Last month I wrote part one of Intuition: Our Divine Connection. This month's blog continues with helpful information on how to recognize and develop our intuition.
Recently I have been revisiting some old books that I have read in the distant past on intuition, and would like to share with you some of the more concrete ideas about how to identify and follow our intuition that I have found to be true.
First of all, before getting out of bed, Echo Bodine in her book, A Still, Small Voice, suggests that we ask God if there's anything we need to know for the day. Then just relax and let yourself be in that place between sleep and wakefulness, simply focusing on your inner life. Often we will get just the inspirational information we need to lift our spirits and make it a great day.
Quieting the mind is essential! Tension and anxiety tends to block any awareness of intuition. Quieting the mind can be as simple as taking a moment to pay attention to your breathing. When you have a bit more time, sit with your head neck and spine straight, and observe the breath without changing it. Then, simply maintain a smooth even breath until the mind is calm. Actually, a consistent relaxation and meditation practice, done each day at the same time, can be very helpful in developing our intuition. I refer you to my blog on meditation. *
In the process of developing intuition it is important to stay present to what is transpiring both inside our body-mind as well as in the world, and to live life on purpose. This enables us to explore our inner being and gain clarity as to what is true for us.
Ram Dass and Paul Gorden express this in their book, How can I Help? --Stories and Reflections on Service. They write, "Ultimately, listening to the intuitive mind is a kind of surrender based on trust. It's playing it by ear, listening for the voice within. We trust that it's possible to hear into a greater totality, which offers insight and guidance. Ultimately, we trust that when we are fully quiet, aware, and attentive, boundaries created by the mind simply blur and dissolve, and we begin to merge into All That Is."
Trusting the Divine process, trusting ones deeper self, and trusting the greater wisdom of life comes by, accepting things as they truly are rather than with our own biases of how we wish or expect them to be, and by opening our heart to love and compassion for ourselves and others. This love can come by listening intently with interest, anticipation and curiosity to oneself and others. This inner experience can be the greatest adventure of our lives!
It is not easy to tune into our intuition though. Most of us are not taught to pay attention to our intuition and we are often distracted by the layers of distorted ideas, anger, fear, greed, patterns of attachment, and all the other ego entrapments. In order for pure intuition to show itself we need to break through these layers.
As we work on the material that keeps us stuck we are more and more able to listen to the 'still small voice' within and to express our experience of that voice without it being distorted.
Often these moments come as a result of experiencing the pain of loss, or through meditation, contemplation, and prayer. When one is willing to open to the pain of loss, intuition and inspiration often result because our defenses are not blocking the natural flow of these inner experiences.
I like how Ram Dass puts it. He says, "As we learn to listen with a quiet mind, there is so much we hear. Inside ourselves we can begin to hear that 'still small voice within' ...the voice of our intuitive heart which has so long been drowned out by the noisy thinking mind. We hear our skills and needs, our subtle intentionalities, our limits, our innate generosity. ...We can listen without being busy planning, analyzing, theorizing ...and especially judging. We can open into the moment fully in order to hear it all."
We receive messages from our intuition as needed, they may only come in a couple of words, or a knowing that sometimes seems to contradict logic, or we may receive messages that flood our awareness. As we learn to recognize and trust our intuition we will see more and more of how it guides, and enlivens us.
In Frances e. Vaughan's book, Awakening Intuition, she quotes Roger Walsh as he writes about awakening to his own intuitive experiences. He states, "One of the most wondrous discoveries was the slowly dawning awareness of the presence of a formerly subliminal, continuously changing stream of inner experience. ...Here was an ever-present, but formerly unsuspected veritable internal universe. ...One of the most exciting of many exciting memories is that of the sudden recognition that these images exquisitely symbolized what I was feeling and experiencing in each moment. ...As my sensitivity increased I found that the images accompanied subtle, physical sensations in my body, and that these sensations were the somatic representations of emotions. ...Experiencing this inner world began to become very pleasurable and whereas initially I had believed that my inner world must of necessity harbor unwholesome collections of monsters, which I had avoided confronting all my life, I now came to think of this inner world as a very attractive, pleasant source of positive information."
It is helpful to keep a journal of our process. Intuitive awareness can increase by recording any spontaneous insights or flashes of intuition, and by recording what happens and how we feel when we follow through with any hunches.
Also, recording any dreams that we remember. * Often dreams are trying to alert us to whatever we need to know in life. When we are asleep we are more likely to relax enough for our intuition to come through, so paying attention to our dreams can teach us what we need to know about ourselves and our relationship to life. *
We may not get information the moment we ask. The answer to our lives questions may come immediately, or later when we least expect it. An answer may come as we walk into a bookstore and find just the right book we need, or when we run into a friend who coincidently gives us the answer we are looking for, or the answer may come in a dream. Watch for guidance through the synchronicities in life. Those meaningful coincidences that give us just the answer we need.
Shakti Gawain encourages us to notice whether following a certain inner prompting brings a feeling of aliveness, or by not acting on our intuitive feeling leaves us with a feeling of depression, or loss of energy. For instance, if we have a difficult time expressing what we need to say and stop from saying it out of fear and self-doubt, do we then feel depressed, and rundown?
As we learn to recognize and follow our intuition our lives begin to flow. We feel more expansive, more joyful, and more able to respond to life, although in the moment it may be challenging, and demanding.
Francis e Vaughan writes, "Following intuition does not always 'feel good'. At times it may seem difficult and entail arduous work. At other times it may be effortless. Enjoying the creative resources of intuition is based on the intrinsic satisfaction of expanding consciousness, taking responsibility for your life, and surrendering to your own true nature."
While writing these last words I am in the quiet room of the library. It is a room that has several tables and two easy chairs, where people can go to write or to read in silence. Earlier a young man about 16 or 17 years old, dropped down into the easy chair next to me, pulled his ski cap over his eyes and fell asleep. He needed a shower and was obviously homeless. I could feel my intuition nudging me to give him some motherly advice, which I probably would have totally ignored if not for this blog.
When he finally woke up, I said to him, " Go home, or at least call your Mom!" He seemed excited saying, "You know my Mom?" I told him that I didn't know his Mom, but I am a Mom and knew that he needed to call her. He seemed relieved, and assured me that he would do that. Without that nudge that he needed to hear perhaps he would have gotten deeper and deeper into his painful situation. I will never know, but I do know that I was glad that I followed my intuition!
Love and Peace,
*Refer to Blog on meditation. Click on archives 1/12/17 on blog page.
*Refer to Blog, Following Your Heart 7/12/17 in archives on blog page.
Echo Bodine in her book A Still, Small Voice
Frances e. Vaughan's book, Awakening Intuition
Ram Dass and Paul Gorden, How Can I Help? --Stories and Reflections on Service.
Shakti Gawain's book, Developing Intuition: Practical Guidance for Daily Life
Mary Mohs LVN, MA, RYT,