Meinrad Craighead lived for fourteen years as a nun in Standbrook Abbey in England before she made the difficult decision to leave the abbey. She now lives in New Mexico and is a well-known artist and wise woman.
In the book, The Feminine Face of God by Sherry Anderson and Patricia Hopkins, Meinrad shares how her decision to become a nun grew out of a strong voice within.
When she first visited the abbey, her first reaction was that it was “ghastly, absolutely ghastly.” “But you know,” she went on, “you do amazing things if you are told from within to do them. What has always been mysterious to me is that I have had the strength to do what was needed; that I have been able to do what was painful or hard. Even entering the monastery I knew that was going to be very difficult. But I also knew I had to do it.”
This voice telling us that we just have to do something is the voice of our intuition.
When we just know something for no rational reason, this is also our intuition. For many women this is the most direct communication we have with the sacred, where we perceive life outside the confined boundaries of our mental world.
Using our intuition is to surrender to a river of unfolding that runs beneath our wants and resistances. It runs beneath our feelings that change and shift. When a woman taps in to this river, she has a feeling in her belly and heart and she knows what to do.
Some women have learned to trust their inner guidance more than others, and most of us have had the painful experience of suppressing our gut feeling with logic and strategic thinking. Women who are living most of their lives guided by this sense of what’s right, have learned to recognize whether the message is coming to them from this deeper river of knowing or from the layers of the personality.
When we learn the art of listening within, we are receiving the subtle messages about life’s intrinsic order.
Right here in this moment, life is in constant movement. Can you feel the rhythm of this moment? Can you feel how natural it is to rest in this rhythm? Can you feel how it actually takes tremendous effort to work against it?
By Chameli Ardagh
Image by: Artillus Else Krogh-Hansen