intuition

What Do You Know? And How Do You Know it?

Friday night, my husband, Kosta, and I were in San Francisco. We were hungry, and stopped in to a funky little place with a diner-ish menu. As we sat down in our booth, there were 4 or 5 people in the booth next to us, who seemed to be finishing up their meal. I didn’t pay much attention to them, but noticed they were of both genders, probably in their 20s.After they left, the 50-ish waiter covering both our booths (actually, the whole restaurant, as business was slow), started kvetching (complaining, for you non-Yiddish speakers, but it also has the connotation of whining, and doing it persistently) about the people who’d just left, “Those are the worst customers I’ve ever had… probably raised by wolves. They just don’t know how to act.” And on.. and on…

When I asked what they’d done to earn that stream of bitching, he said that they’d asked him to justify the price of each menu item, asked for everything done in a slightly different way than on the menu, then complained about being charged for substitutions, and decided at the end of the meal that they wanted separate checks. Having been a waitress one summer in college, I completely sympathize with his estimation of these customers.

By this point, I’d detected a slight New York accent. I didn’t want to ‘lead the witness’, but slipped into his phraseology, and asked, “Where ya from?” with a smile.

“Queens, and proud of it!”, he answered. Then he began to kvetch about San Franciscans, in general, “No one will tell you like it is, everyone just tells you what you want to hear.” And on… and on… He mentioned that all his friends still lived in Queens, that he was the only one who’d left.

“Why don’t you just move back?”, I asked, still smiling.

“I’m gonna be buried there!”, he answered defiantly — but he was smiling, too., as he left to put in our orders.

At this point, I just knew that he’d moved to SF 30 years ago because he was gay, and and said as much to Kosta. He was surprised, and asked me me how I knew the waiter’s story.

This was a complete shock — I just assumed everyone would have known that — that he knew that — because it was so obvious to me. We agreed to ask the waiter how long he’d been in SF, his sexual orientation seeming a bit too personal to ask a complete stranger.

Sure enough — he’d been in SF for 25 years. Okay, I was off by 5 years — but then I could have been off by a few years in his age, too.

Kosta tried to pass it off as, “my wife, the psychic lady”. But to me, being psychic is doing readings. And readings are something I do in an hypnotic state, where I’m really focused on the other person, with my guides around me, showing me pictures and talking to me, giving me information I couldn’t possibly know any other way, especially since I rarely even meet, or see photos of, the people I read.

So I really had to think about how I knew that he’d been in SF for so long. When I backed into the logic of it, it went like this:

The waiter clearly loved NY and had friends and family there, clearly thought it was a great place. He’d been in SF long enough to complain about the differences between the two cities. 30 years ago, when he’d been around 20, NY was even bigger and more powerful in relation to SF than it is today; you could get pretty much anything there. The only reason you’d leave NY to come to SF was lifestyle — and SF being the gay mecca of the world would probably explain it.

Absolutely none of these thoughts was conscious. It’s just normal for me to infer things — and they often turn out to be right. I don’t think of this as psychic/intuitive; it’s just what I’ve always done. It’s what used to piss people off about me as a kid, because I did it, and knew stuff, and didn’t know not to say it. I still don’t know if they were angry because I knew things I wasn’t supposed to know — and was right, or because I said these things — and lots of them were, I guess, embarrassing to the adults. Anyway, what I learned was to shut up, and only to use the information when I needed it for my own protection.

The dirty little secret here is that my Dad used to do this stuff, too. I spent a lot of time with him as a child, and he’d look at complete strangers and tell me about them. He did it with a medical eye, like seeing the telltale signs of alcoholism — but I suspect he knew a lot more than he could have gotten just that way. Of course, he never admitted that he was in any way psychic.

I learned how to do it, at least the more everyday parts of being psychic, as a skill, by copying my parent, like all kids do. (Thanks, Dad!)

So this intuition is just a skill, like any other, that everyone can do — they just maybe haven’t been taught how. We all pick up little clues about each other, about the world, that we don’t have the bandwidth to process with our conscious minds. (This is what Malcolm Gladwell was talking about in Blink.) We combine that with what we already know about the world to form an even more complete picture of the world.

So if you didn’t have a parent who modeled intuition for you, how do you learn?  

  • You wonder about things, or people, create a hypothesis — and check it out (like we asked the waiter)
  • You let yourself imagine how something, or someone, might have gotten to be the way that it is — and check it out.

