Intuition is Divine knowledge and insight. It is knowingness and connection. It is access to the Wisdom within and to the greater Wisdom outside of ourselves.
Intuition is Divine Will hinting, warning, pointing— sometimes even shouting and rattling the Body. It can leave one sleepless.
Intuition is a conduit. It is the original “world wide web,” a wireless knowledge bank of everything (and with no subscription fee!). It is a limitless well within the body, drawn from by the mind’s eye. This well goes deep yet we can sense a ripple in its waters and draw our bucket up to discern any message it may contain.
Our Bodies can twinge. We get a “gut feeling.” It is a hunch or string of hunches in proliferation. It lets us know that we need to pay attention. It signals us that our well wants to be drawn from.
Intuition visits our dreams, where it swims unfettered. It teases us with déjà vu’ to remind us of its presence.
It spawns regret when ignored. It rises up when adored.
It can spew poetry that feels not of your hand.
It negates forks in the road. It voices our Truth.
Intuition can be your muse and guardian angel.
It is a gift that is often suppressed. Intuition is our greatest guru.
Intuition is our soul, talking to us.
My Relationship with Intuition
Intuition is my best friend. I live my life by it. Often, it gives me no choice other than to follow its advice. It is a guiding light and─ dang!─ a stubborn one at that. It will often seem that life would be so much easier without it. Sometimes it tells me to do stuff that just doesn’t make sense. It sneers at convention and practicality. I often resist its advice, albeit in a tepid manner. By now, I know that I will abide, eventually and inevitably. Intuition seems to be Divine Will attempting to override and co-op my own Freewill.
My Intuition shuts down if I try to force it. It sometimes lets me know if I am simply to be on “standby.” It is often silent in order to force reflection or if consequences are of no concern. In either of these cases, it lets me know in some way or another that it is being purposefully silent.
Despite the occasional bout with my rational mind, I listen to my Intuition and cherish its counsel. In fact, I wouldn’t have it any other way. I know that anywhere Intuition leads me is somehow part of my overall Truth or is part of a path to get closer to it. I ignore Intuition at my own peril, although it will get around to correcting my path eventually if I do. I am Intuition’s humble and grateful servant. “My Life Unfolds in Divine Order” is my mantra for Intuition. “Thy Will Be Done” is my Prayer.
My Intuition comforts me. It lets me know that whatever suffering or loss I am going through will somehow be beneficial in the long term. I like to say Intuition is solution-oriented. It tells me to ride out the storms and lets me know that, “You know what? Things may really suck for a while but I will survive and come out ahead.” Intuition also gives me a certain perspective to hold onto that helps me when I am in transition. For this, I am extremely grateful.
Intuition as a Practice
I have come to think about Intuition or the development of Intuition as a practice, just like Meditation, Mindfulness and yoga. For me, all four of these practices are interrelated.
Meditation helps to focus the mind and go passed distractions in order to engage the mind’s eye and harness Intuition. Meditation also begets greater Mindfulness which helps us be aware of our Intuition on an on-going basis. All Mindfulness practices contribute to better Meditation. Yoga, which is a practice in Mindfulness and Meditation in its essence, also conditions the Body so that we are more attuned to Intuitive cues that may come from that source.
While everyone’s experience with Intuition is different, in general our Body can be a great source of cues as to whether or not our Intuition is working. The gut feelings and hunches we have are often Bodily-centered. The vagus nerve, often referred to as the brain of the body and our “Intuitive nerve,” surrounds the heart and torso. Physical yoga in general enhances meditation and Mindfulness and makes us more attuned to our Body. When we practice yoga, we are tuning into our bodies and uniting them with mind and spirit.
Barriers to Intuition
A key factor in developing Intuition is to reduce other “noises” and distractions in the mind and Body that are barriers to accessing it. The “noises” that often block us from hearing our Intuition are often related to anxiety. Thus, reducing anxiety becomes a primary focus for us in developing Intuition.
Our Intuition can sometimes guide us through truly life-threatening situations where our anxiety level may be high, helping us to survive. This is because Intuition can work in conjunction with our survival mechanisms, giving us instinct-level guidance in doing what we need to do in order to live. People will sometimes report a calm within their Body when performing life-saving actions. In these situations, humans act from an instinctual drive. They are on autopilot and without conscious thought.
