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Is it Intuition? Or Fear?

I halted with a startle after I asked the group, “Are there any questions?” during my session, when a hand raised. A bright-eyed businesswoman desired clarification on the night’s topic of Intuition; she sought proof and precision to match her salon-styled haircut:

“How do I know if I am feeling fear or intuition?”

While I probably most remember this question as one that sent me swirling into uncertainty, questioning my ability to be teaching intuition, I truly remember it, because I utilized my own intuition in order to respond.

“Fear elicits a variety of responses in our bodies. Often, we feel our thoughts racing in our heads, or our hearts pounding more quickly. Intuition is a different sensation, which is why we are creating awareness around our individual signals this evening. Our intuition may speak to us in different ways. Mine, for instance, starts like a sparkler in my solar plexus area (chakra above the naval) and radiates up toward my heart when I feel a ‘yes’ with something that resonates with me.”

I pondered that question long after my program, as I reflected back on my decisions with my BRCA2 genetic mutation. Did I act out of fear when I chose to undergo a prophylactic bilateral mastectomy with the intense DIEP Flap reconstruction? The answer is affirmative, I’m afraid. <Sigh> Today’s anniversary is one unfortunate reason why, being 4 years since a beloved family member died suddenly. A tragic event occurring only weeks following my BRCA2 positive diagnosis, which had already rocked my world. Kev’s death at my age, minus one year, made me feel so much more vulnerable to the clutches of cancer, especially after my anaphylactic MRI experience.

I was scared to death of leaving my young girls motherless, and devastating my husband after so much loss already. It was also a massive case of FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out).

Fear can help keep us safe in dangerous situations by activating adrenaline and cortisol, yet fear also removes us from our true selves; fear forces us to do what we think we should, or how others want us to behave. Sure, a small dose can keep us more polite and civilized, yet also keep our authentic light from shining.

On some level, my surgical decisions emanated from an intuitive place, which I wrote about here.

In the end, the surgeries weren’t about trying to prevent cancer. They served to activate my will to live, to live more fully, healthy and lively. Since that time engulfed in fear, my intuition has evolved into my personal beacon, guiding me to take risks and live more authentically, such as offering Bloom with Bliss courses on outlying topics such as Intuition.

Of course, there have been bumps on this new path, but I now know when fear tries to take hold of the wheel. It’s an opportunity to shift gears and tune back into my intuition to fuel my own journey. I am hoping the same for you.

Intuition is a very powerful thing, more powerful than intellect, in my opinion.

~Steve Jobs

Did you make BRCA-related or surgical decisions out of fear or intuition? What did you learn about yourself, in the process?