A RETURN TO THE INTUITIVE
Anna was born in rural Idaho Falls in the spring of 1980. The year she was born she would be sealed to her family through the tradition of her religion. This would serve as the foundation for her values and beliefs. Her father was enlisted in the Navy but took an opportunity in the private sector of nuclear power. Anna’s developmental years were spent in the small beach towns that made up the Central Coast of California. This allowed for a childhood of outdoor living.
Growing up, Anna was a precocious adventurer. She was forever testing her boundaries and learning from her natural environment. Her fragile digestive system and susceptibility to illness never seemed to slow her down. By the age of 5 one could observe her penchant for introspection and strong sense of justice. In elementary school she was the first to befriend the new students and the outcasts, helping them feel welcome when other kids rejected them. She could not understand or relate to the hurtful behavior that was often traded among children. Her strong sense of self would not let popular opinion sway her from doing what she felt was right, even at such a young age.
Anna recalled an experience in the third grade that would become an underpinning influence on her sense of justice:
“I remember a girl who was very nice to me. She played with me when other kids wouldn’t. The popular kids would strongly discourage the friendship. In their mind she was mean and bully-ish because she would retaliate in response to their judgments. I never did that. I saw the good in her. I judged her by the way she interacted with me. For me, it was about who she was as a person, not her appearance, social or economic background. I couldn’t just reject this girl based on the opinion of others. I had to make that judgement call myself, based on my experience with her.”
This way of thinking would oftentimes leave her on the fringes of the social circles. However, it was more important to Anna to be the best version of herself, a person she could respect.
Anna’s personality would continue to develop around this philosophy. This led to her questioning everything by the time she was in junior high and high school, marking her most rebellious years. She lived her life as she saw the world should be without necessarily recognizing it for what it was. She did not participate in activities she didn’t believe in and stood for what she felt was right – even in the face of authority. Freedom and embracing diversity were paramount.
In response to unwanted social constructs and restrictions, Anna took long walks. Spending time among the eucalyptus groves and expansive beaches allowed her to fall into rhythm with her environment. As a child she often experienced an odd sense of déjà vu. The more time she spent in stillness and reverie, the stronger and more precise the experiences. For her, this was a normal occurrence that gave her comfort. In later years she would discover this gift would profoundly evolve – but not before she nearly lost it altogether.
Anna was exposed to the Life/Death/Life Cycle and grieving at a young age. Her first experience was in 1990 when her parents divorced. The family structure she had grown up with was gone. With the help of her parents she learned to embrace a new way of life. In 1995, at the age of 15, she would experience her next compelling loss; she was emotionally devastated when one of her two best friends moved to Los Angeles. Just as she was beginning to trust that the move wouldn’t affect the dynamic of their friendship, she received news that he had been fatally stabbed while defending a friend. Unable to process such a senseless act of injustice, she withdrew into herself and started questioning society as a whole.
Two years later she moved to Chico, California to live with her dad. As she matured, her episodes of déjà vu intensified. Continuing to nurture her bond with her remaining best friend allowed her to have a “sixth sense” about the friendship. It was so acute by her late teens that she had a strong sense of premonition. It ranged from knowing when the phone would ring to seeing flashes of future events that inevitably came to pass.
During her time in Chico, Anna had met a romantic interest who lived in Houston, Texas. At the same time – in spite of a tumultuous relationship – her best friend married and moved to Fort Hood, Texas. Both girls were excited about the coincidence, and Anna planned to move to Houston. In spite of such a good turn of fortune, Anna had a foreboding feeling about the future. Within six months Anna received a phone call from a mutual friend communicating her best friend had committed suicide. This was a powerful turning point.
The intuitive gift that once served Anna so well now seemed more like a burden. It was more frightening than comforting. She needed change and made the conscious decision to disconnect from her intuition.
By 2002 Anna was already in a two-year relationship with her “on-again/off-again” high school sweetheart. Still stinging from her best friend’s death, she decided it was time to “grow up,” settle down and get married. Anna continued to suppress her intuitive nature and opted to fall in line with her conservative religion and the acceptable cultural blueprint as a guideline for marriage. This proved compatible for her philosophically conservative and traditionally based husband.
During the first three and half years of marriage Anna worked for a fiduciary. She traded in her rebellious street image for the more sophisticated appearance of Calvin Klein. Together, she and her husband created a socially acceptable lifestyle and presence. The only thing missing was the child her husband had been pressing for since their first year of marriage. This is the one area Anna resisted to the point of non-compliance.
