Thursday, November 4, 2010

Using Your Intuition

pine trees, snow, mountains, using your intuition, spiritual intuition, spiritual awakeningUsing your intuition is paramount to the spiritual path. Personally, I think it's paramount to living. My intuition keeps me out of trouble and guides me towards my truth on a daily basis. I can't imagine not having that connection to my knowing and to the universe.

But as I've noted in my blog post, "What Is Intuition?" most people live with a lot of internal chatter and fears that cloud their intuitions. There's also a lot of superstition that gets mixed in with intuition. So it's important to learn how to strip out the noise to clearly decipher your intuition. The big thing here is that intuition comes most clearly about something when you are grounded in the present moment. As I mentioned in the other spiritual blog post, there is never any fear or control in a true intuition. It's more like a little spark of inspiration that clicks. Any fear that does come is an ego response.

The Difference Between Superstition and Intuition

Superstition typically has been taught to you and passed down from some outside source. It's stuff like the number 13 is unlucky, or you don't want a black cat to cross your path. Superstition is almost always fear-based. You're afraid that if you do such and such, then something bad will happen to you. Now go throw a bunch of salt over your shoulder and knock on wood.

I know a lot of people are into numerology and stuff like that, but for the purposes of this blog post, let's put that aside. When you have a strong sense of intuition, stepping back into numerology and other predictive practices makes sense. You can clearly see what's true for you. I think this is especially true with astrology. There are some people who are really in tune with astrology; their readings really kick ass. But even when they're really on it, it's still so important to find the truth in the reading for you. Not all parts of a reading or prediction will apply to you, especially for generalized readings for the masses that are on Web sites or in books.

If you don't have a strong sense of intuition and knowing, these tools can easily turn into superstition. You may stay at home because you got a bad reading about today and are afraid something uncomfortable will happen to you. Any time you get lost in fear about the future that is generally a big sign of superstition, not intuition.


Practicing With Your Intuition

Perhaps, you already practice with your intuition. Perhaps not. Some of you practice using your intuition, but you may not call it that. You may have figured out a problem on gut instinct or a hunch; that's intuition. Same thing, different words. You may have had a feeling that your mother would call today; that's intuition. I use all those terms inter-changeably. I know a lot of people aren't necessarily comfortable with the term intuition. I think it's because it's often married to superstition and because the rational mind's claim to superiority is so pandemic in this culture. Nonetheless, you need to find your comfort zone with intuition. You can practice with it doing virtually anything, such as:
  • Your phone rings. Don't look at who's calling. See what your first feeling is about who it is, then see if you're right.
  • You have two job offerings. See what your feeling is as to which to choose.
  • Take a deck of cards. Try to predict if the next card is black or red.
Above all, this is practice. Getting it wrong doesn't matter, and there are so many other ways you can use your intuition throughout the day.


Getting Comfortable with Uncomfortable Intuitions


I wrote a whole blog post about getting comfortable with uncomfortable intuitions, and I encourage you to click the link above. The central point is that some of our intuitions run up against your fears. This can make us feel very afraid or upset about something we know we need to do. Doing your spiritual work on the fear is essential to make it easier to hear your intuition and to trust it. But sometimes, you simply need to do the difficult thing that is arising despite how scared you are by your intuition. The more you trust the intuition and face the fear, the more easily your intuitions are likely to come. Additionally, life tends to expand more rapidly any time you face fears. That's one of the central themes of the spiritual path.


Reforming the "Rational" Mind to Accept Your Intuitions

Thinking is a very useful tool on the spiritual path. You don't get dumber for being spiritual. You don't need to "just believe" things. The more you strip away old ego issues and fears, the more clearly you tend to think. And clear thinking is powerful stuff.

However, thought initially gets in the way of intuition because it is usually coming from beliefs built out pain, lies, and other issues. What many people consider rational is often illogical when you dig to the core of an issue and find the false belief that it is built on. For instance, a lot of people think it is rational to need to look good. But when you dig out the self-worth issue at the bottom of it, you may find that belief to be incorrect. Without the self-worth issue and the beliefs that grew out of it, you see how much energy and money you've wasted trying to look good. You realize that this does not serve you. In this way, the mind is reformed and starts truly thinking rationally.

So if you are early in your spiritual work and you start rationalizing, you're probably not using your intuition. Intuitions come fast, and they almost always come first. The mind is slower, but it can come and block out the message. See if you can just allow that first impulse without reacting to it. Practice witnessing the feelings, thoughts, and body sensations to start to get better at interpreting what is an ego reaction versus a naturally arising intuition.

The Timeless Witness

Getting Clear Intuitions

If you want to get more intuitions and to get clear intuitions, you have to trust them. You have to trust the ones you already get, and you have to trust them if they are inconvenient to your life. Additionally, true intuitions tend to be consistent, so they often come back again and again until you take any needed action (or non-action) that is being recommended to you. While the ego often will barter and go back and forth on something, true spiritual intuition tends to stay the same.

Especially for those new to the path or intuition, intuition is corner stone to building your spiritual foundation. Practicing with little things and issues that aren't triggering helps you be prepared when bigger messages come through that require more action and potentially big life changes.


Intuition Is the Core

At the core of just about everything I write about is your intuition--your inner knowing. Your intuition will help you to find what's true and helpful to you in all things including my writing. Not everything I write will work for you. I understand this, and I hope you do too. But the mind has a way of picking and choosing things because of convenience, patterning, and fear. That's why you need to do your inner work. It'll help you to notice when you are accepting something from your ego preference or from your deeper truth.

Ultimately, your intuition will take you where you need to go and show you what you need to know. Because at the end of the day, the path to spiritual awakening runs straight through the center of you. I am just pointing to that doorway; your intuition will help you turn the knob and walk through.

Next suggested spiritual blog post:

Intuition: A Short Guide to Improving Your Inner Knowing

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