AOH :: INTUIT.TXT|
Let your gut feelings be your guide
(Let Your Gut Feelings Be Your Guide)
by John Harricharan
(C) Copyright1995 by John Harricharan
"We need only obey. There is a guidance for each of us, and by
lowly listening, we shall hear the right word." Those words of Ralph
Waldo Emerson echo and re-echo through the corridors of time and
point us in the direction of what may yet be our greatest unexplored
asset. The need to listen to our inner selves, to hear the voice of
intuition, to be aware of the "still, small voice," is a must if we are to
prosper in the forthcoming years.
Built into each and every one of us is an inherent guidance system.
We are not thrown helpless into a seemingly cold and cruel world
without the tools necessary for taking care of ourselves. Yet, most
people go through an entire lifetime never realizing the power they
have at their command. This power is not the exclusive province of
gurus, avatars, saints or the privileged, but is available to all people
as their true birthright.
The power within lies waiting to be tapped by anyone who is willing
to use its guidance. It's always present and always providing us
direction for our lives. But because we are surrounded by the noise
and activities of everyday, outer-focused existence, we tend not to
hear the gentle prodding from within. We become blind and deaf to
the sights and sounds of our higher selves. To begin using this
guidance, we must first be aware of its existence and then follow its
directions. The following true story is an excellent example of this
My wife and I had been married for several years and we felt it was
time to start a family. "Why not start with an adopted child?" she
asked. It didn't matter to me whether our first child was adopted or
biological so we contacted the necessary agencies. Our decision
was to adopt a baby girl from India and as a result we waded
through an ocean of bureaucratic and political red tape. Surrounding
us was an aura of excitement and anticipation. Finally, only one
more document remained to be processed by the Immigration
Department. Then something went wrong and there was a delay. We
were informed that it would be another week or two before the
necessary visa for our "soon to be" daughter would be issued.
Having waited for seven months, a delay of a week or two seemed
inconsequential- except for one thing. On the very day we were
notified of the delay a telegram arrived from India. It stated that a
baby girl, a few weeks old, was available for adoption and that we
should travel to Bombay as soon as possible to complete the
formalities of the adoption process. This was the notice we had
anxiously been waiting for. Everything was in order except for that
one visa document from the Immigration Department. Only one
week to go and we would be on a plane to India. Both my wife and I
were of Indian descent and this would be our first visit, which added
to our excitement.
At first, logic dictated that all was well and that in a short while, we
would be the parents of a fine baby girl. But all was not well. That
night I could hardly sleep. My sleeplessness could have been
attributed to excitement and anticipation, but that was not so.
Instead there was an uneasy feeling around me, a strange
premonition of disaster. I was filled with overwhelming
As the day progressed, the feeling of apprehension and anxiety
increased. I carefully examined my situation but could find no
reason to justify such uneasiness. However, try as I could, it was
impossible to dismiss it. I felt that I must leave for India within 24
hours. I expressed this thought to those closest to me.
Without exception, they all advised that I wait until the final papers
were processed. It would only be another week, they reasoned. I had
waited so long, surely a few more days would not make much
I called my attorney and asked if he thought it was necessary to wait
for the one remaining document from the Department of
Immigration. His response was a resounding "Yes." My business
associates tried to talk some sense into me. "Why, John?" asked
one, "Why the rush? I've never seen you like this before." But I
could not explain the strange urgency I felt. Finally, in desperation, I
phoned the Immigration Department and asked for the officer
handling the case. "Please, is there some way to speed up the
process?" I asked.
"We are doing the best we can," came the curt reply.
"I'm leaving for India tomorrow. When the final document is ready
would you air mail it to me in Bombay? I will leave you the address."
"We're sorry, but we can't do that. You'll just have to wait until
everything's in order."
"What would happen if I leave tomorrow?"
"There would be longer and more serious delays. We would suggest
that you comply with our procedures and wait until the document is
ready. Thank you for calling. Good-bye."
