“Stories are like genies…They can carry us into and though our sorrows. Sometimes they burn, sometimes they dance, sometimes they weep, sometimes they sing. Like genies, everyone has one. Like genies, sometimes we forget that we do. Our stories can set … Continue reading
“It doesn’t matter what people tell you. It doesn’t matter what they might say. Sometimes you have to leave home. Sometimes, running away means you’re headed in the exact right direction.” ― Alice Hoffman, Practical Magic We live in a … Continue reading
My beautiful, fascinating wonderful people… Out there spiraling through the Universe. I hear you. I see you. And I totally feel you. You’re feeling dark. Maybe life is a little sucky? I want to address a few things that I … Continue reading
Check out the review of, The Art of Intuition!
Shaheen: We are receiving conflicting messages. We are being told to be independent, self-reliant, and separated. Yet we want comfort from all the things happening in the world. Some people think they are being brave by disconnecting, but really they are cutting off source. But people are beginning to ask questions. They are wanting more. Spirituality is rising.
Sophy: I want to say one more thing about the fear, Shaheen. I think that fear is a part of the human condition, anxiety is a part of us and the way to conquer it, if I can use that term, is to not resist it, but to go very deeply into it. What does it feel like in my body? Go physically into the fear. And try to feel it more and more deeply. And the more you do that, the more it disappears.
That’s another aspect of how we are not taught to trust the language of our hearts. Here comes fear, it is a gift that is being given to us. What is it about? Can I look at this gift, or do I want to run away? Or do I want to get out my Glock pistol and shoot the fear dead. But if we can just face it, it vanishes. And it will tell us something very important if we allow it to. And that’s a little piece of what intuition does. Intuition tells us things that are really important.
Shaheen: So where do you feel like that comes from? How do you know what is a creative hit, what is imagination, what is intuition? Are they the same thing? Are they different things?
Sophy: Well, first let’s make some definitions. Creativity is the basic nature of the healthy person. And there are many, many forms of creativity. You could be building a garden or playing the piano or drawing a picture or writing a book or doing a flower arrangement or raising your children or cooking a wonderful meal. All of those things are aspects of creativity. And they come out of the central life force. And when we’re healthy, you cannot help but be creative. Now when you’re recovering from surgery, when you’re in chronic pain, number ten pain, you cannot be creative, because you don’t have the resources. And this is why I add this caveat of health. But even there someone like Proust, who was very, very ill most of his life, was intensively creative.
So now going to the other two things, imagination and intuition. I think they’re slightly different, and I’d be interested in what you think. I can go into daydreams and in my imagination I can have the most wonderful life. I can make things happen. I can have lovers adore me who actually in real life don’t. And I can have tons of money and spend it the way I want in my imagination. But it’s not the same as having an intuitive gut feeling, a hunch, the hair rising on my arm with information that is coming to me not through the senses necessarily, but through some mysterious heart. I keep going back to the idea that we know this with our spiritual eye or we know it with our emotional eye. We don’t know it with our logical and analytical mind. And so you see someone enter the door and you think, boy, I don’t want anything to do with him. This is not your imagination. This is information that has come to you.
And creativity uses both intuition and imagination. They’re wonderful gifts and all three of these qualities that you name, all three are enhanced and increased by meditation, by just sitting quietly and breathing. And allow a thought to rise up in your mind and fall away. If we first, before meditating, send out a request, ask for the solution to a problem, we will get it in the meditation. Just as if you ask for the solution, go to sleep on a problem, you say, and in the morning you’ll know the solution, because the subconscious mind knows everything. And it will present it to us. And many, many of the things that I write I find the solutions in…to the creative process, if I’m blocked, I find it more in meditation than by sleeping on it. Give it to the subconscious mind. Turn it over and walk away and let the divine center of my being bring it up out of the deep depths of this ocean of information. And it will present itself to me.
Shaheen: I’m fascinated by the concept of creativity being something that you do as a healthy human. It seems like intuition and imagination are the channels that bring creativity to life.
