Ever had a moment where you felt as though something wasn’t right? Perhaps a negative feeling from that single person, when you enter into an elevator without knowing why or while stepping into a parking lot late at night?
Ever experienced that nagging feeling in the pit of your stomach just before you’re about to do something?
Ever felt a kind of voice inside of you, that whispers all day long, “I feel that this is right for me, I know that this is wrong?”
I am sure, you must have had such experiences, sometime or the other, in your life.
And what you did then, just shrugged them off, dismissing them as illogical nonsense?
Listened to that voice without words?
This is the inner voice, that gut feeling, that little something instinctual from within that tells us how we feel beneath those layers of logic. Instincts, gut feelings, hunches…all of these words point to a deep capacity that we all carry inside known as INTUITION.
There is a voice that doesn’t use words, Listen. – Rumi
Intuition literally means learning from within. Most of us were never taught how to use this sense, but all of us know well that ‘gut’ feeling. Intuition is that hunch, instinct, and inner voice that gives us knowledge without conscious reasoning. It’s the process that gives us the ability to know something directly without analytical reasoning, bridging the gap between the conscious and subconscious parts of our mind, and also between instincts and logics. When cultivated, intuition, holds a strong power that can help us maximize our lives.
There are many prominent historical figures who knew the value our intuition holds.
Steve Jobs said, for instance, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.
Albert Einstein also believed in intuition and inspiration. According to him, imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution.
In furtherance to this, the phenomenon of gut instinct has been studied by a broad range of experts including psychologists, economists, microbiologists and sociologists. There’s widespread agreement on a couple of points. First, our gut instinct isn’t some magical, mystical force. Rather, says cognitive psychologist Gary Klein, “It’s the way we translate our experience into judgement and actions.” When Klein studied how individuals such as firefighters and emergency medical personnel make instant life-or-death decisions, he found they were able to size up situations rapidly by picking up subtle cues, patterns and anomalies and then take decisive action without having to stop and conduct deliberate analysis.
The second big point about gut feelings is that we couldn’t survive without them. “More than 99% of the decisions we make every day, we make without deliberation,” says Carl Spetzler, Ph. D., co-founder and CEO of Strategic Decision Group, California. If you think you’d make better choices if emotions didn’t get in your way, think again. “Without our intuitions, we’d be paralyzed,” Klein says. In his bestselling book BLINK, Malcolm Gladwell has described the automatic decisions as “thinking without thinking”, which includes everything, from choosing which foot to start with when you begin to walk, to hitting the brakes when you see a line of cars stopped in front of you on the highway.
So, what does that mean? Well, it basically means that intuition is the brain drawing on past experiences and external cues to make superfast decisions that cannot be consciously comprehended.
But now the question is how to use our intuition effectively? How do we know for sure when we’re using our intuition and when we’re just experiencing regular feelings or desires?
For instance, think about the following few questions…
How do we know the difference between thoughts and intuition?
What if that feeling is just our fear of failing?
What if that feeling is just overly optimistic thinking?
What if we are just secretly hoping for what we feel to be right?
It is really hard to tell the difference between the depth of intuition and general thoughts or feelings, however, not impossible. It is well worth investing some time, as intuition is a message from our soul, who knows all the answers. No teacher, preacher, parent, friend or wise man can decide what’s right for us – we just need to listen to the voice that speaks inside. And once we learn how to feel our intuition, it will serve us a lifetime, as this skill can never be exploited by anyone.
Listen to your intuition – it’s always on your side.
Now let’s consider the following steps to effectively experience our intuition and lead a meaningful life.
Time out for solitude. Intuition lies in the space between our discursive thoughts and the demands of our hectic lives. Making time for ourselves creates space to bring our attention back within where our intuition lies. It is necessary to have a little bit of solitude and a little bit of silence because in the middle of all the craziness and all of the noise of everyday life, we cannot recognise intuition. It may be tempting to distract ourselves with busy activities, but our time alone will serve to integrate our new learning and provide further guidance to help us along our way. It will also support us to become comfortable without dependencies on other’s approval or guidance, which in many cases, won’t be useful at all.
Create differently. Just as solitude can help give rise to creative thinking, it can also help us connect to our deepest inner wisdom. Creativity and intuition are technically linked to each other. Factually, creative people are highly intuitive and creativity works best when it is driven intuitively. It is commonly said, practice makes us perfect. And just as we can increase our creativity through practice, we can also boost up our intuitive creativity through mindful imagination. Development of creativity and intuitive abilities go hand in hand. Our creative mind will work in a superfast manner if it is driven by intuition, that is creating unconsciously.
Practice Mindfulness. While it is important that we use rational thoughts, our usual thinking is often subject to prejudice, past beliefs, external influences and fear. To access our intuition, we need to clear our mind of thoughts. Meditation and mindful breathing can be an excellent way to tap into our intuition. When we are calm and centred, mentally, only then can we accurately access the power of our intuition.
Observe Carefully. We need to be attentive to what shows up in our lives. Keep noticing and preparing a journal, of all the odd things happening, every now and then. Gaining a keen sense of all the coincidences, surprising connections, overheard conversations, day dreams and night dreams. We have to pay attention and recognise that life is working to support us in mysterious ways. These everyday instances will ultimately lead us to access our intuitive power.
Feel Sensations. We can never be deceived by our body because our body can never lie. Intuitive people learn to tune into their bodies and notice their gut feelings. If you’ve ever started feeling sick to your stomach when you knew something was wrong but couldn’t put your finger on what, you understand that intuitions can cause a physical sensation in the body. No matter what elaborate stories and theories we define, our body will always reveal the truth of the matter and hence will connect more appropriately with our intuition.
Dream Attentively. We need to pay attention to our dreams as a way to get in touch with our mind’s subconscious thinking process. Both the dreams and intuition spring from our subconscious mind, so we can begin to tap into this part of our mind by paying attention to our dreams. At night, when we’re dreaming, we receive information from our subconscious mind, that works even when we are asleep. If we’re attuned to our dreams, we can get a lot of information about how to live our life.
Let-go Negative thoughts. Strong emotions, particularly negative ones, can cloud our intuition. Sometimes, we feel out of sorts or ‘not ourselves’ when we’re upset and it may be because at that moment we have been disconnected from our intuition. But this doesn’t imply that people can never get upset. Instead this means that our intuition will manage to do a better job if we thoughtfully accept and let go all the negative emotions for the most part, rather than dwelling on them. Also, following our intuition requires courage because it calls us to let go of control to some degree and trust the higher flow of life. As life knows what we want, more than we do ourselves. Intuition guides us to allow life to carry us instead of forcing our way through life with our plans and agendas. And when we surrender to life, we will soon discover the magic that it has in store.
There will be a time when your soul will tell you to do ‘something’. ‘Something’…that defies logic, upsets your plans and may even seem crazy to others. ‘Something’…that needs to be done, ignoring all the odds and complications. At that time, just listen to that urge of your soul and go for it.
Thank you for reading!!!
Live. Laugh. Love.