A lifetime of experience had taught me to trust my feelings even
when I didn't u
nderstand them. I, therefore, disregarded everyone's advice, called
the airlines and made reservations for a flight leaving the following
day. When I told my wife what I'd done, she, too, thought that I must
have lost my mind. "Why not wait for another week?" she asked,
"Everyone seems to think it would be the smarter thing to do. What
if we leave without the proper documents and we get stuck in India
and couldn't bring the baby out? What difference would another
"You wait if you want to," I replied, "I'm going to India to get our
I had never spoken to her in such a tone before.
"But the final approval for the baby's visa?" she protested.
Reluctantly my wife agreed to humor me. The following day found
us hurtling across the Atlantic on a 747 jet-the first leg of our journey
to the mystical land of India. Exhaustion finally forced me into a
deep sleep. When I awoke, we were somewhere over the continent
of Africa. I was surprised and relieved to discover that the feelings of
doom and despair had vanished.
I began to reflect on my behavior of the past 24 hours. I did not
regret my actions. It was almost midnight when we touched down at
the International Airport in Bombay. What a joy it would be to see
our daughter the next day.
First thing in the morning, we were off to the agency. We introduced
to the manager and waited while they went for the child. There are
times when seconds could seem like hours and this was one such
time. Finally a nurse arrived carrying a tiny bundle. As we looked at
the baby wrapped in the bundle, a sense of shock overcame me.
Our child, whom we had imagined to be a healthy baby girl
weighing approximately six or seven pounds, was an emaciated little
thing, perhaps slightly over three pounds. She seemed to be
suffering from malnutrition and among other things was covered with
sores. Only her eyes moved as they followed us around the room.
"This baby is very sick," said the nurse, "the doctor thinks that she
may not live through the day. Would you like to consider taking
Anger, resentment and fear sprung up within me. After all the
preparation and hope to now be faced with the possibility of losing
the child. No! We had not gone through everything for this. Against
the dictates of reason, something had guided me to be where I was
at that moment. This infant must not die. Now I understood why I
had felt compelled to leave immediately for India. A day or two later
and this baby surely would have died. By being here, I was able to
do whatever was possible to save her life. "No!" I fairly shouted at
the nurse, "No! we'll take this baby. At least she'll have one chance
in a thousand of living. Leaving her here, she has none."
Without hesitation we asked for the necessary documents and
signed them. Quickly we left with the little bundle in my arms. We
went directly to the office of a pediatrician whom friends back in the
States had recommended. While examining the child, the
pediatrician asked, "Do you know what you have done? This child is
deathly ill. I don't know if she'll make it." The desperation in my heart
was being replaced by a strong determination and a sense of
purpose. I looked at the doctor and said, "Please do all that you
Because of the local rules and customs, it was impossible to get the
child into a hospital. We kept the baby with us in our hotel and with
the help of the good doctor we were able to obtain the services of an
additional doctor and two nurse
s. One of the nurses was a woman who had once attended to
Mahatma Gandhi. That night, in a hotel suite overlooking the
Arabian Sea, the nurses and doctors worked feverishly to keep our
child alive. The angel of mercy smiled upon us and the baby made it
through the night.
Days ran into weeks and the child gradually improved though she
was far from being out of danger. Because I had left the United
States without the proper visa papers, the red tape compounded
itself. We were informed by the American Embassy in Bombay that
a new application for a visa for the child had to be made and sent to
Hong Kong for approval. In the meantime, rumor was that the Indian
Government was about to declare emergency rule. There was unrest
in the streets. As if that weren't enough, we were displaced from our
hotel to make room for some wealthy, visiting Arabs. We found new
lodging in a small, rundown motel until we were able to return to our
first one. Money was running short, the child's life was still in danger
and the other problems seemed overwhelming.
