I was trying to talk one of my VIP clients into charging $500 + shipping for her painting.
She wrote back to me, “OMG, $500???? Really? They’re only 24″ X 24. You think?”
Now, I have no idea where this imaginary correlation between the size of the work and the price of the work came from. I think it’s kinda crazy.
By that yardstick, muralists should be millionaires.
Here would be some examples of my criteria for deciding if my painting were worth $500 —
1) Is this painting more inspiring and transformational than $500 of therapy?
2) Does this painting raise my spirits more than $500 worth of wine?
3) If I look at this painting twice a day for 10 years, will it give me six cents worth of joy each time (365×2=730 x 10 = 7300; 500/7300 = .068 : )
4) How many compliments will I receive on this work once it’s hanging in my home or office? If I get one a week for ten years, is that worth a dime for every admiring remark?
5) $500 is one medium-sized car repair; it’s two haircut with highlights (at least in LA); it’s three or four college textbooks, it’s five nice-ish date nights out with the spouse… you see where I’m going with this?
I was at a conference listening to an acclaimed speaker deliver his talk when the very small half-thought flittered through my mind, “I think I’m getting a migraine.”
And my big, in-charge inner voice started to protest that no, this couldn’t be happening now, it was a very inconvenient time. But I have learned something in my years on earth: ignore the beginnings of a migraine at your own peril.
So I rapidly took some Excedrine Migraine (great stuff). Then I put on my sunglasses to cut the glare from the stage lights. Because here’s what else I’ve learned: I’d rather look foolish wearing sunglasses in a hotel ballroom than suffer through a migraine.
Then I calmly listened to the rest of the talk with only the ghost of a headache keeping me company.
Which brings me to my point —
Intuition works much the same way as a migraine.
Intuition first appears as a small, fluttering half-thought.
So easy to not even notice it. But ignore that flutter at your own peril.
Intuition responds well to quick action.
Move gently but swiftly forward without too much questioning or belly-aching and you will be instantly rewarded with a flood of peaceful, healing energy.
Intuitive actions may look ridiculous to others.
Did those sunglasses make me look silly? Like a rock star? Like I was on drugs? I honestly have no idea, and I don’t really care. I needed them for my own purposes and that was reason enough for me.
Here’s where The Analogy falls apart…
Sometimes when intuition is ignored it will grow louder and more insistent – like a migraine.
But more often, I think, intuition ignored just gets quieter and quieter until we are left alone in the echoing chamber of our lives, wondering why, when we’ve done everything “right,” we still feel so empty inside.
The good news is that given just a bit of attention and trust, intuition turns right back on, a bountiful rush of good ideas, hints, winks and whispers.
What about you?
Have you followed your intuition recently? How was that for you?