When I ride my bike around town, which I do every day, I constantly get urges to go a certain way, take a certain route, turn here, cut through there, go down this sidewalk or that path. I might look spastic, by how erratically I bike. I follow my impulses and take the path that my gut is telling me to follow. I live on a grid so there are a lot of ways to get from one place to another.
Often there isn't an obvious reason why I am being guided in a particular direction. Sometimes I run into someone I know, and stop to say hello for a moment. Maybe its not about what I find, but what I miss. Maybe if I had gone a different way I would have passed a cop, or a car accident. The other day, though, I saw an incredible example of why its worth it to follow our intuition.
Ever since it got cold I've had cold ears. I've often had this problem in the winter. If I pull my hat down over my ears it just slips back up. If I pull it down far enough to really cover my ears, its in my eyes-- very uncomfortable. Finally, I found the solution: this year, I'll get a hat with ear flaps! However, I'm an ex-Gandhi wannabe, so buying new things is still kinda hard for me. Especially because I knew I needed a fair trade organic cotton or wool hat. So I put off looking for one.
Then, as I was biking down my street a few days ago, I got this urge to turn a block earlier than I usually do to leave my neighborhood. I ignored it at first and kept going-- lately these urges have been bothering me, seeming more like OCD than intuition. The feeling was so strong though, that I actually turned around and went the way I had felt pushed towards. Within ten seconds I probably forgot about it, and about a minute or less later, I saw a dirty hat laying in the street. Although it was covered in leaves, it had ear flaps and smelled like nothing but wet fabric and dirt (it had just rained). I threw it in my bag to wash, super stoked at finding something I'd been wanting. As I went to get back on my bike, I realized that if I hadn't turned around and came this way, I never would have seen this hat.
Maybe I'm not OCD after all.