On trusting our intuitive and creative selves

I’ve been taking an online course called Emerge.  The course is designed around developing the creative tools we need to help us face our seasons of change. It’s little wonder a friend recommended it to me. For two years (it’s hard to believe that I’ve been working on Project Finding Me for that long!) I’ve been going through a period of intense personal growth and change. And while I’ve certainly been moving forward, I’ve learned that ultimately there is no final destination. That said, my interest in this course came from the notion of learning to emerge from a life transition and become more fully myself. Interestingly, this is the very place I find myself now. I’m learning what it means to get out of my own way, to finally embrace everything I’ve learned and finally live the life I want to lead—a life that feels right, and comfortable and true.

So I registered. This week, we’ve been reading about and doing exercises on trusting our intuitive and creative selves. This is a huge weakness for me. I’ve been a people pleaser my entree life and as a result I’ve never learned how to trust myself, much less to feel confident following through with any sense of intuition. So these lessons have hit hard. It’s at the heart of the work I’m focused on, and  has a lot to do with improving my sense of self-confidence.

So, we’ve been encouraged to write the following lists as a way of tapping our intuitive, creative selves. I’m supposed to let my gut take over and write anything and everything that comes to mind. So here goes:

My obsessions and preoccupations:

  • Social media
  • A clean, organized house.
  • Constant professional advancement
  • Starbucks
  • Self-understanding
  • Whether there should be a third baby in our family.
  • Paper, and pictures. And putting them together into art.
  • Being good. And liked.
  • How to nurture self-confidence in my children.
  • Anything Apple.
  • Flannel sheets.
  • A hot, flickering fire.
  • Being very, very good at my job.

What I know:

  • How to plan, and build a house.
  • How to start and stoke a fire.
  • Patience is never easy, and takes constant practice.
  • It’s very hard to still the mind.
  • There isn’t enough time in the day.
  • How to make a buttery, flaky pastry.
  • How to pitch a story and get it covered by media.
  • What it’s like to lose a loved one.
  • Bi-polar affective disorder sucks.
  • I can’t stand seafood.

What I don’t know:

  • The right way to discipline my children.
  • How to cook without a recipe.
  • If writing is really my calling.
  • How to change a flat tire.
  • How to start our snowblower.
  • How to trust myself.
  • How to set a table.
  • If I’m making a difference.
  • If I’ll ever feel like I truly know myself.



14 thoughts on “On trusting our intuitive and creative selves

  1. I’m not sure we every fully know ourselves. I’m not sure that’s a bad thing. I think it gives us a lot of room to breath, to fill in the pauses, to leave some empty (and restful in their lack of definition?); I’m not sure we even need to feel as though we know ourselves.

    I also believe we sense more than we realize, we know when we aren’t true to our core (and that’s a lot), and we can change. It takes time. And willingness to live with the awareness of uncertainty that is there whether we recognize it or not.

  2. Lindsey says:

    I love these lists, and I’m finding myself pinwheeling through my own in my head. I wish I had some insight or comfort to offer, but I can only say that I’m very much with you in the trenches, and thinking about many of the same questions. I agree entirely that there’s no final destination, and that the real goal is making peace with the fact that there is no “there” there.

  3. Jana says:

    These lists are liberating! I should try them. Sounds like a good course. I’m very into intuition lately as well, and trying to trust it more and more!

  4. These are great! You’ve inspired me to do the same. Love you.

  5. Belinda says:

    Christine, from reading your lists, I found myself rattling off my own in my head. I will write mine down on the plane before a big trip and see what sort of insights emerge after my experience when I come back. I’ve found that big life experiences tend to change me in profound ways.

  6. I’m with our other friends here, grateful for these new insights about you and feeling inspired to explore these lists myself. Looking forward to hearing more about your experience with this course. xo

  7. Those list topics are fascinating. I think I’ll give them a shot later today. At another level, it occurs to me that the big tension in my life was career vs. all other parts of life–family, creative projects, community service, etc. My latest post is about the fact that now that I’m retired, I’m giving myself permission to do what I want…which turns out to be daycare for grandkids and whatever that leads to. But not working wasn’t an option, and not excelling didn’t seem possible. I continue to be really interested in where this work is taking you!

  8. I am impressed with what you DO know! And I want to offer that learning to cook without a recipe is something I would like to be able to do myself and what works for me now is to stop measuring every little thing as you follow the recipe. I hope that eventually leads me to feel like I have an intuitive feel for how much should go into things. Another fun thing to try is talking to an Asian friend about cooking (assuming you have friends or coworkers who are foreign, and not everyone does). My friends from over there tell me, with complete sincerity, to just put in what you like. It works for them, and it’s fun to try to make your own Chinese food (or Vietnamese, or whatever). Oh, and there isn’t a “right” way to discipline your children. There may be a best way for them or for you and there is definitely the way you’re doing it right now, but to assume that there is some “right” way(and thus that the way you are doing it now is “wrong”) is to allow others to judge you, at least that’s how I feel about it.

  9. This is an inspiring list. I am taking the course too, but have not been able to embrace the lessons as much as I have wanted to. Something always gets in the way. You’ve encouraged me to go back to some of the lessons and pay attention. Thank you.

  10. Does it help if I know one thing you don’t know?

    I KNOW you are making a difference. You make a difference to me, your writing helps me make little changes in my life and it trickles down. I can see here you make a difference , and inspire, those who read your blog.

  11. Jane says:

    Just a little something *I* know….

    Writing IS your calling. Truly. It is.

    (Can’t wait to hear more about this journey of yours. Fascinating.)

  12. Hi, Christine. I just popped over from Emerge to read your lists. Thanks for sharing them! I love how these three lists work together, don’t you? I’d been using them separately as writing prompts for awhile, and then it occurred to me how much power they could have together — and my post about self-trust ended up being the perfect place for them. The funny thing is how often I have to remind *myself* that I can use them again and again for so many things, as writing prompts, as a “brain dump” to clear my mind, and as a way to work through issues and challenges, be they about self-trust, a creative project, or one of life’s conundrums. In fact, I’m feeling a bit scattered, sad, and untethered tonight, so I just might make a few lists to give me a new perspective. 🙂

  13. Something you know: “There’s not enough time in the day.” Really? I remember being here just recently and reading about all the lovely things you’d managed to fit into your life. Into the time of each day. Knitting and reading and coffee and cooking. Now I hear about paper and pictures and a job you want to excel at.

    I’m not arguing. Just asking a question.

    I think it’s really common for all of us to push against time. Myself included. And as I read this from you I thought about time as simply that 4th dimension. I’ve never complained that I don’t have enough of any of the other 3 dimensions: enough width or depth or height in my life. (well maybe height 🙂 ) I saw time as this simple container. It holds me and defines me. It provides definition to me life.

    I was only able to see this in my life by looking at it in your life. So that is a gift you’ve given me by being sure of something… that I’m not sure about.

    You’re a gem with this writing stuff.

  14. Lady Mama says:

    Like you I feel like I’m on this journey, constantly (as I’m sure many of us are). As I get older I feel like I understand more and more about myself. And then I wonder if maybe I should give up trying to figure myself out!

    And, FYI, I agree with Jane above, I think you’re a good writer. Stick with it – who knows where it’ll take you.

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