The Trouble with Making Sense
Let me ask you something… How do you know what you know?
Now, I’m not referring to something you’ve learned. I differentiate knowledge from knowing. Knowledge is what we get when we read books, journal articles, or watch TED talks. Knowing is when we connect with an experience we’ve had personally. Some call it intuition or the sixth sense. Either way, it comes from the inside, not the outside, and is accessed most easily by stillness — meditation and other contemplative practices.
This I know to be true not just from my own experience, but from the hundreds I’ve coached and trained over the years: we can find it challenging to trust our own knowing. We look for external knowledge to validate it — to tell us we’re on the right track. And in the absence of that knowledge (when it’s something pioneering that there isn’t really any external evidence for) we can sometimes flounder and stall.
Does this resonate with you at all?
Whilst I make it my life’s work to support people in enlightening up: trusting their knowing — the voice of wisdom that whispers inside their being — of course this begins with me. Me trusting my own knowing even more fully. Following the path I feel called to, even when it doesn’t “make sense.” Because all that really means is that the reasons are subliminal rather than above the threshold of conscious awareness. And if I trust that I know what I’m doing — that my unconscious is guiding me, I can just take action, without even needing to entertain the conscious mind. In my experience, however, that is slow work.
Immediate action comes when the unconscious and conscious align. When the knowing we have is contextualised in our conscious understanding. That’s where action emerges. I see it several times a day in coaching sessions and yet, I was still surprised when I was struck by it earlier this week.
I had session with someone last week who specialises in deep unconscious work (translation: past lives and future lives). If you’re raising an eyebrow thinking whoa there, don’t you worry — I was right there with you the first time I was in a Neuro-Emotional Technique (NET) session two years ago and some past lives stuff came up. Now if you’ve never heard of NET, it’s a form of applied kinesiology like BodyTalk which uses muscle testing to precisely discern the details of unconscious issues. Like all kinesiology, it establishes a baseline through muscle testing what is a yes/no response and then runs through lists drilling down to the root causes of the issues on the surface. It’s based on the premise that the unconscious mind lives in the body so the body has access to wisdom that the conscious mind doesn’t.
In this NET session I was inquiring as to where a fear of “running out” was rooted given that my parents are quite well off and I’ve been provided with everything I’ve ever wanted. Truly, I’ve only known abundance in this life so this fear seemed quite pathological. “Present day, 30, 29, 28… birth, pre-conception…” He recited the list until my arm went weak to signal the right spot. And as it turns out, it went back to five different lifetimes of dying of starvation… And as he muscle tested me for the countries those lives took place in and the ages I died, tears began streaming down my cheeks. It hit home so hard I couldn’t not recognise the validity of the thing I once believed there was no evidence to support. I could finally make sense of why I used to hide boxes of cereal under my bed as a kid, just in case…And why as an adult, I had a backstock section of my pantry…
So in the session last week I learned about three past lives where I’ve been trapped in situations where I couldn’t speak up or use my voice — I’d be beaten or killed if I did — the most recent one being living with a controlling and abusive husband who ended up strangling me to death. She said part of my work in this lifetime is to heal that karmic trauma — to learn how to speak my truth. And holy crap did it resonate. I felt the pain I endured in each of those lives, how I numbed myself to it by cutting off feeling emotions all together, and truth of my knowing about my purpose in this life.
It wasn’t the first time I’ve been told I’m here to speak truth and be a messenger. And if I’m honest with myself, I dreamed of being a speaker before I was even 10 years old. Each time it would bring up fear in me and my fear often takes the form of questioning. “why me?” “what have I got to say?” I’d wonder. But this session answered that lingering question inside me. It helped me see that my calling to step into this space is healing those past traumas. And as far as my spirit is concerned, it matters far less what I say than that I commit to the practice of speaking — sharing what’s in me to share: my current reality. I’ve been told that I’m here to join dots that other people don’t even know exist. And you know what? I reckon that’s spot on and applicable to all of us.
We each perceive different dots. And because of that, you’re the only person on the planet that can connect your dots, just like I’m the only person that can connect mine. I don’t need to know what they all are. In fact, I can sure I will discover new ones with each passing day. And that’s part of the fun of it, I suppose.
So I continue walking that path, perhaps even more boldly now than ever before. One of the ways that is evidenced is that I officially changed my name last week. It’s now Divya Darling. I’ve been getting a lot of questions on facebook about it so I may as well share why. Here’s what I wrote on the application:
“In the book I’m writing there is a chapter on identity and the Art of Conscious Selfing. It’s about recognising that every aspect of the lives we lead are fabricated in our minds eye, and there are genes that turn off and on in response to how we choose to be. So throughout the process of writing and reflecting I’ve been asking myself where I don’t feel fully satisfied and aligned and my name came up. It feels like my past, not my future. I’m choosing to change my name as a reminder to myself: reality is yours create. It’s important to me I embody that message and I can’t think of a better way to do that. Also, I can’t picture Divya Hemnani on the cover of a book but I can imagine Divya Darling. I can see it clearly. It’s also already the name I call myself inside my own mind (albeit with a comma after Divya). It just feels right.”
Writing that reminded me of when I expatriated to Australia. I felt the call to come — I knew I had to be here. The life I’m guided to live is here. And yet, it didn’t make sense. My family was in the US. Cost of living is so much higher here in Australia than in the US. My degrees from Oberlin, my prestigious liberal arts college, would mean nothing here as the only universities most Australians know of are in the Ivy League. Moreover, at that time Australia was in a drought so I couldn’t even shower for longer than five minutes… Seriously, it made no sense to move here.
But I couldn’t seem to shake the feeling that I had to be here. No matter how many pro/con lists I made (I made several) weighing up different factors, and even when America came out ahead, I felt compelled to move to Sydney. And when I eventually said yes to that knowing, I felt more settled and congruent than ever before. Since then, it’s been an ongoing game of raising my own bar — coming to ever increasing levels of alignment in my actions. I’m looking forward to what this new season brings…
My key lessons at the moment are:
- The dream in your heart is the one your spirit has called you here to fulfil.
- Your body knows what it needs, and is guiding you through your intrinsic brilliance.
- Action emerges easily and organically when mind, body, and spirit are aligned.
I share these with you in hopes they resonate, and are of value to you in enlightening up: trusting in your own truth.
 Suggested reading for fellow sceptics: “The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma” by Bessel van der Kolk M.D.