You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition. What you’ll discover will be wonderful. What you’ll discover is yourself. – Alan Alda
I got on the plane, bags in tow. Convinced that I needed everything I had packed, my attire reflected the “business-like” image I had to reflect in my interview the next day. I was flying back to the United Kingdom, for a second interview. Driven by a strong desire get back home and to pursue a job that seemed made for me; I just knew that it was the right path to take.
As expected, I landed in Wales and immediately felt the sense of familiarity, comfort, and peace that the countryside always offered me. Without my conscious control, my soul seemed to jump up and down with glee at its return to the place of my birth. The business suit I wore to the interview reflecting my desire for the job, and underneath it was nostalgia for the country I left as a child.
I got the job offer. I declined it.
Those who knew and loved me, many of them, thought I had missed the opportunity of a lifetime. But I knew that, had I taken it, I would have missed out on more.
The only real valuable thing is intuition. – Albert Einstein
At face value my immediate goal, the desire for the job, was what I wanted. Nevertheless, I had not spent enough time reflecting on where that knowledge was coming from. Even though I was not being impulsive in my choices, even though I had given the interview great thought, my decisions were coming from a place within me that was not driven by intuition. Instead, a childhood emotional need to connect with my birthplace had created a series of thoughts that it would be good for me to get back there. It created an intellectual knowing of what was right for me. My choice was not driven by a connection to my higher self. Instead, it was driven by my thoughts, my head, not a gut feeling about what was truly right for me.ego wanting me to go back to how things “used to be,” going back to the fantasy of what my life in the United Kingdom once was. The fantasy then created a series of thoughts about how I could accomplish that emotional need. Of course, as soon as I became aware that my ego-based thoughts were not real, my true intuition kicked in, and strongly.
You know your intuition, even if you don’t listen to it. It is the internal feeling, knowledge, sound, or vision that you have to do something, that you have no choice but to act in a certain way, because it is, truly, the best thing for you. It is the awareness that hits you like a ton of bricks, perhaps encouraging you to take healthy risks, even if they are terrifying. For me, knowledge that came from my higher self said something completely different from the ego-based intellectual knowing that went with me on my initial flight.
I knew, from my gut, not my head, that had I taken the job, I would have missed out on something really important and life changing in the United States. I knew that if I took the job, that I would be okay there, but would miss an inspiring opportunity here, in Arizona, one that I would never get back. I told the company that offered me the job, and my loved ones, my simple explanation. “I can only tell you that I know I am not supposed to.” One week later, a series of synchronistic events led to a series of new positive relationships and my private practice. Had I not met these new people, or experienced those synchronistic events, I would have missed the soul-enriching gifts that awaited me here.
It takes a lot to actually allow your intuition to reach you and to traverse the fear-based thoughts that seek to distract you from it. It takes a willingness to actually listen to those intuitions, and act on them, rather than tossing them aside as “illogical,” to then ignore them.
Like a muscle, our intuition has to stretch, expand, and be nourished in order to develop. It is not something that a select few have; I think it is born in all of us. Intuition is another tool to ensure our survival; it allows us to gain additional information about the world within and outside of us.
At the same time, experiences in your life may have taught you that you cannot trust yourself. Or, for others, experiences may have threatened to sever your connection to your intuition or, at least, your willingness to act from it. That being said, you can’t force it. Nevertheless, you can do some things to encourage it.
- Start writing your dreams down, in first person. Look at how you feel in each one, who and what the characters are, and what parts of you they could represent.
- Start a creative project that activates your right brain. Drawing, painting, coloring, or any kind of art therapy.
- Learn about the chakras and how to clear them.
- Play with your intuition. When you get a hunch, write it down. See what happens.
- Start a physical practice that also has a spiritual component, such as Tai Chi or Yoga.
Our culture strongly favors the logical left-brain, evidence-based knowledge over intuition. With this in mind, when people work with me around their intuition, it often requires getting them out of their head and opening up those places within them that hold fear, anxiety, and trepidation about knowing things. If you struggle with your intuition, for example, you may have had multiple experiences of being told that what you saw as a child was not true. Or, your hunches and other intuitive experiences may have been invalidated or ignored.
Your intuition asks you to release your sense of trying to control it, to just allow the higher self, in whatever form it takes, to present itself. Giving you sudden unexplained knowledge and insights through the senses, intuition waits for you to ask for its guidance. Are you willing to listen?
© Copyright 2008 by Sarah Jenkins. All Rights Reserved. Permission to publish granted to GoodTherapy.org.
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