Surrender 131: My Greatest Gift

I debated today about what to surrender to…a movie night to complete the Best Picture nominated list of films? Or sharing thoughts about a subject nearer to my heart, facing fear and freeing what lies behind it. I checked the list of unique holidays for today and discovered that this is Trust Your Intuition Day. That was the green light for my second consideration, because intuition is very connected to that part of my journey. 

I saw the quote above six years ago and it resonated deeply with me. I was determined to face my greatest fear. And I knew what lay guarded behind that tightly shut door. My intuition. Ironically, it was my intuitive side that also created my fear, a terror that grew as I did. As a child I didn’t understand my intuitive nature. Things happened to me that didn’t happen to other people. I saw and heard and knew things they didn’t. 

My fear of my abilities caused me to attempt to shut that vital part of me down. And when that failed, I hid it, sequestered my intuition away, dividing myself into a “normal” side and a “weird” side. But fear took root. And having no outlet, it encircled my heart, and grew stronger. I became terrified of the dark and of being alone, especially at night, of unexplained noises and negative energy that I could sense but felt helpless to do anything about. 

Five years ago, I knew I had to at last face my fear. I wanted to be free from the terror. I wanted a whole heart. I was weary of being afraid. So I stopped. I refused to be afraid. And as I suspected, intuition was behind my greatest fear. And so much more. 

Learning more about my intuitive abilities actually helped me to move past the fear I had around it. Intuition is, simply, the ability to understand something without conscious reasoning. It’s instinctive, and often unexplainable. We all have intuition and experience its gifts. We think of a friend, and she calls moments later. We lose a ring. And dream about its location, finding it exactly where we dreamed it would be. We feel uneasy as we drive to work and take another route, only to hear later of a major accident on the street we normally use. This is intuition at work. 

As I’ve released fear, I’ve learned to embrace my intuitive side, and trust the information I receive. I don’t have to understand why I have the gifts that I do, or why I receive the information that I do. I can’t control my intuition. I can only surrender to the fact that this is who I am, and trust what this sense tells me, just as I trust my other senses. 

The amazing discovery that I made during my journey beyond fear was that my intuition wasn’t the only thing shut away. Locked behind my greatest fear I also found my four year old self. She created the door that kept the fear at bay. She made the vows to take care of herself, to be as invisible as possible, to never cry or ask for help. Freeing my intuition has freed my young self. It has been very healing to nurture her and mother her and integrate her into my whole self.

Therein has been my greatest gift. I was concerned that embracing my intuitive side would mean that I had to do something with it. And yes, I am a realtor who can sell a client a house and also tell him whether the house is haunted (full of negative energy), or not. I can walk alongside others and help them clear away their own fears around their abilities or help them understand themselves at a deeper level. I sense energy. I have strong hits of premonition. But I’m not called to be a psychic. That’s not my role in life. 

The greatest gift that I uncovered, that little Cindy released back to me, was creativity. With intuition came inspiration. The two are closely linked in me. As my fear melted away, as I embraced who I am, and lived out of a whole heart, I found again my desire to write, to create, to follow curiosity. Opening to my intuition resulted in an opening of that fun and imaginative side of me. And for that, I am deeply grateful. 

Albert Einstein said, “The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant, and has forgotten the gift.” 

I am glad that I found my gift again. 

Surrender 29: The Love of Grandfathers

I grew up with a grandfather that the whole family called Pop. For most of my life, he was the only grandpa I knew, and I cherish my memories of him. He taught me about gardening, allowing me to work alongside him, garden hoe in hand, learning about vegetables and flowers. 

 George Harnar, Pop, who served his country during WWII 

My other grandfather, my dad’s father, passed away when I was a small child. I have a few dear memories of him: sitting cradled in his lap, watching him talk, fascinated by his chin stubbled with gray whiskers, playing in his large garage while he tinkered on a car, the intriguing aroma of his pipe. His nickname, selected by my oldest cousin, was PooPaw. 

  Dennis & Grace Lauderdale, PooPaw & Granny

I recently acquired a photo of Poopaw, a gift from my cousin William. He and my grandmother are so young, captured on their wedding day. I treasure this picture, as I didn’t have one of my Lauderdale grandfather. 

I was in 3rd or 4th grade when I realized I had another grandfather, my mom’s dad. Tragically, he was killed in a car accident on an icy road long before I was born. My mother was just a little girl. I learned his name was William, and his family called him Billy. My grandmother remarried later, to the man I knew as Pop. 

  Billy Gregory, playing the violin with his brother Lloyd on the mandolin. 

Although I knew neither of my biological grandfathers well growing up, in the last few years I’ve thought about them often. I am intuitive. My abilities frightened me as a child, and as a result, I grew up with a great deal of fear. While still a little girl, I used to wake up in the dark, which was a terrifying experience for me. I’d sometimes feel someone sitting on the edge of my bed, rubbing my back in a loving and gentle way. Comforted, I’d turn my head, expecting to see my mother. There was never anyone there, that I could see anyway. But that presence brought me a measure of peace. 

Only after I faced down my fears a few years ago, and fully accepted and embraced my intuitive self, did I come to understand who that presence was. My grandfather Billy, whom I never met while he lived, has long been my protector, fulfilling in Spirit what he could not do in life. He has often watched over me, a quiet strength in times of need. I now call him Papaw Bill. 

