I always thought that intuition was something that turns up when you least expect it. It’s certainly not a thing that anyone seems to pay much heed to, least of all me – certainly not on a regular basis. Although, having said that, I do recall times in my life when a voice inside has been very clear about what I need to be doing next. I’m thinking back to when I saw an advertisement in Writer’s Digest Magazine for a correspondence course in writing with a school called NRI. I knew at once that it was for me. I got all goose bumpy and excitement fairly bubbled up and over inside me. Despite the fact that my husband and I didn’t have a lot of money at the time, with two children in grade school and a mortgage, we found the money that enabled me to take the two-year course. I never regretted it. My intuition knew what was best for me. And I’m grateful to my husband for seeing what it meant to me.
What I didn’t realize then, that I do now, is that intuition is a powerful force in a woman’s life. It can be utilized for making any kind of decision, big or small, to guide us on our path. The problem is, because we aren’t accustomed to trusting our intuition, or for that matter, asking it a question, it has become weak. Never fear, that can change. All that needs to be done is to learn to listen to, and trust, intuition. Translated, that means to trust yourself.
Trust yourself — this is a key issue. How easy it is to allow others to naysay our choices. When challenged, we tend to back down because our choice doesn’t seem logical. I think we make too many decisions based on logic. Logic can get in the way of what we really want deep down inside of our truest self. If I denied myself the opportunity to take that correspondence course because we didn’t have a lot of money, and decided it could be used for better things, I wouldn’t be writing this post to you right now while I wait for my editor to go over the most recent changes to my novel. Writing is what I do best, it gives my life meaning and focus. How sad it would have been to miss out on such a wonderful opportunity because logic forbade it.
In order to learn to trust intuition it is necessary to be willing to step away from the “known” and the “taught” and venture forward on our own journey/adventure into the realms of the unknown. And yes, it may be scary, but it will also make you feel alive. By striving toward a task that we are willing to take risks for, intuitive powers will be strengthened.
After I completed my correspondence course, I wanted to try university. It was one of the hardest things I have ever done. I will never forget how I felt upon completing my first exam. I was so proud of my accomplishment. After many failed attempts to realize my dream, I felt elated, frightened, and alive, all at the same time. It makes me wonder if perhaps we are not used to this heightened state of aliveness. No-one has taught us how to live with bliss. I sometimes have this same scary/excited feeling when my writing is going well. It’s like I’m not the one writing at all, that I am just open to some someone else’s dialogue. I keep praying that I can keep the conduit open. I haven’t been taught to trust in my own power.
Trusting intuition may mean that someone else will be disappointed. “To be ourselves causes us to be exiled from others. But to comply with others means to be exiled from the self.” (Clarissa Pinkola Estes.) When we don’t listen to our own voice it can cause anxiety, unhappiness, and even depression. That little voice inside is insistent. It will not stop prevailing upon us to be heard. I know this was true of my desire to go to university. That’s why even though I failed a number of times to make it happen because I didn’t feel ready, it didn’t give up on me.
Intuition teaches us to be discerning about people, life, what needs to die and what needs to live; or what part of each needs to be woven into the fabric of our life. Sometimes intuition allows us to see things that are hard to deal with. Like deciding to end a relationship that no longer works. Maybe we’re not ready to admit that it’s time to move on. Yet intuition continues to remind us to accept what we have known for a long time. Once the truth is accepted, barriers fall away because we are on the right path. Sometimes it’s necessary to let go of what no longer works in order to make room for something new to live. This is hard I know, but sometimes necessary for your own happiness.
When Intuition isn’t Working
But what about when we ask intuition for guidance and come up with nothing? This happened to me this week. I am coming to the end of writing my novel and am wondering about publishing possibilities. I asked intuition, “What is the best way for me to publish?” No answer. I asked again. The same non-response. Then I realized that intuition is not a fortune teller. It cannot conjure something out of nothing. But once the answer is on the table, intuition can tell me whether or not it is the right path for me. I know that once I start researching publishing possibilities, when the answer appears I will get that tingly, goose bumpy, feeling that tells me that intuition has spoken.
I don’t know about you, but I plan to work with intuition a little more closely. I will ask it, “This way or that?” And then I will listen to what it has to say. Really listen. Then the hardest part of all is to trust what it has to say, and act on it. It will take some time I know to learn to work together. But when I consider that during the few times I have allowed intuition a voice, it has guided me towards some of the best things in my life. I think I owe it to myself to allow it a voice every day. How about you?
I want to thank my friend Joan for taking the time to listen to my thoughts and ideas about intuition and offer her own thoughts. Our conversations allow me to fully understand what it is I want to share with my readers. It can be scary sometimes to share these ideas. Knowing that someone else is listening and taking it all in means the world to me. Thanks Joan.
And once again I want to thank Clarrisa Pinkola Estes for her book Women Who Run With the Wolves, who inspired this writing.