essays, Personal writing

Receiving and following intuition: a personal story

A little over a year ago I had a dream of my future wife. In the dream, I saw a bright, cheerful, red-headed woman, knew that she was a nurse, and awoke saying aloud the words ‘That’s my wife.’ Obviously, I wrote down the dream and told it to friends.

As with most mystical experiences, this one was followed by a literal interpretation, then an attempted execution, then forgetfulness. At first I thought I was supposed to find the red-headed nurse in the city I was then living, Denver, and solicited friends to this end. Did we know anyone who was a red-headed nurse? If not, did we know someone who might know such a person, such as someone in medical school? Should I begin online dating and laser-target a person of this description?

After this first phase, I eventually—and fairly quickly—wore myself out on the search, and forgot about the dream. I got into graduate school in a different part of the country (the midwest), and for no reason I could pinpoint, felt that I was supposed to move there. So, I did.

A few weeks after the move, I was sitting at the Wisconsin coffee shop where I now sit typing this post. It was a very busy day for the coffee shop, and although I wasn’t aware of it in that moment, only a few seats in the entire shop were available—one being the one across from me, at a small metal table meant for two.

As I typed away at an application I was working on, I heard a voice from above ask, ‘Do you mind if I sit here?’ I looked up, and instantly I could feel a dizziness and warmth begin to fill me: the woman who had asked me this question was beautiful, though apparently blond, but I knew in my core that something very, very special was happening.

I answered her question in the affirmative, and we proceeded to talk for the next few hours. Before the end of it, I’d asked for her number, and we agreed to see each other shortly thereafter.

Back at home I followed my intuition, looking the woman up on Facebook. I already knew from our conversation that she was a nurse, but I wanted to see whether my instinct about her hair color was correct, so I looked up her profile picture, and sure enough her hair was naturally red—she had only dyed it blond.

Below are a few photos of me and the red-headed nurse, recently engaged. We are planning to get married and move in together in the coming year, and are very, very happy.

I share this story not because I think it’s anomalous, but because I believe this kind of guidance is awaiting all of us, so long as we can only get beyond the part of ourselves that thinks we are masters of experience. In order to meet my red-headed nurse, I had to get beyond the idea that I was in best position to steer my own life, which I did through a combination of therapy, spiritual exploration, and my own humbling process of reading literature. Through these processes, I became familiar with the unifying level of experience at which knowledge is available to us all.

Next, I had to take the leap of faith that it was to follow an illogical instinct. I knew that I was supposed to go to graduate school in the midwest, not in the city where I was living. I didn’t know why, but it was in the midwest that I met my red-headed nurse.

Have you had an illogical or mystical experience? Have you followed it? If so, what happened? If not, why not? Do you live with regret, or wonder, about this decision? How would you like to cultivate your own mystical knowing in the future?

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