Sophy: I am so struck by the quotations in my chapter on creativity in The Art of Institution that I’m sure of even what page they’re on, but Mozart being quoted and Tchaikovsky and yes, it’s on page 59 of the hardcover of the book. And Tchaikovsky and then the playwright, Neil Simon, “I dip into a state, I don’t write consciously. It’s as if the muse sits on my shoulder.” And we all have this idea of being guided by something greater than ourselves. How did I ever write that? Or you look back at something that you wrote 20 years ago and you think, my God, I don’t even know that now, this is just amazing.
I loved what Mozart said about how, if he can’t sleep, or if he’s traveling in a carriage, his ideas start to flow abundantly. Where they come from, he has no idea and he can’t force them. “Nor do I hear in my imagination a part successively, but I hear them as it were all at once. What a delight this is I cannot tell.” I have often found that, for me, creativity is enhanced if I am rocking in a train or on an airplane and if I can give myself a pad of paper at that time I can write brilliantly, there’s something about the rocking motion that is very encouraging to the creativity. Anyway it’s something we all want. And when the muse goes away, it’s terrible. And sometimes, the muse goes away and then you’re left on your own.
Shaheen: That leads me to my next question, is there ever a time when you think that people should tap out of their creative channels or their imaginative channel or their intuition? Is there every a time when you almost should disconnect from that? And I know that there are experiences as someone who is very intuitive, who is very psychic, there are psychic experiences that people have, whether it be seeing things or picking up on too much.
Sophy: I don’t know about should. I can really only speak for myself and I find that I go through long periods sometimes of lying fallow in which nothing is engaging me. I do not want to be creative. I may at that time go and do other things. Things that I can’t do when I throw myself into writing a book and when I’m writing a book I don’t see my friends, you know, I’m completely absorbed in this creative project and not a good friend at all. And then there will come a period where I finish it and it’s like I’m woken up and I don’t want to be writing right then. I can’t just continue it that way, like Dumas, who, when he had finished writing The Three Musketeers, he drew a line midway across the page and he wrote The Count of Monte Cristo and continued writing on a new book. I can’t do that. I can’t do that. Now, he did have a whole host of researchers working for him and plotting and laying out the book so he knew what he was going to say next and he was writing on deadline and for money, and needed the money desperately for his addictive elements. So what I have discovered is in these periods when I’m lying fallow, I never know if I am lying fallow or if I will never write again. My kids…my kids tease me that I always say this, “Oh, I’m never going to write again.” “Oh, we’re heard that before, they say.” And in another few months, or in a year, there I am doing something again. But it always feels as if you never will.
You need to unplug. You need to go live. And get out of the state of readings and intuitives, of right-brained hemisphere; it’s too great…it’s too much for you. And then I start doing chess puzzles or writing or doing crossword puzzles and playing Scrabble and doing things that feed the left hemisphere, the logical, analytical part, because I’ve just gone too far along the other side.
And I think that’s helpful, I think that’s good. We’re supposed to use all of our gifts.
Shaheen: I think that’s a great point though, because some people go to one extreme or the other.
Sophy: And it’s all about balance, it’s all about balance. If you’re too intuitive, you’re going to start imagining things. And then…
Shaheen: That’s interesting. That’s a really great way to understand the difference between intuition and imagination.
Sophy: And yet, on the other hand, I’m not knocking intuition at all. Whether it comes with the external voice or whether it comes with the hair rising on your arm or your gut roiling or your heart beating faster, this is information that is being given to you. And it’s very meaningful; you have to pay attention to it. I know some people who are so unintuitive that they have to practice being intuitive. They are so smart; they are such Mensa scholar, scientific, mathematical types that they have almost no intuition. And they’re very hard to be around because they’re not sensing anything. They can come into a room and not have any idea the energy field. They’ll go out of a party and not have any idea that the host and hostess are having a quarrel at that moment and splitting up and you think, how could you not have picked up this information energetically. But they’re so closed, or narcissistic, that they can’t get it.
