Tag Archives: intuition

Winging It

As I write this I am sat on my sofa avoiding the midday heat and surrounded by the delicious scents of warm cinnamon, cardamom, butter, vanilla and gingery sugary goodness. I am paying close attention to the gas hob in my kitchen and wondering nervously if the heat has burnt the pan contents sat atop the hob or if these mouth watering scents means my random act of BAKING A CAKE IN A SAUCEPAN ON TOP OF THE GAS HOB is actually working.

Let me explain how I came to this…

I woke up yesterday and felt to bake a cake for my boyfriend. I wanted to do something nice for him and I pondered my options whilst I walked leisurely to the shop in my bright pink flip flops. The heat of the day slowly intensifying with the rising sun. I stepped up and through the creaking door of my local shop that lies nestled in the shadows of an old dusty church. The choice was limited but three sturdy orange carrots caught my eye and made my decision to bake carrot cake. I picked a handful of the finest walnuts I could see and tucked them into the basket with dates, spices, sugar and more.

I was up early and eager to begin my baking this morning. As I live in Egypt I have been missing the feel of autumn. The red and burnished gold of leaves, the smooth brown curves of conkers. This carrot cake was to be my way of acknowledging the season. It would be filed with golden autumnal sugar, the rich warmth of cinnamon and a touch of cardamom to represent the Eastern spices of where I now live. As I walked into my kitchen I knew I didn’t have scales and would have to estimate the weights of ingredients using a cup and trawl the Internet for a conversion table. I approached the gas oven and despite my best efforts it refused to light. I tried over and over again but it just would not cooperate. I almost burned my thumb on one occasion as the gas flared up and lost the lighter down the back of the oven during another as it pinged out of my grip. I had to leave the room after another attempt filled the kitchen and me with gas that made my eyes sting and water. After ten attempts and a couple of minor gas flaring incidents I resigned myself to no oven. But at least I hadn’t passed out from gas fumes in the process.

By this point I had also looked up conversion tables from cups to grams on the Internet and sadly realised they are all different. I could find no converter that had an answer for each ingredient and each converter gave a different answer for just one ingredient. Oh.  I stared at my dream of autumnal baking bliss, of carrot cake heaven, and felt disappointment rising in me like a soggy undercooked bun. I had no scales and no oven but I desperately didn’t want to give up. I took one look at the gas hob, another look at my largest saucepan and thought

Oh what the heck, let’s wing it and make a cake on the hob

That idea was WAY OUTSIDE OF MY COMFORT ZONE. I don’t wing it when I do things that reflect upon my abilities, that others can bear witness to. I plan, prepare, worry, prepare some more, lose sleep and plan some more. I have, as do many of us, a fear of failure and of being exposed for the village idiot. I fear I am not as good as all that. So the idea of baking a cake in a pan on the hob, with no idea of quantities of ingredients AND for someone else would definitely be winging it and very far outside of my happy place.

At this point I should mention I am recovering from a recent illness caused by, I believe, too much stress from unavoidable outside circumstances but also due to my reactions and expectations of myself. I ignored my Intuition telling me to stop and rest until I literally had to stop and lie down for a week. Yesterday I decided I must listen to my Intuition more and let her guide me. Stop playing by the rules, stop expecting everything (including myself) to be perfect and wing it a little instead with more laughter in every day. I simply do not want to be the cause of my own exhaustion and illness anymore by ignoring my inner self. The world is a harsh enough critic without me adding to it.

I pondered this with a raised eyebrow, and eyed up the hob and saucepan. Could making this cake be the perfect opportunity to put my thoughts into practice and let my intuition guide me? I could listen to my Intuition closely and see if I could make a cake without scales or an oven. I have made plenty of cakes in the past (albeit with scales, a recipe and an oven) and perhaps my inner self might just know the way to do this. Could it be the perfect opportunity to practice letting go of certainty of success? The cake could come out as a soggy lump of undercooked gooey, burnt batter. That would be my failing but perhaps that is okay. I won’t die from it.

So my beautiful imagined day of seamless autumnal baking for my man had turned into an opportunity for some self-analysis, growth and letting go. Who knew an almost lethal oven, a lack of utensils and a willingness to put myself out there could be so therapeutic? No, me neither.

