Tag Archive | listening for guidance

pain is a messenger


I was reading a wonderful book, The Cat’s Table, by Michael Ondaatje, last week when Fred curled up on my shoulder…I just had to take a selfie of us.

Yesterday I began thinking about going forward with a new idea. A part of me was uncomfortable with it, but I was entertaining it anyway…looking at it from all sides, considering what it might be like if I followed through…and then this morning, as I picked up the idea again, I felt an intense pain in my back. As I attempted to go to my computer to look up what muscle might be spasming, I was almost flattened by the pain. I had to get down on the floor and felt as though I couldn’t move. For about a minute I thought of all of the things that could happen if I couldn’t get off the floor, and this of course, only intensified the pain. Then I took a painfully deep breath and said, “Thank you”.

I realized that my body was stopping me for a reason. I opened up my mind and heart (instead of my computer which was now quite literally out of reach) and within seconds I knew that the earlier idea/plan that I’d been contemplating was wrong…wrong for me. As soon as I had that revelation, and said to myself, “OK, I get it, and will not go any further with this”…the pain lessened. A minute later I could stand up. 15 minutes later I was walking the dog, Jackson. As I sit here writing, the pain is only a dull ache.

My inner wisdom not only stopped me from going forward with the plan, it wouldn’t even allow me to take the unnecessary step of looking up what muscle was spasming…it didn’t matter. My body was trying to get my attention and I knew that.

We can save ourselves so much time, pain, and wasted energy, by going within where the truth for us is always ready and willing to be revealed to the open mind and heart.

It is amazing how many hints and guides and intuitions for living come to the sensitive person who has ears to hear what the body is saying.” Rollo May


(I also wanted to let you know that helping others to access inner wisdom/knowing, is the work that I do as a spiritual counselor. If you are interested in working with me, there is a link to my website at www.marymuncil.com or feel free to email me with questions at mmuncil33@gmail.com I offer ½ hr. sessions at $35 and one hour sessions for $60)



Listening “in”

Getting quiet

8 years ago, I attended a retreat in Alabama and did a fire-walk. In the few days leading up to the actual walk, the leader kept encouraging us to listen to our inner voices, to be sure it would be safe for us (personally) to do. This involved getting quiet (both inside and out), settling down and not acting out of either fear or nervous excitement.

I could feel that it was right for me. I didn’t feel cocky or arrogant, and the thought of it made my stomach flip, but in an exciting way. I know the difference between excited expectation of something totally out of my comfort zone, and the inner discomfort that says “this is not a good idea for you”, or the other voice that gets really excited about something but within a few days, the energy drains away and I see clearly that it was just one of my “big ideas” that really is not right.

No other person can get inside of me and feel. It is the still, small voice that doesn’t give us logical reasons, explanations, or excuses. It Knows the way and it leads to more life.

I don’t know if I’ll ever do a firewalk again or not, but just because I’ve done it once, doesn’t mean I’d feel OK to do it again without checking inside to see how I was feeling. With all of the positive outcomes, (and mistakes) I’ve made in my life, the one constant has been my sense of whether or not something was right (for me) or wrong  in that particular situation. I didn’t always listen to that voice, didn’t always want to…but I always knew.

When people are hard on themselves saying, “I knew that I shouldn’t have….(fill in the blank; dated that guy, bought that car, adopted that particular animal…) it is important to remember that you knew and that means you can trust your inner voice. And maybe even follow it next time!

Intuition is a spiritual faculty and does not explain, but simply points the way. Florence Scovel Shinn


Over the past year, a number of people have asked me if I’d consider doing shorter phone sessions and so, starting September 1st, I am going to be offering, (in addition to the full one hour regular sessions) shorter, 30 minute appointment times. The fee will be $35 for the 1/2 hr. time (the regular session will stay at $60).

If this is something that interests you, you can go to the “My Work: Private Sessions with Me” tab,  read more about my background and what a session with me is like, and if you’d like to set up a time, email me and we’ll go from there!  The link to this page is: https://whitefeatherfarm.wordpress.com/about/


I was running a few mornings ago, contemplating what I should do about a future event. The deadline for a decision was now. Part of me wanted to go, and another part thought that if I did, I might miss a visit with my son Matt (who will  back in the lower 48 states for a very brief window of time  before heading back to Alaska). I heard some screeching birds, but it took about a minute for me to pay attention since I was so deeply into my own little mental world. When I finally did, I saw a bunch of crows circling a red-tailed hawk. The hawk was not moving, it was sitting on a branch as the crows surrounded it, flew past, dive-bombing, sort of screaming, “Look over here!”

Red-tailed hawks have always been significant birds for me. They remind me to pay attention to my inner life. I got my answer, “stay put, do nothing”. I ran out and back, and as I returned, I noticed the hawk still sitting on the branch but all of the crows were gone. I felt at peace, appreciated the guidance that was offered to me, that is always offered; sometimes through birds, sometimes the words of a friend, a book, movie, a dream… the endless ways that help that flows to me, to us all, when we listen.

Yesterday at noon I received a call from Matt and I will be seeing him in a couple of days. I was sitting in a sweet little cafe in Glens Falls and I took a moment to look up (only a symbolic gesture as I know that the Spirit of God is within, without , everywhere) and quietly say, “Thanks for the help!”

And this, our life, exempt from public haunt, finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks, sermons in stones, and good in everything“. William Shakespeare