Call them hunches, gut reactions, intuition or felt-senses – they all give us unique insights into situations. The word intuition is derived from the Latin word ‘intueri,’ which means “to look within.” According to Mona Lisa Schulz, author of “Awakening Intuition,” intuition “occurs when we directly perceive facts outside the range of the usual five senses and independently of any reasoning process.”
Jung defined intuition as “perception via the unconscious.” Intuition is a way of perceiving a situation by looking at the whole picture. It incorporates history, looks for broad general patterns. It also contemplates the future. It assesses where the current situation might be going. Malcolm Gladwell, author of “Blink,” showed that with merely two seconds of experiencing a situation, you can make a decision just as good as a decision made more deliberately.
Intuition comes suddenly, is immediate and convincing, and often seems illogical. Occurrences bring a sense of clarity, truth and absolute indisputability. Intuitive moments or hits have an emotive aspect to them, although the feelings may be difficult to identify. Look for the feeling of empathy, as Schultz stated, “it is often associated with intuition.”
However, you are often told to “take your time” and “think it over.” It is rarely acceptable to make a choice without a cognitive reason and certainly not based upon knowing that “it just feels right.” You may be ill practiced in using and trusting your intuition and thus, you may have difficulties in discerning your true intuition from ego-driven, dopamine-filled hopes and expectations. Taking your time may help you discriminate between ego desires and genuine intuition.
Your body responds in its own unique way during intuitive hits. According to Louise Hay, the stomach “digests all the new ideas and experiences we have.” It is not surprising that the gut is often where we feel intuition. As Deepak Chopra advised, “You can trust your gut feelings a little more because your gut cells haven’t yet learned how to doubt their own thinking.” Sometimes you may feel more of a tingling sensation or even shivers.
Albert Einstein stated, “The only real valuable thing is intuition.” Learn to trust your intuition. You have likely more than once been ‘bitten-in the butt’ when you have not listened to your gut. In these cases when your ego may have vetoed your instincts, your true self exclaimed, “I knew it.”
Intuition can be developed and enhanced. The key is to first acknowledge your intuition and then to begin testing and trusting it. Start by paying closer attention to your whole-body responses to information, people and situations. Deep breathe with specific focus on your core or gut. This fosters greater awareness of this key intuitive area.
Keep your mind and body in a relaxed state. This could be through diet and body-centered, non-analytical activities such as exercise, yoga, meditation, walks in nature and silence. These create opportunities for your inner wisdom to surface and be heard.