Have you had your TUG today?
No, you read that right. I asked about your TUGS, not how many HUGS you have recieved. While the latter is important, what I am asking is about how much attention you are paying to your intuitive nature. A TUG is the little emotional nudges you feel during the day, positive or negative. Most people ignore their inner guidance system as frivilous and irrational. Just because they are hard to articulate doesn’t make them unimportant in helping you acheive your goals and dreams. The fact that they are not “convenient” doesn’t make them irrelevant. On the contrary, this makes them even more relevant!
Every day, everyone of us feels a TUG to do something, say something, or go somewhere. What does this mean? It could be that you just hate your job and want to be doing something more fun. That could be important information to pay attention to. I am not suggesting you walk off the job and go skiing instead. I am suggesting that you start treating your TUG seriously. These emotional bytes of information are are communicating wisdom you need to heed if you want to be successful and happy. You do, don’t you? 🙂
Start a tug notebook. As you feel the inner push or pull, write that tug down immediately. Phrase it in a form of a question, write it as one word, or draw a quick diagram or picture. How you capture it is not important. Just make it concrete before it fades away. Go on with your current activity and let that tug percolate in your subconcious for a while. The fact that you have acknowledged it vs. buried it will generate hidden resources of energy and thought that may give you more information throughout the day.
If you have a few moments, ask yourself questions about the words or picture you initally jotted down. Sitting in meditative silence for a few moments might be all you need to gain insight. If not, use the “5 What’s” exercise to play detective. For example, if you tug is saying go skiing, ask 5 different “What” questions till you narrow down to the root of your intuitive self.
1. What is it about skiing that I enjoy?
I enjoy feeling the rush of the wind and sun on my skin.
2. What is it about the wind and sun that feels so good?
It makes me feel alive and reminds me of good times with my family.
(here you have two directions to follow which is what often occurs. Choose one path to journey down for now. If you don’t get where you wanted to go, go back and journey down the other path. They may or may not end up at the same place).
3. What is it about my family that I need?
I haven’t talked to them in a month and miss them.
4. What do I need to do to connect with my family?
I need to take some time to visit them.
5. What do I need to do to visit my family?
I need to change some plans for this weekend to go up and see them (and maybe do a little skiing while I am at it!).
How you ask your “What” questions can lead you down very different paths. Reask them a different way or ask about different bits and pieces of your statements till you develop a full picture of what your tug is trying to communicate with you.
An eastern thought says that people get angry because they are not getting what they want in life or they are getting what they don’t want. Our western, rational thinking won’t help us make the emotional adjustments we need to find what really makes us happy and healthy. If you have been feeling angry, sad, or any other “negative” emotion, perhaps you haven’t had enough TUGS!
This is part of a two page spread that I did fairly radomly…meaning it took place over time as different images and collages pieces found me. I used pastels, collage materials, stickers, and a gold leafing pen. It became an examination of my vocational identity as a therapist among so many other therapist in the field. The book I am using as a journal is actually an old, out dated legal/ethical manual for therapists (hence, the text on the page). Click on the picture to get a full view.
This is from my art journal. It is the second page of the spread I started with “Choosing a Therapist.” It admonishes the therapist to be careful in his or her dealings with clients. Be confidential, set boundaries, practice legally and ethically. As a therapist, we are almost paranoid and yet in a form of denial about the risks of doing therapy and maintaining an ethical practice. As a clinical supervisor these issues magnify even more…
Click on the picture for a larger view.
Call Erik Weihenmayer, as he does, an “unrealistic optimist.” Weihenmayer, 35, was the first blind climber to scale Mt. Everest–an adventure he described in Touch the Top of the World (Penguin Putnam, 2001). He still climbs 50 days a year. But he also plans climbs for blind Tibetan children and talks to corporate crowds about seeing the world in different ways. Fast Company spoke with Weihenmayer about blue ice, alchemy, and the view from the top.
“What wasn’t that you were saying you couldn’t do again?” 🙂
“Keep your own death before your eyes each day.”
– Saint Benedict
What happens when you are intimately aware of the shortness of life? Not to be morbid or depressed, but how does understanding your death heighten your sense of living? Protecting ourselves from pain and loss only cuts us off from the very things we crave to hold so close. Wearing a bullet proof vest locks our heart from the knowledge of love and joy. Take off the vest today. Make a conscious choice to know the quick breath of your life and suck in the beauty blowing around you. Holding your breath just makes you blue…
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