Listening to Our Intuition
Dec 22, 2011 12:37AM
By Beth Lambdin
As the New Year takes hold, intuition, that mysterious “sixth sense,” is in the news. A current New York Times bestseller, Thinking, Fast and Slow, by Nobel-prize-winner Daniel Kahneman, and a recent article in Whole Living discuss this ancient inner wisdom available to all of us. Intuition can be a powerful guide – if we listen to it.
But, before exploring ways to tap intuition, let’s take a moment to “define” it and consider its origins. Webster boils it down to “quick and ready insight.” Intuition is an inner power, made up of initial impressions and gut feelings, the sense of knowing something without knowing why we know it. The intuitive “hits” we all get can take many forms: a physical sensation, a vivid dream, words or phrases that appear out of nowhere, or just knowing that something is right for you. Intuition is a phenomenon that fosters creativity and may even be life-saving. Many believe that intuition springs from a mystical or divine origin, while others argue that intuitive feelings spring from memories and experiences.
David G. Myers, a social psychologist and author of Intuition: Its Power and Perils calls intuition “an ancient biological wisdom,” and associates it with our more primitive, limbic brain. As humans evolved, so did the prefrontal cortex which is the seat of conscious thought. Myers suggests that the mind works on two tracts: a conscious rational, explicit level, and an unconscious, intuitive, automatic level. New studies suggest that the intuitive level may be bigger (and more powerful) than we originally imagined.
Maureen Hancock, a popular medium and author of The Medium Next Door: Adventures of a Real-Life Ghost Whisperer, compares intuition to the navigational system in our cars: “It’s connected to a satellite that always knows where you are. Punch in the direction you want and voila! – the GPS guides you step by step.”
Many of us yearn to tap into our intuition to better understand ourselves, be more at peace and improve our lives. But, in a world rife with distractions, how do we cultivate our intuition?
According to Hancock, decluttering the mind is key. “When you clear the clutter in your mind, you can hear an inner voice that might help you go for the right job, get out of the wrong one; be clearer about the path to take and the one to avoid. We all have gut feelings and nudges from our higher selves. If you learn to quiet your mind and listen to them, everything flows more easily. Go with the first thing that pops into your head. It’s usually right.” Myers agrees that first impressions are powerful indicators of intuition at play. He says that quick judgments have been found to be superior to analyzed ones.
Psychiatrist Judith Orloff, who lectures widely on intuitive healing, says that we can all sharpen this tool. She trains her patients to “awaken” through meditation, dream interpretation and body awareness. Hancock encourages her clients not to overthink things, and instead measure their intuitive hits in their hearts. All agree that it’s important to listen to the wisdom knocking at your door.
Beth Lambdin, MBA, MS, Brennan Integration Practitioner and Licensed Massage Therapist, offers a variety of body-mind-energetic therapies that help tap into intuition. She practices at the Cocoa Beach Wellness Center, 236 N. Atlantic Avenue, 321-298-2743, [email protected], www.bethlambdin.com.