Shhh…What’s that quiet voice whispering to me??

Oh! That’s my intuition!

Clouds Hope IntuitionWhether we describe it as a passing thought, a hunch, nudge, a gut feeling, a sensation or a sixth sense, my guess is we have all at one time or another heard a little whisper – a “secret voice” – telling us that something was right…or it was wrong. Maybe we listened. Maybe we didn’t.

A really simple example comes immediately to mind.  Were you ever about to say something when a little voice inside your head told you not to say it? That has happened to me many times over my lifetime!  Sometimes I listened to that little voice. When I didn’t, I usually regretted it.

In any event, what I’m describing is our intuition, our “inner wisdom” that can give us a sense of direction. Oxforddictionaries.com defines intuition as “the ability to understand something immediately, without the need for conscious reasoning.”  I do like that definition!

In a HuffPost article entitled 10 Things Highly Intuitive People Do Differently, Sophy Burnham, author of The Art of Intuition, defines intuition as “the subtle knowing without ever having any idea why you know it.” I like that definition even better. Sounds like an “Aha!” moment to me!

Perhaps you’ve read or heard this wonderful poem entitled The Voice by children’s author Shel Silverstein.

There is a voice inside of you
That whispers all day long,
“I feel this is right for me,
I know that this is wrong.”
No teacher, preacher, parent, friend
Or wise man can decide
What’s right for you – just listen to
The voice that speaks inside.

I think Mr. Silverstein is encouraging us to listen to our intuition and let it help us make choices that are right for us…not right for someone else.

Let’s take up that challenge! We’ll start with an open mind, listen with our heart, pay close attention to our “secret voice,” and then trust ourselves to make good choices.

Are ya with me??

A Rose by Any Other Name…

Am I “revered”…or just plain “old”?

Pink Rose 2 with outlineIn Romeo and Juliet, William Shakespeare penned that, “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” We could debate the context of that proclamation, or we can just use it as the starting point for a conversation about how we are perceived as we age.

I’m seventy years old.  Am I officially elderly? Did I cross that threshold years ago and just didn’t know it yet? Or…am I a distinguished person whose life and experiences are valued? That depends in large part on your perspective.

In the American culture youth is valued. Actually that’s really quite an understatement! As we baby boomers age, the market for face creams, cosmetic surgery and other harbingers of the illusive fountain of youth continues to grow.  Someone near and dear to me has laughingly professed that each night she washes a hundred dollars’ worth of makeup off her face!

A message that implicitly runs loud and clear in the American culture is that we lose our value as we age. We might be thought of as a fossil, an old goat, over the hill, or even decrepit. (Yikes!) The list goes on and on.

But wait! Some cultures actually do value aging! In an article in the Huffington Post aptly entitled 7 Cultures that Celebrate Aging and Respect Their Eldersauthor Taylor French shares that…

•  Koreans are socialized to respect and show deference to older individuals.
•  In ancient Rome, elders were a precious resource.
•  In India, elders are the head of the family.
•  In the Native American culture…elders are respected for their wisdom and life experiences.
•  In Greek…culture, old age is honored and celebrated, and respect for elders is central to the family.

I feel a little better now!  Words to describe “the elderly” in some cultures might include revered, respected, honored, distinguished, esteemed or…my personal favorite…celebrated! Regardless of how “the world” views us or chooses to describe us, we must always be “crystal-clear” about our own true value.

As Eartha Kitt once said, “Aging has a wonderful beauty and we should have respect for that.”

Hear, hear!!