Monday, November 8, 2010

Life in the Hard Lane

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Issue No. 3122 - $1.00 Home Archives Contact Us Privacy Policy
Monday November 8, 2010

"You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition. What you'll discover will be wonderful. What you'll discover is yourself."

Alan Alda

Life in the Hard Lane
By Elle Swan

For five years, I existed in a drug- and alcohol-induced haze. My intuition helped me escape. I lived in a dirty disabled van, and the pain almost swallowed me whole. Trapped in addiction and homelessness, I needed something mighty and wiser than logic. It had to be quick and it had to be simple.

The people I coach often tell me they ignore their intuition because their instincts don't make sense. They find it difficult to distinguish intuition from random thinking. But my experience has shown me that it's not as complicated as you may expect.

Intuition surfaced when I need it most -- and I wasn't on a mountain top or at a seven-day retreat. My life had hammered me to a place where I was willing to listen. But hammering isn't required... only willingness.

I surrendered to my intuition 10 years ago because I got tired of "life in the hard lane." People in the hard lane are hardheaded. And I used to be one of the extremes. But life isn't supposed to be a constant struggle, and we weren't meant to live super-small.

Before I share my method for shifting into the "easy lane," let explain the other reason I'm Pro Intuition...

The first time I ever had a drink, something told me it was a bad idea. It wasn't the fear of becoming horribly ill. My friends could clean that up (and that's exactly what they did). It was the feeling that I was embarking upon a path of horrific pain.

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(I remember that feeling like it happened five minutes ago. Ignoring the warning ultimately cost me five years of my life and robbed me of my only child.)

It doesn't pay to be hardheaded. So now I quickly check on my instincts every day. And so should you.

Three years ago, "something" told me to move from Los Angeles to Las Vegas. For a few weeks, I pretended I didn't hear it. But everywhere I turned, I got the same message: on a new billboard, in a conversation at the bank, in a commercial at the gym on the treadmill TV. All roads were pointing to Las Vegas.

As much as I dreaded the hot, dry desert and loved the life I had built, I wasn't willing to pay the price of ignoring those signs. So I packed up my career and my possessions and drove up I-15. That decision led me to many blessings. My son is in my life, I coach on TV, and I met and married my soul mate.

Digging Deeper Into Your Intuition

Forget about tapping into your intuition. Most people don't have time to make the time to "tap." I didn't do it that way in the van. I don't do it that way now, and neither do my clients.

Here's my method. I call it "Mute & Magnify." It's practical and user friendly.


Rather than trying to carve out hours and hours of quiet time, simply mute the sound around you so you can become familiar with the sound within you. For example, if you listen to your radio, iPod, etc. while driving, occasionally mute the sound and ask yourself a question. Try it without any expectations. In the beginning, you probably won't sense anything at all. But after a while, you could get an insight in as little as 30 seconds.

The point is that you don't have shut down your entire day to make time for intuitive guidance.

Here's another example. Do you turn on the news as soon as you wake up in the morning? If so, when a commercial comes, on just turn off the sound for those few minutes. Silence is silence. Trust me, it doesn't matter where you're sitting when you're in it. You don't have to wait until you have the time (or the money) to go away for a while. Your intuition is with you right here, right now.

STEP TWO: Magnify

Guess what? You don't have to interrupt your life to do this either. All you need to do is pay closer attention to your tried and true senses. Here's how...

Think about a time when you were really enjoying yourself. It could be as recent as the delicious breakfast you had this morning or as elaborate and nostalgic as your first kiss. Can you hear the sounds that were around you then? Can you feel the texture of the dish (or his or her lips)? Can you...?

You see where I'm going with this. I'm simply asking you to engage your senses as you remember that special moment. And voila! You have just "magnified" a memory with very little effort... from the comfort of your very own office or home.

Now, here's how to "magnify" in order to enhance your intuition...

From now on, whenever you're having a good time, expand that feeling, while you are experiencing it. For example, if you are enjoying a really good movie, dessert, or cigar... really, really savor it. Pay close attention to what you feel, see, taste, or smell. This will teach you to heighten your senses in real time. And when you make it a habit to heighten your five senses, you easily open the path to your intuition.

Keep it simple. Mute and magnify.

[Ed. Note: Elle Swan's Vibrant Living philosophy has been recognized multiple times on NBC and PBS, and she is currently the Vibrancy Coach for ABC Las Vegas. She is also the author of Your Mind Over Habits: A Woman's Guide to a Happy Life and a Vibrant Body. Visit Elle's website,, for more details.

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Today's Words That Work: Skeevy

Skeevy  (SKEE-vee) -- from the Italian for "disgust" -- is a slangy way of describing something distasteful/nasty/sleazy.

Example (as used by Robin Givhan in The Washington Post): "For all the fretting [Miley Cyrus's music video 'Who Owns My Heart'] has sparked, one wishes there was more discomfort with Florence Henderson's role on ['Dancing With the Stars']. The former Mrs. Brady and partner Corky Ballas made a point of being downright skeevy."

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