Art of following Intuition
Listening to, trusting, and acting on your intuitive inner guidance is an art. Like any other art or discipline, it requires a certain commitment. It is an ongoing process in which we are always being challenged to move to a deeper level of self-trust. For most of us, the practice of allowing our intuition to guide us is really a new way of life, very different from what we have been taught in the past. At times it may feel uncomfortable or even a bit frightening. If we have been conditioned to
try to approach life entirely rationally, to follow certain rules (or to automatically rebel against them), or to do what we think other people want us to do, then beginning to follow our own inner sense of truth is a major shift. It’s natural for it to take some time and it may be a little difficult and confusing at certain moments. It’s important to be very compassionate with ourselves in this process.
At times we may be very aware of the conflicting voices inside of us. One part of us may be excited about making changes while another part of us is terrified about it. If we can acknowledge and honour all our different inner voices and their feelings,
our intuition will show us an appropriate step to take — one that moves us in the right direction without being too frightening for our vulnerable selves or too radical for our conservative parts.
Opening New Doors
The more we practice following our intuition, the more faith we get, because we see that it really does work. Not only is nothing disastrous happening (as in our worst fears), but our lives are actually getting better and better. Remember to start with small steps until you build a sense of confidence in yourself and can gradually tackle bigger issues. Your intuition will most likely push you gently toward taking some appropriate risks and trying new things. For example, you might have a fantasy of doing something creative that you haven’t done before, such as taking art, dancing, or music lessons.
An inner critic voice might try to stop you from risking failure or embarrassment by whispering in your ear, “Don’t be silly, you’re not creative!” or “You’re much too old to start something totally new.” You can acknowledge your inner critic and thank it for its attempt to protect you from humiliation. Then you can go ahead and give it a try anyway. Your intuition may be trying to show you that you have a new direction in which you need to move or that there is something within you that is trying to come through. If you give yourself permission to try it, you don’t have to be great at it; just do it for fun. Follow your intuitive impulse and see what happens. It may open a new door for you. It may give you a chance to play and discover a new part of your personality that you haven’t learned to express before.
Suppose you have always wanted to start your own business. Allow yourself to fantasize about it. Start thinking about what steps you could take in that direction. Ask your intuition to show you what to do. Try following any impulse you might have to explore this possibility. It may be that nothing will happen, or that you take a few steps and then feel blocked. This
may be an indication that this is not the best course of action for you at this time. Or it may mean that you need to be open
to it happening in a totally different and unexpected way. Stay open and see what happens. I know many people who have become
very successful this way. As you learn to live from your intuition you may find that the process of making decisions changes.
Rather than just trying to figure things out in your head, you follow your intuitive feeling for a while and let things unfold. In the process, the right decisions usually get made.
For example, if you are unhappy in your job, don’t immediately make a decision to go in and quit, unless you truly have a strong gut feeling that that is the best course of action. Instead, explore and acknowledge your feelings, such as,
“I’m really unhappy here, I’d like to work with people more,” or whatever. Then turn it over to your intuition and allow it to show you step by step what you need to do. You will probably find that something will emerge. You may find that your current
job changes and improves, or you may get an inspiration about a different career and begin to explore that possibility. You may follow an impulse to interview for another job and find that it is right for you. Or you may get very clear that you need to resign, and it will feel appropriate to do so. The right action will emerge from the process. If you have a problem to solve, or a desire to fulfil, try turning it over to your intuition. For example, if you feel like your social life is boring or unrewarding and you’d like to make new friends, consciously ask your intuition to guide you in this process. You might
find that a week or two later you read about a hobby group and you intuitively feel drawn to attend. You may end up joining a camera club or a hiking club and find a new circle of friends with a common interest.
Some people fear that trusting their intuition will lead them to do things that are purely selfish, irresponsible, or hurtful to others. In reality, the opposite is true. Since intuition is connected to our souls and to the universal intelligence, it is always guiding us to our own highest good and the greater good for all concerned.
When we follow our intuition, we sometimes behave in new and different ways, and others may sometimes be temporarily disappointed or upset. For example, if you are a very giving person who has always tried to please and care for others, your intuition may push you to learn to say “no” when you really don’t want to do something, and to set better boundaries with people. At first, this might upset someone. In the long run, however, you and everyone else you relate to will be healthier and happier because of this change. It’s actually quite amazing to watch how the intuitive process sorts things out so that everyone ends
up exactly where they need to be, doing exactly what makes them happiest.
A Guiding Force
In the process of learning to trust intuition, some people go through a period of time where they feel like their life is falling apart. Relationships may end or change dramatically, you may move, change jobs, lose interest in familiar pastimes.
