Intuition 101

If you’re into spirituality at all, you will have heard over and over again that you already have all the answers  and that you just need to listen and remember all that you have known forever. Anyone outside of the spiritual community is cocking their eyebrows, and getting ready to click out, but hold on. It isn’t all as crazy as it sounds. As human beings, we have an innate knowledge of what is safe and unsafe, and we have the intelligence to differentiate true from untrue. This is all that those “crazy hippies” are saying. You can continue to look for others to tell you that you’re pretty or that you’re successful, but you know whether you are or not. If you sit down and listen to yourself, you know whether you should move all the way across the country, or if you should take that corporate job. No one else’s advice will ever be as good as your own intuition. It is your life and yes, you do already have all the answers.

The stick up occurs when you can’t differentiate what your mind is telling you from what your gut already knows. Your innate survival mechanisms that can tell safe from unsafe come from your nervous systems (yes, you have multiple) and you can feel those reactions in your gut. Your ego speaks from your brain, and is often lying to you to protect you from what you fear or projecting ideas that you have held onto from the outside world. So to hear the deeply rooted answers to all of your questions and to access all of which you already know, you need to learn how to filter out the ego, to see through it so that you can feel the gut and its responses.

Mind VS. Gut

If you are already engaged in a routine meditation practice, this is going to be much easier for you. If you’re not, I’d suggest it, but its definitely not necessary. The most important things to know is that even if your mind and your gut don’t sound different to you (they probably both sound like your voice), they come from different places and communicate in different ways. The mind projects thoughts from your head (duh,right?), but these thoughts are always in the form of sentences. They come as thoughts like, everyone thinks you’re weird, or we can’t trust him because of this, this and this. The mind likes to rationalize, so your thought can always be backed up by some kind of evidence, true or untrue, that the mind can pull together and make you believe it. This kind of thinking is great, don’t get me wrong. The mind is how we have modern medicine, and how we have toasters. It is an amazing thing.

Your intuition, however, lives in your gut, and it doesn’t use words to communicate. Gut feelings always come as emotions, and never have an explanation with them. The mind can form one, but the gut doesn’t tell you why. It doesn’t need to, its not really important. The best way to ask your intuition or your gut a question is to phrase it as a yes or no question.

Let’s try it out!

A Mini Exercise

Find a quiet space to sit. Close your eyes and pay attention to your breathe for 3-5 inhalations and exhalations. Then ask yourself your question. Pay attention to the emotion that comes up in response. Is it positive or negative? Can you hear a yes or a no? If you are unsure of the answer, or don’t get one right away, it is okay. You simply need more practice  to learn to listen more carefully. Just focus on your question and the situation behind it. For example, if I am asking myself if I should move to the other side of the country, I would envision what my life would be out there, realistically. Try not to idealize the situation. Then I would feel into that situation, like you would feel into yours. Are you happy there? Is there anything missing? Is there something that doesn’t make you feel good? You don’t need to know what it is. Just if it is there.

If you practice this often, you will become much faster at it and it will eventually become automatic. For large, overwhelming decisions, it might take a couple of askings to really dig into what you feel about it, and that is totally okay. No one expects you to solve these tensions in a single sitting, don’t put that pressure on yourself.

Feel free to let me know how this goes for you, or if you have any other ways that you connect to your intuition.

Thank you so much for being here! Love you all!

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