So, what is intuition really? Intuition is a “knowing” that cannot be explained by fact or thought, but through a deep inner feeling. It’s those “I feel it in my gut” and “something doesn’t feel quite right” moments and you can’t explain why. And my question is: How often have you ignored that knowing little voice because it just didn’t make sense?
Most of us do believe that our intuition, or also known as our inner knowing voice has value, but we’re at a complete loss as to how to access it and how to hear it. We’re even more dumbfounded as to how to use it on demand. You only know it happened to you so many times and some of it was so obvious you smirked when you think back to what could have been avoided, had you just paid a little more attention.
“Intuition doesn’t tell you what you want to hear; it tells you what you need to hear.” — Sonia Choquette
Beyond Logic And Reason
Intuition is a build-up of experiences, instincts and senses, which includes heightening the touch, feeling, sight, hearing, and taste to its very peak. Intuition comes from the observation of one’s own mental and emotional processes. It is more of “feel” rather than “logic” — it’s your ability to sense things before they hit you.
For example, when you meet someone for the first time and shake hands, you may intuitively sense through touch and sight that you can’t trust this person. This could be an intense feeling, because in your heart and gut you know that something is wrong. You may not know exactly why or have any logical reasoning for feeling that way, but at that very moment, you know that you have to listen and to trust that overwhelming feeling of danger.
In contrary, it can also be a warm feeling of inner peace and love in your heart, because you know that everything is going to be okay. Although we receive messages in different ways, we all receive them, even if we are not tapping into them. Some of us feel things, while others see or hear them.
“Intuition is the supra-logic that cuts out all the routine processes of thought and leaps straight from the problem to the answer.” — Robert Graves
Difference Between Intuition And Fear
From my own experience, I have often mistaken my intuition for fear. It can be confusing and it’s important to know the difference. After all, I don’t want you to pass up your perfect opportunity out of fear because you’ve mistakenly felt there was an intuitive warning keeping you from moving in that direction.
Intuition can be recognised as an inner guidance, a kind of knowing, or you might say an internal compass. We use terms like “hunch”, “a gut feeling”, “just a feeling”, and “instinct” to describe the way intuition influences our behaviour. Intuition lead towards a path that makes us feel comfortable, even if we are not certain.
Fear or negative emotion, on the other hand, can express itself through a physical response such as aggressiveness, sweating, an adrenaline rush, or a racing heart. Fear may cause us to run away and hide and avoid, and dictates a decision that makes us feel relieved, as though we just survived a threat to our very existence.
Don’t get me wrong, a sudden rush of intuition may be felt strongly as fear and certainly should be looked at, but understanding the difference is important if we really want to properly access our intuition.
Also, try not to use your intuition if you are using your head too much because then you’ll be using your ego and your intuition will not be able to come through. Usually, this is a place of fear, so it is not a good time as you will be too reactive. Instead, use your intuition when you are calm, not rushed and have time to think things over.
“A quiet mind is able to hear intuition over fear.”
Improve Access To Your Intuition
Before you can improve access your intuition, you first have to be able to hear it within the noise of your busy life. You need to slow down and listen, which often requires solitude. It would greatly help by taking some time away from your everyday busyness, even something as brief as going for a walk to turn up the volume of your intuition.
Here are three methods I believe are the most effective to improve access to your intuition.
1. Practice Mindfulness
Mindfulness means to focus on being in the moment. Mindfulness is a great technique to filter out all the distractions in your environment and your brain. When you do that, you can hear your intuition loud and clear.
“Mindfulness is a way of befriending ourselves and our experience.” — Jon Kabat-Zinn
2. Trust Your Gut
Research has shown that emotion and intuition have a physical presence in our gut. The gut is lined with a network of neurons and it’s often referred to as the “second brain”. It’s known as the enteric nervous system (ENS) and it contains around 100 million neurons, which is more than the spinal cord and peripheral nervous system (PNS) but less than the brain.
This is the reason why we get “sick” about having to make a tough decision or knowing we’ve made a bad one. Your trusty gut is not only essential in a tense situation, but also your everyday coach. Many of us have forgotten how to listen to our intuition and trust our guts.
“Have faith in your intuition and listen to your gut feeling.” — Ann Cotton
3. Use Your Dream Time Well
When we dream, our brain processes information that is left over from the day. Dreams are packed with valuable information such as learnings, experiences, and memories. Paying attention to our dreams can provide information that we may not have access when we are awake. Therefore, before going to sleep, it’s essential for you to direct your thoughts to any unresolved issues and think about possible options or solutions as you’re falling asleep. Close your eyes and let your brain do the rest.
“Pay attention to your dreams. They could be telling you things that you need to know.” — Brigitte Nicole
Enjoy Your Intuition
The main reason that some people are more intuitive than others is that they listen to their intuition instead of ignoring or doubting it. Many people from today’s society have this idea that being intuitive means to ignore their analytical mind and their critical thinking skills, but it’s not. There’s a difference between using reason as a system of checks and using it to go against what your intuition knows to be true.
As Albert Einstein once said:
“The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.” — Albert Einstein
Let’s learn to honour and enjoy the wisdom of our forgotten gift.
Originally published at ye-chen.com on March 16, 2018.