These are indications that you are letting go of certain aspects of your old identity. If you tried to hold on to it, you would limit or imprison yourself. The forms in your life have to change because you are changing. It’s a matter of trusting that even when things are not going exactly the way you expected, there is a deeper perfection in the process. New forms of relationship, creativity, work, and home will come into being and they will reflect your growth and development.
It’s important to have emotional support while you are going through these kinds of changes. Find a friend or group of friends that you can talk to about your hopes, dreams, and fears, someone who can support and encourage you as well as give you honest feedback. Sometimes family or old friends feel too threatened by the changes you are going through and are unable to give real support. You may need to seek out people who are interested in personal growth. One of the best ways to do this is to go to a workshop or join a support group (or create your own).
Learning to follow your intuition can sometimes feel a bit like “living on the edge”. In a sense, it’s learning to live without the false sense of security that comes from trying to control everything that happens to us. It’s recognizing that as we follow our inner guidance, wonderful things are going to unfold for us, things that we may not yet even imagine.
Gradually we become less afraid and more comfortable with uncertainty. We can learn to enjoy not knowing! It’s actually a very exciting, alive feeling. We can learn to move into the unknown with the confidence that we have a guiding force within us that is showing us the way.
FOLLOWING YOUR OWN ENERGY MEDITATION
Sit or lie down in a comfortable position. Close your eyes. Take a deep breath and relax your body. Take another deep breath and relax your mind. Continue to breathe slowly and deeply and let go of all tension or anxiety. As you relax, you find yourself in a deep, quiet place inside. Allow yourself to just rest in that place for a few moments, with nothing
you need to do or think about. From this deep, quiet place, begin to sense the life force within you. Imagine that you are following your own energy, feeling it, trusting it, moving with it in every moment of your life. You are being completely true to yourself, speaking and living your truth. You feel alive and empowered. Imagine that you are expressing your creativity fully and freely, and let yourself enjoy the experience. Do this meditation as often as you like. I send you my blessings on your journey.
Your intuition is always correct
…and some people take offence at that, because how could anything be always correct? Or people make the comment, “I used my intuition but it was wrong.” And I say, “Aha! You’re not really using your intuition.” Well, to me intuition is a clear knowing, and it’s an insight, it’s knowledge gained without the information — I shouldn’t say without information; without factual information, without rational or logical information. That’s one way I could define intuition, but I think I’d like to define it a little more graphically, if I may, which is really from the intuitive mind, which would send us a symbol like a flash, a lightning flash. Can you picture that — a lightning flash?
Most people would not say, and I don’t think you would say, that intuition all by itself is going to provide a hundred percent useful information that will solve all of life’s problems.
The intuitive mind tells the thinking mind where to look next. And I think this is what we do; we go back and forth. It’s like a spiral. Here the intuitive mind; the logical mind. It doesn’t matter who starts the spiral; it doesn’t matter which mind. But it certainly goes back and forth, and to me all decision making, all problem solving, is integrated. And integrated means integrating your intuition with your logical mind. Well, I suppose it’s fair to say that we live in a culture that places more emphasis on the logical mind. The intuitive arts aren’t really cultivated as highly in our culture as they are in other
We certainly do, and our intuition is the most undersung member of the team, the dynamic duo of intuition and logic. It’s almost as if we could picture two faculties in ourselves — you know, we have an intuitive mind, and we have the logical mind, and for so many of us, because school and verbal things are rewarded, we just go on and become extremely gifted verbally.
And what happens to the intuitive mind? We don’t take intuitive classes. We hardly have creative classes. And so we don’t get, shall we say, experience in the academic setting in listening to our intuitive mind. I would assume that the intuitive mind and the rational mind both consist of many, many aspects and facets. Complexities.
Absolutely, absolutely. I use the word logical-rational for the mind of ideas, the mind of “Tell me” — that’s how I characterize the logical mind. The intuitive mind is “Show me.” It’s graphic. It’s the mind that visions, the mind that projects into the future. And so here’s the logical mind, the counting, the day-to-day, keeping us on line that way; and the intuitive mind is showing us the picture of what’s to come.
There is a kind of humming, wordless — it is a tiny thermonuclear generator that’s tucked way, way back in my psyche, and it tells me what is real. And I reference that. If someone tells me, “This is real because it has atoms and molecules,” my intuition shakes its head and says, “No, don’t listen to that. Reality lies far beyond space and time, and I need to know why.”
So I will ask, and I will say, “What is real?” And it will say — it has brought me over the decades to the clearest statement of reality that I know how to make, and it’s two words. It’s “Life is.”