Hello Dearest Ones,
I hope you are all well and finding ways to minimize the effects of the current tensions in the world on your hearts and nervous systems. It’s been a while. I’ve been very quiet lately, as well as a little shy of sharing my thoughts. However, ...
I love it when people ask me for my take on something they are contemplating in life. It’s such a great opportunity for personal inquiry. This blog is in response to a fabulous question a dear friend posed about how we can know if our intuition is accurate, that we are indeed connected to the wisdom of the Universe, when we are also navigating emotional turmoil. Because it is such a juicy, satisfying way to live, I hope the response that has come to me will help you all to find a clear intuitive path through your daily lives, as well as during any emotional upheaval.
Intuition can be tricky. At least until we overcome our distrust of and societal myths about it. The most common of these myths is that our intuitive voice is something we must dig deep to discover. The truth is, from the onset of life, intuition is the most vocal of our inner voices. Unfortunately, we spend a large portion of our lives tuning it out. Since in our society we are taught to distrust intuition, when we do develop a trusting relationship with our intuitive abilities in early childhood, we often abandon it to align with the world around us and feel more at ease in our daily environments.
This is especially true if we are exposed to unsavory behavior by our early caretakers. That experience explicitly teaches us to distrust intuition since our intuition is so often saying the opposite of what our parents or caretakers are telling us (think gaslighting). Consequently, our intuitive voice is often replaced by the frightened-by-life voice of the superego that doesn’t trust anything other than tyranny and guilt. Whatever the cause, social conformity or childhood trauma, most of us arrive at adulthood wary of our intuition. Many of you will have noticed how life challenges throw you off and make you question the trustworthiness of any intuition that is coming through. Even my choice of words “coming through” highlights our cultural myth that intuition is an otherworldly, non-human phenomenon, rather than an inherent part of who we are.
Some of us are only now beginning to perceive that voice within, for others, we are in the process of learning to trust our intuition. Even when we have a long-standing relationship with intuition, it is very common to have misgivings and doubts about following our intuitive guidance. This is partly because we immediately, sub-perceptibly, go into rational thought about how we should approach the challenges in our lives. Oddly enough, rational understanding of a circumstance rarely jives with intuitive wisdom. Secondly, especially in the case of childhood trauma, we will often unconsciously reach for the guiding system that supplanted our own early in life, instead of exploring our intuition. Sadly, this is indicative of how separate our lives have become from the intuitive, organic flow of the Universe.
This gift that comes to us naturally has become denatured and made suspect to our egoic minds. When we receive intuitive guidance, even if it has been altered and/or replaced by the reason of an external guiding system, we will still put that information through more filters before we allow it to land in our body and heart. These filters start at the most external. The first filter is social: which deals with how society views the information we are getting or the action we are being guided to take. It might also move through the familial, gender and race filters. Simply put, that tidbit of intuition has been evaluated and put into question on many levels before it arrives at the part of us that can receive it and follow its guidance. At this point it would be prudent to question the accuracy of the message. A bit like in a game of telephone, the intuitive message has surely been scrambled, misinterpreted and expanded upon by the time it reaches our conscious mind.
The easy, fool proof way to access intuitive information is to gather it before it moves through all those filters. I call this rooted intuition because, whether navigating strong emotions or not, to make sense of intuitive messages we must be in contact with our roots, with our connection to our body and the Earth. Intuition is a thing of the body-mind. For most of us it must be felt in the body to be accurately interpreted. With intuition we are being called to notice these subtle body cues: Observing whether the received message is creating tension in our body or peace. Below the surface of fear, can we feel the strong sense of knowing that tells us we are on the right path? We may notice a feeling of self-betrayal when we ignore the guidance. We sense that we are settling for something that feels safe and familiar. Do we feel our heart deflate with that awareness? This is how rooted body-wisdom guides us. We go inward, expand our inner luminosity and observe what is happening in the stillness of our core, our body. This is especially important when our emotional weather is too turbulent to decipher the truth or the way forward.
There are times when our intuition is heightened. For example: In men I have noticed that intuitive messages are more likely to register when they come in the form of kinesthetic awareness. In this case we may simply have or not have the enthusiasm and energy for an endeavor. Also, we are more likely to heed this intuition if it is telling us to do something rather than if it is telling us to not do something. We have all learned the cultural lesson ‘busy-ness is good, stillness is bad.’ It feels uncomfortable to not do something. It feels irrational, and lazy. In this case, men may need to pay even closer attention to their body cues.
Women are more likely to notice intuitive guidance when we are in what I call a hormonally heightened state. This could be a life stage like adolescence and menopause, or it could be cyclical like menstruation, PMS and pregnancy. I find there is extra acuity to a woman’s intuition at those times. This could be because we aren’t suppressing our emotions. As hard as it may be to navigate emotional waves, they can often create openings into our intuition. It becomes extra important to know how to navigate and trust our intuition in these hormonally heightened states because this is often when we get more intuitive hits.
When we are fully rooted, we can easily receive intuitive messages before they make their way to the egoic mind. On the other hand, when we are habitually in the ethers, in our thinking mind, our ego will spin intuition into fear and doubt before we even notice what has happened. As ever-present as intuition is, once we learn to recognize our intuitive voice, we will often still have strong resistance to its messages. Intuitive messages are rarely comfortable to accept and even scarier to act upon. This is because we cannot un-know something. Once we feel the truth in our body, we will no longer be able to behave in a way that is not aligned with that truth. This can be very scary. As humans we like to keep our options open, and given the opportunity, intuition will forcefully close the door on any un-dharmic (unaligned) choices we might be entertaining. This is our soul’s way of exposing untruths to our heart, and its intention is to make it painful enough that we will not be able to overlook it. As scary as it is to follow our intuition, it is downright painful to ignore it.
Interestingly, when we reject our emotions and interpret emotionality as something that clouds our ability to discern intuition, the rejection is what ultimately muddies our vision. Intuition is emotionally charged. This is because of what I said above about it being very scary to follow intuitive guidance. Emotions will almost always be present with intuition; however, intuition only engages with authentic emotional responses. Feeling a little scared and excited about something (an authentic emotional response) is different than feeling paralyzing fear (an adapted emotion). Fear is an adapted emotional response in the way that most of us experience it. It is an ego based, socialized response. We will always need to look below the fear to identify the filters that are coloring it and clouding the view of our authentic emotions and intuition. It is this dynamic that causes all the inner arguments between intuition and the logical (socialized) mind.
I was reminded recently that Carolyn Myss sees intuition as the nagging voice that never goes away and won’t let you live in peace when you’re not on your path. Intuition often sounds like the voice you don’t want to hear or heed, because it is the voice that requires you to look at things honestly and make changes. She says, you know you are off course when you must betray yourself to stay on the path or in the situation you are currently navigating. When we are fully rooted and connected to our body, we can confidently put our intuitive gifts to work in our lives. Demystification of the intuitive process and building trust in our intuition come directly from experience. When we follow our intuition and have positive, life enhancing results, it helps to build the trust we need to follow our intuition in the future. In more complex and important circumstances. To practice this skill, I ask for guidance and follow my intuition in small ways every day. I enjoy the exercise. Maybe you will too.
Sending you so much love,
Tawa Ranes has a very curious mind and has always been interested in the nature of consciousness and the workings of the Universe. Since healing has been a big part of her own personal journey, much of her curiosity focuses on understanding how and why healing occurs or fails to take place.