But it’s all balance. Because the other person who is so intuitive has trouble, the trouble with that is they can’t separate their feelings from the feelings that they’re picking up from other people. And therefore the boundaries become so merged and permeable that they don’t know what is there’s and what belongs to someone else. And they’re constantly being depressed or elated or dismayed or fearful without knowing that they’re just picking it up from people around them.
Shaheen: Yeah, that is really a good point; I think that speaks to the idea of fear.
Sophy: It really comes back to that fear doesn’t it. I was talking about how we pick the fear from the television or the newspapers or whatever. But it’s all around us and if you’re intuitive, you’re picking it up from them. And enhancing it, because if you pick it up and they are picking it up, you’ve just exponentially increased the fear level in that room by not being able to say, oh, this is their fear, well, I can counter balance it with my trust, with my calmer energy. It’s all about energy, isn’t it, Shaheen?
Shaheen: It is, it truly is about energy.
© Shaheen Miro 2013
Last year I happened upon a book that really struck a chord with me. I reached out to the author wanting to know more! Luckily she agreed! So I had the pleasure of speaking to author, Sophy Burnham about her book, The Art of Intuition. What a fascinating interview it was! Sophy is such a delightful and generous person and I believe we can all benefit from her timely information.
This is part one of the interview. I hope you enjoy her wisdom and candor. Check out the review of, The Art of Intuition!
Okay. I’m ready for you.
Perfect. So when I read your book, I thought it was such an amazing piece. I found, The Art of Intuition by accident. I was in the library and I was actually working on another writing project. One of the striking was that you approached it in a way that had a lot of scientific studies that explained and supported intuition but you weren’t trying to convince anyone that that was all that intuition is. And I thought that was so brilliant.
Actually, we don’t have any idea what it is.
Exactly. But some people want to explain it in a scientific sense and let it be purely that. And other people think of it in this very mystical, magical sort of way. I thought you took the middle ground and you gave bits and pieces to both groups. The other thing that resonated with me is the idea of intuition and creativity are connected to each other.
Oh, because they’re intimately linked, yeah.
I want to begin with, why do you feel that people have forgotten how to tap into their intuitive selves?
You mentioned this in your first question to me. Is it more a matter of remembering was the way you put it. And in my experience, it’s not always remembering because a lot of the time I get information I didn’t know about at all. So I couldn’t possibly be remembering something. It’s a totally new moment, as it were.
Now, I did have an experience the other day that was just remembering. But I had it so precisely that I think, there it is, there’s my higher teacher, my guide, giving me information. And it was very simple. I’ve had some surgery and when I came back from the hospital, I was very, very, very ill. And I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t know if vomiting was just part of what happens at this phase and I couldn’t reach anybody and I didn’t want go rushing back to the hospital. And I remembered that about nine months earlier, I had gotten in the mail a little card which gave me the name of a nurse…practicing nurse on duty 24 hours a day, seven days a week, call this number. I remembered that out of the blue when I had just sent up this little prayer, what do I do. And then, even more remarkable, I went in my office and I put my hands on it immediately. Which is not the way my filing system works. And she was fantastic. I got this woman in Ohio who listened to my symptoms and said get an ambulance and get to an emergency room immediately. And eventually that’s exactly what I did do.
Now, that was a remembering in a way, but it came with such suddenness on the part after having sent up this little heart message, help, what do I do. Maybe the intuition was merely remembering. For me, it has the sense of an angel, or my higher self, or that spark of the divine that we all have, coming to the fore and saying, get that piece of paper, call that person.
I have learned that there are symbolic things sort of looming and floating and presenting themselves to us in everyday life and we have to learn to see that string, that thread, that kind of pulls them all together.
Absolutely. And then you can enhance this ability. Meditation is the most obvious. Turn off the television, turn off the iPad, stop playing with your Smart Phone and go take a walk in the woods and you will know things that you will never get on the internet. And you’ll know how to solve your problems. But we have to be alone to do it. You have to take the dare of being in solitude at least for a little while and be comfortable with yourself.
