Can Intuition play a role in your career?
It was a superb midwestern summer day in every way. The wind was warm and smelled faintly of cut grass. The sun was bright and friendly, the clouds were white puffy cotton candy. At least that's what my three-year-old-self thought as I played in the backyard under my mother's watchful eye. As the wind whipped around my curls, it felt like it wanted to play. I wanted to play too so I threw my ball high up into the air. It felt like it went up for miles and came back to me ready to be thrown into the air again....and again...higher and higher. What if I could throw my ball into the sky past the clouds and past the sun? What if I could get the ball all the way up to...Jesus? So I threw my ball into the air as I high as I could, stretching my little body as far as it could to get the maximum force upwards (even then I was loving biomechanics!). I threw it up higher and higher imagining that Jesus would peek out between the sun and the clouds to catch it. I threw it up over and over again - but He didn't show up.
That was fine with me. I figured it was just a test of faith.
I kept going for what seemed like hours to me.
"What are you doing, Dija?" My mom asked through the window. I had a slight sense that she had been watching me for a while.
"I'm playing ball with Jesus!" I answered quickly. Don't bother me, woman! I have some serious tossing to do. I went back to my important work with gusto.
Soon it was time to go inside. Playtime was over.
I don't know how or why but I didn't lose my faith that day. It would have been easy to say forget it, Jesus doesn't exist and He doesn't want to play with me. Deep down I figured He would come play when it was time - but I wasn't going to be the one to stop trying!
As long as I can remember I wanted to be closer to God. I wanted to experience His spirit. I wanted to go on an adventure with Him. I wanted to see the sea part into two, see my own burning bush, and witness amazing miracles in my life.
Over the years I've had times when I was close to Him and times when I couldn't hear His voice. But I kept throwing that ball of immature faith hoping to hear Him better. When I got married it became more and more important for me to hear His voice. As the children came and depression hit I sought Him out more and more. Sometimes I found myself angry and feeling lonely but I knew I needed Him. As the years moved on and my dream of being a working actress seemed farther and farther away, I knew I needed to keep throwing Him my ball of hope.
When my daughter was shot in 2014 (she survived and is thriving now!) I had a crisis of faith. I stopped wanting to play ball with God. I wanted to give up my faith. I didn't want to believe anymore. I couldn't comprehend what had happened. PTSD had taken a hold of my mind. I struggled to work, take care of my family and not give in to thoughts of wanting to exit this planet for good.
The funny thing is that I was venting my doubts of God TO GOD! Yes in the middle of yelling to the sky I would find a little humor in that question Judy Blume asked boldly years ago "God, are you there?" In that season I learned that faith is just that...it's FAITH. It's believing in what has not come and what you cannot see. Faith doesn't pretend to be anything else but what it is. It doesn't make promises to do anything but change you and bring you closer to God. It's what pleases God and when it gets deep into your soul...it'll change your life.
The process of wrestling with my faith has forever changed me. A strange side-effect of asking spiritual questions is that it taught me how to engage with the Spirit. I realized that communing with the Divine is simply a choice. That communion has shown up many times as intuition for me. There are things that I just knew deep in my heart and held on to that belief with an iron grip. We all have that opportunity to believe or not believe. We must believe before things even show up in our lives. I wanted to be bolder and more solid in my belief in God especially because of my goal to work full time in the entertainment industry. Alignment and clarity are very important to me and you need faith - strong faith - to survive in this industry no matter how small of a market you are in.
It has been four years since that violent incident. I could write a book on what God has done for me since then (maybe I will one day). But there has been a desire to draw closer to Him just like when I was three years old. Since then Jesus has come out to play with me. Since then God has taken me on adventures and shown me miracles... I'm sure there are more to come.
The secret of life is not the things we get but the chance to experience God on a deep level. Some of these levels are only reserved for those who can stand the test of faith. He is the prize, the Oscar, the Tony, the Grammy - and so much more! I told my son once that there is a treasure to find in each day we live on this earth. It came out as a response to a random question he asked. It came out without me thinking. I realized that I had prophesied to myself in a way.
Yes, there is a treasure to find every day...and your intuition can lead you to there.
But what about your career? Can intuition lead you in that area as well? It's not talked about much but I believe that those who are successful have developed the ability to listen to their intuition. I mean how could a trailblazer blaze a trail that has never been traveled before without divine guidance? After all we cannot tell the future, we cannot logically predict every outcome but God knows all things.
Intuition is the ability to understand something without our logical mind. It comes from experience and wisdom. We can't always rationalize it but we just "know" within ourselves what is the next right move to make...if we listen.
