Hi, I’m Amalia

I am a 500 hour Certified Yoga Teacher and Holistic Health Coach

A $3500 Lesson In Trusting Your Intuition

March 28, 2023

I didn’t like her the first time that I spoke with her.

Actually, I didn’t like her any of the times that I spoke with her. And yet – I still hired her and even paid her $3500 of my hard-earned cash.

Who am I talking about?

I’d like to share with you a powerful lesson that I learned recently, about the power of trusting your own intuition. 

This was a lesson that I learned the hard way, even though I knew better. The expensive way. The way in which it hurts when someone who was recommended by those you trust most, takes advantage of that very trust.

I’m talking about an educational advocate that we hired to organize and create an IEP (Individualized Education Plan) for my 5 year old daughter, Sofia.

An IEP is a legal document that outlines a variety of accommodations that children with various types of learning challenges will receive within the school system. It’s written specifically for each individual child, based on their needs. Accommodations can be anything from extra time taking a test to having a speech therapist come to the school several times per week.

I was totally intimidated and clueless about the IEP process.

And yet, my daughter has been struggling with attention deficit challenges and I knew that she needed the extra support, especially as she is entering Kindergarten next year. As someone who has myself struggled with ADHD and had a very hard time in school, I really wanted my daughter’s school to be a different kind of experience. A positive experience, with all the support she needed

Sofia currently attends a wonderful Pre-K. They are a small school and the teachers are kind, loving and attentive and they have known Sofia since she was 2 ½ years old.  Sadly, this school does not go beyond Pre-K and so we have to send her to a much larger school next year. A lovely school, and yet there will be much less one on one attention there.

The director of my daughter’s school was concerned about Sofia getting the help she needs for next year and highly recommended hiring an educational advocate that she knew (let’s just call her Advocate for now – creative huh?).

This Advocate’s children had gone to my daughter’s school when they were in Pre-K and she had a reputation of always getting the child what they need. The director warned however, that she might be pricey. I told her that I’d think about it

The following week, I had lunch with one of my best friends, whom I’ve known since I was in high school. I told her about my concerns for my daughter for next year – and my friend recommended that very same Advocate! She told me that her sister (who I have also known since high school) had used her and she was “amazing”.

Well, that was a sign, right?

Not one, but two people whom I deeply trust were singing the praises of this person. I called my friend’s sister and she confirmed – “hiring her was one of the best decisions I have ever made”

So I looked her up. Pages of glowing reviews on Google. Well…she must be really great then, right?

I called her office and set up a phone appointment to discuss working together. Her secretary was lovely and happily chirped that the Advocate was “amazing” (that word again) and that I would love working with her. By now, I was convinced

Fast forward to our phone appointment –

She didn’t call. Not that she was late, she just didn’t call at all.

After waiting by the phone for over 30 minutes, I called her office. Her secretary apologized profusely and said that she would get back to me ASAP. A few minutes later, the secretary called again to say that the Advocate had been double booked and asked if I could reschedule for later that day

I was honestly not too pleased. I have a pretty busy and highly organized schedule on weekdays and I can get grumpy about having my time wasted. Nevertheless, I was doing this for my daughter and this Advocate was going to be “amazing”, right?

I finally got the call from the Advocate later that day. I had expected to hear some sort of “sorry for the confusion” type of statement to start off but there was none of that. Instead, she aggressively launched into a hard-hitting sales pitch for her services.

Right away, I didn’t like her energy. That might seem like a strange thing to say, but remember – we are all ultimately energetic creatures.

Animals are highly in touch with energy and intuition. Have you ever seen a cat’s body tense and the hairs on her back stand up suddenly? She is reacting to her intuition – it could be a sense of impending danger, or perhaps just an energy that she dislikes.

Needless to say, I did not listen to my own intuition with the Advocate.

Even though there were already two red flags.

Even when she told me her price – $3500 (!) – which was already a thousand more than what she had previously charged my high school friend. She expounded on the amazing value that I would receive for this price, how it would not only cover the hours needed to complete the IEP process, but that she would also take the time to “get to know” my daughter and thus personalize both school recommendations and the IEP itself.

Somehow, I told myself that I needed her and I accepted the contract. She was “amazing”, right?

All these trusted people and Google reviews couldn’t possibly be wrong, no matter how much I personally did not enjoy talking to this person nor the fact that my own “bullshit detector” (more on this later) tensed when she gave me her bulldozing sales pitch on the phone that day.

In the coming weeks, there was a plethora of red flags.

Her office was disorganized and didn’t seem to be communicating well with each other. They used a client portal that was not user friendly and that only her secretary and assistant seemed to read, with the Advocate herself only popping in occasionally.

The Advocate was extremely late for the one in-person meeting that I had with her and again, did not apologize. She gave me mistaken information about a school that she highly recommended for my daughter and only responded with “that’s not true” when I told her that the Assistant Principal of that school had negated what she had told me. She constantly rescheduled previous-scheduled phone calls at the last minute or would call me out of the blue and launch immediately into long speeches, without even asking if it was a good time.