Back in the United States, some friends and influential business
associates had heard of our plight and had petitioned our
government leaders to do something about it. However, we could
not wait. We had to take the baby back to the United States for
proper medical care. Without a visa for the child it would be
impossible for us to get her on a plane, and even if we did, there
would be problems by our Immigration Department when we arrived
Again the "still, small voice spoke." Again, I listened. Where there's
a will, there's a way. When a choice is made, the entire universe, it
seems, moves to our aid. Somehow, with the help of a few Indian
friends and the continuous guidance of my inner voice, we managed
to pass through the numerous check points at the airport in Bombay
and literally "smuggled" the child aboard a plane bound for the
United States. Finally, we were on our way home.
Arriving in New York after a long and tiring flight, we were
apprehensive that the Immigration Department would deport the
child for lack of the necessary visa.
There was no need to worry, however. Our friends had prevailed on
our Government to make an exception and we were welcomed by a
delegation. A visa was issued on the spot.
We named our daughter Malika. With proper medical care she
continued to make excellent progress. Today, Malika is a happy,
healthy young girl who recently celebrated her eleventh birthday.
She seemed to remember very little of her early years and is
currently involved in the normal pre-teen activities of endless phone
conversations with girlfriends, shopping for clothes and wistful
dreaming of boys and TV video stars. But every once in a while
when I look into her beautiful dark eyes, I relive the steps that
brought her to us. Had I not followed the strange feeling of urgency
to leave for India that day, our daughter would not be with us today.
Many of the greatest teachers and philosophers have testified to the
"still, small voice" within them. It's an ancient saying and well worth
repeating that before the demand is made, the supply is available.
To become aware that we have all we need to solve our problems
and to make our lives work, we must follow certain simple
guidelines. First, there must be quiet times-alone times. It is in the
quietness of our beings that we can hear a whisper directing us to a
path of greater fulfillment. Take time for yourself. A five minute
period, once in the morning and then again in the evening, will prove
very useful. Surely all of us could find ten minutes in a twenty-four
hour day to become quiet and feel the life-force flow through us.
Next, use the tools that are all around you. Music is one such tool. It
has healing and calming properties. There is hardly a soul on earth
who has not at one time or another been soothed by the sounds of
music. Nature helps to make you more aware of yourself and more
conscious of your own validity. A walk through thewoods or a stroll
alongside a stream would remove your focus from the things that
trouble you. Simply leaning against a tree and breathing slowly will
assist in the centering and balancing of your body, mind and spirit.
There are books. Everything that you ever need to hear or learn is
written somewhere in a book. Instead of listening to the late night
news, spend fifteen minutes reading some inspirational material.
One good book could raise your awareness to such a level that you
are motivated to take the few additional steps to solve the very
problem that seemed unsolvable.
Become more and more aware of the great possibilities that lie
within you. Learn to trust your feelings. Tune in to yourself and
follow the gentle urgings you find there. Like anything else, it takes
practice and a small measure of self-discipline. Your intuition
becomes stronger as you exercise it, so keep practicing.
At first, it may seem very ordinary and even boring. But as you keep
monitoring your "feelings" and trusting them, you will begin to notice
that you are being led in directions that are rewarding. It doesn't
matter how complex your life may appear to be, the spirit within you
is capable of assisting you to solve all your problems. The
information will be given to you but you will have to make
thedecision as to what to do with it. As Madame du Deffand said,
"Heed the still, small voice that so seldom leads us wrong, and
never into folly."
(C) 1995, John Harricharan
This article by John Harricharan appeared in a slightly different
format in Body, Mind and Spirit magazine
(C) Copyright1995, John Harricharan
John Harricharan is the award-winning author of "When YoCan
Walk on Water, Take the Boat" and "Morning Has Been All
Night Coming" (Berkley Books in North America and
HarperCollins in Great Britain and Australia.) John is a unique
blend of the pragmatic west and the mystical east. He is a
summa cum laude graduate with degrees in Chemistry and
Business. For more information, please e-mail-75523,2460
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