pace of it all.
Thank you Henri again for a great post that really resonates with each one on a personal level!!
Sounds like you’re on the right track, Nina! Keep rocking!
Archan Mehta says
I used to ignore my intuition but now I feel more comfortable with it.
I think experiencing my “existential alonenuess” has helped me.
Too often we become social butterflies instead of learning to enjoy your own company.
Meditaition has enabled me to access the wisdom that was always there, waiting to unfold.
It is a mystery only if you don’t take the time for in-dwelling that is who you really are.
As a result, the intuition has become more powerful but also more natural and organic.
The more time I spend dwelling within the more certainty I feel about the next step on life’s journey. I have found great peace of mind too in spending time alone.
The wild, party animal image is a thing of the past. That is a lesson I have learned the hard way.
You are so right on. I have lost a fortune by not paying attention to that gut feeling. I did not want to make the decision but did it anyway and it has been a disaster for the rest of my life. “They” are in prison but I am paying the consequences. They are getting room and board while I have to earn my own living. The only thing that has happened is that I had to continue living so I did. I will never get that money back but it is making me aware of what is more important than money. I am living a minimalist frugal life now but enjoying it immensely. I have been selling the extra stuff that I have and making more aware decisions. Since it was “pension money” which I did not use but hoped to, I just have to act “as if” I never had it to begin with. And many many people do not. I have some bad days but on the whole I find I am getting just what I need and I will be fine. “They” will have to have the karma on their conscience until they clear it. It actually makes me more alert by paying attention. A very good book on this is “The Fifth Agreement” by Don Miguel Ruiz. A great read.
Thanks for letting me share.