Last month, I made a large pot of asparagus soup. I called my neighbor, Jeannette, to see if she’d like some. She thanked me and declined. She shared a story, a lesson she learned that has stuck with her since childhood. A school friend had invited her to dinner. Her friend’s mother prepared asparagus soup. Hating asparagus soup, my friend finished her bowl with difficulty not wanting to offend her host. And, to be polite, she praised the soup. Delighted with the compliment and thinking she enjoyed it, the mother refilled her bowl. To this day, my friend does not eat asparagus soup and says so right up front. I laughed and thanked her for her story. I appreciated her honesty and it strengthened our relationship.
Jeannette’s story resonated with me. I, too, remembered eating things I didn’t like, doing something I didn’t want to do and going along to be nice or polite. It took years to trust my intuition and base my decision on what is best for me. If the answer is no, it’s expressed with love and kindness. My mother-in-law once told me, “Do what is best for you, and it’s always best for everyone.”
Questions still arise, and when they do, I pause and check in with myself before responding. After hosting an amazing Ireland retreat in 2017, I considered hosting one the following year as several people were interested. I made reservations and returned to Ireland in the fall to consider ideas for the next trip. However, the timing didn’t feel right, and I cancelled the reservations. A few months later, a hurricane hit Ireland. Listening to my inner guidance paid off.
This month, the idea of hosting the Ireland retreat resurfaced for March of 2019. All manner of thoughts filled my head. I stopped the inner dialogue and asked myself, “Does this feel right?” My inner voice said, “Yes,” and plans are falling into place.
I called Jeannette a few weeks ago, after making potato leek soup. This time, when I offered it, she said yes. I smiled, knowing she really would enjoy it! Listening to ourselves and trusting the answers we receive takes practice. We often prefer to put the decision in someone else’s hands. Yet, we are the ones who know ourselves the best. We have that inner wisdom, and trusting it is the best gift we can give ourselves. You have the answers.