Be honest. When was the last time you leaped out of bed, threw open the window and said, "Thank god I'm alive! This is the most glorious day, and today I'm going to do something so fabulous it will change my entire life?"
-- Kathleen Neville

Over the last several days, people have come to me with a personal or professional crisis. They wonder why these things happen to them.... why they find themselves in such uncomfortable places in work or relationships.

And I believe that those things happen when we're not paying attention to signs and signals we see as we move through life.

I believe in a four-step model about this. Here's what it looks like:

Message ===> Lesson ===> Problem ===> Crisis

Things show up in our lives first as Messages. These are the gentle rumblings inside which make us uneasy, or give us a sudden flash of intuition that something just isn't right.

Usually, we ignore them.

When we do, they come back to us as Lessons. A bit of a stronger message -- usually with some consequence involved, and something to learn.

Sad to say, we often tend to ignore the Lessons as well.

Lessons come back to us as Problems. When we have Problems, however, we try to manage the symptoms... find a fast fix for them, rather than looking at the root cause.

Unfortunately, when we do, the fix isn't long-lasting, and the Problem turns into a Crisis.

And it's only then.... when we're exhausted, or very ill, or distressed beyond measure, that we actually do something about it.

Of course, it's in the middle of a Crisis that we look tearfully at friends or family and say something like, "You know, I knew that was going to happen! I just knew it." And we begin to recall the Messages and Lessons, and even the Problems which came before this Crisis which showed it was on the way! We look back and can see clearly the warning signs that we chose to ignore.

And why? Why don't we tend to pay attention to signs and signals and act on them at the point at which they appear? Why do we have the tendency to let things get out of control in our lives before we're willing to pay attention? Why do we need an actual "wake up call" before we're willing to stare reality in the face?

Because we're not taught to honor our own knowing. We're taught that unless there's hard evidence of something, we can't know anything.
Trust Your Knowing, page 2

We're taught that things have to be seen to be believed. I believe that there are some things which need to be believed to be seen. This knowing of yours is one of them. Each of us knows things.... it's instinctive, and we know them as sure as we know our own names.

So the reality is that we just don't pay attention. We're asleep. We receive Messages, and we shrug them off, or poo-poo them away. Until, that is, we're in the middle of a Crisis, and we can't postpone the inevitable anymore. Then we pay attention quickly!

So my challenge to you is this:

Wake up!

In all things professional and personal, begin to pay attention to that little voice inside you which whispers Messages to you. It's never wrong. When you hear it, act on it!

Imagine how much heartache and suffering you could spare yourself if you acted on that first Message, rather than waiting for the Crisis! Imagine how great you'd feel if you acted on a Message, got yourself out of a bad situation, and later could look back and say "Wow... am I glad I didn't have to go through that," rather than, "Oh Noooooooooo! This is horrible! I can't believe I let things get to this point!"

Trust your knowing.

Author's Bio: 

Anastacia Brice is here for the love. Everything she is and all that she does is wrapped in love--which is her purpose and passion and her undying privilege.

She is a professional business coach, the formalizer of the Virtual Assistance profession, and founder of AssistU -- for more than 15 years, the premier organization committed to training, supporting, certifying and coaching Virtual Assistants, and providing referrals to those business owners who want to work with them. An exceptionally talented partner to VAs, professionals, entrepreneurs and small business owners, Anastacia is passionate about supporting women in the building of self-honoring successful businesses and the creation of high-quality lives, helping them do that through creating rock-solid business foundations, wonderfully high standards, and vibrant virtual relationships.

Currently, in addition to the other biz-related yumminess she does, Anastacia is immersed in love--writing a book about conscious, open-hearted marriage designed to be a book of hope for all women who face the "Should I stay or should I go," threshhold moment in their marriages.

She's wise, she'll make you laugh, and she marches to her own drum while letting all people know it's a-ok for them to march to theirs. Some things that matter to Anastacia are: maitri and tonglen as spiritual practices, connecting deeply, cities, romance languages, fonts, living at choice (and always choosing the happy path!), and cheese. Anastacia loves cheese.