To most people intuition is an abstract concept that does not apply to their day-to-day life. Over the 35+ years of working with intuition, I can tell you that everyone has at least one instance where intuition played a major role in his or her life. When we recognize that intuition is as natural for humans as thinking, we open the door to listening to that small still voice. The more we listen to our intuition the clearer it speaks to us, leading to a more fulfilled life! Sadly intuition is one of the least understood human traits there is.
What is intuition? Intuition is having an understanding or knowing without using reasoning. Intuition has been called many things over the years, which has contributed to the abstract and mysterious nature that is often associated with it. Intuition has been called God, guidance, small still voice, gut feeling, angels, higher self, and a lot of other things. I am not saying that intuition is not any or all of these, I am suggesting that because intuition has so many concepts it has not been recognized for the importance that it plays in our life.
One thought that I have on why intuition has been so discredited can be seen clearly throughout our history. Before the Middle Ages, in general, people relied on their intuition and connection to nature to survive. In Stone Age drawings and from indigenous cultures around the world, you can see the inward connection to the external world. This inward connection is the “telephone line” to the intuitive. When social systems became more developed rules were established to keep order.
Before the Middle Ages, in general, people relied on their intuition and connection to nature to survive. In Stone Age drawings and from indigenous cultures around the world, you can see the inward connection to the external world. This inward connection is the “telephone line” to the intuitive. When social systems became more developed rules were established to keep order. During the Middle Ages social order replaced intuition as authorities used fear and violence to suppress the intuitive nature. People became afraid to do anything that was outside the social order, which led way to the Renaissance.
The Renaissance hindered intuition in a whole new way. The Renaissance was about scientific evidence and the arts. If it could not be fit into a box of scientific evidence or the arts it was discarded as invalid. Carnivals, mediums, crystal balls, and hypnotists came out in full force as amusing entertainment. Intuition became a mere sideshow to entertain the masses, while a few individuals longed to understand more fully the truth of this inherent trait. The modern age, which has been wracked by war and reliance on technology, has not been very supportive of intuition either, and fortunately today practices like mindfulness, yoga, mediation, and love of nature are helping individuals once again embrace and follow their intuition.
The question is now, how can you best learn to cultivate intuition in your life so that your life is a reflection of the life you deserve to live? When we live by others’ expectations, we tend to follow others rather then our own intuition. Again, as mentioned earlier, it is the difference between living life from the internal relationship with the external, and not the external world telling us who we are, and what we should do. Fortunately, since intuition is an inherent trait, it has never, nor will ever leave us. When we follow our own life’s manual from within, we find that we may move in directions that we never dreamed of, and are nourished in ways that we would not have known.
It continues to be such a joy to witness how one small change can contribute to such an impact on our lives, and that comes from following their intuition! The first thing to do to make your intuition a little louder is to let go of the idea that it is “woo woo” or weird. That belief alone will keep it in the closet. I cannot say enough that intuition is an inherent trait in everyone. If you do not believe that, then you will find that if you ask everyone you know if they have had a knowingness about something without a rationalization to back it up, 90% or more of those you know will say they have had that. Once you settle with knowing that your intuition is here for you, it is time to begin a brand new relationship with it!
One of the first things that I teach others to do is to be inquisitive. Going inward and asking life’s questions, while expecting answers, will activate your intuition. When we are open to hearing the guidance or answer from life, it comes in so many ways. Look for guidance to come through a dream, a person, nature, book, or anything and within a few days of asking. When we start to look at life from this perspective, doors or opportunities are seen that may not have been noticed. There is a lot of freedom that can come from following this.
A recent experience that I had is a good example of this. For many years I’d thought about learning to paint, but ignored the urge since I’d not painted since the 5thgrade. I had a dream that I was painting a very large tree on a canvas with charcoal. I knew this dream was a message to take-up art, but ignored it. Two days later I had another dream in which I was painting, this time the dream inspired me to sign up for an art class, and I have been painting ever since. I am so thrilled that I acted on my intuition as I’ve been rewarded with a whole new unforeseen richness in my life.
When one receives intuition it should be followed with reasoning, one without the other is not as effective. We are born with both of these qualities for a reason. An example of this is someone feeling intuitively guided to change careers, and then acting on that without any research. The rational mind helps with the details, which makes change a whole lot easier.
It is very important to distinguish the difference in intuition and a desire. Sometimes desires come disguised as intuition. Through continued asking while feeling the answers you can feel whether it is an intuition or a desire. When we move beyond our attachment to what we desire intuition comes in stronger. Once you feel the difference, it gets easier to move past it.
It is also important to know that no one can teach you intuition. You already have it, and the way that your intuition talks to you is different than others. Some people have inner vision, some inner hearing, others have the gut feeling, and some have multiple ways to hear that still small voice within. When you know what yours is, you can access it more often from that place. Remember to have fun getting to know your intuitive voice like you would with a new friend! Getting to know yourself better can only be liberating and bring more joy into your life!