I’m a big believer in the divine nature of human beings and I have to say, Shaheen, that after this latest Colorado massacre, it shakes me to the core. But I know that we have within us the spark of the divine. And that we have all of the God-given abilities to know everything and to be able to solve the problems if we can just trust ourselves enough to do it. Now it might take a little while to get there, and some people are better at it than others. Not everyone is a medium. Not everyone is able to give someone a reading. But I have certainly trained many people to do it, or trained is the wrong word. Opened them up to discover, one, I can do this, look at that. How did I know all of this about this total stranger? Because it’s part of our innate nature to know this information.
That’s a powerful thing to be aware of. In an interview you said people are more afraid now than they have been in the past twenty years. Do you feel this is because people are not connected to their intuition? Or for instance, this massacre, do you think people are serving a higher purpose?
You know, it’s such an interesting question. It’s a really important question. I don’t know if people are more afraid now than they ever were. I know that we are blasted with information. We are a very dysfunctional society at the moment, in part because everything is slamming us with terrifying information. If you read the newspapers, if you turn on the radio, if you turn on the television, it’s all bad news and it’s all being delivered at high scream velocity. And everything has the same quality as everything else, so they’ll say, there are more car crashes than ever before because more people are driving cars. This is a terrible thing and we have to… The next moment they’re saying, just in the same breathless way, the next horrible thing you have to be afraid of.
Everything has high-pitched terror in it and it is a deliberate function of the media to make the reader or that listener uncomfortable enough so that they want something of comfort. And they will rush to buy something or eat something or make a phone call or pay some money to this particular non-profit. Everything is about grabbing our attention and the way they do it is through fear. And then I think, you know what? People were afraid from the beginning of time. You have only to look at the Bible to realize how frightened people were in 3000 B.C. There would not be the need for the Twenty-third Psalm if people were not frightened.
So maybe we just recognize somehow when we come down into this plane of existence, on this pretty little, and very strange, planet, we’ve lost our connection to the divine and we’re aware of being alone and frightened. Maybe that’s part of the human condition unless you connect with your own inner heart, or with God, or with the divine in whatever way you reach it. This is why I say a walk in the woods is so good for you. There you are in God’s world instead of the human, man-made world. And you unhook for a few moments and you realize, you know what? Everything’s okay. And things work out for the okay. They don’t always work out the way I want, but they often work out better than I had imagined. And when I examine my life and I listen to the stories that other people are telling me, I can see in hindsight, always, how I’m being helped at every stage of the game.
In front of me everything is black. I am walking blindfolded and barefoot down a dirt road and I can only see my way by feeling the stones and dirt under my bare feet. So when I go off onto the gravel on the shoulder of the road, if I’m sensitive I move off the side way and get back into the center. If I’m not sensitive, I wander into the briars on the far shoulder and then I need a spiritual cattle prod to force me back into the road and I probably lunge too far over and throw myself into the briars on the far left-hand side, until I learn that I am being guided by silken reins and I don’t need the cattle prod anymore.
© Shaheen Miro 2013
Here I am falling curious again. I’ve been pulling at a tiny thread to my dreams… and now it’s unraveling fast. I’ve always known that my dreams would sail if I practiced patience and positive thinking (which is f-ing difficult!). Starshine is elusive; you have to carry a certain feeling in your heart to catch it.
Waiting is deafening. The anticipation entangles you. You become fixed on the feeling of wanting… instead of placing your heart on the feeling of having. If you want to live that dream, you must carry the surreal feeling with you in everyday life.
This really is a matter of fact verses fiction. Many of us have convinced ourselves that dreams are ephemeral. That’s something you hear about in fairy stories… it will never happen to me. Talk about the antithesis to getting what you want! Dreams fall on those who are willing. You can’t catch raindrops, if you wont stick your tongue out.
Try living the dream before it’s even made an appearance.
There is this painful dichotomy that exist between what we want and what we need. We tell ourselves lies that we have to live in the real world, and relegate what we love to the realm of hobbies. Bullshit! You can do whatever you want. You can have your cake and eat it too… if you dare to do so!
Why not make your art your life, isn’t that the most trustworthy way to live?
