unnamedI believe every human has a magic power. Forget a unicorn, humans are truly the most magical creatures on Earth. When I think about the magic of which humans are capable, my heart does a happy dance and my brain has to take a nap. (When women share space for extended periods of time, their menstrual cycles link up. As in: MY BODY TALKS TO YOUR BODY and they’re like “Hey, lets do a thing together.” Mind. Blown.)

I just moved to LA, and have spent the last few days looking for housing. (Spoiler Alert: I’m no longer homeless. Yay!)

I spent hours on Craigslist searching and responding to posts, emailing back and forth with strangers, visiting leasing offices, etc etc etc.

I saw a posting for a room in a house with moderately cheap rent; there were no pictures, no description of the landlord/renter, no details other than the cost of rent and a few of the house’s amenities. Though the posting was admittedly nondescript (and not having photos is usually a pretty big red flag in a housing search), I inquired anyway. The post stated, “please leave a phone number in your reply,” so I did.

A few hours later, I get a call from a blocked number. The tiniest red flag in my mind went up. I answered, and a man’s voice on the other line told me he had received my email about housing. We chatted for a bit – small talk – I told him I’d just flown in from New York, that I was spending the week looking for housing, and that I was looking for a month-to-month lease. He seemed awkward but agreeable, the conversation was friendly but one sided. He asked me a few questions, all of which I answered willingly. I asked him none. (Mistake.) He told me I could come by the next day, and that he would text me his number and the address.

We hung up, and he texted me his name. I responded asking for the address and what time I could come by, and he told me that he would text it to me later on in the evening. (Insert tiny red flag number two.)

That night, he texted me, “Jamila, please call me when you get a chance.” The tiny flag grew. When I called, the conversation was strangely casual. He asked me about my day, about the other apartments I’d seen, what my schedule was like the next day/when would be best for me to come by and see the room. [Now, I’m naturally conversational; you can take the South out of the girl but you can’t take the girl out of the South. I tend to volunteer information that many people would keep to themselves, but I get to chatting and can’t nobody stop me. (I am my mother’s daughter).] But I did feel strange about it; why did he tell me to call him with nothing to discuss?

Towards the end of the conversation, he asked, “did I give you the address?” I told him no, and he told me to call him in the morning to get it. And then, before hanging up, he said “Goodnight, hun.” The red flag was no longer tiny.

The next morning, I called him and his phone went to voicemail. A woman’s voice explained that James So&So couldn’t come to the phone, but to leave a message and he’d call back. (Who is this woman, i wondered? I dismissed the thought as soon as it came to me.) He texted me an hour later, asking what time I could come.

Cut to: me showing up at his house for one of the most unsettling and uncomfortable exchanges of my life.

(I should have known better when I texted my mom and my boyfriend his address, his phone number, and his name, so they’d know who to find if I ended up missing.)

Despite my gut feeling that something was way, way off, I went anyway. I entered this man’s house ALONE. After a tour of the house (which looked disturbingly unoccupied), the conversation went something like this:

HIM: So  who are you staying with now?
ME: A friend.
HIM: A boy or a girl?
ME: …. A girl.
HIM: Do you have a boyfriend?
ME: Yes.
HIM: Where is he?
ME: New York.
HIM: Oh, that must be really hard on you.
ME: …Yeah. He’ll come visit.
HIM: So…can you afford this place?
ME: Yes.
HIM: Because I’m willing to knock off some of the rent, $100 or $200 for you, if you’re willing to help me out with some stuff.
ME: (Silence).
HIM: You know, like if I go out of town and need someone to watch the house, or if you want to do some light housekeeping, or, you know…other stuff.
ME: … (texting my mother, “CALL ME”.) Excuse me, I’m checking in with my mom.
HIM: Oh, she knows you’re here?
ME: Yes, I tell her everything.

Mom calls, and I find the quickest excuse to get the HELL up out of there! Not but an hour later, he calls me from a blocked number. I don’t answer. He calls again. I don’t answer. He texts me, “Jamila, please call me.” I don’t answer. He calls again. I don’t answer. Hours later, he texts me: “Ur funny. Have a nice life.” I block his number.

Y’all. I should have known, I should have known!

The truth is, I did know, and I didn’t listen, and I ended up in a really uncomfortable situation that could have easily escalated.

So I had to have a family meeting with my heart and my brain about always trusting my magic.

It is hard to describe what I mean when I say magic, in the same way it is hard to describe a color to someone who cannot see color, or what it is like to be in love to someone who has never known another heart by name. When I say magic, I mean moments within the human experience in which you and the Universe are in direct conversation, in which divine power is working around and through you.

My intuition is magic.

My empathy is magic.

My body’s ability to converse with other bodies is magic.

My mind’s ability to manifest my visions is magic.

My ability to feel positive or negative energy, to sense high or low vibrations….all of it: magic.

We all have magic powers; Universe-provided gifts that allow us to move through the world safely, consciously, aware, and engaged. When we don’t listen to what our body tells us, when we go against what our intuition is saying to do or not do, we often end up feeling unbalanced and even worse, unsafe.

Your future is a path and your intuition is a compass. Trust that it will always lead you in the right direction. If you’re mind is telling you no R-Kelly style, LISTEN. Ifyou’re facing a big decision (or a small one), meditate on it – try to quiet your mind long enough to hear what you feel.

We’ve all been given this advise: “trust your gut.” Intuition is your ability to know without reasoning. And if that isn’t magic, than I don’t know what is.