As I sit here wondering which topic to choose for my first blog, my gut takes over and tells me: The Power of Intuition. 

For many years, I neglected to listen to my intuition or ‘inner voice’. For me, intuition is that which comes to me when I need to know. It doesn’t take great thought. It’s just there, and it feels right.

It seems to me that as children, we’re able to make decisions so spontaneously. If we see a tree and want to climb it, we don’t stand there and analyse the situation. Might it be risky? Will climbing it make us late for tea? Will we look foolish if we can’t reach the upper branches? We usually just go for it. I’m not suggesting that we shouldn’t be sensible in the face of real danger or risk. We do need to counsel our children to be cautious in certain situations. I’m just aware that over the years we can stop trusting our gut and instead overanalyse everything. This can prevent us moving forward. We can become stuck, as I was for many years.

During my twenties, I was still able to live by my intuition. I stopped, listened to it and made decisions swiftly. Once I married and had my first daughter, I found it harder to listen. I believe that the demands that came from many directions clouded my intuition. I had my daughter, my husband and job to consider. I was influenced by others, by their views and expectations of me. As my life became busier with two more children to care for and our own business to run, intuition went out the door. I was very reactive and not quite so proactive.

Life changed dramatically 11 years ago. My younger sister, Angie, my soul sister, passed away suddenly at the age of 40. It was devastating for me and my family. My mind couldn’t comprehend how such a beautiful, kind and loving mother could be taken from her three children. The grief was immense and can still bring all of us to tears when we recall family times. 

The day it happened, I was at my friend Suzy’s house. We had just been speaking of Angie and my brother, Robbie. The phone rang and my whole world fell apart. Angie had collapsed, but the St John paramedics had got her heart going again. We jumped in the car to drive to the hospital where they were taking her. The traffic was very heavy as the Auckland Marathon was on. I remember having this overwhelming feeling that she was no longer here. I told my husband to slow down as I knew she had passed. Later on, I understood that this was my intuition speaking and also, I believe, the connection Angie and I had with each other. During those next weeks, I listened to my intuition and made decisions quickly regarding her funeral and moving forward with her children.

I think this was the start of a shift in my thinking. I started asking myself what I really wanted. I had the opportunity to open a café in my community. My husband was not supportive. I felt it was the right decision and went ahead. In a way, it helped to heal the enormous grief in my heart. The community was amazing and it became the hub - a place that would also provide work for many of my friends’ daughters and sons. Each day when I arrived, it fed my soul.

Towards the end of that year, I felt all was not well in my home. There was a negative person trying to halt my journey. I listened once again to my intuition. I realised my marriage was over. It was becoming destructive around my children. I made the decision to sell the café and look after my family. Losing my sister had taught me I had to take more time to be there for my children.

My cancer story and the part that intuition has played in my healing are the subjects of another blog. Intuition has helped me make many difficult decisions in recent years including how to manage my cancer treatment and whether I should leave the perceived security of working as an employee to set up my own business again. My intuition has not failed me.

Dr Kelly Turner, who has been a guiding light on my cancer journey and personal development, speaks of the science and value of intuition in decision-making. She found that the Radical Remission cancer survivors she studied learnt how to use intuition to help make decisions related to their healing process. She says, “Our intuition often knows what’s best for us even when our thinking minds do not yet understand what’s going on”. This perfectly sums up my experience of the way intuition has worked in my life.