So many of us believe that you have to be good little boys and girls… give your 40 hours a week to the cubicle gods, and then have fun on the weekends. We have to do what’s right… get college educations, wear suites and ties, carry brief cases. If not, then we’ll just be a bunch of starving artists… living on moonbeams and air!
This whole mindset just makes my skin crawl. We have to banish this nonsense. You have to rage against the “norms”. Fight your negative upbringing. Burn the hell out of those “tapes” that bog you down. If you want to make a change, live your dreams, and really be happy…do it!
Wake up everyday and just know that you are/will do what you love!
Try it out. See where it takes you. The magic is there, just waiting to be called on!
© Shaheen 2013
Death is a reminder to us that everything is in constant motion; an endless dance that moves us from one phase to the next. Passing through doors you remain a part of the changeless change. As a caterpillar dies to the beauty of a butterfly, so does our soul here on earth shed it shell to fly with something a little more spectacular, brilliant and gleaming. Death is the teacher, the keeper and the lover. Death gives us the gift of living… if only we see it before our time.
I stepped into the darkened parlor, only a candle illuminated the room from the piano in the corner. A sound like a clock ticking trailed off in the distance. Each tic coincided with the beat of my heart. I moved deeper into the shadows trying to unfold the mystery that lingered, invisible in the air.
I touched the cool wood of the table and felt the soft velvet that covered the sofa. My senses were tingling with anticipation. I felt faint, almost out of breath, I felt as if I had been battered by the tenacious waves of the ocean. Something was coming over me.
I was met by a vision; something loomed heavy in the corner. I knew that there was a messenger here. He had come for me to impart his wisdom. “Show yourself!” I protested. But nothing came from the darkness.
Catching my breath, I sat on the sofa. I pulled the warm air into my lungs and let the scent of musk and roses fill me. There was something different here. Something I had never felt before. Or maybe I was never open to its mystery.
Suddenly it came to me. The figure appeared like a bead of light moving through a dark sky. It was the spirit of change. Some may call it death, others may call it life, but I simply call it change.
The figure held out its hand. I could only make out the slight structure… tall, thin, and able. I felt with every fiber of my being that it was time. Time to let go of the worn-out and the old. Time to move into the future, fearless and alive. I knew it wasn’t the end, but actually the beginning.
Loud and clear I heard from within the body of light, “Dance! The secret of life is to dance!”… and then the light receded back into shadows like the dying embers of a fire. Darkness absorbed all traces of light until only I was left, with this vision and this message to carry on in my head.
I closed my eyes. Startled. Moved. Changed. I knew that everything would be okay.
I keep fiddling with a new deck of linen finish playing cards that I bought the other day. I have a fascination with cards in general and I’ve been wanting to buy a deck of regular playing card for a bit now. I like the idea of holding something in your hands that to most people seems so plain and ordinary, but actually has many, many secrets to tell.
This seminally ordinary deck of cards has kept me entertained for the past few days.I just sit here at the table shuffling, flipping, observing and shuffling again. In doing this simple ritual I have had a few “jumping” cards… and over and over again I seem to get the Ace of Diamonds. A wonderful card to get I might add.
The ace of diamonds is a card of new beginnings and new projects. Its a card that tell us we are on the path to success, prosperity and security. This card is often a sign from the universe that the things you have worked so hard to dream up, believe in and manifest are now coming true. Diamonds are beautiful stones created from heat, stress, pressure and time… often the very things we put into our goals. The ace of diamonds is the herald of good energy and new opportunity.
I love that this card keeps appearing in my life because its totally relevant. I am in the process of planning a trip to London for work… looking for housing and saving to pay for it. I am immersing myself in designing. And I have been seeing so many things growing and expanding with my readings and writing. Its powerful right now… the alignment of intention and manifestation.
I continually practice gratitude and faith in Spirit knowing that each thing shall fall into place and that I am deserving of the absolute best! I think that’s the Ace of Diamonds reminder to us, “The best is yours for the taking… just open the door and invite it in.”
© Shaheen Miro 4/17/2011