Archive for the ‘Intuition’ Category

We have all seen a play or two (or a hundred) in our lifetimes. Some are funny, some simply entertaining, some poignant, some shocking. In the past week, I saw two different plays, one a combination of several genres, the other profundly moving me to want to do something.

Tiny Beautiful Things is a play based on a book of essays by Cheryl Strayed, the person behind an advice column called “Dear Sugar,” her pseudonym. She wasn’t a trained psychologist but a good writer, and she acidentally fell into the non-paying job when her predecessor had to give it up.

She explores some very intimate subjects and gives her advice by sharing her personal stories and experiences. She is transparent about her lack of credentials, and gives her advice from the heart – and with heart.

People have joked to me that I have been a therapist since the age of sixteen. People share things with me in supermarket lines, while shopping for clothes, on trains. People I DON’T KNOW! So, its a gift, I guess. The reality is that helping others parse their challenges takes me away from my own problems. And I daresay, I am usually helpful as I help someone see their options or inspire them by sharing my own challenges and victories.

This blog is often filled with such nuggets of advice or inspirations, always from my experiences. My other blog, about nutrition, is also there for the taking: advice on nutrition-related subjects, culled from the science I learned in school, by credentials and experiences. And a third blog which is now dormant, awaits my time and attention, and deals with matters relating to death, dying and grief. There, my experiences surrounding the topic lend some good advice and comfort too.

So I have thought about starting an advice column. I worry it would consume me if it caught on, so I need to think more about it. But it really draws me in. What do you think? I’d like to know.

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In March of 2012 I wrote about connecting with people. How by some mysterious force, we are drawn to someone and find a connection. I’ve had a couple of new experiences in this past year, in spite of my limited movements within the outside world.

An old business associate of nearly 40 years, turned friend, emailed me about an alumnus of her college. Did I want to meet her? She had recently moved to my town, shared my religion and knew no one here. She wanted to get involved in her new community and my friend thought we would hit it off. I trust this friend; she knows me well. So of course I said yes. Explaining to this stranger my limited outings, unpredictable medical limitations and inability to eat like a normal person, I suggested lunch at my house. Conversation came easily and we discovered some additional mutual friends and interests. We share political views so there was much fodder for conversation and potential action. The relationship quickly turned into a familiar, comfortable friendship, one I am so grateful for.

On another occasion, the search for someone to do alterations led me to a woman from a neighboring town. She is the mother of a lady in my town, who I know only through the Facebook page our town’s ladies belong to. She was kind enough to come to my house so I could try on the clothes. There was something special about her and she felt the same. She too joined me for lunch soon after and I have been to her home to drop off or pick up more things she has sewed for me. We are on a “hug and kiss greeting” basis and express an affinity for one another like we’ve been friends for so long.

My therapist tells me I am blessed with the ability to make friends easily. I would have to agree. But I attribute it to my father and his mother who also had many friends due to their ability to talk to anyone about something they could find in common.

My life is so enriched by this gift. Some people’s involvement in my life have endured decades and many challenges; some have come and gone in short order. I’ve relished each friendship for its uniqueness and rich dimension they have brought to my life.

I’m a lucky woman.

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Every so often I am reminded that people go through life carrying burdens of one sort or another. When the pain they cause is written on their faces, it may be obvious, and we can respond. But so often these burdens are kept private due to shame, denial or wish not to burden others with their troubles. And sometimes, those they need support from are just incapable for one reason or another, of helping, so they keep them to themselves.

Today, someone shared some burdens she is carrying. Suddenly a lot of things made sense. What I may have mistaken for aloofness, disorganization, or lack of attention to the details of the job are now easily explained by what she is going through. My frustration melted away in the face of this information, and was replaced by compassion. I thanked her for sharing her burdens with me and told her how helpful it is to let people know how fragile life is for her right now. I told her people often want to help and can only do that when they know what is needed.

So I am working on being able to take my own advice!. I have too often been hurt by exposing my vulnerability and not receiving support – or worse, being rejected or ridiculed. So, asking is very, very difficult for me. In spite of knowing who I can turn to and trust, I sometimes just wish those who care will know and offer a shoulder.