I took a very deep breath, reminded myself to listen closely to me and then winged it BIG TIME. I threw cups of basic cake ingredients into my mixing bowl and hoped for the best. I splashed yellow eggs in, sprinkled over what I felt would be a tasty amount of different spices and added plenty of baking powder. Surely some extra lift would be a good thing for my saucepan cake? I chopped up the dates enthusiastically and threw them in without considering quantity. Why not, we’re not playing by the rules here anymore. As I mixed the ingredients together lovingly I listened closely and my intuition told me it looked about right for carrot cake batter. I poured the hearty, orange flecked, walnut filled batter into my saucepan and promptly fell about laughing at how ridiculous this idea was. Yes it was also FUN. I was letting go, I was covered in flour dust and playing. I was learning to be me and trusting I am enough. I was also learning just how divine raw cake batter tastes. If only one could survive on cake batter alone as a healthy nourishing diet.

So, my ‘cake’ has been on the hob now for almost an hour and we are back to where I started my tale. I am sat on the sofa surrounded by the delicious scents of warm cinnamon, cardamom, butter, vanilla and gingery sugary goodness. I am paying close attention to the gas burner and wondering nervously if the gas has burnt the pan contents. I tell myself it is time to check and guess what….there is a cake in my pan! An actual cake. Sure it’s not perfect looking but it is definitely cake. This is a recognisable edible item, commonly referred to as food. I can’t believe it!

Or maybe I can? My intuition told me all along I could wing this and make it happen. My stubborn mind just refused to quieten down and believe.

After a minor skirmish with my cake in the pan, a knife and a fish slice (I lack utensils here) it came free from the pan and flopped onto a plate with a heavy sigh. Here is the cake in all her autumnal, slightly burnt, middle-stuck-to-the-pan glory. Isn’t it just perfect? I think so. Okay so it may be slightly burnt, wonky and missing a middle section but it represents a step forwards for me and it is gorgeous with plump edges. As the cake cools slowly on the plate by my side I am smiling.

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What seemed like a disaster, a disappointment disrupting my plans, turned out to be an opportunity for adventure, laughter and growth today. The unexpected turned out okay in the end. All I had to do was drop my self-expectations and rules, turn up with an open mind and be prepared I may fail. Choose to give it a go even though I felt out of my depth, wing it with a kind and forgiving heart, listen closely to my intuition and do my best. Perhaps that is all I can ask of myself every day? All any of us can ask of ourselves? Because, truth be told, I think we are all winging it at times and hoping our cake comes out perfect every time. We all have fears,  wish we were better at this, less of one thing and more of another. Do we hesitate and hold back from trying new things because of our perceived limitations?

How about we just stop beating ourselves with the whisk, take a leap and enjoy the ride, bumps and all? Trust ourselves and go for it. Add heaps and dollops of glorious extra frosting and enjoy the cake. Sit down and eat the cake, eat a lot of cake. And say to ourselves…I did my best and that is simply enough. Now pass me my cup of tea.

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Intuition Calling

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Please listen to me. I am trying to tell you how tired I am, how deeply I need to rest. Please place your hands on your heart and listen to your Intuition, me, and hear my words. I am so tired of shouting my needs on your deaf ears as you charge forwards in life and don’t take the time to let me catch up. I am giving you an opportunity to fall backwards into the safe and loving arms of your protector, your loved one, and I promise he will catch you.

Will you finally let me rest and heal?

Let me rest on a soft feathery pillow that has the lightest scent of spring jasmine blossom and envelopes me with dreams and the early morning light falling upon my soul. The healing hands of sleep, of letting go in order to heal. Please lean back into your loved ones arms and let your shoulders drop. Breathe deeply, feel the warmth of true love catch you and hear his slow and steady heartbeat telling you he won’t go. Exhale your troubles gently, let them fly free like dandelion clocks whisked away in the summer breeze. Up, up and away into the clouds. Close your eyes, inhale slowly and dare to dream. Let the light white clouds of a clear blue sky fill you up, heal you with their wisps and curls and ever-changing nature. Admire their round underbellies as they wander past your mind quietly and carry your dreams to the stars. If you look closely at them reflected in your sleeping eyes, you will see their sparkling silver linings. They are always there and if you’d just let yourself be, you would see them. Your mind would quieten and see the joy in each cloud, the opportunity to heal and grow.

