Do you trust your inner voice? How can you tell the difference between intuition and desire or reasoning?
Intuition is “the ability to understand something immediately, without the need for conscious
reasoning.” So it’s more like a “blink response.” I think of it as pre-thought which comes from the higher self – that part of self that knows what’s good for you and what isn’t. Part evolutionary, part spiritual. It’s your “gut feeling” and “instinct.” I’ve always called them “vibes”.
Typically it comes across not even as thought but FEELING – negative or positive. It could also be a strong reaction in your body. It could be your body telling you to flee a situation or almost like a premonition that something is going to go wrong. What intuition ISN’T is that blink response mixed with emotion and thought because you’ve added more ingredients to the recipe to change it from the original form.
Unfortunately, most of us don’t follow our intuition. Here’s what Psychology Today said:
In essence, we need both instinct and reason to make the best possible decisions for ourselves, our businesses, and our families. Unfortunately, many of us—even when we experience success using this lesser acknowledged part of us-are uncomfortable with the idea of using our instincts as a guidance tool. We are embarrassed to say that we follow hunches, we mistrust the sometimes-cryptic messages that our instincts send to us, and consequently we diminish our capacity to leverage the power of our own instincts when we need them most. Our discomfort with the idea of relying on our instincts is based on millennia of cultural prejudice.
We may not trust our unconscious mind, but we should. I see it as the “top floor” of my mind – a tropical open-air space with the infinite ocean and horizon beyond it. It’s so expansive that I don’t need to understand it. I just know that it’s a gorgeous space and I should trust it.
What’s below – my conscious mind – is a squirrel circus full of its share of lions, tigers and creepy clowns. So when I get the gift of intuition – like a ray of light poking down through the circus tent – I very much pay attention.
Intuition isn’t just reserved for the “arty” or “out there” people. We each have it working for us – we just need to listen and tap into it. As someone who has always been a daydreamer and deep thinker, I’ve been in touch with my inner voice since I was a little girl. When I would lay in bed at night with bad thoughts, a voice said to me, “everything’s going to be okay. You’re going to have a great life.” When that happened, I didn’t judge where that voice came from. God? Angel? Higher self? I was too little to put a label on it, but I felt intense peace and my anxiety abetted. And that voice was right. I do have an amazing life.
You can tap into your intuition more by doing things like journaling (highly recommend the book Writing Down My Soul) and by practicing stillness (such as meditating or even quiet time where you DON’T THINK). One way to achieve this without simply sitting is to get out into nature. While walking (which is great for us) we can concentrate on the things we see in our path and not let our thinking minds take over.
Your intuition may also come as an a-ha moment, especially if something was vexing you. Recently, I was in a situation I was unsure about and then one day, my inner voice gave me the answer I needed. My conscious mind was like, “hey, I had no idea.” And my higher self was like, “yeah, that’s why you need me. Don’t forget it.” (My inner voice is like the sassy big sister I never had.) So I trusted what my inner voice told me and made the decision to move forward based on that input.
Thing is, reasoning would have told me to make the opposite decision, which is why it’s so hard to predict. I’ve also made a wrong decision based on HOPE. When my estranged mother moved to town and tried to have a relationship with me and my sisters, my inner voice told me it wasn’t going to work – and that it wasn’t working very quickly – my reasoning and emotion said, “no! Try harder! Switch tactics! Be nicer!” And so on. It was only after a life coach confirmed what my inner voice already told me that I paid attention.
I rely on my intuition to lead me on my creative endeavors. My ego mind would tell me to write the next 50 Shades of Gray, but my higher self picked a much more challenging project that I would never have chosen if I’d simply brainstormed it. My awareness has grown so much that it feels like my circus tent is flapped open. I’m constantly receiving, listening and responding. The other day I called a friend after an important meeting and told her, “My intuition is telling me they are going to pick such-and-such name.” Sure enough, a day later, the client called and said they had picked that particular name out of 20. I had no idea how I knew it would happen, but I did.
You have to turn off your inner judge to let your inner voice come through. If you keep tackling the voice running with the ball, you’re never going to get down field.
Try it and see what happens.
Book rec: The Art of Intuition by Sophie Burnham
Next week, I’m going to talk about the Law of Attraction (and I don’t mean sexual attraction.) A friend recently asked me if I always get what I want. Another friend told me that I seemed lucky and that good things tend to happen to me. I just consider it the Universe giving me what I’m asking for as well as what I need, which is the basis of LOA.
’til then. xoxo