Impulse or Guidance? Start with Reality

Living a Summoned Life begins right where you are, with the reality all around you. Right in the smack dab middle of it. In the cluttered bedroom, the sounds of the barking dog, the gray dawn, the body or the mind that needs to stretch.

That’s where current reality squats, waiting for you to answer its summons.

We think we should be solving some problem we’ve come up with Or taking care of someone else’s reality. As if we could.

Look around you. This is it. Your reality.

What does it want from you?

Sometimes there’s no mystery in the answer. The dog needs walking. The body wants fuel. It absolutely must pee. Now.

In my current reality, as I recover from a patch of bad luck and missteps, healing must happen before the bones can be used. Very clear priority list, especially when pain from overdoing is factored in. Reality isn’t whispering. And I cooperate. Because what other choice is there?

But much of the time it takes a more discerning ear to hear the call embedded in reality. The body will show us the way, usually by feeling lighter and brighter and inspired by some possibilities while others feel like you’re slogging through the Okefenoke swamp.

But it can get a little tricky. There’s a whole world of commerce geared to convince us what’s wrong with our reality. To sell us the feeling of possibility. We restlessly open our laptop or other mobile device du jour, looking for we know not what, but if we find something that approximates it, we don’t hesitate before clicking the Pay Now button.

I know this from my own experience and that of many of my clients. Problem is, the promise we’re buying is often not very related to what Reality wants from us. It’s often (but not always) a quick fix.

How to discern, to tell the difference between the effervescence of curiosity and the excitement of buying something that will take care of what we believe is broken in us?

Getting familiar with how that first impulse feels in the body can make the difference between filling your hard drive or schedule with online courses in self-development or paying for three storage lockers filled with things you bought on a whim.

How can you know? Start by learning to read your body’s clues. In my body, excitement of impulse comes from the head. Guidance is usually closer to the center. It’s a calm knowing instead of an itch.  While you’re figuring it out, it doesn’t hurt to ask a yourself a couple of questions in the moment the urge strikes. Do I really need this? What am I trying to fix? What isn’t broken, doesn’t need fixing? Just notice what shows up, there for you already.

Check it out. What does Reality ask of you? Is it Impulse or Guidance? How do you know the difference? I’m curious about your answer.

One Response to “Impulse or Guidance? Start with Reality”

  1. Susan Sanford

    This speaks deeply to me. My current question, when I remember to ask it and am prepared to purchase something or eat something: Is this authentic self-care or driven by an emotional need?


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