And sooner or later, you’ll find yourself just knowing that your waiter moved to San Francisco a couple of decades ago.

Hollis Polk is a personal coach (www.888-4-hollis.com), who has been helping people create lives they love for 15 years, using neurolinguistic & hypnotherapy techniques, decision science, clairvoyance & the common sense learned in 20+ years of business. She is an NLP Master Practitioner, hypnotherapist & has a BSE in engineering from Princeton & a Harvard MBA. She is also a successful real estate broker, investor & business owner.

Does Believing Something Different Mean You’re Crazy?

I book my own guests for my for my radio show, “Your Life, Your Relationships”. Because I’m a hypnotherapist and NLP Master Practitioner, I know a lot of very talented healers, so some of my guests are friends.
Last week, I called a friend to be a guest on my show. This is someone I consider a real friend, not an acquaintance, as we were fairly deeply involved in each other’s lives at one point, even though that period was over a decade ago. She is someone I respect deeply, for her intelligence, knowledge, competence, clarity and kindness.
She said she wouldn’t appear on my show, because she’d heard an earlier show, in which I’d talked about star visitors (aka ETs), and she was afraid to be publicly associated with me. Her market is a corporate market, and she’s afraid that if she is even heard on a show where such things are discussed, then she’ll lose business. (Personally, I think she’s being a bit paranoid, but it’s her business and her life, so she gets to decide.)
She did offer that if I were willing to promise not to talk about star visitors on the show she was on, then she’d come on the show. But since I book my guests a month in advance, and I plan the rest of the show days in advance, there was no way I could promise that. And in any case, why would I give a guest veto power over the content of the rest of the show?
To be fair, she was very polite, and said that she respected my choice to believe what I believe, and that I do actually believe it. She just didn’t want to be publicly associated with it. Clearly, though, she doesn’t believe what I believe.This is fine — and if you, like my friend, don’t believe me, please watch this video. It’s what convinced me. Since then, of course, I’ve had my own experiences.
Hmmmm… this feels really familiar. What does this remind me of?
Oh, right, I’ve been through this before! Back when I began to open up my psychic abilities, this same thing happened.
As I acknowledged what was going on with me, my fiance, my parents, most of my extended family, and most of my friends from Harvard Business School (HBS) thought I was nuts. (A big shout out here to my Princeton friends, who never thought that.)
Some, who cared about me, said they were worried about the direction I was taking. Others, many others, just disappeared from my life.
The joke was on them, though. Many of them eventually called me for help. They wanted my clairvoyant take on the future, for themselves, their businesses or their loved ones.
The culture changed, too. In 2001, I was asked to be on an alumni panel looking into the future at HBS. In a standing-room-only lecture hall of about 100 people, about 1/3 clearly believed that I what I was talking about was real. Another 1/3 were on the fence. Only 1/3 were completely dismissive.
Why am I talking about this?
Because as you grow and change and open up to new information, the people (at least, some of the people) closest to you are going to make you wrong for it. It’s much easier to make you wrong than to examine their own beliefs. This is true whether the new beliefs are about the psychic, the political or something else.
They may want you to stay the same to keep you close to them. Or perhaps they have another agenda – perhaps they want to control you. There is a lot of disinformation out there (Fox News, anyone?), and anyone who dares to step outside the mainstream story (Al Queda, and only Al Queda, was responsible for 9/11, for example) is shunned at best, attacked at worst.
What should you do?
·      Know what you know – Own your own experience. You saw it, heard it, felt it – just because someone else didn’t doesn’t mean you were wrong. It just means they weren’t in your shoes. Did you know that a rainbow looks different depending on where you are standing? Someone standing a few feet away from you might not see the rainbow at all. All of reality is like this.
·      Be open to new information – and check it out. Again, there’s a lot of disinformation out there.
·      Do not let someone else’s disbelief talk you out of knowing what you know. Hear their disbelief as fear, because for most people, that’s what it is. Open your heart, and allow them to be afraid. Everyone grows and changes, but some do it more slowly than others. Allow each person his/her process.
·      Listen for openings in other people. Maybe some are open to hearing about political lies, or the 99% movement, but not to anything about their intuition, or about ETs. Others may be willing to open up to their intuition, especially if you language it properly, but not to political lies, or ETs.
·      Meet people where they are. If they’re open to hearing about political malfeasance, talk to them about that. If they’re open to hearing about intuition or angels or guides, talk to them about that. If they’re interested in science fiction, maybe they’re open to hearing about ETs.
Remember, you are not going to convince everyone! You may only move one person out of ten, and that person one tiny bit. But this is how public opinion changes, one person at a time, perhaps shifting just a bit. Why make yourself crazy, beating yourself up if you never seem to affect anyone? Accept that you are trying, and you are doing the best you can.
Remember also that you affect people three levels out in your networks – your friends’ friends’ friends. So if you only have 20 friends, and each of them only has 20 friends, you are still affecting 8000 people. If each of you has 100 friends, then that’s 1 million people. If each of you has 150 friends, then that’s 3.375 million people you affect.
Let’s look at it another way. The transcendental meditation (TM) people did some experiments to see what the effect of TM was on crime. What they learned was that the square root of 1% of the population of an area meditating was enough to lower the crime rate significantly.
The square root of 1% of earth’s population of 7 billion people is 8,367 people. So if your network, and each of your friend’s networks, is 21 people, then you have enough of a network to change the world, simply by changing yourself.
Hollis Polk is a personal coach (www.888-4-hollis.com), who has been helping people create lives they love for 15 years, using neurolinguistic & hypnotherapy techniques, decision science, clairvoyance & the common sense learned in 20+ years of business. She is an NLP Master Practitioner, hypnotherapist & has a BSE in engineering from Princeton & a Harvard MBA. She is also a successful real estate broker, investor & business owner.

