By Jo Strausz Rosen

Sometimes, people choose a new and better path by following their intuition. Maybe you follow some unsolicited advice from a friend and begin thinking differently about your current situation.  Or you randomly follow the impulse to take a new way home and end up saving a life or seeing something that was meant to be seen.

At times, when we are sitting quietly, our attention is drawn by intuition if only we listen or notice a feeling that tells us to follow a new thought or idea that answers a question, we’ve been asking ourselves.  Or we may see a mental image that we understand as a message or a feeling. When we take a breath and listen and we follow what is presented to us, roadblocks to happiness can tumble away and we can find ourselves in amazing new situations.  And then we’re off on a new adventure beginning a new chapter in a seemingly new life with people who are meant to join us in our mission. Intuition comes to us if we nurture our ability to receive it.

Sometimes we meet people who deeply touch our hearts. Because I followed my intuition and accepted the job at JSL almost 4 years ago, I have developed important, long-lasting, and meaningful relationships with residents and staff. I learn from them and from our shared experiences that bring us together.

I think of chance meetings– like with that woman on the street you helped recently in the store parking lot when picking up her groceries after they tumbled from her car, who then randomly tells you where she used to live – in a distant location, and it turns out it’s your grandmother’s next-door neighbor’s daughter who then goes on to tell you special moments you never knew about your beloved Matriarch….

Or you start up a conversation with a stranger in a restaurant because his voice has the Chicago accent you know so well. You learn from the man at the next table who tells you he’s from the South Side and remembered your father as a friend in their youth… and you receive information about your Patriarch that brings some closure to questions and changes your life immeasurably.

Think of the many DNA websites that link us with people who may be distantly related. If, on a hunch or out of curiosity, you follow up and learn about them, it may lead to new relationships and perhaps the long-sought answers to mysteries. Life is funny in this way. Modern technology connects us to people around the world and provides us with healing properties, stories that change us. Trust that we should know these things that come to us in any way.

Recently I received a message on LinkedIn from someone who lived in my childhood home for nine months in 1964 as our foreign exchange student. 17-year-old Roy was from Johannesburg, South Africa.  I was overjoyed to reconnect with the 75-year-old Roy and immediately phoned my brother, Richard, and we set up a Zoom call with Roy and his wife Marlene, and we spent an hour sharing our lives and showed each other photos of our children and grandchildren and plan to continue our newfound connection. I remembered all sorts of events from when he lived with us. I was 11 years old. But why am I sharing this? Because I never visit LinkedIn, but my intuition told me to check it that day and allowed me to reconnect with an important part of my childhood.

Think about memorable and meaningful conversations you’ve had with strangers on airplanes or with strangers in waiting rooms. Strangers become friends when we reach out and we can thank our intuition for giving us the idea to strike up a conversation.

If we practice listening to our intuition, even about a small thing, it often leads to important and meaningful events that may change or enrich our lives. Follow that “still small voice” in your heart and see where it takes you.

Shabbat Shalom

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