I fully understand that for most people, my perceptions of Life and Spirit are beyond what they’ve personally experienced. That’s okay. It is only because I so completely accept myself and no longer hide who I am, that I can share my own experiences now. There is a quote that I love, by Sandri Alexander, that says, “Behind your greatest fear, lies your greatest gift.” I am finally realizing what that means for me. My intuitive abilities, because of my lack of understanding, created my greatest fear. As that fear crumbled away, my intuition was revealed for what it was…my greatest gift. My essence. The truest part of who I am. As I journey as a whole person, I am discovering what I am to offer to the world. 

Which brings me back to my grandfathers. I had powerful ahas about PooPaw and Papaw. My gifts of intuition come to me from both of them, through the Lauderdale and Gregory lines. Both died young, PooPaw at age 52 and Papaw at age 33. My mother was five years old when her father died and I was five years old when PooPaw died. 

I know that as a child, I would have greatly benefitted from their stories of their own experiences, as intuitives. I believe that’s one of the reasons Papaw Bill has visited me so often. What I realized just this week, is that PooPaw has been a presence in my life as well. My two grandfathers, ever near, loving me from beyond the veil, from the realm of Spirit. And Pop, charged with the task of being my substitute grandpa, loving me and caring for me as well. He too “pops” by occasionally for a Spirit visit. I recognize his presence by the whiff of tobacco that I get. 

I have stood daily in my studio, before the picture of PooPaw and Granny Grace, sending them love and gratitude. And suddenly this week, I wanted Papaw Bill’s photo too. My mom has that great pic of him playing his violin and today, I stood at Walgreens, waiting for the prints I ordered from her photo to be processed. As the time passed, and I could hear the technician struggling with the machine, I surrendered to what was. If I needed to, I’d come back another time. I wanted that picture today, however tomorrow would be fine too. 

More help arrived. Whispered consultations ensued. Perhaps a swift kick to the contrary machine was delivered. I stepped forward to say it was okay…I’d return in the morning. At that moment, the tech approached with a grin, package in hand. “Here you go,” he said, “no charge. Sorry for your long wait.” He refused my offer to pay. 

In the car I opened the package. Five copies of the photo were inside! They gave me extras. I had what I wanted, and I could share with my sisters. 

I smiled. “Thank you Papaw. And PooPaw. And Pop. My grandfathers…thank you for everything.” 


Journey 308: Between the Dreaming and the Coming True

I awoke this morning, from a very vivid dream. As I did my three pages of free writing, I explored the feelings that lingered as I moved from dream to wakefulness. And those thoughts have stayed with me all day. The dream marked a milestone on my journey, and reminded me how far I’ve come in the last four years. 

I grew up with a great deal of fear. I’m an intuitive and the veil between this world and the spirit world is very thin for me. My earliest memories are of experiences no one else in my immediate family had. I saw things, heard things, sensed things that the other members of my family could not. At least, not at that time in their own journeys. My intuition is a gift, passed down through generations on both sides of my family. 

But I didn’t see it as a gift then. It made me different. It made me fearful. And the fear drew more scary things into my life to fear. Being alone, in the dark, was terrifying for me. And remained so…until I was well into my forties. My life began to shift when I recognized that not all that happened around my intuition was frightening and that I was surrounded with God’s light, protected more than I knew. 

Finally, just four years ago, I felt ready to face down my fear and embrace fully who I am, which included my intuitive self. I learned to bring Divine light and peace around me and through my home. Fear ebbed away, little by little, until I could sleep alone, in the dark, without fear. 

What I have found incredible is that my dreams at night reveal the state of my mind and heart. I have always had very detailed and visually rich dreams. As a child I was plagued by nightmares, dark snapshots of what was going on in my waking life. As an adult, gripped by fear, I continued to have bad dreams that would cause me to whimper in my sleep or breathe erratically. I’d wake in a cold sweat, my heart pounding, afraid to sleep but afraid as well to be awake in the middle of the night. 

When I accepted that I am intuitive and combatted my fear, the first changes took place in my dreams. The scenarios no longer made me wake trembling. Rather I was able to watch what was unfolding in a more detached way. The first time I spoke during a dream and firmly said “Stop it”, I woke amazed at my courage AND the fact that the bad dream did stop when I spoke. Over the last four years my dreams have continued to reflect the changes in my life. I still dream of spooky stuff, experiences that have scared me in the past, but in my dreams I am taking control of the situation and watching more with curiosity than fear. 

The dream I had early this morning showed me the current state of my mind and heart. People were having frightening experiences in a huge house that held negative energy within it. I was asked to clear the house. There was absolutely no fear as I visited the home and saw the dark entities there. I assured the owners I could handle it. And then I took charge and assembled a team of competent people to assist me. We showed up at the house, we faced the darkness, and I led them in speaking the words that cleared the negative energy away. 

What a difference between taking charge…and waking in terror. This dream showed me how much my life has shifted. It perhaps showed me as well that I’m watching a lot of Doctor Who. A lizard man was part of my team! What an amazing dream. I woke feeling empowered and confident and courageous. 

As those super charged emotions have stayed with me today, the title of a book came to me, written by Robert Benson, “Between the Dreaming and the Coming True”. It’s been years since I read that delightful book. I never quite understood the title. Suddenly, this afternoon, those words made sense to me. As I am growing in my journey, my subconscious is feeding the shifts into my mind, where the changes play out as dreams. They are running ahead of my reality, the coming true part of my life. I exist in that “between” space, between the heroics of my dreams and the realization of what’s possible. That’s where my journey is.  

I am thrilled to have had such a powerful dream. Fear has no place in my life. And my subconscious is making that known to me. I accept that. I believe. And if the need arises, I am ready to assemble my team!