The world can wait my dear, you will come back to it when you are ready, so right now please listen to me and rest. Let me bring you back to yourself. All I ask of you is time and your stillness to let me do so. Still your mind, still your body and let me heal your heart and soul with my words. You will come back brighter, stronger and come back as you; all of you.

Just rest. Let go and your Intuition will guide you

I wonder if you know how tired I became as you ran me up and down mountains in the blazing heat this summer? I tried to tell you with sore muscles, with chest pains and that nagging feeling, my voice telling you to slow down. But you didn’t listen to me; you just made me run faster and harder. I know you were trying to escape your inner self at times, trying to cope with the chatter of your mind. We all run away at times, distract ourselves with tasks and stories rather than listening quietly to what we need. I know you ran every one of those miles for those you loved and missed, for those you couldn’t see anymore in this life. You were trying to place your losses in a ribbon-tied box called ‘Done and Dusted’ whilst ignoring the voice inside that needed time to adjust. I think you know that no matter how many geographical miles you put between yourself and your past, you carried your pain forwards despite your efforts to ignore it. It chafed on your shoulders like an old and worn rucsac reminding you of where you had been and it hurt me too.

I looked up at the silver lined clouds when you found the courage to look yourself in the mirror and cry. I saw your vulnerability as you stopped trying to tie your past with a ribbon and finally you let it go. I was proud as you stopped trying to make your pain pretty and perfect. Did you see how he held your hand as you let it go and accepted your imperfect past as something that gave you strength and character?

It is okay to cry, to have fears and vulnerability. Choose to be open

Lean on those you love and accept your past is a part of you but it has no influence upon today. It is no more important than tomorrow, for really there is only ever now and everything is as it should be.

With your tears dried, with another part of your pain dropped by the wayside I carried you onwards in the sunshine and we laughed. We giggled and smiled atop the ocean waves as your dreams came true and I hoped that in the next chapter you would rest. For in every grand adventure there comes a time for sleep and I needed it but wanted to see you enjoy your dream. I held fast, I stiffened my muscles and supported you always, without complaint.

I wonder if you know how tired I became weeks later as we found ourselves innocent and caught up in places that we had no place being and no escape. I could feel your fear and sense of utter helplessness as your chest tightened, the colour drained from your face and you simply fell apart inside. You held tightly to your friends, you prayed like never before and felt the adrenaline surge through your body and mind as you tried to cope. You longed to be anywhere but there and your friends pulled you through with their love and support. They fought for you and you made it, yet you barely stopped for a moment to recover. Overnight we were living in another country, visiting your wonderful family and friends and moving forwards yet again with smiles and sunshine. But what of me? Did you not hear me pulling the cloak of exhaustion over you so you would rest and heal? No, I didn’t think so. Instead of listening to your intuition you worked hard at achieving magnificent new dreams; of diving, of moving to Egypt, of falling deeply in love, of writing thousands of words all at once. You pushed yourself to know everything overnight, to bear no scars, to swim hard, to run hard, to be perfect.

And so now I bring you this. If it takes illness to make you stop and pay attention so be it. I am your Intuition and I am telling you to slow down. You are perfectly you and I adore you always. Because of that I will make you rest and keep on making you lean into the arms of your loved one until you let me heal you. I need you to lower your expectations of who you should be and just be you. Drop the self-criticism, drop the agenda and treat yourself with love and kindness every single day. I see your thoughts, your expectations of yourself and they swirl like a flurry of autumnal leaves in your mind. Go now, fall back into that soft jasmine-scented pillow and learn to love who you are, just as you are. Let go of your frustration at being worn out, let your scars be part of your beauty and realise everything is as it should be. You don’t need to push yourself all the time, you don’t need to always achieve and you don’t need to be anything other than you. You can just be beautiful, wonderful you. I will keep on reminding you of this and make you rest. Listen closely for soon we will rejoin the world and continue to weave our dreams together. Shine brightly with turquoise oceans and golden sands and create a new tomorrow. But until then sleep tight.

Intuition ~ the ability to understand something instinctively, without the need for conscious reasoning

The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift ~ Albert Einstein

For my dear friend recovering from cancer. May you listen to your Intuition closely sweetheart and rest awhile, especially as you start your journey of rejoining the crazy world we live in next week. May you take all the time you need to heal emotionally, to sleep on soft pillows and love yourself every day. Please know you are beautiful yesterday, today and tomorrow xxx