Intuition, an internal knowingness – a woman in touch with herself knows. But in this culture with so much artificiality, absence of real contact with nature and lack of building of sisterhood, we lose connection with our inner compass.

One thing I learned early on is that the voice of intuition rarely shouts, unless perhaps your life is on the line. It’s a clear but soft voice. However, I am finding that it’s indeed true, that the more we listen to that voice; it becomes easier to hear it, to recognize and acknowledge it and follow its guidance.

I’ll never forget the poignant lessons I learned when I traveled to Bali for my 50th birthday. I often wear silver because it’s a cooling metal, whereas gold has a hot/warming energy. My temperament is naturally hot so, I tend to wear silver to cool that out.  Despite that fact,  I had these amazingly beautiful 22 carat gold bracelets that I had had for many years. I started buying them when I was in my 20s. Five of them I had for about 25 years. I purchased them from a client who lived in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Each time she’d travel home and would have her hair done by me, I’d buy one. This was in the 80s. The other three bracelets were of a heavier weight, more expensive and a gift from three of my staff (Khady, Nene and Sesh) for my 46th birthday. In other words, these bracelets held a very sentimental value for me.

Beautifully crafted traditional Indian gold jewellery for women. The ornaments are known as bangles worn to hands and made up of 22 carat gold.

I rarely wore my bracelets anymore, but for some odd reason I started wearing them daily about a week before my trip to Bali. The night before I was to leave a tiny voice said to me, “leave your bracelets home, don’t take them to Bali.” I responded, in my head by saying, it would be fine to take them; I won’t lose them, because I won’t take them off, and off to Bali I went with my eight gold bracelets. A few days after we arrived in Bali, my sister MK and I decided we were finally ready to explore a yoga class. I took the bracelets off to change my clothes. I inadvertently covered them with my clothes and left them in my room as I headed off to yoga.

It wasn’t until the next day when I was looking to put them on, I could not find them anywhere. It was unbelievable to me. We were staying at this really lovely villa; everyone was so nice and friendly. I had dreamed of this trip to Bali for many years before it had occurred and I had always thought I would have an amazing spiritual experience there and oh boy did I, via these bracelets. Spiritual experiences aren’t always pleasant and that is something I hadn’t banked on when I anticipated my spiritual Bali experience.

The first lesson was that of intuition. I had heard a very clear voice say to leave my bracelets home. But I did not listen, I reasoned why I could do otherwise. The second lesson was that of acceptance.  And last but certainly not least, was the lesson of  letting go. I was so angry, I was furious with self-righteous indignation. How dare someone take something of mine that I so highly valued? And how could this happen in Bali of all places, this spiritual paradise? Goodness gracious, my ignorance was on full display. And I guess what hurt most was the fact that I knew I couldn’t easily replace those bracelets (and I have yet to do so). The price of gold had skyrocketed from the time my bracelets were purchased. And even if I could replace them, it wouldn’t be the same.  At this point I no longer have the desire to replace them, though Nene (in her sweetess) did give me a gift of some faux gold bangles, and I appreciate them just as well.

I know that gold bracelets are no comparison to bigger losses than can occur in one’s life. But another well-kept spiritual insight confirms that the tools used for small occurrences in life are the very same tools used for larger life matters. You may have to keep at the work (spiritual exercises) longer or with more intent to overcome the situation, to find peace, but the tools are the same regardless of the size of your upset.

The lesson of letting go and acceptance were as huge as the one on intuition. I had a choice and as my sister Linda in her wisdom always says, “However you feel, it’s a choice.”  I had to choose between ruining my vacation, which I had another 9 more days or more to go, by maintaining my anger, sorrow and loss, or I could be in acceptance of what had happened. By being in acceptance, I would surrender my attachment to the bracelets and let go, let go of the anger and attachment.

In yoga, Child’s Pose is a pose of surrender of letting go.  Head to the ground, it is very relaxing offering a sense of peace.

Can I tell you how I cried? I cried like a baby. I was even angry at the idea of letting go. I didn’t want to let go! I wanted to hold on, to being miserable and make everybody else miserable over my loss. But what kind of vacation would that have been for my sister who was there with me? I had to let go! Oh yeah, I did have my spiritual experience in Bali alright, but again, it was nothing like what I imagined. I imagined some nirvana of blissful peace and happiness. Peace did come gradually as I let go. In the end, that famous quote by the Buddha rang so true, “Pain is inevitable, suffering is a choice.”  I decided to surrender to what was.  Because no matter how often or how loudly we say no, the Universe always says yes, to what is.  Yes leads to accepting the truth of what is, which leads to peace.

All of this anguish could have been easily avoided had I been in touch with my inner compass and in-tuned to and had mastered the fine art of listening to that small but clear voice. I believe that lesson of intuition has helped me avoid further or bigger sufferings, because now I tend to listen to that voice. Listening doesn’t always insure avoidance of upset, but it allows me to see what is coming before it occurs and I am better prepared to handle what shows up.

So my sisters and brothers, I encourage you to continue to listen to that small voice, so that it becomes so clear, that you will not question or doubt its soft voice. It is your compass, your guide, your friend and your protector.