Sen. Paul Wellstone’s Death, or, Know What You Know

Did you ever have that niggling feeling that you knew something, but you couldn’t quite put your finger on it? Or maybe you had the feeling that you weren’t being told the whole story, or worse, an outright lie, but when you brought up your doubts, everyone told you you were nuts?Those things happen to me, with fair regularity, but it can take quite a while — years, decades, sometimes — to find out I was right. Here’s one of those stories, but it’s going to take a little while to get there.

I grew up in NJ, at the Jersey shore (yes, there is a group of people who are really like that; I avoided them like the plague). In fact, I grew up at northernmost end of the Jersey Shore, quite close to NYC, where rum running was invented. (During Prohibition, booze was smuggled in by ship to the north Jersey shore, which was one of the ways the Mafia made money, and grew powerful.)

This really was Mafia country. So when I was a kid, and someone had a light plane accident, or a boating accident, we knew it wasn’t really an accident. I mean, even 10-year-olds knew that.

Which brings me to Paul Wellstone.

When he died in a ‘light plane accident’, I strongly suspected it wasn’t an accident. And there were some plausible theories about the balance of power in the Senate a a motive for murder, yadda yadda yadda. But those didn’t really explain it.

Last night, I was reading my most recent Harvard Magazine, and I came across this, in an article about Sen. Al Franken.

“Paul Wellstone didn’t mind taking unpopular positions. In 1990, his first year as junior U.S. senator from Minnesota, he voted against the Gulf War. President George H.W. Bush’s reaction: “Who is that chickenshit?” An equal-opportunity offender, Wellstone was the only Democrat to vote against President Bill Clinton’s welfare-reform bill. And when the second Bush administration was rounding up votes for an invasion of Iraq, Wellstone said he heard from Vice President Dick Cheney: “If you vote against the war in Iraq, the Bush administration will do whatever is necessary to get you. There will be severe ramifications for you and the state of Minnesota.”

Wellstone voted against the war, but Cheney never had to retaliate. On October 25, 2002—just two weeks after the Senate vote—a plane carrying Wellstone, his wife, his daughter, two aides, and two pilots crashed in northern Minnesota.”

Umm, Cheney never had to retaliate??? Huh? If a guy is willing to shoot his hunting partner in the face, what do you suppose he’d do to a guy he didn’t like?

So there it is, right there in black and white for everyone to see. All you have to read is the first 2 paragraphs, though the rest of the story is wonderful. (The author, Jesse Kornbluth, is no slouch, having written for New York Times, New York, Vanity Fair, Architectural Digest and more.  So I assume journalistic competence here, that he isn’t making this up.)

Here’s what gets me: At least one person, who knew about the threat and was willing to talk about, lived to talk about it. That means this mass murder was meant as a message to someone else. Ever wonder why the Republicans walk in lockstep?

