Today’s New York Times magazine included an interesting article on an extreme danger sport – base jumping. People wear special flight suits as they leap off a cliff, experiencing flight sensations for several minutes. You can read the article here. Be warned: it’s not the cheeriest article in the world.
One small part of the article caught my attention.
Dave McDonnell, now retired from the sport, talked about how he tuned in to his intuition to differentiate real danger from fear.
“If you’re all tuned in, there’s a ‘Yes….’ On the mediocre days, there are two other voices. One’s ‘Fear.’ Your body is screaming out at you, ‘Don’t do this,’ because it’s dangerous, unnatural. You’re there to conquer your fear.
“But there’s another voice that hangs around every now and again, and that’s called ‘No.’ Something’s not right. .. It’s just, ‘Walk away, don’t go jumping today.’ The difficulty is trying to discern between ‘Fear’ and ‘No,’ because they’re both telling you the same thing. ‘No’ is your sixth sense that’s trying to save your life.”
This brief excerpt is one of the best examples of intuition I’ve seen anywhere. It applies to many situations, especially life changes involving career and relocation.
When I moved to Philadelphia just over two years ago, I often felt quite fearful during the planning stage. So much could go wrong. I needed to rent out my Seattle place, find a home in Philadelphia, find someone to board the dog, get the cats to Philadelphia, and a lot more. It was pretty hair-raising at times, but everything worked out.
The dog was a little spoiled by her temporary owner. One of the cats hid in a closet for three days. The place I rented in Philly was not comfortable. Now I’m living in my own beautiful condo in a fun part of town. The dog got back to her slim, trim self and made friends all over the neighborhood. One cat crossed the bridge last summer (due to illness unrelated to the move – she was old!), and our newly adopted kitty has taken over the household in her place.
People who live in the edge, sometimes literally, need to learn this language to survive. The rest of us need to pay better attention if we want to avoid boredom and enjoy adventure, while avoiding some pretty heavy negative outcomes.
In my ebook, Intuition for Careers and Relocation, I talk about getting in touch with the language of your intuition. I’ve found that it’s hardest to hear the “no” and recognize it’s not fear. It’s really a “no.” For some people, the signals are very strong; my own “no” speaks more softly.