Who has it?
When does it surface?
And...Why is it not forever present at all times and in all places in our lives?
Moments of intuition have likely been experienced by many, if not all of us, at some time or another!
A strong 'directing' thought or a 'sense' or 'feeling' that we should be somewhere, do something or in some cases, and equally importantly - not be somewhere, or not do something specific!
Stories that uphold the ephemeral and slightly other-worldly experiences that are often linked to our intuition abound throughout society and seem to carry a magical and powerful weight.
What is Intuition?
Intuition is that aspect of 'knowing' or 'feeling' that we often immediately recognise as having been instrumental, perhaps when we made a snap decision to follow a gut reaction, or an unusual impulse. In addition, we often consider our intuition as guiding a decision that turned us towards a fortuitous and rewarding outcome, or helped us to avert a potential disaster! Either way, we ascribe a high degree of importance to that intuitive 'impulse' - precisely because we believe that it made a SIGNIFICANT difference to our path!
Intuition is that inner knowing, or a strong inner voice, that is so powerful as to be able to suddenly direct us away from the 'normal' patterns of our life. It may send us in a completely different direction to the one we are used to, or that we may have pre-planned, often with surprising and unexpected benefits as a result.
Myths and stories grow out of those intuitive experiences: perhaps we were saved from getting on a doomed flight, or we chose to miss an appointment with someone, who later turned out to be a mass murderer!
Are these extreme examples? Maybe! But there are plenty of people who have shared their personal accounts of these types of experiences who ascribe it to an intuition, a feeling or inner knowing. Where they followed this inner 'sight' or awareness, and where their decision to do so is later endorsed by fortuitous circumstances, there is a part of themselves which recognises that the 'directive' to do (or not to do) something important was not only vindicated - but almost a divine intervention.
As a child, I remember waking from a terrifying dream. I dreamt that I had been in a car crash with a red lorry. Every Saturday morning my parents and I would take a trip into the centre of London, as I studied as a junior at Trinity College of Music. I awoke and was terrified of the journey that lay ahead. I could not shake the fear, or the feeling of the dream, and so instead of getting dressed and ready to go, I instead went into my mothers bedroom and told her of my dream.
She looked at me with her mouth wide open, and after I finished she calmly said - "we won't go into London today!"
This was not what I had expected to hear from my telling her of my dream, but my fear was relieved immediately.
"Oh good! I'm relieved!" I told her.
However, I was intrigued! Why did she decide so quickly and without further questioning to accept my dream and not try to convince me that it was not real, and to go and get dressed?
So I asked her why...
"I too had a dream last night that we were in a car crash" she calmly told me.
To this day, we have no way of knowing if the day we never drove into London might have been a fateful one - but we are both still here - and can retell the tale. The story has an element of the supernatural about it! And our retelling of the story on occasion brings out the mysterious nature of how it is that we might all be connected through an unseen web that weaves through all life at all times!
Yes - this is the stuff that myths are created from - we can not yet verify our experiences of intuition scientifically, or measure the means by which we either created, or received that inner information; but these tales hold a strong resonance for many of us! Innately, we recognise the importance of the information we have received, and we apply a deep significance - a weight - to that information. We naturally sense that our intuitive experiences are illustrating to us that we do indeed hold extra-sensory and powerful abilities that defy our logical mind!
Intuition - means 'inner-teacher'
It is the voice of understanding and wider experience (that reaches beyond that of our immediate cognitive or conscious mind) that can sometimes surface from places that hold 'records' for us in deeper layers of our awareness.
Some people might consider that this is 'supernatural' or somehow mystical, or magical. But It is also part of our innate ability to adapt and survive. It is a deep, unconscious language that emerges when our unconscious mind recognises a danger, immediate, or even impending. That part of the mind, that is at once connected to us in our present moment, and yet simultaneously connected into all of the experiences of our personal and ancestral past, and also connected into a larger universal energy, or force that is operating outside of our individual biology.
Intuition is an inner language that is expressed in various ways, including through symbols, sounds, colour and light, images and feelings, but overall this language is not only subjective (i.e unique to each individual person and reliant on that individuals own systematic neurological and symbolical anchors that resonate with important 'messages' or 'warnings' through the unconscious mind), but also highly emotive.
It is the nature of the emotional content in an intuitive message that grabs our attention - and encourages us to 'act' on the impulse, or information we are receiving - even if it does not make logical sense to us! It is the emotion that grabs our attention and makes us 'feel' the importance of the sounds, colours and symbols. In this way - many of us receive an intuitive impulse that may be an important message from our unconscious mind, aimed to keep us safe!
However, what if intuition could also be developed as a 'skill'? Another alternative language, that might allow us to more consistently connect to a deeper place within us? Allowing us to consistently receive 'information' from a wider unified field of awareness, rather than just from our ego, or our conscious mind?
Intuition is a gift that we all have!
Intuition is most often not a loud and extreme teacher (like my example above), but often a soft, quiet voice that we may need to learn to listen to.