On the other hand, constant anxiety and Intuition may be mutually exclusive in the bigger, long term perspective. Fight-or-flight mechanisms may be an opposing force to what is known as our Intuitive center, the vagus nerve as mentioned, whose main job is to turn off the fight-or-flight system when dangers recede.
As also mentioned, Meditation, Mindfulness and yoga help us to relax and reduce anxiety. They quiet the mind and allow us to access Intuition.
Anxiety that is related to The Five Umbrella Anxieties (see Introduction) can hamper Intuition. Answering the questions brought forth by those anxieties, through spiritual or other means, may serve to enhance one’s ability to access Intuition.
“Intuition is a spiritual faculty and does not explain, but simply points the way.”
-Florence Scovel Shinn
Trauma, old wounds and unprocessed emotions stored in the Body and psyche may create an unconscious and ongoing source of underlying anxiety that will impact our access to Intuition. Healing work to resolve and remove this anxiety is necessary for greater Intuition.
Separate and related to anxiety, the Reason-oriented, rational mind can serve to impede Intuition as well. The rational mind “hogs up space” with it tendency to always be in gear, search for information, look for patterns, analyze data and over-think. Anxiety can serve to speed up the processes of the rational mind and distort its reason.
Although we do not want a total suspension of the rational mind, we also don’t want this aspect of ourselves to block our Intuition. The rational mind in its purest form is rigid. It is black-and- white. Accessing Intuition requires Surrender, a receptivity of the mind and a comfort with grey areas. We want to shift the Rational mind into neutral gear if we wish to access Intuition.
In accessing Intuition, we are seeking the mystical, not the rational. Our educational system in the U.S. focuses almost exclusively on the use of the Rational mind and this dominance can be a barrier to our Intuitive mind. The reality is that these two very different parts of ourselves work best in concert.
“Intuition will tell the thinking mind where to look next.” -Jonas Salk
We are all constantly on the receiving end of Intuitive information and insights. The problem for most of us, however, is the massive amount of disquiet we allow into our minds and the prevalence of the barriers that muffle─ and sometimes downright block─ the messages we could otherwise be receiving. Careful attention in removing or reducing these barriers is key to making full use of our Intuition.
“The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.” -Albert Einstein
The Spelling Bee Method: Interacting with Your Intuition
I once experienced a week when I felt like my Intuition was in overdrive. I was receiving valuable information with deep meanings affecting me and my loved ones, but it was all too much, too quick. It was overwhelming and I was unable to discern much insight from what felt like an avalanche of information.
In the middle of this onslaught, I took a deep breath and asked for guidance. I tuned to my Intuition and pleaded, “Please help me to make sense of all of this information!”
My Intuition told me what to do. Well, sort of. It gave me an image of a spelling bee contestant, of all things. In my mind’s eyes, I saw a skinny kid, maybe eleven years old, on a stage, isolated under a spotlight.
We probably have all seen coverage of high-level spelling competitions, where one of the brilliant young contestants receives a word to spell and they look puzzled, stumped, in a quandary. There is a moment of suspense when it looks like they might not recover. The audience is in suspense too. Will this brilliant young speller take their best guess and lose? Will they just freeze up or will they go on to spelling bee stardom?
We as spectators feel nervous for them. We ache for them. However, most of the time they seem to shake it off and regain their footing with a deep breath and a reconfigured posture
emulating authority and direction. At that moment, they could still not be sure of how to spell that particular word, but they seem to take charge anyways. Maybe they need clarity and so they ask the typical questions: “Can you please repeat the word?”, “Can you please use the word in a
sentence?”, “Can you please tell me if the word is a noun, adjective or verb?”, “Can you tell me the language of origin?”, “Are there any alternate pronunciations?”
This is not just a delay tactic. Seasoned spellers know that there are time constraints and the spellers are straight-forward in getting further information which may help them figure out the correct way to spell. More often than not, the process triggers the exact understanding that the stumped contestant needs, guiding them to the correct answer just in the nick of time.
