The Gift

Red Dahlia by Cathy Ulrich

I love the Holidays
The decorations,
The music,
The cold weather,
The food,
The friends,
The family.

Even the cliche
That says:
People are kinder,
Softer, and more selfless.

Even if it were better
If we behaved this way
All year ‘round.

My Mother, Cherie
Taught me to love them
With her childlike delight,
Her collection of Nativities,
Her beautiful gifts,
And her German Chocolate Cake.

I miss you more,
this time of year, Mom.
But now, I can feel the warmth
coming from you across the void,
And send love back.
And that is a great Christmas gift.



Cultivating Intuition – Listen!

Photo courtesy Flickr Creative Commons – some rights reserved by Mads Boedker

It has now been twenty-five years since the connection to my intuition was forever cemented. I think I inherited my intuition from my mother. But until that fateful day when it asserted itself so strongly and I continued to ignore it with very unpleasant consequences did I finally learn to“hear” it, believe it and act on it.

I woke up on Saturday morning anticipating my parent’s visit. They were driving down to Miami from Atlanta and I planned to clean and shop for groceries prior to their arrival later in the afternoon. In those days, I was a serious athlete – a middle distance runner and competitive cyclist and on that day, my (then) husband, John, wanted me to accompany him on a bike ride.

As we discussed the plans for the day, I got a very strong sense that I should not go riding. I chalked it up to the fact that I had lots to do in preparation for my folk’s visit. But my husband was insistent. “I can ride the full fifty miles and you can turn around half-way at twelve and a half. You ride back by yourself, and get started with your cleaning and I’ll come back and help you,” he said.

My sense was “DON’T GO!” But because I wanted to get a workout in and I knew I wouldn’t have much time to ride or run while Mom and Dad were there, I decided to go. The sense not to ride was so strong that it kept on, even after I changed my clothes, got on the bike and started the ride. The voice in my head (and I don’t really hear voices, so don’t think I’m hallucinatory) kept niggling, nagging “Turn around, now. Stop and go home.” But I kept going.

Well, I did ride the twelve and a half miles to the turnaround. I said goodbye to John. He continued and I headed home. Within three minutes of our parting, I hit a large dip in the road, the seat post on my bike broke and I found myself face-down on the pavement with a broken tooth and a cut lip that was bleeding profusely. Some people in the neighborhood where I fell saw me go down, called 911 and a few minutes later, the EMTs arrived. I convinced them that I was O.K. as the bleeding had slowed, and we called my in-laws to come get me. After I was home, and my parents arrived, my lip began bleeding again and I had to go to the ER for stitches. While my injuries weren’t severe, the fall certainly put a damper on my visit with my parents and I had to see the dentist for repair of my front tooth. And fortunately, I didn’t end up with any facial scars…

Since that fateful day, I have listened to my intuition (well, for the most part). It made itself so clear and strong that I finally “got it!” That intuitive voice has a distinct vibration similar in it’s uniqueness to the sound of my husband, Peter’s voice on the phone. There is no doubt when Peter calls (even without caller I.D.) who is speaking. The vibration of his voice is different from anyone else’s and I know it immediately. Just like I know the vibration of my intuition.

Yes, I have been known to argue with it from time-to-time. Sometimes in a session, I’ll get intuitive information that seems really “out-there” and out of context. It will say: “Tell them this.” And bear in mind that these are bodywork and energy sessions. The client isn’t always coming for intuitive help.

I’ll go: “No way, they’ll think I’m crazy!” And after a short bout of discussion in my head, I’ll usually acquiesce. And always, it’s 100% right on!

These days, with the Energy Healing work and in developing my online course, I have come out of the closet and am more open about my intuitive abilities. I do offer them, now, as part of my services. But who would have guessed that this new line of work all started with a bike crash!

Have you ever ignored a strong intuitive hit and later discovered that you should have listened? I’d love to hear your stories!



©CathyUlrich and LargeSelf, 2012

Cultivating Intuition – Create!

Northern Lights – Digital Painting by Cathy Ulrich

I suspect I’ll be “preaching to the choir” here with many of you about this one, but it’s one of my favorite ways to cultivate my intuition. That is: creativity. I love to write, paint, draw, play the piano, knit, bead and cook among other things. I find that when I’m in that creative space, ideas flow freely and time dissolves.

Have you ever noticed that when you’re doing something creative, you forget everything else? You become immersed in the present, in the activity. When I’m in that space, it feels as if I’m connected directly to Source. My mind is clear, focused and present while I’m painting or playing my piano. And I get lots of intuitive hits.

The idea of Right Brain thinking versus Left Brain thinking is a possible and intriguing theory around the connection between creativity and intuition. When we’re in a space where we are creating something new, we’re using a part of our consciousness that’s plugged into source – that Right Brain, holistic side that opens and invites creation in all of its facets.

