Deb Wilber’s favorite definition of intuition is knowing without knowing how you know.
Wilber, owner of the Real Life Spark coaching practice, acts on her intuition in her daily living. Based on her own experience, she knows that our inner guidance can give us greater clarity about our career goals and help us take action toward reaching them.
Wilber will speak at an upcoming Professional Service Group of Mercer County meeting focusing on the art and science of intuition. Her presentation, titled “Discover Your SPARK: 5 Keys to Falling in Love with Your Work!” takes place Friday, November 4, from 9:45 a.m. to noon at the Princeton Public Library on Witherspoon Street. Call 609-924-9529 or visit www.princetonlibrary.org. The event is free and open to the public.
An acronym for a set of life principles, SPARK stands for Story, Passion or Purpose, Awareness, Reinvention, and Knowing. Wilber has found that as we become familiar with and practice these principles, we begin to understand our stories, find more meaning in life, live more mindfully, and realize that every day is an opportunity to start anew, and are guided by our intuition, the inner knowing.
A central aspect of SPARK and Wilber’s coaching involves the question “Why?”
“It is important that people understand why they’re here and what their purpose is. And sometimes that’s a big and scary question,” says Wilber, adding that people often tell her they don’t know. But she suggests they’ve really just forgotten. To get back in touch with your Why, Wilber suggests a four-step process that involves listening, writing, acting, and evaluating:
Listen to your heart: “You were born with a song to sing in your heart,” says Wilber. As children, we knew what we wanted to do, what made us happy. As we grow up, we often lose touch with that song. Wilber suggests spending some quiet time on a regular basis, practicing meditation or breathing techniques or taking walks in nature. Ask your heart questions like, “Why am I here?” and “What is my purpose?”
Wilber asked herself these questions after deciding to make a career change and leaving her position as a claims transformation officer at Selective Insurance. She spent about a year volunteering for several organizations while figuring out what she wanted to do next.
She found that helping people is something that gives her life meaning and has always been a fundamental part of her career path. “When I worked in insurance claims, I helped put people’s lives back together,” she said. “In this second career in my life, I’m doing that again. My core value is that I know I’m here to help people.”
Another way of connecting to your Why is remembering your childhood dream of what you wanted to be when you grew up. Wilber recalls an experience she shared with her parents while watching television in their Sandy Hook home. They had allowed her to stay up later than usual one night to watch a broadcast of Neil Armstrong walking on the moon.
It was then that she declared to her mother, who worked as an administrative assistant, and her father, a funeral director, that she wanted to be an astronaut when she grew up.
Wilber says that the value of remembering her childhood desire to be a spacewoman lies in understanding what being an astronaut meant to her, and how that desire has influenced her life on symbolic and practical levels.
“I’ve always set my sights pretty high and I’ve never been limited. I always believed that I could do anything I wanted to do,” she says. While astronauts explore space, she helps people discover their inner space and career goals. “It makes my heart sing. I like to think I create a space for people to explore,” Wilber says.
Write it down: As you listen to your heart, Wilber suggests that you make a list. Let the idea of purpose and Why stay with you, in your heart and in your head, over the next couple of days or weeks. One idea is to get a new journal (or a fresh piece of paper), write your question at the top of the page, and dedicate time each day to write down your thoughts.
Take action: Having listened to your heart and written down your thoughts and inspirations, it’s important to act. If you don’t act, nothing gets done, says Wilber.
Wilber recalls the year after she left the insurance industry. Although she wasn’t clear about what her next career choice would be, she took action. She researched franchises and volunteered for lots of organizations. “I’m a proponent of volunteering,” she says, adding that it is a way to do good for others and a way to explore your career ideas.
During that time, Wilber read career-intuitive Sue Frederick’s book, “I See Your Dream Job” and decided to take one of Frederick’s workshops in 2011. That action started Wilber on her path to her current career as a coach and owner of Real Life Spark.
Evaluate: When taking specific actions, it’s important to evaluate the experiences. Ask yourself questions like “What felt good?” and “what felt not so good?” Did this action make your heart sing? As much as Wilber enjoyed volunteering for various causes, it was the training she took from Sue Frederick that really spoke to her heart and moved her career forward.
In addition to her coaching practice, Wilber hosts a YouTube channel and is a co-author of “Women Living Consciously, Book II,” and “Keys to a Good Life: Wisdom to Unlock the Power Within.” As a member of CYACYL (Change Your Attitude … Change Your Life) organization, she is a columnist for 24/Seven magazine and speaker on WOR710 AM radio. You can access these offerings from her website, www.reallifespark.com.
Wilber holds a master’s degree in business administration from Rutgers University, a master’s certificate from George Washington University, and several professional and life coaching certificates.
From the day young Wilber watched Armstrong take his first step on the moon, she has listened to her heart, following and even expanding her dreams and taking action. As Wilber writes on her blog: “Your path rises to meet you but you need to take the first step.”