Several years ago, I attended a sort of “retreat weekend” presented by a coach who put on such an affair two to three times each year. I had unwittingly purchased the right to attend this weekend at a charity auction, thinking that I was buying a few sessions with a trained coach. This purchase was intended to augment my understanding of coaching, as I was in the midst of a 22-week training course at the time, and meeting with someone earning a living from coaching was of great interest to me.

When I called her to schedule our meetings, I learned I had actually purchased a retreat weekend called “Activate your Genius.” Luckily, it worked!

Looking Within: A Turning Point

The program lasted a weekend. Friday night introductory sessions and breakaway time spent in small groups all day Saturday warmed me up to a very emotional, revelatory experience on Sunday. The searching dynamic of our small groups, earnest in our respective pursuit to know ourselves better, meant that we used our robust interaction to affirm, deny, or otherwise challenge one another until the most genuine self – the intuitive self – emerged.

Somehow, I felt I listened more deeply than I had before. I certainly opened up like I hadn’t in quite some years. Was this because I was at a breaking point in my own life? If I was, I hadn’t quite known it until, with the help of a small group of compassionate allies, I allowed my intuitive mind to bubble up and overtake my rational mind.

Over the course of this weekend retreat, I realized what an idiot I was to continue doing the work I was doing in construction. I learned that I saw myself at the center of the construction supply universe, a perspective that was limiting my very vision of my strengths and of who I truly am. I was stuck thinking I was forever needed simply because my name was on the door! I mistakenly believed I was unable to change my role in the world because my Father had expected me to run his business successfully after his passing, a commitment with no end.

I was immobilized because of the backward notion that nobody could do it better than I could. These stilted thoughts were holding me back, and my fellow sojourners at the retreat were kind enough to let me know, forcefully.

People Helping People

I believe the others in the program shone a light of compassion so brightly on me that I had no choice but to accept, learn, and relish in the love of those interactions. They were frank, reflective, and sufficiently removed from my litany of rationalizations to straightforwardly and intuitively advise me. It was humanity at our best – people helping people. Each of us searching to attune to each other, to be genuine, to be truly alive and present with one another.

A mantra was offered for our consideration. I say it to this day some five years later,

“I love myself, I accept myself, even though I don’t fully understand myself.”

The Miracle of the Unknown

Admitting that we don’t fully understand ourselves is not an admission of defeat. In fact, it opens us to the possibilities of miraculous growth and change. Einstein, it seems, was as skilled a philosopher as a physicist. He once said,

“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle, and the other is as though everything is a miracle.”

In this contrast we learn extensively about the two ways to live. Our rational mind searches for reasons, for proof, and in doing so can deny that miracles exist. Our intuitive mind is open to the possibility. Miracles, then, are the result of a heart at peace and a mind (ego) subordinated to such a heart.

Honoring the Intuitive Mind

Another profound thought from our friend Einstein,

“The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind a faithful servant, what we have created is a society which honors the servant but has forgotten the gift.”

This short sentence speaks volumes, especially today in our fractured, ruthless political circles. Our society is often a minefield of argument, each side vying to profess their truth but neither showing the patience, resolve, or wisdom to find the benefit in the discourse. It sometimes seems as though courtesy and professional respect have been retired to bygone ages. Where is the intuitive mind? Where is our desire to empathize and understand the genuine self of those around us?

Perhaps if we lift up our intuition, our inner voice, the spiritually-based intelligence native to each of us, we can reawaken to the possibilities of deeper connection, engagement, and learning. Perhaps we can make miracles happen – in the present moment, together.