I once heard someone say that when we create, we’re surprising God! And since the very nature of the Divine is creative, we become one with its essence. How can we not be connected to receive intuitive information in this space?

So, I invite you to allow some time this week to create. For you wonderful bloggers out there, you’re already writing. I invite you to write but avoid editing at the same time. Separate out those activities. Write first, then go back and edit – you’ll stimulate your creativity even more.

For you visual artists, I’d suggest that you spend some time this week painting or drawing. If you love arranging flowers, set aside some time to pick out a beautiful bouquet, arrange it and find the perfect place to display it in your home. And if you don’t think of yourself as an artist, check out this website. It’s a wonderful and creative way of drawing that anyone can do.

What do you like to create? And how do you feel when you’re doing it?



©CathyUlrich and LargeSelf, 2012

Cultivating Intuition – Move

One of my favorite ways to solve problems is to run. I find that when I can set my feet on the earth, allow myself to breathe and my body to move, I get amazing insights. The information that comes to me is creative, pure, even funny!

I discovered this form of self-therapy after my mother died. I was working though my feelings, understanding my childhood, my loss, my own sense of self, mortality – all those things that represented myself in my family and my world. It was easier to talk to my Mom when I ran. And it was easier for me to hear her responses. And I would even talk out loud to her at times – still do, especially when I’m running (mind you, I live in a beautiful place where I can run on a bike path on an open prairie with few people around. So talking out loud is usually O.K.) These days, I run for the pleasure of seeing what comes into my head!

In her silent retreat, Lola Jones introduces the participants to a process called “non-habitual movement.” I had learned of it in my Rolfing Movement Practitioner Training and it made a lot of sense that she would use it to help participants access their inner guidance. By moving in random patterns to music, we can break up those habitual body and thought patterns which frees us to feel and contact our inner knowing. It feels a bit strange at first, but by inviting the body to lead the movement, keeping the mind as a curious observer, we can enjoy a freedom that we have never felt before.

Not everyone likes to run or even can run, so walking or hiking is also a great way to move. I recommend that you go for a walk several times a week, either alone or if you’re with someone, ask them to walk with you in silence. Feel your feet on the ground, feel your body moving, feel your breath and notice that inner voice arise that wants to be recognized and heard. As you become more familiar with that inner voice, talk to it, acknowledge it, maybe even take a small recorder or note pad and document what comes in.

Have fun with moving and let me know how you’re doing.



©CathyUlrich and LargeSelf, 2012

Cultivating Intuition – Savor the Silence

As the energies in our world speed up, all the “shiny” things in our lives become more and more enticing. Internet, social networking, streaming video, television, smart phones, mobile devices – all vie for our attention. But when and where do we allow ourselves to stop and notice what’s going on for us in our inner world?

A few years ago, a dear relative and friend came to visit. She has a hectic life and she loves to come to my home and stay for a while. It’s always wonderful to see the stress in her face melt as she relaxes into the resonant field that Peter and I have created. One day, as we were sitting outside in the courtyard, listening to a meadowlark singing, she said: “You know, I could never live the way you and Peter do. It is silent in your home. Aside from the jazz that you play while making dinner, there’s never a T.V. running. There’s no background noise. If I did that, it would make me feel more intensely and probably drive me crazy. I’m not sure that I could.”

When I did the Religious Science Practitioner Training many years ago, one of our exercises was to turn off the radio in our cars for a week – just to drive around without any noise in the car.  It was astounding to see how many people in the class found it hard to do this simple exercise.

The best vacation I have ever had was the five days of silence I spent with Lola Jones and a fabulous group of people in Lola’s special retreat. The purpose of the silence was to eliminate any distractions so that we could all cultivate a closer relationship with the Divine – to be able to get our nourishment, insights and support from within, rather that seeking outside of ourselves for answers. It certainly worked for me. Not hearing my own voice, nor that of others, allowed me to feel the Presence within me and, while I have always had a strong intuitive sense, the five-day retreat strengthened it beyond measure.

With all of the distractions, the “shiny things” in our lives, pulling our attention this way and that, it can be a challenge to hear/feel/know of that guidance that only comes from within. Savoring silence is one of the best ways to feel it. So even if it is only for a few minutes a day, allow yourself a time of silence. You don’t have to actively meditate or work at it (although it may be work, at first, for some!). Just turn off the radio in the car as you drive to work. Turn off the T.V. for 30 minutes before bed. Silence your smart phone and avoid the temptation to answer that text message.

See what insights come to you when you give yourself this gift. Then send me a quick comment and let me know how it’s going.

What other ways have you found to cultivate silence?



©CathyUlrich and LargeSelf, 2012