In my case, my own Intuition was telling me how to engage with It. It was saying, “Stop! Slow Down! Take a deep breath! Ask questions and, Do Not Be Afraid to Interact with Me!” Each one of us can focus on our Intuition from a position of confidence with the knowledge that we are, in fact, allowed to interact and ask questions of it.
While we can ask for directions and clarity, there is an etiquette that says we cannot demand answers. It must be a polite request and an act of Surrender in allowing the answers to simply be received.
Intuition often has its own schedule and doles out nuggets of wisdom, bits of the overall puzzle that you may be trying to put together in a piece-meal fashion. This process can test our patience and our desire (and, in modern society, our expectation) for immediate gratification. Demanding answers from Intuition (instead of politely requesting) can shut it down. When we ask nicely, we get an answer─ maybe not right away, but eventually we will get one.
Some have a tendency to fear their own Intuition and will not want to ask it questions. We may fear the information it is going provide and the possible life changes or challenges that may come with it. Instead, we need to welcome, embrace and interact with Intuition, without fear and with Wonder and curiosity. Ultimately, our Intuition is simply an expression of our Truth.
“The sage is guided by what they feel and not by what they see. They let go of that and choose this.” -Lao Tzu
Equanimity is a key supporter of Intuition. It provides an inner peace so that the noises and distractions of external sources such as anxiety will not drown out the voice of Intuition. Any element that supports Equanimity supports Intuition.
Freewill is important as well in terms of being able to steer and focus the mind’s eye (located at the center of the forehead above the eyebrows). With the analogy of Intuition drawing from a well, Equanimity calms the waters. Careful application of Freewill draws up information and guidance from the well of Intuition. Freewill placed in neutral allows for Intuition to rise up.
Surrender supports an allowance and receptivity of the Intuition process. Intuition cannot be forced. It is opened up to and allowed to occur, with a touch of Humility and politeness added in for good measure.
Wonder and Non-Judgment support the process of receptivity to Intuition as well. Intuition takes a shine to the open-minded curiosity of a child.
Wisdom and Reason help us to discern the often puzzle-like nature of Intuition. Many times, the most reasonable thing to do is to follow your Intuition.
Mindfulness, Body and Self-Awareness gives rise to recognizing the cues of Intuition.
Meditation is the chief honing mechanism of focusing the mind’s eye which draws from the well of Intuition.
Stillness, especially Stillness experienced in Solitude, is always a welcome venue for Intuition to spring forth.
- Meditation is the chief honing mechanism that develops the focus of the mind’s eye while serving to enhance Mindfulness and achieve Equanimity. Develop a daily Meditation practice, and periodically Meditate specifically with intent to receive guidance on a particular subject, not demanding immediate response. Instead, put out a Welcome Mat for “information.”
- A routine of physical yoga will tune the Body to enhance its mechanisms in order to relax the vagus nerve and be better able to center in on Bodily cues of Intuition.
- Journal or log your Intuitions and dreams. Revisit them often. Meditate and ask for further guidance and clarity on items that your heart/Intuition tells you may need greater exploration. Intuition often “snowballs.” It will give you a nugget, but it may wait for further interest in order to give you more.
- Sign up for an Intuition Development class in your area. These classes exist!
- Do the exercise to Run Your Light Energy as described in the practices for the element of Light. Focus on the sixth chakra, which is located at the Mind’s Eye (center of forehead above brows). Picture indigo-colored light in this area as you move Energy through your Body.
- Learn under what conditions your Intuition works best and foster those external and internal circumstances. Learn how your Intuition best expresses itself. Learn its cues and be mindful of those.
- Listen to your Intuition. Do what it says. If you are ever unclear as to what your Intuition is saying, be patient. Politely ask for further clarification and allow for that to occur.
I Am Open to My Inner Vision; I Can Feel My Intuition.
I Am Receptive and Open to Insight; I Welcome and Embrace This Gift.
Let Me Hear My Truth. Let My Intuition Guide Me.
I Know Who I Am; I Am Open to the Guidance and Healing Power of the Universe.
Let Thy Will be Done; My Life Unfolds in Divine Order.