Firstly, take a moment to admire the view from my back yard last week. I’m very thankful to live just beside one of the prettiest parks in Helsinki - I’m no photographer but hopefully you’ll get the idea!
Last weekend I taught a workshop on intuitive development here in Helsinki, and was asked the question I get asked every time:
How do I know if it’s intuition or my head talking?
There are as many answers to this as there are people, but I thought of putting in my ten cents in a very contained nutshell.
Firstly, intuition is something we all have. It is not a divine gift given only to spiritual people as a result of good karma or spending hours in devotional activities. We all have an inner compass that gives us gentle nudges or less gentle kicks up the backside. It is pure information that rises from the wisdom and truth that remains unchanged within every one of us – the part of us some call the Self, others the Soul or the Heart, some don’t call it anything.
I call it ‘what is’. Intuition is pure information that rises from what is. It cannot be contained, described or labelled – it just is, a bit like karma (but that’s another story).
Secondly, intuition does not feel like anything in particular – even the so-called ‘warnings’ don’t feel scary until we label them so .
Intuition has no emotional colour or charge, no reference or links to our history or whatever is happening in our lives. You just know someone’s going to call or that what glitters isn’t gold.
It is like something I describe as the knowing-ness. It is pure information when it arrives, but within a nanosecond our minds start trying to make sense of it. The trouble is intuition does not often make any sense – in fact often it’s quite the opposite. The key is to learn to catch it before our egoic desires start contaminating it with our ifs, buts, wants and maybes – and this is definitely something some sort of meditation, yoga or any awareness exercise or discipline can help with (even if it’s just doing the dishes or walking the dog, as long as you’re in the now).
Another key is not to judge whatever has risen from within. Your intuition might be telling you something that your mind finds disturbing. Don’t judge but observe and accept. Then take action if you want to, but don’t forget your common sense – as above, so below. Be grounded before reaching for the skies, and watch out for synchronicity as it happens.
Intuition is truth as your being knows it, but the challenge is that what is true to you might not be true to people around you. For instance, you might have thought that you have to want (yes, have to want, not want to have!) a certain career path, but one day wake up in the awareness that it is not true to you. Your environment might not be pleased when you tell them you’ll drop investment banking in favour of gardening! Accept that personal truth is always subjective.
Living intuitively means freedom, but with freedom comes responsibility – this is something people often forget in their spiritual and personal pursuits. It also means we have to be courageous enough to sometimes explore what makes no sense but what we know to be true.