There are many times you have to choose between two possible options or solutions to a problem. Listening to your intuition will help you make a clear-cut choice...
Anatomy of an Intuitive Decision
Which Vet for Barkley?
In May of 2003, we had to choose between two veterinarians to do a complicated surgery for Barkley, our white furry Samoyed dog, who was twelve-years old at the time. Our sweet dog had a tennis-ball-sized cancerous growth on his left shoulder that needed to be removed. This would be an extensive surgery; due to the size of the growth they would have to remove some of his shoulder muscle as well. Since he was an older dog and vulnerable to possible complications in surgery, we wanted the best care possible.
We had two possibilities to consider: Either use our usual veterinarian in upcountry rural Maui, or go with the high-tech vet who was based in Kahului, the island's industrial center.
The vet in Kahului came highly recommended as the best veterinary surgeon on Maui. Plus, he was licensed to do acupuncture on animals. And he had the best life support equipment for the surgeries he performed. Not surprisingly, he was also the most expensive, almost twice as much as our regular vet, for the same surgical procedure.
We didn't know him at all, so we took Barkley for his first visit to this vet to get an estimate on the surgery and more generally to see how the two got along. The Kahului vet's assessment of Barkley was very precise. He was good and efficient in his examination, but we felt Barkley was handled like just one more dog out of dozens handled that day. A personal connection was distinctly lacking.
Still, when dealing with a serious surgical procedure, is that warm connection the most important thing?
The thought we kept in the forefront of our mind was really: What does Barkley want and where would he prefer to go?
A Dream and a Baseball Field
Months earlier, I had a dream that haunted me for a while - I had dreamt Barkley was dead. He was gone and I knew it. In the dream, I was talking with the staff of a high-tech animal hospital. They were all in a car and wouldn't step out to talk with me - an aloof group. From the parking lot outside the animal hospital in the dream, I could clearly see a nearby baseball field surrounded by the traditional baseball fence.
After a while I forgot the dream and even the talk of Barkley's surgery didn't jog my memory. After our appointment at the Kahului animal hospital, I had the instinct to take Barkley for a walk around the building in the parking lot. On the other side of the animal hospital, I was startled to find a small baseball park surrounded by a fence. The dream flooded back to me.
I immediately told my husband, “We can't take Barkley here - he'll die because he won't feel on familiar ground and because they don't know him. Barkley will feel disconnected, unnoticed, alone, and more vulnerable to the shock of a surgery.” At Barkley's usual vet office, they not only knew him, they were fond of him. Anyone will recognize that loving feeling, especially an animal. They are natural love detectors.
When a prominent dream symbol also shows up in our daily life, a guiding hand is trying to reach us. When dreams are so lucid that the symbol reappears in our daily life, an important message awaits us. I've also found these symbols to be right on time. The image of the baseball field had settled into my memory only to be recharged at the appropriate moment to serve as a cautionary guide, and in fact, may have prevented a premature death for Barkley.
So, what happened with Barkley? His regular vet did the surgery. He not only survived the surgery, but healed very quickly - and he's quite healthy and very much alive two years later, an active, elder pooch now fourteen-years old.
What I Learned From Barkley
When we are going through a major transition -- a surgery, a move, a divorce -- sometimes we need a familiar place to go to, a place where people know us by name, where we have a sense of home. We need that personal touch to get us through the mire: the doctor who knows our name as well as our children's names, the bus driver who throws in an extra quarter when we're running short on change, and the friend who remembers to send us flowers on our birthday. Kindness and warm familiarity is real and long-lasting medicine.
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Thought for the day
“Let's say that in any quest for magic
in any search for sorcery,
first check the human heart
for inside this deep place
is a wizardry that costs far more
than a few pieces of gold
tonight's case in point in the Twilight Zone.”
-- Rod Serling
from the Twilight Zone (“Dust” Episode 48)
Signs and Symbols -- The Intelligence Behind Moving Objects
Sometimes objects move suddenly for no apparent reason: a branch from a tree crackles and breaks in mild weather conditions, a plate slides across the restaurant dining room table, or a painting falls off the wall. What are these moving objects trying to tell us if anything at all?
Broken Tree Branch
One autumn afternoon a large tree branch went CRASH in our backyard. The weather was temperate, so the wind didn't precipitate the fall. This large tree branch landed near my husband's home office. I commented that when a branch breaks unexpectedly, a death or some type of ending could occur. A couple weeks later, we found out that someone my husband works with closely lost his father suddenly in a car accident. The tree falling so close to my husband's office was indicating that the death could relate to someone at his work. The branch - a particular family member - fell from the tree, which represents “the family tree or family unit.”
Cups and Emotion
I can't count how many times I've accidentally broken a cup or spilled its contents, or I've observed someone else doing this only to discover that some simmering mood was about to bubble over. Emotions are up when a cup breaks and spills. In the Tarot, the suit of cups represents emotions and feelings, not just romantic feelings, but the whole range of emotions we experience from grief to anger to blissfulness.
When this happens, expect some kind of emotional outburst: an argument flares up, a disagreement begins, tears flow, or frustration mounts. Cups are our emotional containers - carrying our pool of feelings -- and when our emotions get stirred up, we are prone to breaking a cup or two or tipping it over.
We can choose to let our emotions throw us off balance or use it as an opportunity to check in. When we start to feel emotions rising, the temptation may be to run away from those feelings that are churning inside. Something is churning for a purpose. There is wisdom in the churning - a mystery of the self is unfolding.
Now when I bust a teacup or it overflows, I pay attention - I know to tune in to what I'm feeling more closely. When I don't stay with the emotion - when I don't listen to it or feel it - then I tend to criticize or bemoan myself. I'm also more likely to have the emotion burst out unexpectedly when I don't check in, leading to arguments with my husband, losing my temper when driving, you know all the possibilities. But when I go inward, I connect with insight, I find a wellspring of wisdom.
Plates On The Move
There have been a few times when plates have moved across the table while I've been eating at a Vietnamese restaurant in Boulder. Granted the tables are covered in glass, and when condensation collects underneath your dinner plate, they tend to slide across the table. Both my husband's plate and mine moved across the table by at least six inches. There's a physical explanation, the “how,” but what I find interesting is the “why” - what does it actually mean when you see that plate quietly scooting across the table?
At around this time, I was beginning to launch some local classes on the intuition. My husband was also working diligently on a website project. Sometimes it helps to go straight to the metaphor or pun with what's happening. What is “on your plate” at the time? Are you working on a project, a new job, a situation? In our case, we were both working on projects. Since they were “on the move,” the simple message is: Progress is being made. You are on the right track.
Despite the physical explanation of how plates move like that, on a different level spirits will sometimes move objects to communicate with you. Moving a plate can indicate support from the subtler dimensions, especially since both of our projects had a spiritual intent and focus.
Since this has happened several times at that restaurant, I can't help but wonder how many “other” guests are lingering at this restaurant or what the spiritual beliefs are of the owner and staff. Spirits may casually reside there. Is it water vapor or vaporous guests or both?
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