Durham News: Opinion

Anita Woodley: Good grief!

All I wanted to do was have my pink-collared shirt dry cleaned to usher a funeral.

Seemed like a simple task.

The Sisters Network Triangle, a breast cancer survivorship group where I am an associate member, awarded me the shirt and I intended to wear it as an usher for the public memorial for Sharon Elliott-Bynum, the late Healing with CAARE co-founder .

I took my shirt to the dry cleaners, in Chapel Hill, where I’d had the 21-year-old wrinkles removed from my high school cap and gown, to deliver the commencement address for the J.D. Clement Early College High School Class of 2015.

The cleaners informed me that they no longer offered same day service. Rather than dry clean on site, they now outsource that service, hours away in another city.

“What? Good Grief! I need this shirt by the end of the day!” I left, sulking and disappointed. That’s when the intuition kicked in.

By the time I was 8 years old, I was alerting people in my neighborhood when I dreamt they would die – down to the exact day or week. It always came true. My dreams called up the licence plate belonging to the killers of two high school classmates.

When I was right, it was confirmation that my intuition gift was bigger than what most people have.

“Hey, I can just iron my own shirt at home, like my great-grandma taught me!” As a young child, I’d pocket money by properly pressing my great-grandma’s six foot-long, pleated linen dress on an iron board wrapped in layers of fabric to hold the heat.

As I smoothed out wrinkles around the pink collar, a renewed belief in my innate intuition rose with each steam puff, and my 100 year-old great-grandma’s approach to life surfaced again.

That evening, I proudly ushered the funeral in my crisply starched pink shirt that I pressed myself.

Intuition is something that we forget is a natural occurrence, a built-in compass to guide us.

Some have told me that they were taught as children, and encouraged as adults, to ignore that instinctive feeling. Here in the Triangle, I’ve even heard many refer to their intuition as “the devil!”

Good grief!

I was fortunate to grow up under the guidance of six wise women ages 47 to 100 who referred to intuition as, “God talkin’ directly to ya, so heed what ya hear inside!”

And though I forget sometimes, for 40 years I’ve done just that!

Those women have joined our other ancestors and physically left earth. I miss their consistent positive disposition towards me as a person with ESP sense and sensitivity.

We were one. Generations with the same strong intuition.

When I moved to Chapel Hill 10 years ago to work for WUNC’s The Story, some of my co-workers were puzzled as to how I knew how to find people to interview just “out of the blue.”

Like the black man in Texas who was hanged by rope in the bathroom stall at work by his white co-workers. Or discovering a mother whose daughter was snatched from her arms more than 40 years before at a house for teen mothers. After airing her story, she reunited with her daughter, who lived just five miles away the entire time.

I use my intuition in all that I do.

So, imagine my delight when I found “intuitive friendly” gatherings in Durham and Pittsboro.

At “The Charles Xavier School for Gifted Youngsters,” real life “X-Men” go for comfort, encouragement, and to develop our intuitive gifts, and sharpen our mental prowess.

Other “mindful” practices can be found at The Rhine Research Center of Parapsychology in Durham, The Center of Living Light classes operated by Maryphyllis Horn in Pittsboro, and Judith Winston’s Health Touch NC LLC in Durham.

The different orientations toward developing intuition have assisted me in better understanding the gifts I live with, and that there is “good” in “grief.”

No one is exempt from it. Yet, we can choose how we go through it.

And it is my choice to go through grief as a spiritual being, having a complex human experience, and knowing that all grief is good.


Contact Anita Woodley at www.anitawoodley.com, Twitter/Instagram @JusAnitaWoodley, or 919-914-0104.

Come see Anita

Anita Woodley will perform her one-woman show “The Awesome Unfolding of Anita Woodley: Channeling Family and Finding SELF” in Durham at 630 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 27, at the Millennium Hotel, 2800 Campus Walk Avenue in Durham. $45-$150. Tickets The Rhine Research Center 919-309-4600 or online http://bit.ly/1lF4omA

Anita will also be facilitating a free monthly “Forgiveness Guided Visualization” session at 7 p.m. March 30 at the Vegan Flava Cafe, 4125 Durham-Chapel Hill Blvd in Durham. Everyone is welcome.