Do you want to know one of the hardest things for people about listening to their intuition? It’s a quality that, until you get used to following yours, stymies and stumps people again and again.
Your intuition RARELY gives you the whole picture, it gives you the next step.
If you know me and my work you know that I’m on a mission of sorts to guide as many women as possible to trusting their own inner knowing or intuition. I teach on the subject, I give talks on it, I have a whole Intuition University that I founded for this reason. One essential piece of being able to trust your inner knowing is having realistic expectations of how your intuition works. It makes it easier to trust and work with it.
I had a previous student call me up the other day in order to talk about this. Her inner knowing was sharp. The past work that she has done in my classes and in tuning into her knowing has honed and strengthened this muscle. :
What was stumping her? The very thing I mentioned. Her intuition was giving her the next steps, not the whole picture. It wasn’t that she wasn’t getting the messages from her intuition. She was. It was that she only knew the next essential piece—not the broad sweep of the canvas. She was in that age old conundrum I see so many people in when they start to dance with trusting their intuition: you don’t always get all the details. This is the case more often than not. This is true for all of us. I’m a seer (meaning I do frequently see things that are coming down the pike—moments yet to come) and STILL 80-85% of the time my intuition just tells me the next step in my life.
One of my favorite stories of this came many years ago now when I was just moving to the island I’ve lived on for the last 17 years. I had just landed on the island and was there to check it out. My intuition had guided me to this place and I was looking around to see what was next. I knew almost nothing about the place. As I was driving through town that Saturday afternoon, the sign of this particular bar/restaurant stood out to me. As I looked at the white sign announcing a band playing that evening I had this strong feeling that I needed to go there.
So in the evening around 8 p.m., when the sign indicated there would be a band playing, I went. There was hardly anyone there and the band was still setting up, so I kept walking. I walked in the front door and right through the side door of the restaurant that led to the bar. I felt awkward. I didn’t know anyone. Just hanging out alone at a bar isn’t something that feels comfortable to me. If there had been some music, maybe I could have stood there, but nothing was going on yet. I didn’t see anything that called my attention or caught my eye— there was no notice from Spirit—so without changing my pace at all, I headed straight out the back door of the bar. I figured at least I could reassess the situation when I got out in the fresh air—maybe come back after the band started.
Within less than 10 seconds a black man with dreadlocks followed me out the door. I was just outside when he said to me, “I think you left too soon.” That was a strong message, so I turned around to face him. Then he said, “Come back in, and I’ll buy you a beer—and I’m not trying to pick you up.”
We stood at the counter as he bought me a beer. Then, turning around, he said, “Here I’m sure these two ladies would be happy for you to join them.” He walked me over to their table and placing my drink on it he said, “Ladies, this is Aimée, she’s new here, and she would like to join you.” Introductions made, the man took his own beverage and went back to the game of pool he was playing.
It was, of course, all quite unusual. But I was game. Having a perfect stranger who had never seen me before follow me out the back door to tell me I had left too soon was clearly a signal I couldn’t ignore. So I just made myself comfortable with the ladies. Sometime into the evening we discovered the link. I told them how I was thinking of moving here and was in town exploring the place when one of the women said, “Hey, do you want to housesit for me? We’re leaving for three weeks at the end of June, and we really need someone to feed our animals while we are gone.” Turns out that was the exact timing that my lese was up in in Port Townsend! Of course I wanted to housesit! She was so excited to find someone to feed her four horses, two ducks, and a cat that she bought me a beer.
Your intuition gives you the next step. When it led me to that bar that day it did NOT say to me, “Aimée go to this bar. There is a woman there that needs a house sitter the exact time your lease is up. She and her husband will also be so generous as to allow you to store all of your belongings in their garage for free while you find a place to live. Also, you’re going to meet your man on this island, and raise a family with him. Furthermore, he’s going to build you a beautiful studio where you will write, do readings, and teach others about intuition. You’re going to love it.” Not at all! My intuition gave me a feeling in my body that told me—“Go there.” I got to the rest by following that step and those that came after—many many times without knowing EXACTLY where it was leading me.
As I told my previous student that day on the phone—even though it does happen to me that I see glimpses of what is to come in my future/life. I often don’t know I am on the path toward that moment while it is happening. I just follow one step and then another, and another, and another—and then one day I am surprised and delighted that I find myself in that moment I had foreseen. I didn’t even know that the steps I was taking were leading that way. I knew only that my intuition was guiding me clearly along the way.
None of us get the luxury of seeing the whole picture every time our intuition guides us toward or away from something, even seers like myself.
In fact, I really think that would take so much of the fun out of life. Let’s just think about that for a second—what if you knew everything that was going to happen to you or how each moment would unfold? Would the unfolding of it be as much fun? I can tell you that having that man follow me out and give me that important message that evening certainly wouldn’t have felt as magical. I think knowing that ALL the things all of the time might actually be boring!
I am reminded of a fire on the beach that I enjoyed recently with women friends. What if I had known the things people were going to say ahead of time? What if I knew the moon was going to rise stunningly over the distant hills? What if I had watched the whole thing unfold in my mind beforehand? Would it have been as pleasing?
Sometimes it’s in the spontaneity of an event and the unfurling of it that creates the most joy. This year in addition to my own work, I’ve been on staff at my children’s completely outdoor school. (Find them on Instagram: @vashongreenschool.) I’m behind the scenes as parent liaison. Every Thursday night I’ve been getting together with a group of women who run or help with the 100% outdoor primary school that my children go to. The conversations unfold in organic and sometimes surprising ways. They are goofy and deep and joyful or insight bringing in their making. That is in essence probably one of the biggest parts of the fun. It’s a co-creation of trouble shooting, idea percolation, storytelling, and listening. When I think of a life where I would know everything ahead of time I feel a clear loss at what would inevitably take the elation out of discovering life as it unfolds. Crazy as it may sound, the not knowing can be a big part of the fun!
When you learn to trust your inner knowing, there does come a time where it just doesn’t bother you anymore that you don’t get the whole picture. That time comes when you start trusting and following your intuition. You learn by experience that what your intuition gives you is the thing you need to know right now. Maybe you don’t know exactly how it is going to unfold. Maybe in the case of my student, your mind will give you all kinds of, “But what if…,” or “This sucko thing could happen…,” or “Why would you move away from this good thing?…” Or “But you don’t even know why!” Or “You might miss out on something good by making this choice!” All of those fearful thoughts become irrelevant because by doing the thing your intuition is guiding you to, you see again and again and again you win. Maybe you don’t know exactly where it is guiding you or why it is telling you to do this thing, or what is going to happen when or after you do it, but you have enough experience to know that whatever it is it’s going to be good.
I wrote this for you if you find yourself in the position (which you will) of getting the next step but not the whole picture, and it troubles you. Trust. Go to this bar 😉 or make that choice, say yes to this opportunity, or decline that one, I promise, if it’s your intuition guiding you good things will follow.
All my love,
P.S. If you are asking yourself (as many people do me), “How can I tell it IS the voice of my INTUITION guiding me?”—then this article is for you.
P.P.S. If you want some more stories on how your intuition works check these out:
Aimée Cartier is a psychic, author, and founder of Intuition University. In either private or group programs she teaches women who have a hard time trusting their intuition or don’t know how to use it to get results. Through six or seven month programs she helps them understand and enhance their innate intuitive traits and increase their connection with their inner knowing so that they can use these skills to thrive and guide them to their best lives their whole life long. You can find out more details about her Intuition University work here. More on her and her other work can be found at www.AimeeCartier.com.