By seeking God I feel like my intuition has had a bigger role in my life over the years. The play between intuition and God's spirit is like a wonderful dance. It's hard to put into words but if you've ever just felt something in your gut than you know what I'm talking about. However, be warned, our intuition can be off if it's affected by stress, negativity or fear but when it's driven by God's spirit - there is peace.
When I graduated from college we were taught to how to put together an resume, get a headshot and perform an audition. We were not told how to market ourselves, run our business or navigate the tricky waters of the industry. We weren't taught how to choose projects or agents that would help us get where we wanted to go. Even if the educators tried to teach these softer skills, I don't know if there is a formula that would work for each person. I've had to learn on my own that each person's path to success is different.
To be honest it was so extremely freeing to finally learn that it's okay to have a unique path to success. It made it okay that I wasn't doing everything everyone else was doing. I still fight with my ego on this at times but I'm learning to trust myself more and more. Over the years I've seen my intuition guide me into many opportunities that have helped me grow as an artist (and get paid sometimes too!)
When the kids I was working with while I volunteered at an after school program wanted to write a play to honor their friend who was shot and killed I instinctively said I would. To tell you the truth I was so scared but I pushed through and it changed my life in so many ways. We put on a play that affected our local community and elected officials came out to support. We were asked to do the play for several years in a row afterwards. Doing this play helped me to grow as an artist and as a writer. We faced so many challenges over the years and yet we were able to overcome them together.
When I felt a calling to start creating online content it was a feeling that wouldn't go away. I finally started writing and creating video content and discovered a huge community of creators online. It helped me get comfortable in front of the camera, learn to edit and feel empowered to create and produce my own stories! It helped me to have a place to express myself and improve my mental health. I believe it was a form of self-care and caused me to be a better mother to my kids. As a result of these actions, I started to book work and was even getting a reputation as an expert in my local community!
When I was struggling with post-partum depression while raising three kids under five years old I had a breakdown in my bathroom. As tears rolled down my face, I prayed and God showed me a vision of a one person show. A good friend helped me to craft the show and enter it into an international womens' theater festival where it became the featured show. Because of my online community I was able to make a connection that opened a door for me to take my show to New York!
Because I listened to my intuition I was prompted to ask a woman if she needed help with her social media after she mistakingly called me to attend a women's business event. As a result I was flown to do social media at a business event where Damon John was the keynote speaker. I met Martha Stewart at that same event and from there was invited to another event where I met Oprah's producer when she was doing the Oprah Show and got great advice!
The adventures go on and on.
Now don't get me wrong I've booked commercials and print jobs through the traditional means of an agent but while they've paid bills, those jobs aren't the ones that have stretched me as an artist.
As a professional? Yes absolutely.
But the times where I've listened to that quiet voice within telling me to create - and then CREATED - are the times that pushed the needle forward for me as an artist. The balance of art and professionalism is always a challenge and hard to navigate for me but by learning to listen I've been able to create some sort of path for myself.
So how do you listen to your intuition?
1. Get quiet. Meditate
The voice within is quiet and still. It's hard to hear it in today's busy world where everyone wants your attention. The amount of ads we see is has gone from 500 in the 1970's to nearly 5,000 A DAY! If you include social media, and just our daily life into the equation our mental space is basically a war zone. How in the world can we listen to the inner voice? I've been meditating for the past 6 months using an app called Head Space. It's been teaching me to build the habit of quieting my mind and allowing thoughts to pass by without engaging with them. I'm not always great at it but that's why they call it a spiritual practice, right? Take some time every day to just get quiet. Start with 5 minutes and go from there.
2. Remove the outside voices
It's always good to get sound advice from those wise people that you trust but there are times when God will ask you to do something that will not make sense to anyone else. And how could it? God gave you the vision, not them. Many times the heroes of the bible pondered and meditated on the things they believed God was saying to them. Take a page from their lives and sit with the vision without introducing other voices. Ask God for clarity. I always add the prayer that I God will open my eyes to see His answers because I can be dense at times.
3. Practice trusting
After you've gotten quiet and you think you getting in tune with that inner voice, take small risks and build up trust with yourself and with God. When I was a child I made a vow not to quiet that voice within because it kept me out of trouble more than once. I've been listening for decades at this point. If you're just starting out, don't worry if it's hard at first. One thing I like to do is imagine that I made the decision I was thinking about. I literally will sit and visualize every detail and pay attention to what I'm feeling. Do I feel peace or anxiousness? This is one wonderful and healthy way I've used my feelings to aid in how I listen to my intuition.
Lastly, and probably most importantly work on self - discovery through your relationship with God. Choose to know Him better and you will know yourself better. This is how you grow in maturity so you can be prepared for the blessings ahead.