Everything about this person displayed her utter lack of respect for my time or even my value as a client.

And yet, I kept moving forward. I remember telling my husband that I really didn’t look forward to speaking with her.

Fast forward again – a few weeks later.

At this point of the process, the only thing that had been accomplished was filling out a mountain of paperwork that the Advocate’s office sent over, having a Zoom meeting with the Advocate’s assistant to answer questions about my daughter, the Advocate meeting my daughter at her school (to “get to know her needs”) and myself having an in-person meeting with her (that she was an hour late for – I’m not kidding).

Oh – and a Zoom meeting with her and some school officials to open the evaluation process for the IEP – I think she said maybe one sentence the whole meeting.

About a week after this meeting, I received a phone call from her assistant. My contract hours were “up” and there was still a lot of work to be done. I would need to “renew” my contract if I would like them to continue…


The assistant asked if I would like to see a breakdown of the hours used. Um – yes, yes I would!

When opened the emailed breakdown, I was horrified.

The Advocate had charged me not only for every single question that I asked in her client portal, but every voicemail that I left her office when needing to reach her, every voicemail that she left me.

There were charges for “talking to assistant about case”, “research” (no way for me to qualify that), even a charge for “research on directions to child’s school” (mind you, her own kids had gone to that school!).

What’s more, as her assistant explained to me, her office charges no less than a 1/10th of an hour. So even if a task took 30 seconds, it was charged 1/10 of an hour regardless.

In short, she fleeced me.

I felt nauseous. And I realized what my intuition had been screaming at me all along – “do not trust this woman!”

I was especially frustrated with myself, because I had ignored my own “bullshit detector”, as I call it. Since I was a kid, I’ve had a knack for knowing when someone is, well, a bullshitter.

I had inklings of this ability throughout my childhood, but I remember the first time that I really noted it.Bck in high school, the new “It” girl who had just transferred to our school had the most incredible stories about her colorful and jet setting life. While my classmates were enthralled, my bullshit detector was high on alert. Ultimately it turned out almost all of her stories came from an Anne Rice novel.

Certainly not a dangerous situation, but this incident made me realize that I seemed to be in touch with a type of intuition that the average person might not be so in touch with.

Bottom line?

Your intuition is important. In some cases, it can even be life-saving.

So here are my 3 top tips for learning to tune into your own intuition:

1) Practice meditating daily

I know that this can be challenging for many, especially if you have a hectic schedule. Honestly, it’s even challenging for me to do it! I am not one who likes to sit still and concentration can be really hard for me.

I like to do an imperfect meditation practice – I set my phone timer for at least 5 minutes (anyone can find 5 minutes – yes even you!). I sit comfortably close my eyes and pick a mantra- can be very simple, even just “Om”. Then I silently repeat my mantra to myself.

Guaranteed at this point, a million thoughts will flood into your mind – “damn, I forgot to start that load of laundry”, “I really need to schedule that doctor’s appointment”, “I would give my right arm for a pizza right now”.

Totally fine! Simply notice the thoughts and return back to your mantra. Do this until the timer goes off.

I even have a short video that I made here where I describe my own meditation practice. It may seem like a small thing, but taking even just 5 minutes a day to sit quietly will do wonders not only for your intuition but for your life as a whole.

2) Get in tune with your body

Start to really notice sensations in your body. What sensations do you feel when you are happy? Excited? Nervous? Angry?

What about when you feel uncomfortable around someone?

Take a few minutes to run a few real-life scenarios through your head that correspond to these emotions. As you picture each scenario in vivid detail, your body will actually give you the exact sensations that you experience in real life. Notice where in your body you feel these sensations. Describe them to yourself.

Now – think of someone that you really don’t like to be around. There may be a concrete reason for it, there may not be. Especially pay attention to the sensations you feel when you picture this person. Consider this to be a guiding sensation to help protect you from people that you would be better off avoiding.

3) When someone shows you who they are, believe them.

Maya Angelou famously said, “When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.”

Brilliant words that I normally take to heart. The Advocate gave me numerous red flags, even before I signed a contract with her. However, I brushed them aside, thinking that those who recommended her could see qualities that I did not see. To be fair, she did talk a good game. But I had a nagging feeling from the beginning that something was off and I chose to ignore it.

Sometimes, despite our best efforts, we might be taken in by a master con artist. If this has happened to you, I am deeply sorry and no – it is not your fault. Some people truly have an (unfortunate) talent at deceiving others.

However, learning to consistently tune into our own intuition and paying attention when we feel something is “off” is an important skill that will always serve and protect you. This is a skill that will get better and better with a bit of consistent practice!

Have you had an experience where you didn’t listen to your intuition?

Or an experience where you did listen to your intuition and it protected you?

Let me know in the comments!

Want to Coach with me? I offer Holistic Health Coaching online, to anywhere in the world!

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