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Is it the comfort of the familiarity of my hometown or is it simply the energy of the city that makes the blood in my veins flow faster? When I step out of Grand Central Station into the throngs of humanity, my body automatically goes into high awareness – of my surroundings, the sights, sounds and (oh not so pleasant) smells. It is hot and muggy, reminding me of one of the reasons I happily left NY behind for the fresh air of the country. It has been half my life now that I have lived away from NY but I have never let go of my “New York-ishness.” I will forever be a New Yorker. As they say, “You can take a girl out of New York but you can’t take the New York out of a girl.”

As I leave Grand Central my first thought is to protect my valuables. The second is, “What do I want to taste first?” So many options; only so much time and stomach space. The salted soft pretzels scream out, but no. Why would I want to fill up on this empty (but so appealing) food? I see the black and white cookies and resist those too, knowing it might trigger diabetes immediately. I’m thinking of my favorite delis – a nice, lean pastrami sandwich would be awesome. So would any fish salad from Russ and Daughters. I’m hoping they are closed today, being the sabbath and all, but probably not since Jews are no longer their only customers. How to resist? How to choose?

I end up at Starbucks for “breakfast,” since good coffee supersedes good breakfast and I know what to expect. And they have free wifi, which my hotel charges an obscene amount of money to use. Thank Starbucks for this morning’s post.

My husband and I came into the city for the weekend with few plans. I’m happy to walk for miles and miles, simply observing the people, ducking into interesting shops, and happening on good food. Last night we walked toward Dangerfield’s, our destination, thinking we will just look at restaurants and pick one along the route. We have done this in many cities and have yet to be disappointed. Our worst meals were acceptable, but many more were fabulous. Perhaps we have developed a knack for picking them. And there’s always Yelp to double check our instincts.

So this morning, I am writing from Starbucks while hubby stands in line at the Shubert Theatre box office, hoping to get tickets to Memphis for tonight. I am trying to decide where to go today and it’s hard because there are so many places I would like to go that I am nearly paralyzed by the options. I think I’ll check the weather which will help me narrow down whether to be in or outdoors.

Better get going. Have a nice day. I know I will!

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We have all had the experience of meeting someone and just knowing at the outset that there is potential for a friendship. Depending on the circumstances, sometimes you have the opportunity to explore it further, and at other times it is just a one time connection. In recent weeks I had two such situations.

Some weeks ago, I went to meet with someone about helping me get back into meditating, which I did decades ago. I have been thinking about it because I want to be better able to focus, and to do this I need to rid myself of the monkey brain that goes all day long, making me flit from activity to activity, while completing none of them. Anyway, after we concluded the business part of the discussion, we just kept talking and talking. I have been told I am easy to talk to and often get into discussions with people that get personal. They tell me things usually reserved for a more developed relationship. I enjoy this, since I love to hear people’s stories. Everyone has them.

Today we got together just for lunch and continued effortlessly, where we left off. She has an incredible story (actually more than one) and I find it so easy to be with her. This is the beginning of a friendship, I am sure.

Last week, my husband and I went away for an evening and ended up at the pub next door with a fabulous 60’s band. Not being one to sit still when there is a good beat, I was on my feet. There was a woman at the next table with her husband. Her husband and mine were not getting up any time soon, so we had to take matters into out own hands. Before long, we were squeezed between the tables and the band (there really was no dance floor). With tambourines pressed into our hands by a third party, we were having a grand old time. Some other ladies there also got up and there we were! The first person told me that when she saw me at first, she knew she would like me. How could she know this? Well, I have had that feeling before too. Is it body language? Is it that you are standing still, but some part of you is moving to the beat and showing what you are feeling and thinking? Is it your hairdo, clothes, or what? Well, we had a grand time, only learning each other’s first names and off we went, likely never to see one another again.

It is fascinating that we can intuit who we want to be around. We give ourselves little credit for the unconscious abilities we have as humans to sense potential connections. All we need to do is open our hearts and minds, and great things can happen.

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