01 June 2024



“Gratitude is an access point to intuition,” my friend, my colleague Jacqueline Hollows said to a room full of people who had come to listen to her, and me, speak about the mystery and wonder of intuition and inspired action.

Jacqueline and I had been paired for a break-out at a Prague-based summit on The Listening World and were thrilled about it. Her wide eyes and lovely face, framed by a sheaf of strawberry-blond hair were radiant. Among the audience, which had been friendly, fun, and attentive, many nodded their heads and smiled.  They knew that a happy heart is a portal of possibility, of fresh thinking.

Next to Jacqueline, I was awash in inward musing. She is spot on, I thought. Like her, I have many stories about noticing how intuitive I am, how intuitive life is, when I am grateful and content. I also know that wonder and awe are access points for intuition.  I considered this as I sat on a tall chair next to her.

But why does it seem that the time in my life when I felt MOST guided, was also a time when gratitude, wonder and awe were inaccessible, as though they were holed up in a remote tower surrounded by a thicket of briars?

I had flashed back to my first husband’s sudden death.  I wasn’t grateful for his abrupt disappearance.  I wasn’t grateful to be wearing widow’s weeds at age 46. I wasn’t grateful for the complete, shocking, disruption of my life. I was angry at God. In fact, there was never, nor has there since been a time when I was less sure that there was anything trustworthy, sensical or intelligent behind what seemed to be the random, ruthless chaos of life. I raged. I shook with fear. I grieved hard.

I thought about all of this as I waited for the translator to interpret Jacqueline’s English words into the language of the Czech Republic for about half the audience.  I wondered: How was it that in that dark passage intuition became especially brilliant?  I saw it everywhere.  It guided me in acts as simple as putting one step ahead of the other, in remembering mundane things like how to drive to work and in sacred things like how to counsel others — my life as a therapist had not stopped, could not stop, to make room for the gripping reality of grief and loss.

I have puzzled over this. I have seen the same phenomenon in many people I have counseled who were coming through God-awful times of tragedy and pain.  I have said glib things like, “when we are suffering the veil between the spiritual world and the psychological world thins.”  I believe that. But why is it true?

As I sat next to Jacqueline, musing, a series of glittering letters flashed into my mind.


That’s it! I thought, Experiences that obliterate our egos, that show us the smallness of our intellects, are potent access points for intuition. They are wide portals for evolving spiritual consciousness.

How many times did I fall to my knees after Jim’s death and beg to know how to go on?  How many times did I ask, “Why me? Why now? Why this?   How many times did I shout to the God of my understanding, “YOU must do this for me because I do not know how to go on.”  I cannot count such moments…for months they became a continual state of BEING.

A BEING of not knowing. A BEING of utter smallness in the face of life’s mystery. A BEING of innocence – of a child who could not make sense of a world that felt too big, too random, too scary. 

And in that place of BEING, of barely functioning on the human plane – the veil between the world of human experience and the world of spiritual knowing acquired a translucency, a gossamer thinness, that wove a blanket of quiet around me so deep, so still, so peaceful that I glimpsed what it means to be in this world but not of it.  It was a comfort.  It was mysterious.  It was SILENT and I could HEAR it.  It afforded a certainty – a sense that life was streaming through me one small act at a time and that I need do NOTHING but let it.  I gave myself over to this mysterious quiet.

I have never since felt so keenly the vast depth of that stillness, but I remember it.  And it sealed forever for me my awareness that Love, Life Itself, is intelligent, intuitive wisdom.

I can sense someone who knows this stillness, who has felt it to their core. They are otherworldly. They move through life with one ear in the outer world and another fixed on the still small voice within. When they speak of being guided through life, they are certain. They know there is NOTHING woo-woo, unscientific or frightening about intuitive knowing.  In their humility, they recognize and trust intuitive wisdom as their life raft.


Dr. Linda Sandel Pettit is an author, speaker and personal consultant. To engage her as a speaker, see: https://lindasandelpettit.com/book-dr-linda-to-speak/. To order her inspirational, self-help memoir, Leaning into Curves: Trusting the Wild Intuitive Way of Love, see https://lindasandelpettit.com or on Amazon at https://a.co/d/5zYjRdG.

You are pure love in motion

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