One night in September 2001 I was driving past my grandparents flat having just had my hair cut at a friend’s house. It was late, around 10pm and I had an early start the next day with my boyfriend as we travelled to Scotland for a few days.
As I drove past my grandparents home I was compelled to pop in. I vividly remember having what felt like an argument with myself about whether I should or shouldn’t. This might feel familiar to you from situations you’ve been in before. One part of me said it was too late and I needed to get into bed as soon as possible for the long drive the next day. Another part of me insisted that I go – no explanation why – just a force that I really couldn’t ignore. It was the strangest sensation. Not like two voices in my head, more like an echo of my own voice which was stronger. Anyway, I listened to that voice and called in to see the treasures who had helped my mum raise me.
They were watching news at ten and the 9/11 bombings had happened only days before so we talked about that for a while and had a cup of tea. Nan gave me biscuits (standard) and grandad told me some rubbish jokes. He had been a long-distance lorry driver back in the day and had loved driving. He knew the A roads of England like the back of his hand and as I left him and nan for the night he cupped my face in his hands.
“Safe journey duck” He said to me (local term of affection) “I’ll be with you all the way”
I kissed them both and shouted “Love you” as I closed the door behind me.
Less than 15 minutes later he was dead.
As I pulled up at home only a few miles away from my grandparents, my mum was on the phone to nan who was telling her that grandad had died. I assured mum that that just couldn’t be true. I had just left them. We drove straight back, mum in absolute bits and me totally confident that granddad would have come around from a fainting spell and be ready to hit me with another crappy joke. He wasn’t.
If I hadn’t listened to that voice, feeling or whatever it was, I would never have had that lovely half an hour with my grandad. His final words “I’ll be with you all the way” were his parting gift to me and he still reminds me of them every now and then but more of that in another blog!
After that, I tried to tune in to that voice when I needed some guidance but it was hard. The more I tried, the less I heard. I felt confused and frustrated but I knew that the conversation I had had was with something bigger than myself.
I wouldn’t describe myself as a religious person at all (in fact churches positively freak me out!) but I definitely think of myself as spiritual and I do believe in the power of energy. My grandparents were both spiritualists – nan a healer and grandad a medium – so rather than feeling like it was ‘God’ who was speaking with me, my mum explained it as my higher self. A pure energy that is ours alone and guides us if we are in tune with it.
Now for many this will sound like utter mumbo jumbo. I get that. But I just know that I was guided by that voice, knowledge, urge, energy – whatever you want to call it – and I am grateful every day that I was. I called my intuition Flo and I decided that whenever I felt its influence, that I would ‘go with the flow’ and see where it lead.
Where has Flo taken me?
Years later when my son Harry reacted badly to a new therapy, his dad asked me to stop taking him. Flo said to give it 5 more weeks. This is what I did (I didn’t tell Mark that this was based on a niggling feeling I had from an invisible force I’d called Flo – he’d have had me certified quicker than you can say ‘pass that sedative’) Within 2 more weeks, the difference in Harry was fantastic and within 6 weeks even school had noticed an improvement. More than seven years later we still visit the same therapist from time to time to top up his energy. (Harry is autistic and non-verbal and I find that craniosacral therapy has really helped him)
On another occasion, when the low tyre pressure light in my car came on for the 4th time I knew that I needed to replace the tyre but only had £10 in my purse rather than the £60 I needed. Funds were non-existent but Flo insisted that I would have the money so I went to my usual tyre guy hoping for a £50 windfall somehow that day. When I arrived there, he told me that the tread was still great and that he had simply repaired the hole made by a nail. The cost? £10. I had the money just as Flo had known. I had thought that I’d be receiving more somehow when I felt the message of ‘you will have the money’. I never expected that I would be paying less and already have enough. Flo knows when I can only guess. I just wish she knew the lottery numbers too!
After a suspected stroke brought on by a stressful lifestyle (sleep is over-rated on planet autism) and the demands of a teaching career I loved, I was introduced to network marketing. It was new and overwhelming but Flo told me to jump straight in. I did, and I matched my teaching income in just 19 weeks giving me the income to resign, the time to be with my children and to finish writing the book that I had been trying to complete for years.
Like I said, I’m not religious. I don’t practice any particular faith. But I try to be mindful and am a big believer in the law of attraction which says that we attract things on the same energetic vibration as us. I try hard to keep my vibration high and healthy.
- I try to still my mind a couple of times a day and just relax where I am without stressing about catching the 57 thoughts which are all racing through my mind at 100mph.
- I don’t drink caffeine at all or alcohol regularly (although I’ll be making up for that soon on holiday and blaming Flo when I’m jumping into the swimming pool fully clothed after a night out!)
- I try to exercise when I can and as a very shallow breather, I make a conscious effort with deep breathing.
- I have reiki treatments from my mum who is a complimentary therapist and I just try really hard to trust that life is happening for me and not to me. A victim mentality helps no-one and so I try to see challenges as a meaningful obstacle that will make perfect sense when I look back on my journey. If nothing else, it helps me get less stressed when the inevitable problems in life arise.
- I play music loudly and often and can be found daily singing my head off in the car like Beyoncé without the style…or face…or voice for that matter. Anyway….
Its not often that I discuss my Flo with anyone, so obviously a blog was the natural idea. Not. But I want people who are following my journey with my boys to know about the person behind the mum. Now you know that Charlie has a side kick and as mad as it might sound, so do you.
I will always trust my intuition and there are worse things that you could do than to try to get in touch with yours. What would you name your side kick? I’d love to know.
Oh Charlie that’s brilliant I want more……hurry hurry, hurry, so I can buy and and get engrossed in your Altered Life.
Thanks Ange! So glad you enjoyed it! 🙂 xx
Thank you Vicki 🙂
Loving it. It’s really great Charlie so real, so authentic. Can’t wait to read the rest. My side kick ( Bob) xxx
Thanks Fiona…and Bob!! C xx
Such an interesting start in your book,, I can’t wait to hear more or be notified that your book has been published,, my personal feelings are that you’re an amazing woman
Thanks so much. Im really glad that you enjoyed it and thank you for your kind words Cx
Just came to this and really enjoyed it. It also resonated – I was talking yesterday to my son about intuition, learning how and when to trust it. I’ve always just called mine “me” because a lot of the decisions I think about making are me + a lot of external influence, whereas my intuition is the real me. Although sometimes it sounds like my mum…
I love the idea of it being the ‘real’ you! I am training Oliver too in the way of listening to his intuition. We are like intuition Jedi haha. C x
Excellent! We are all so busy every day that fitting in one more (apparently “unnecessary”) errand or task seems silly or inconvenient, but we should all take the time to listen to that inner “voice” – mine doesn’t have a name (yet!), but I’ll try and heed the calling more carefully in future.
Fabulous. You’ll find the more you tap into that ‘voice’, the more you hear it. C x
Excellent post. I think we’re way more in tune with ourselves and our surroundings then we give ourselves credit for and don’t listen to it. I know when i’ve trusted my gut and gone with it, it’s usually proved correct. Also times when I haven’t because people have told me i’m wrong and that certain people or places are fine and I haven’t paid attention to myself… Big mistake. I think a lot of people’s anxiety and stress these days is due to being denied the chance to listen and act on ‘flo’.
I totally agree. If we made more time to still ourselves and find our inner flo then I think we’d certainly be living more authentic lives Cx