Editors note: this post was originally featured in 2014, New posts on The C2C return May 15, 2017.
Last week, I visited Joshua Tree National Park. It was a truly moving experience. Who would’ve thought that a desert in the middle of nowhere could be so beautiful?
Visiting the park was like going back in time, to the wild wild west. While there, I could easily imagine how the landscape in Southern California looked like when the only people inhabiting the area were bleary-eyed Native Americans and rugged cowboys:
Khaki-colored rock formations stand solitary atop flat lands dotted by several hundred Joshua trees. (The trees are so perfectly equidistant from each other you would have thought some overworked gardener had arranged them that way after several centuries of hard labor.)
There’s a palpable silence there that leads one to display a quiet reverence.
If you venture off to a section of the park called “Keys View” you will reach a higher elevation where you can sit a top the San Bernardino Mountains and catch a glimpse of the Indio Hills and the Coachella Valley. Right smack in the middle of this expanse is the San Andreas fault, which is hardly noticeable, and humbly masks its catastrophic ability to shake the very ground you stand on.
Keys View in Joshua Tree National Park is a breathtaking view of a gorgeous landscape that is as old as time… There’s just one problem: a thick mist thwarts a potentially crisper view of the landscape. A nearby sign explains that this thick “mist” is actually no mist at all: but a smog. The strong winds blow a poisonous smog from the nearby cities, into this beautiful valley. The smog gathers there, in the valley, like a herd of sheep; however, these sheep are made up of gaseous chemicals with toxic mouths that gnaw on the skin of the earth.
When I realized that this mist was not natural, but a toxic man-made creation, I grew sad and angry.
Why would we create such an unhealthy barrier between ourselves and nature? What is wrong with us as species that we would damage our own ability to experience the full spectrum of life?
As I witnessed this gorgeous view, encumbered by a toxic haze, I understood that something is deeply wrong with us. We have lost our way: we have become detached from the very things that would save us. If you listen carefully, you will know that this is so. Something is off. Something is not right.
And I am quite certain that it all began when we started intentionally repressing our profound connection with nature.
Understanding Spiritual Signals
There are several things about ourselves we are never taught how to manage:
- We are never taught how to manage our thoughts. (Read: A Beginning Meditation Guide For Writers.)
- We are never taught how to manage our emotions. (Read: A Beginning Therapy Guide For Writers.)
The third thing we’re never taught how to manage is the wide spectrum of “spiritual signals” that we are often subject to on a daily basis.
Spiritual signals, or intuitive feelings, are continually ignored or repressed by the modern-day person. This wasn’t always the case: we used to be a lot more open and inviting to spiritual guidance. Today, however, we are taught to only be reasonable, logical, and scientific in our approach to life; so, even if we have continually experienced meaningful coincidences, we will categorically refuse to see those events as having any other meaning other than being just a matter of “coincidence.”
In order to be seen as “smart” and “sane” we must doubt everything.
Now, I believe that a healthy skepticism is good for us: not everything should be taken at face value. However, I also believe that over-skepticism can be bad for us. Our very nature is spiritually sensitive and intuitive. Therefore, by doubting, ignoring, or repressing our intuition we are doubting, ignoring, and repressing our true nature.
This is bad. Very bad.
Any time we repress our true nature, we get into trouble. We suffer, we get confused, we get lost, we hurt ourselves and others. We get angry and bitter and resentful. We lash out, we act strangely, and we may even take up an addiction or two.
It should be no surprise then that so many of us feel stuck: we simply do not want to deal with all the spiritual signals we are constantly receiving. I dare you to sit for 15 minutes straight without life sending you a meaningful signal addressing your current struggle. Life is speaking to you all the time, it’s just that, most of the time, you refuse to listen.
What is Intuition?
Intuition is having complete faith in something that has yet to manifest. We often get hurt when we share what our intuition tells us. Even the kindest of people will often feel the need to toss us their skepticism when we tell them we have a “feeling” about something. But when we know something is true, without external and physical evidence to back it up, we must trust that knowing. We are far more talented at this thing called life than we think. We far more assisted than we’d like to admit.
When others fear what your intuition tells you, it’s just that: fear. They are afraid of their own power, and of your power, and of the power we all have.
If we weren’t so afraid, maybe we would trust our knowing more often, and maybe life wouldn’t be so difficult, because we would be experts at knowing that something is true, despite all physical evidence to the contrary.
Creativity and Intuition
Sometimes, when a writer is struggling to create, it’s because they’re ignoring, doubting, or repressing their intuition. It is not that they “don’t know” what to write, it’s the exact opposite: the knowing of what to write is so strong and so powerful that it frightens them.
Absolute certainty is scary. (Doubt and ambiguity isn’t so fun either, but at least it’s familiar.)
If you don’t know your next step, it’s likely that you’re simply repressing a spiritual signal that has been trying to penetrate you lately.
Spiritual signals are the most noisy, most persistent little things. They will find their way to you in any possible form: through a person, an experience, a dream, a book, a song, a news article, a trip to a national park—anything and everything is a vessel for spirit to speak with you and deliver its clear, often miraculous message. (This very post may be another way in which spirit is trying to communicate with you. Don’t push it away, be open to it, and you will cease your suffering.)
No, we are not as “confused” and as “lost” as we pretend to be. Often we know exactly where life is trying to lead us—we’re just way too terrified to listen.
No, we’d rather create a kind of toxic smog that blurs the line between ourselves and the beautiful, natural landscape of our lives–a smog that serves as a kind of poisonous screen between ourselves and what our intuition is trying to tell us. This self-created “haze” keeps us in a familiar and comfortable place a little while longer, delaying our inevitable flight.
But this just won’t do, and we know it.
I’ve come to learn that ignoring our intuition is a form of self-abuse. It is profoundly destructive to our lives and especially to our creativity. Ignoring, repressing, and continually being skeptical about our deep intuition—and not acting on this intuition—is a form of violence against ourselves.
If you have any doubt of that, then just go visit Joshua Tree National Park. Look out over Keys View. Notice how, even in the most “well-preserved” of places on this earth, we have succeeded in disconnecting ourselves from our perfect nature.