Intuition is the spark, or gateway, to higher knowing and to living a fulfilled, flowing, effortless and peaceful life. Each day we are bombarded by an avalanche of information, demands and pressures, that squash our vastness into a tiny reality. This data smog and information overload swamps our intuition. Now more than ever, we need this innate capacity to guide us. The more lost we are in the pace of modern life, the more we need this anchor.
Our Sixth Sense
Intuition is very much a natural and inherent part of our natures. When you strip back all the learned stress behaviours, pressures, mental projections and layers of baggage, we find the radiance of our true self. This authentic nature is peaceful, blissful, and intuitive. Each one of us has this ability to know things, to sense things, to feel things, see things and hear things, beyond our conscious awareness. The origin of the word “intuition” is the Latin verb intueri, which is usually translated as to look inside or to contemplate.
There is a growing body of research suggesting there are underlying non-conscious aspects of intuition. Among these aspects of intuition involved in intuitive perception are implicit learning, or implicit knowledge. Science is now showing that the heart is involved in the processing and decoding of intuitive information. Emotion and intuition seem to be also rooted both in the heart and the second brain in the gut. This is where the term, your gut instincts, comes from.
Intuition is like a secret, inner jetpack that helps you make quantum leaps in your life, a map that reveals the shortcuts, opens up the pathway and holds the keys to your happiness. Is this building up intuition too much? I don’t think so. Even the military is studying the secrets of intuition.
In the wake of snap intuitive judgments in the field of combat that saved many lives, US researchers are studying the power of intuition. Sensing impending danger, deciding whether objects are missiles or airliners, or detecting bombs, are a few situations where a snap judgment needs to be made and where lives are at stake. The US navy studies, with experts in neural, cognitive and behavioural science, were attempting to discover what gives rise to our so called “sixth sense” and how they can train marines to use it. A former US navy seal has even written four books on the subject and he believes that tapping into our intuition helps us to excel at light speed. Understanding what intuition is, can help us to recognise it.
The basics of Intuition
Intuition is an instinctual awareness. Actually, intuition is a mysterious and curious thing a little beyond description. When you are in tune with your intuition, you have an unconscious understanding and a subtle knowing, and you are able to see the bigger picture, or to see the meaning in things. It is sensory, not really a cognitive functioning. Intuition is sensing meaning in things, having an understanding of concepts and connections beyond everyday knowledge.
“Intuition is not a single way of knowing – it’s our ability to hold space for uncertainty and our willingness to trust the many ways we’ve developed knowledge and insight, including instinct, experience, faith and reason.” Brene Brown
So much of intuition is innate that often we miss it. Or we doubt it. Many years ago, I used to feel intuitive nudges and ignore them, doubting their truth. I quickly discovered these nudges were always right. I started to experience them as coming physically into me, seemingly a part of me, but beyond me..
Initially, I projected intuition onto other “spiritual” people, or psychics, or masters. In projecting my intuition and psychic awareness on to other people, I lost sight of the intuitive awareness that had always been my second nature from so early on in life. After many years of using external methods for guidance, such as tarot or angel cards, pendulum etc., I recognised that the quiet wave of energy that would come over me, was my intuition.
I could feel the quality of the thoughts that popped into my head, coming from my left side, as something that was not generated from my own mind. I started to distinguish between me and my thoughts and something totally beyond my conscious awareness. It was quieter, gentler, subtler, and a highly refined energy. Truly a whisper, with a feeling of something so gracious, tender, and pure, it was unmistakably otherworldly.
Now I know this feeling instantly and follow it. It is never wrong. And it is precisely because it comes so naturally to me, that I missed it. I was looking for something more outrageous, a fanfare of guidance, a physical angel sitting on my couch. Once I accepted and trusted that intuition is as natural as breathing, my journey with intuition expanded and grew, and the whispers of intuition became a lot louder.
The Pillars of Intuition
There are five pillars of intuition: Trust, Connection, Acceptance, Integrity and Innocence. These pillars are all interlinked and much like branches of a tree, come together as a whole to create the magic of intuition.
Intuition is a flow, it’s like falling into the music of life. Hearing the music and sharing it. Intuition is a gift of being human.
