“Follow your heart. Look inward. Trust your gut.”*Cringe*
When facing a tough choice or a sticky conversation, these words occur as clichés and are the last thing we want to hear. What we want is for someone to just tell us what to do.
What is Intuition?
Carl Jung said that, “Intuition is perception via the unconscious.” It has been defined as quick insight or direct perception of truth. As such, intuition comes independently, without analysis or reasoning, it exists within each of us and can speak as a little voice, in images, or bodily sensations.
How can we tell the difference between intuition and self-talk?
Well, they differ in a few ways. Intuition tends to be body rather than mind-focused. It’s a centered knowing rather than scattered thinking and is neutral rather than emotionally charged. Self-talk is made up of a hodge-podge of thoughts, beliefs and judgments and is basically old programming. It might even sound like an echo of someone from our childhood criticizing or reprimanding us.
Our upbringing establishes our basic insight into life. As kids, our training to be nice led many of us to override our intuition habitually. Unhealed traumas also play their part in compromising our intuition.
When we are betrayed or abused as children (especially by those meant to love and protect us), we lose faith in our ability to discern danger. We gather evidence that we can’t trust, and that belief colors our world. Without trust, we become rigid and try to control situations to avoid being hurt and ultimately fail because we can’t control what life brings, only our reactions to it.
When we operate from a jaded, untrusting paradigm, we rob those around us of the magic of our true self.
How does intuition benefit us anyway?
It imparts us with an ability to navigate turbulent social waters and fortifies our authentic voice. It helps us identify red flags and true opportunities and at the same time allows for the cultivation of trusting relationships and gives us a seemingly magical ability to make good choices.
“The power of intuitive understanding will protect you from harm until the end of your days.” – Lao Tzu
New Model for Intuition
Lately, I’ve been looking at intuition from a slightly different perspective. It has catalyzed more clarity, peace and confidence in my daily life. When I am provoked by someone’s communication, find myself confused, or am unable to choose clearly, instead of taking impulsive action and diving in (or running away from what triggers me), I complete a figure 8.
A figure 8 is a circuit between three centers of energy. For the analytical, I’m proposing that even just imagining this circuit creates a filter for our reality in which answers can be more easily discovered. Intention is powerful and our intelligent subconscious mind loves symbolism.
Here are the components:
1. 3rd eye: Ideas, insights and inner vision
2. Gut: Primal sense of knowing and confirmation
3. Heart: Love and compassion centered awareness
What if the intelligence of these three centers could be connected to create a synthesis of information that would provide us with next level intuitive capabilities?
Our bodies are intelligent and have evolved throughout time to become master communicators. Scientists have shown that there is great intelligence in our digestive system and heart. Individually, these three areas hold powerful bundles of nerves that function as information processing centers or “brains.” The bundle of nerves in your belly has been evolving far longer than processes like language. The immune system that is housed there is essentially an independent network of cells that processes and responds to environmental data all on its own.
“The gut can work independently of any control by the brain in your head—it’s functioning as a second brain. It’s another independent center of integrative neural activity.”
~ Michael Gershon, professor and chair of pathology and cell biology at Columbia
Intuition Boosting Meditation
I take a few deep breaths and close my eyes. I imagine the three centers shown above lighting up; head, heart and belly. I then imagine an energetic infinity sign connecting them and energy flowing from my head to heart to belly and back up through my heart, head etc.
As I follow the circuit with my attention and awareness, I breathe and ask a yes/no question. I hold the question lightly in my mind, without trying to answer it. Then I release the question and use a focal word like truth or trust and take a few more breaths.
This meditation works with the power of intention and answers often comes immediately—sometimes after a nap or night of sleep. In all cases, I feel more at peace. Why not give it a try?
Be kind to the little voice inside you. Nurture it and before long it will be resounding.
May your sixth sense be strong and your intuition ignited!
Author: April Norris
Editor: Katarina Tavčar
Photos: Author’s Own