“I wandered in the pursuit of my own self; I was the traveler, and I am the destination.” – Sir Muhammad Iqba
Stepping into wonder is primarily a process of creating inner space. The inner space to listen, see, feel, ponder, and be anew. My capacity for creating a space of wonder and harmony in my life largely depends on my ability to quiet my mind and listen within to the voice of intuition. This inner guidance has led me to step into wonder with a life experiment: a one-way ticket to New York.
I am currently sitting in a cafe in the West Village. A couple on my left are speaking Italian and two guys to my right are speaking Japanese. I watch as a steady stream of NYU students come and go, perfectly synchronized to the pulsing music of Philip Glass played over the cafe stereo – I have never heard Philip Glass played in a cafe before. I have been struck by the diversity and depth of culture I have experienced in the past 24 hours. Perhaps Woody Allen’s character in Annie Hall was right when he said the only cultural advantage of California was being able to turn right on a red light (paraphrase).
I arrived in New York yesterday with no plan for what I will do or how long I will stay. All I have arranged are a few places to stay with friends and couchsurfers over the next two weeks. I don’t have a reason for being here but I know I’m here for a reason.
About a month ago I started feeling this quiet inner impression: “go to New York.” Around that same time a friend of mine started encouraging me to visit and spend some time here. I dismissed both. Why would I just pick up and go to New York without a plan or even much of a desire to live there?
The inner voice remained: “go to New York.” And I continued to dismiss it as a fleeting thought.
My intuition continued to push. Upon awaking one morning, I felt a very strong inner sense that I just needed to buy a one-way ticket and go. I decided to take a risk. I would follow this intuition that has seemed to guide me throughout many other experience in life and see what happens.
After buying the ticket I checked my email and found something quite surprising. A friend of mine had sent me a song from a band she liked; the name of the song was “New York.”
Another amazing synchronicity also took place. I was in the process of buying groceries when a woman who worked at the store approached me. She explained that when she first saw me enter the store she almost started crying because she thought I was a very good friend who she had not seen in several months. After emphasizing how closely I resembled him, she went on to share that several months ago this friend decided to go to New York on a whim. She explained that he got a job there and decided to stay because he enjoyed it so much.
These were fairly encouraging signs that my intuition was guiding me in a good direction. But it was also a sign that I needed to learn to listen more closely to the movements of my inner life. I could have just as easily continued to listen to the thoughts that said, “be rationale,” “don’t take risks,” “play it safe.”
I don’t know what I will receive, learn, or experience during this time in New York. It may only last two weeks. It may last much longer. All I know is that I committed to not having any expectations and to listening within for guidance. And so far, it’s been wondrous!
Finding Wonder Through Intuition
In my study and teaching of empathic communication, I have been learning that moving from the head to the heart can be a means of significantly connecting with others. What does this euphemism actually mean? It’s a movement away from exclusively relying on our analytical capabilities and a shift to embrace an awareness of intuition, underlying needs, and feelings. This process not only helps us become more connected with others, it can also be a transformative approach to finding guidance in our lives.
“Mostly I just followed my inner feelings and passions and kept going to where it got warmer and warmer, until it finally got hot. Everybody has talent. It’s just a matter of moving around until you’ve discovered what it is.” — George Lucas
Step Into Wonder
Breathe. Quiet your thoughts. Listen within for an impression or an inner sense of movement towards something. Feel the distinction between your intuitive gut feelings and your analytical thoughts. Observe your surroundings and interactions for synchronicities. Trust your first impressions. Maintain curiosity. Be in wonder.