Paying Attention

When I was looking for my first house I ‘knew’ which house it was from the time I saw it. It was a small cottage looking over the lake and it was ‘perfect’. I was in the village to look at a house with an agent. He mentioned another place that wasn’t listed on the market but whose owner was looking to sell ‘if the price was right’. I ‘knew’ that this was the house when he drove into the driveway. There’s a spot just below the sternum where I ‘felt’ it, and I ‘knew’. Two months later I was sitting on the deck of that house looking out over Lake Erie, a view that I would relish for the next nine years.

I got the same feeling one morning about seven years ago when I woke up one morning and I ‘knew’ that something had to give. My world was crumbling before me. I was losing the battle. I could feel it in that same place, just below the sternum. My guts were telling me that the show was over. I needed to make changes or I would be heading down a path I ‘knew’ I did not wish to tread.

I have no idea if everyone has that place in their body where they ‘know’.  It’s hard to describe. It’s almost as if knowledge becomes a physical sensation in the body. I’ve had this sensation various times in my life and I know now that it is one of the ways my Higher Power speaks to me. I suppose it had to be this way for me to pay attention. I wasn’t the most intuitive and sensing person.

Learning to listen, to follow one’s intuition is not easy, especially at first. When I began my journey in recovery, my thinking wasn’t my greatest asset: a good reason for me to work with my sponsor, go to meetings and listen. Going through the process of the steps I began to fathom the depths of what it really meant to ‘turn my will and my life over to the care of my Higher Power, a ‘God of my understanding’. And, if I’ve really done this, it only makes sense that he would communicate with me, right? How else will I know what my next step is to be? Slowly my trust of those feelings began to grow. I’ve learned that the more connected I am with myself and my Higher Power, the more aware I am of my intuition. I’m learning to pay attention to what’s happening around me.

It’s not always that physical sensation; it doesn’t have to be now. Most days I start off with a prayer. Most days I write. Most days I go to a meeting. These are the things that maintain my spiritual condition that keeps me in recovery. I’m able to see the patterns in my life and the mosaic of this world and I marvel. My life continues to evolve and morph into new experiences because I am open to them, I take the time to listen. I truly am grateful for my life today.