Here's my latest article for Bellaonline:
What is intuition? Literally it is tuition that comes from within! We each have the ability to ‘intuit’ the right response for ourselves in any given situation, providing we take notice of our own inner guidance.
We are used to looking outside of ourselves for answers, especially in this Information Age. We search for pearls of wisdom on the internet, refer to books, ask our friends, defer to our teachers, yet we forget that we have our own ‘onboard’ source of guidance which we can hone to be a trustworthy compass through life.
In Western culture we are schooled from an early age to stuff our heads with facts and then use reason and logic to figure out what to do. This is not without some value, but when we become locked into our logical thought processes we forget that we also have access to an inner knowing. We tend to devalue or dismiss our intuitive hunches.
People refer to ‘feminine intuition’. Perhaps this is because girls are often allowed to express their feelings more freely than boys. Women are more likely to sense intuitively if something ‘feels off’ or ‘feels right’ whereas men will tend to logic their way through a given situation. Women generally have an easier time developing their intuition because of this gender difference, but men can still be very intuitive if they give themselves permission to sense in this way.
When you start becoming more intuitive a little tussle will probably take place between your intuition and your rational mind. Your logical mind will tend to overrule your intuition and tell you that you are being foolish, however when you learn to trust your intuition you will see how often your reasoning mind gets it wrong. Your intuition is aligned to Truth and a higher knowing and is not susceptible to the vagaries of the mind.
So how do you learn to listen to your intuition? In a given situation where you don’t know what to do for the best set aside a quiet time and meditate. Don’t consciously think about the issue, just go quiet and let yourself be still and peaceful. You will probably find that within minutes of quiet sitting you have an inner knowing of what your right action will be. Your intuition is available for you all the time, but it gets drowned out by your much louder thought processes. Go within regularly and contact your own intuitive wisdom.
You especially need to learn to tune into your first subtle response to any situation, especially something new, whether that is an offer of a job, a meeting with a new person, a new venture. Do you sense you should move towards it or away from it? Does it feel good for you or bad for you? Your intuitive response usually comes in lightning fast; you sense a situation before you have time for thought to kick in. The skill is to pay attention to what you are sensing.
For example back in my twenties when I was pregnant with my daughter I joined a mother and baby class. There was a woman there who lived around the corner from me. My intuitive reaction to her was not good, she made me feel wary and I actually had, “Keep away, she’s insane,” flit through my mind. Yet she seemed friendly and chatty and suggested we met for coffee. To cut a long story short we quickly became close friends and saw each other several times a week for months after our babies were born. Within a year it became apparent that she was an unstable and possessive lady, insanely jealous of my other friends and she ended the friendship by sending me a shocking poison pen letter.
Why did I override my intuition? I could have saved myself a lot of grief had I taken note! My rational mind said, “She’s okay, it will be nice for you to have a friend with a baby the same age, give her a chance she only lives round the corner, that’s handy for you.” I was in a social situation where edging discreetly away didn’t make any sense on the surface, yet it would have been much wiser!
I have noticed that on the other occasions in my life where I have failed to listen to my intuition I have lived to regret it. Look back through your own life and see where you could have followed your intuition, but went against it. Don’t do this to beat yourself up, but to realise that your intuition does work and you would be wise to pay more attention to it.