Have you ever felt like you are being watched? It is unsettling and maybe even a little frustrating. You know someone or something is just beyond what you can see – but definitely there. I hate that feeling. Of course, when you do finally “see” what it is, there is a huge sense of relief. Your instincts were right, they were serving you well.
Why am I mentioning all this? Recently I was out puttering with the plants on my deck. The yard behind the deck has a small clearing and then its wooded, heavily wooded in the summer. Critters of all shapes and sizes traverse along the little creek back there. I’ve gotten really adept at picking out the sounds of romping squirrels verses the deer that frequent that area or even the neighbor’s kids or dog. While I can’t always make them out perfectly, I know they are there. So when I had this weird sensation of being observed I naturally turned back there to see what it was. Despite a careful scan and a purposeful stroll across the length of the deck, I could not pinpoint the culprit.
What do you do in cases like this? You either look again or shake it off. I did both.
I returned to the plant I was fussing with and that feeling quickly came back. Rather than repeat my search I just stood motionless. Being quiet. Staying in the moment. Keeping still. Observing. In less than a minute, it came into focus. I was being watched. From the plant.
Nestled in there was a praying mantis, probably munching through lunch but very clearly keeping tabs on me to make sure I was not a threat. It was right there. At this point I couldn’t not see it, that is how obvious it seemed.
Very often this is exactly how insight hits me. There is something there. I can feel it, but I can’t quite make it out. Something is coming together, just beyond my grasp, waiting for me to figure out. Unfortunately, when this feeling hits me my natural inclination is to do what I did on the deck – go looking for it.
I ask questions, I dig around in research, I go to blogs and hit the interwebs. Sometimes I journal furiously. Occasionally that works. More often I uncover a lot of information, but I still don’t get exactly to the insight I know is lurking there. The upside to this story is after that flurry of activity my next step is usually to give up and “let it go”. Ironically, that is typically when the pieces come to together. If I simply let my focus soften for a minute and give my brain a chance to work it all on its own, without my conscious interference, that is when the magic happens.
Just like with the praying mantis, I find myself dumbfounded at how I DIDN’T see it before. I chastise myself for missing it for so long. I’ve decided that judgy voice doesn’t really serve me or my newly discovered insight. That internal criticism for how long I took to “get it”, that is really the piece that has to go.
Of course, insight doesn’t happen exactly this way every single time. Sometimes it is a thunder clap. Apparently, I don’t get to control the “how” or the “when” of insight, which is an insight in and of itself. Embracing that little gem has required some reworking of my ways because when that feeling of ‘something’s up’ happens, I want to resolve it right away. I want that knowledge now!
With reflection I’ve decided I’d rather hold off, be patient and present for just a bit and actually arrive at the insight rather than struggle to find it and abandoning it entirely if it doesn’t become clear.
The important thing is to honor that feeling, trust my intuition that there is more to discover and be open to it as it starts to reveal itself. Insights are the essential building blocks for growth and development. They help us adapt our thinking, commit to changes and find meaning. With that in mind, I will happily take them however and whenever they appear.
#PersonalGrowth #Insight #Intuition #MeetMaple