Between observing the struggle her mother endured as a single mom and noting the difficulties of her oldest sister as a teen mother, Anna was not sure she ever wanted to have children. Her greatest fear was being a single parent and not being present for her child. It was so distressing she started birth control at age 15. She felt being a mother was not a choice to be made haphazardly or as part of a blueprint for domestic success. It was one thing to be experimental with her own life, but with the life of an infant who had no control over being born was another. If Anna was going to choose to be a mother, she wanted to be in a place in her life where she could impart wisdom, be nurturing and give guidance through to adulthood.
In spite of a problematic and laborious pregnancy her son was born in spring of 2007. She immediately fell in love with him. While both Anna and her husband were proud and excited to be new parents, there was an overwhelming expectation that Anna immediately fall back into the role of dutiful and obedient housewife. Anna found this a difficult role to balance as a brand new mother. On top of the normal exhaustion, she still had pre-existing health conditions, which were exacerbated by the pregnancy. With little help or support from her husband, Anna found herself on the edge of a nervous breakdown.
Her previous conditions of IBS, adrenal fatigue, thyroid dysfunction, depression and severe migraines (causing numbness and speech impairment) were in full force. Each day was a marathon of trying to ease her symptoms, tend to the needs of her son and meet the expectations of her husband. Three years passed before she came to the conclusion that she could no longer keep up the pace. Her body was starting to shut down.
By 2010, at the age of 30, Anna decided to stop and take stock of her life. After careful consideration she realized her interpretation of what it meant to be a wife and marriage was wildly different than that of her husband. Anna observed that as long as she satisfied her husband’s vision of what a wife should be, the marriage remained stable. By contrast, the moment she asked for compromise, allowing her to be authentic to herself and have their mutual needs met, the marriage would start to collapse.
Anna had a new found awareness that her life was disintegrating around her. Between medical conditions, different prescription drugs to address the symptoms and feeling she had no real support system, she fell into an almost dysfunctional depression. In response, her doctor additionally prescribed Effexor XR to address the depression, Xanex for the anxiety and a gluten-free diet for her newly developed intolerance.
After two years of failed attempts to save the marriage, October 22, 2012 marked the end. Anna was emotionally paralyzed as one of her greatest fears came to fruition. She was now a single parent trying to support herself and her child. Fortunately, her younger sister would come to her aid by securing an interview with a reputable online marketing company. For the previous four years Anna had been a stay-at-home mom. This was the stability and flexibility she needed.
Her position was multifaceted and became high stress within the first year due to the company’s sudden success. The day-to-day life as a single mother was taking a toll with the responsibilities of elementary school, after-school programs, doctor’s appointments and family court appearances. The time away from work put her ability to sustain herself financially in jeopardy. She was torn between the importance of keeping a job to provide food and shelter and taking the time to make sure that she was doing what is in the best interest of her son. Anna was losing her ability to cope under the stress and was in sore need of support.
2014 would introduce a man into her life who promised to be exactly what she needed. If Anna would trust him and allow him to take the lead, he vowed to provide her with everything she needed to rest, re-connect with herself and stabilize her son’s life. He moved in quickly, following through with his assurances. It only took a short three months to convince Anna to marry him. It seemed to her that within 24 hours of saying “I do” the foundation of the relationship shifted. Still disconnected from her intuitive gifts she was unable to sense what was coming.
The relationship went from supportive and nurturing to abusive, exploitative and violent. Within three months of marriage her resources were completely drained, she was isolated from her family and became financially co-dependent. In the best interest of her son she allowed him to go live with his father in Colorado. She then fled for her life, seeking refuge and support – hoping law enforcement and the judicial system would protect her. Instead, she spent several weeks on her own trying to qualify for supportive services for victims of domestic violence. She was finally accepted by a southern California program, only to be exited prematurely in favor of sex trafficking victims who needed refuge.
The spring of 2015 brought a new chapter of rebirth for Anna. She learned no one was going to save her – not law enforcement, the judicial system, or supportive services. She was going to have to save herself and look to others who had successfully made the journey for support. She removed herself from society to heal and learn how to re-connect with her authentic nature.
For more than a year Anna has been practicing good boundaries and techniques for protecting her life. She left organized religion in favor of spiritual practices. Her intuitive gifts have slowly started to return, as she communes with stillness while practicing universal love and compassion for humanity. She has taken a holistic approach to her ongoing health issues as an alternative to traditional medicine and found peace while she rebuilds. All of these methods and processes are helping to restore her relationship with her son and teach him the tools and philosophies that will serve him best.
This is her spiritual journey; …