On a Crystal course a couple of weeks ago, I met a young woman, Sandra, who was receiving many 'images' or 'thoughts' which she was unsure were her own. This influx of images and the seemingly random connection of thoughts attached to them was certainly a cause for concern to her. She had a healthy concern about how she should respond to these expriences, or messages that she was receiving - and was rightly concerned about whether it was safe for her to listen to them.
We spent time exploring them: both exploring and confirming that they were not aggressive, harmful, or negative. They were however, still 'strange' and 'non-sensical' to Sandra and she just did not know where they were coming from, why she was getting these 'odd' thoughts, or what to do with them.
However, after a week of exploring these in a safe environment, where we discussed and honoured the voice, the images and the information that was being presented, she was able to 'test' them out in relation to the Crystal work and training that she was receiving.
As she learnt to place crystals during a crystal therapy session, she began to let go - to trust and respond to the images that she was seeing - and was able to bring huge insights and awarenesses into the therapy sessions as she practiced!
She had no preconceived idea whether the images she was receiving were correct, or why she was receiving them, but in this safe teaching zone, she was afforded the ability to just let things unfold - and watch what happened!
It turned out that in the process of the crystal therapy training, and the exploration of her own unique gift, her crystal therapy sessions were amazingly intuitive! Even whilst her therapy session expanded into her use of sound with the crystals, her 'inner teaching', or 'intuitive' directive was spot on - and the fellow student that she was working on had profound insights and shifts during the therapy session!
It was powerful work for the person receiving the therapy, but also for Sandra!
In that space Sandra was able to explore the language of her inner teacher, to connect to it, and to acknowledge it - and then to act upon it, in a safe and secure setting.
In the process of listening to and acting on her intuition, Sandra was able to explore this new inner language and received powerful and positive confirmations about her own intuition.
This is not to say that anyone who hears voices or receives images that are disturbing or suggesting harm upon themselves or others is to be considered an intuition. There is a 'presence' - a mindfulness, and an integration of the calm and collected conscious mind to be applied when we are connected to our intuitive self.
It is an important distinction to clarify between the 'inner voice' of intuition - and the possibility of those inner voices being an audio hallucination, which can be part of some deeper mental health issues.
Always be mindful if you are experiencing an inner voice that may not be your own intuition, consider if it seems 'safe' to act on those impulses or messages, and be clear on your personal intent to cause no harm to others, or create any negative outcomes.
This type of inner 'differentiation' is of course the responsibility of the conscious mind in all our daily activities! Our mind is always receiving multiple sensory inputs, and has to filter out and decide which messages are important and which are not. Much of this occurs unconsciously, and our ears filter noises which are nearer from those further away, they filter 'familiar' voices from those which are unfamiliar (using tonal differentiation for example). However, it becomes the job of the conscious mind to decide what filtered information we may or may not act upon! It has a big job sometimes to differentiate between the information it is receiving, and often has to employ tested and proved 'strategies' to help make decisions that are likely to end with the positive results desired.
4 Steps to develop your intuition
Do you even believe it is possible?
Acknowledging that it exists is the first step on our journey to developing our intuition.
Learn the 'language' of your own intuition!
Once we learn to notice it and recognise what it is - and how it presents itself to us (i.e. in what type of language we receive our inner tuition). This language may not be the same for everyone - for just as we are all pre-wired to be 'attuned' to particular sensory inputs for our individual learning styles (by this I mean that we are often predominantly either audio learners, or visual learners etc.), these same preferences exist when we are tuning into and learning from our inner teacher.
Learning to 'Listen'
Hearing and listening are two very different activities. One happens without consciousness, the other is focused and has an intention to listen. Practice 'hearing' or 'actively listening'. One is an active energy, the other is passive. You can experiment with this by setting your intention. There is no right or wrong here - just play with this in different levels and see what you notice. Intuition often comes to us when we are not 'listening', but if we do practice the art of listening perhaps we will notice when it appears more readily?
Will you act on it?
After or as part of the listening process, we may also need to practice responding to it - which should always be done in a mindful, and safe environment.
Acting in alignment with that inner voice is one of themes important steps of our intuitive learning - and it is also part of the positive feedback cycle which will allow us to tune into, and hear our intuition more regularly and more clearly.
For as we act, so we become!
By aligning with the quiet inner teaching voice, we open up the flood gates of our inner perception, and heighten our 'awareness' of its existence. We begin to recognise the 'voice'! Although it is quite, it becomes familiar and has a recognisable quality about it.
This means that as part of our attunement to our inner teacher, we need to recognise the method by which we are likely to get our teaching.
In Spiritual circles, the primary inner voice often becomes identified and a person may be labelled as being clairsentient, clairaudient, clairvoyant etc. This is just an identification or acknowledgement of the method by which they are attuned to their inner teacher - their intuition.
The quiet nature of these intuitive messages, the variety of languages that we might receive them in, are all unique and personal - both to the individual person, and also to the specific time and place where the message is being received.