Intuition is such a natural part of our makeup, it is more a case of unlearning what prevents us from being intuitive, then learning how to be intuitive. One of the keys to awakening your intuition, is trust. Absolute trust in your impressions and a grounding of this trust, through taking action based on your intuitive impressions. The more you trust, and take action (before you doubt yourself), the more your intuition will grow.
Connection to your self, especially your heart, to others and to nature, enhances your intuition. So the more you can be in solitude, get to know your inner world, the more your intuition will flower. You have the opportunity to heal any pain blocking your heart, through opening to all your feelings, especially your Inner child. Connection to yourself can also happen in another way: when the mind is distracted by something, and kept busy – for example, by ambient noise, an activity that keeps the hands busy, or low level background noise – it can often be easier to access creativity. There are several famous writers who use this technique to access a kind of stream of consciousness. Other artists use it to create music.
This “zone,” that comes when the mind is distracted is helpful with intuition. I discovered this technique with intuition, through working with oracle cards. At first the cards were the message, then the cards became the “distraction” and the message was something beyond the cards. I came to trust the inner knowing, feelings, words and visual fragments that were seemingly unrelated to the cards. As the mind focussed on the cards, something else was freed and it was like the cards became a gateway.
We spend so much of life pushing away, rejecting, fighting. Battling ourselves, our past, our bodies, our beliefs, our conditioning. Then we take this inner war out into our daily life, and engage in conflicts with others. Self acceptance leads to greater trust and helps you awaken your intuitive capacity. Acceptance is about accepting all aspects of ourselves. Not just the good aspects. When we accept that we have negative character aspects, then we stop hiding them and fighting with ourselves. A daily practice of sitting still for five minutes, with your hands on the heart, and somatically connecting with your body, firstly the physical sensations, and then your thoughts, and your emotions, simply observing, without trying to change anything, will help you to develop greater acceptance.
Being real and authentic, most of all with yourself, releases the chokehold of our ego on intuition. Integrity is doing the right thing, saying what you mean, and keeping your word, most of all to yourself. It is about being authentically you. Too often people think they need to behave a certain way in order to be wise, or “spiritual.” In fact, it is the reverse. Expressing more of what is truly within you, showing yourself, shadow and all, is the way to free yourself.
When you start the journey of forming a deeper, more authentic connection with yourself, you open the doorway to innocence. Much of intuitive functioning is held in the childlike spontaneity we all have. Connecting to, and nurturing, this aspect of yourself helps to enhance intuition.
So what limits your intuition?
Fear drowns out intuition, as does anxiety and stress. Our modern western way of life limits intuition. The more we succumb to the arrogance of believing we are all powerful and all knowing, the more we constrict our intuition. Humility and Innocence open the mind.
“The need to be certain is what silences the intuitive voice. Sitting in uncertainty makes us feel anxious, vulnerable and fearful. We start looking for validation outside of us rather than trusting what comes through.” Brent Brown
New research into the heart shows that our heart is a dynamic, connecting, creative intelligence. The more we release our fear of the pain dwelling in our hearts, and start to live from the wisdom of our hearts, the more intuition can grow. Howard Martin, co-author of Heart Intelligence, says that our thoughts and feelings influence the chemistry that regulates our health: “Heart Intelligence links the physical heart to the spiritual (energetic) heart. Through its extensive communication with the brain and body, the heart is intimately involved in how we think, feel, and respond to the world.” The HeartMath Institute is researching the role of the heart in processing and decoding intuitive information. This research shows what has always been known, that the heart is the centre of our instinctual and intuitive nature. It is the portal to the worlds beyond the physical.
“Everyone is one hundred percent intuitive about the things they need to know. If there are things that aren’t known, it simply reminds you what doesn’t need to be known at this time. While so many beings work diligently on developing their intuition, it is done in attempt to know more than each moment provides. No matter how crystal clear your intuition becomes, you will never see or know more than is meant to be revealed. In fact, without even working on honing the power of your intuition, you will always know exactly where to go and what to do at the moment you are meant to move. Until further instructions are revealed, intuition is not about imagining all the insights and messages you are missing. It is more so centred in the grace of ever-expanding faith to trust what already knows everything as it blossoms into being.” – Matt Kahn