The subway is a great place for thinking too much. On my way home yesterday, I was nose deep in attempting to open another app without any subterranean service (why do I attempt this every single time?) when I heard the voice of a panhandler. This in and of itself wasn't unique, but his voice stopped me in my tracks. He was incredibly compelling. This man wasn't saying anything out of the ordinary - he was broke, lost his job, lost his apartment, needed money or food - but his voice. It captivated me. It struck me. It snatched me out of my rabbit hole of technology and into the present moment with ferocity. I dug around and found some coins and dropped them in his plastic bag, meeting his eyes with mine, somewhat pleased, mainly embarrassed. And back I went to hide in my phone.
It got me thinking about intuition. I understand that more than half the people on the subway could be conning me. I understand that even if they do need the money, maybe they'll spend it on booze instead of food. I understand that I can't know for sure. But in that moment that I decided to give, I followed an instinct. Something intangible that was nestled beneath the shield of my headphones and sunglasses (why am I wearing them underground again?). This instinctual act is aggressive, almost violent. Ripping me out of my usual complacency and making me confront myself.
I could technically explain why his voice was so unique. I could tell you about its timbre and tone and inflection and vibrato. But I can't pinpoint why my instincts reared up. And in that moment of confronting myself, confronting my gut reaction, despite all the lies I knew he could be telling, I wrestled my intuition from my unconsciousness and could understand my own power for just a moment.
Because if we allow ourselves, on the regular, to practice being transformed by our own instincts and shoved along by our own guts, we can make things happen. We can make bolder decisions. Loftier declarations. Crazier manifestos.
And when we get all bold, lofty and a little bit nuts by confronting ourselves, by tapping into what's authentically our own, life starts to move.
What makes you follow your intuition?