Common Sense and Intuition: Your Built-in GPS Navigation
“At times 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
I don’t need to have everything planned out but I like to have a general direction of where I am going. This morning I knew exactly where I want to go. I have been itching to hike a particular mountain. I should say that the kind of mountains I climb is nowhere near the caliber found within the pages of the Jon Krakauer books I devoured. Mountains fascinate me. And nature is the closest thing to religion for me.
Despite the best-laid plans, you will often run into circumstances that require improvisation. Improvisation is where spontaneity and magic happen. I live for such moments. Lately, I have forgotten this. This morning, I was about to get a fresh lesson.
According to the direction I copied from Google maps, I should have arrived at the trailheads ten minutes ago. But here I was, still circling a sparse residential area with the mountain peaks teasing me from the distance.
I took out my smartphone and besieged Siri for help. Instead, she led me down a windy dirt path barely wide enough for my compact car to skirt past the creosote bushes and cacti. I prayed the morning wouldn’t end up with a head-on collision with an unsuspecting farmer and his tractor.
If a girl couldn’t count on maps or modern technology for direction, how was she to manage? As I drove, I felt my body tensing, any feelings of anticipation vaporizing with each dusty mile. Swear words were coming out of my mouth and rivaling that of a sailor.
I had enough common sense to turn the car around and steered myself back on the main road. From there, I was able to navigate to the street where the park entrance was supposed to be. Only, it led me to someone’s farmhouse. I squinted against the address on the pretty mailbox with the windmill. In clear beautiful lettering, it showed the exact address I had written down on paper for the park entrance to the mountain.
I gazed longingly at the long driveway leading to the farmhouse, wishing it would miraculously turn into the park entrance. When my Jedi mind trick didn’t work, I rolled my eyes heavenward, and that was when I saw a sign. I mean a real sign. It hung above the two wooden beams framing the entrance to the driveway.
“Horse Shit Lane.”
I laughed. Clearly, it was amusing but the meaning behind the words lit up like neon inside my head. We put such heavy reliance on so called gurus, experts and manuals to guide us through life. But the thing we must not forget is, they can only put us in the vicinity of where we need to be. If and when we arrive at our destination is still very much left up to us. Fear not, we have a built in guidance system. They are our common sense and intuition.
I looked past the windshield and I can see the mountain. What was preventing me from driving in that direction? The answer was simple. I didn’t trust myself.
And that was the message. Relying on anything external to yourself and not trusting yourself, is pure horse shit. Your common sense and intuition will never fail you. The universe was kind to remind me in such a gentle and amusing way. The sign could have read, “Don’t Be a Dumb Ass.”
I decided to trust what little common sense I have and followed my intuition. I turned my car around, and at the end of the road, I knew the mountain would be there. Oddly, the destination no longer carried the importance it had at the start of my trip. I found something more valuable along the way