My larger point is this: while you do have to listen to what is out there, what other people think, hang on to that niggling sense that all those people may be wrong, and you might just be right.

Hollis Polk is a personal coach (www.888-4-hollis.com), who has been helping people create lives they love for 15 years, using neurolinguistic & hypnotherapy techniques, decision science, clairvoyance & the common sense learned in 20+ years of business. She is an NLP Master Practitioner, hypnotherapist & has a BSE in engineering from Princeton & a Harvard MBA. She is also a successful real estate broker, investor & business owner.

What do you know? And how do you know it?

Many years ago, I was a part owner of a business that sold equipment to fire departments, so I got to know lots of firefighters, mostly fire captains and fire chiefs. One of those chiefs, who’d been a volunteer for over 20 years in a fire department that protected part of Hwy. 80, told me he’d never seen a fatal car wreck where the driver was wearing a seat belt. He didn’t know why, but suspected it was because it kept the driver better oriented to what was happening.Times are about to get very weird. (See this and listen to this and this to learn about what I mean. They are long, and well worth the time and effort. The written one is well-researched, and the audio is convincing.) Imagine that you’re alone, flying down the highway at top speed, when the road suddenly disappears. Maybe you’re just on grass, or worse, mud. Or you’re suddenly in a forest, having to drive around trees that you never noticed before. And all kinds of people are suddenly clamoring for your attention, some from the back seat and some from the forest.

It’s definitely time to fasten your metaphorical seat belt. How do you do that?

Ask yourself how you know what is true. The natural world is a great place to start. Plants can’t really lie, and animals find that pretty hard, too (the Oscar-worthy performances of our cat to scam us out of more food notwithstanding). What do you feel in your physical body (or your electromagnetic body) when you’re in nature? Maybe you’d describe it as peaceful, or grounded, or one of a thousand other words, but go deeper. Use kinesthetic words to describe the feeling — are you feeling light or heavy? warm or cool? tense or relaxed? tingly? These are just suggestions — it doesn’t matter how you feel, but rather that you identify it.

Once you have that down, how do you know when someone is telling the truth? Again, use what you feel.

Or here, maybe you have an inner voice, the still small voice within, that says, “nope”, or some variant of that. It’s important to pay attention to the quality of that voice. Is it male? female? neither? How fast does it speak? Does it’s inflection go up and down, or stay fairly flat? Where does the voice seem to come from? Is it inside your head, or somewhere outside that you can point to?

Or maybe it’s not a voice, exactly. Maybe it’s a sound. Maybe it beeps when you’re getting a lie, or the truth for that matter. Again, it doesn’t matter how you know the truth, but that you identify how you know it. 

It’s important to keep that truth meter on all the time. The best lies include some elements of truth, and you have to be discerning to tell which is which.

Remember, as things get strange, you can’t drive looking in the rear view mirror. If things change significantly, then habitual ways of acting must shift. You wouldn’t drive the same way in snow as you would on a sunny warm day, would you? Look at the conditions ahead.

As you watch significant changes happening all around you, it might be easy to be seduced by the spectacle into just watching. This is equivalent to trying to drive while watching out your side window. You’re likely to crash, because you’re not watching where you’re going.

Similarly, it will be important to stay focused on your responsibilities as things change. This will be different for each person, and only you will know your particular path through the new landscape. How will you know? By knowing your own truth.

Hollis Polk is a personal coach (www.888-4-hollis.com), who has been helping people create lives they love for 15 years, using neurolinguistic & hypnotherapy techniques, decision science, clairvoyance & the common sense learned in 20+ years of business. She is an NLP Master Practitioner, hypnotherapist & has a BSE in engineering from Princeton & a Harvard MBA. She is also a successful real estate broker, investor & business owner.

Unconscious mind knows ‘what’s wrong with this picture’…

New research distinguishes roles of conscious and subconscious awareness

Hollis Polk is a personal coach (www.888-4-hollis.com), who has been helping people create lives they love for 15 years, using neurolinguistic & hypnotherapy techniques, decision science, clairvoyance & the common sense learned in 20+ years of business. She is an NLP Master Practitioner, hypnotherapist & has a BSE in engineering from Princeton & a Harvard MBA. She is also a successful real estate broker, investor & business owner.