“When we assert intuition, we are therefore like the starry night: we gaze at the world through a thousand eyes.”
— Clarissa Pinkola Estes, Women Who Run With The Wolves
What Is Intuition?
First of all, here is what it is NOT.
It is not a special gift for a chosen few.
It is not a magical, mystical power.
It is not something for which you need a psychic.
With that in mind then, here (in a nutshell) is what it IS.
It is a natural faculty.
It is something that is innate in everyone, and this includes YOU!
It is a skill to be developed which is why some people seem to be more intuitive than others.
Intuitive living takes practice.
Here’s a longer definition:
Intuition is a process of widening your attention to include the information that comes from your imagination, emotions, and unconscious mind as well as from your intellectual senses/conscious mind.
Thinking versus Knowing
In her book Connections Gabrielle Roth says,
Our ability to think is a wonderful thing. We can imagine, create, even make fun of ourselves. It’s just that thinking and knowing are different, and knowing comes from a more primitive wisdom, a timeless connection to the movement, to the dance of the universe and all its beings.
Therein lies the key to what intuition really is.
It’s the difference between thinking about something and knowing something.
Sometimes intuition is called the “sixth sense.” And I’m not talking about that movie where the little boy could “see dead people.” I’m talking about one more sense in addition to the five that we already have.
And what are the first five senses?
We usually come to thoughts and conclusions about something based on one of those senses, or intellectual reasoning.
If we are tuned in to our intuition however, we are able to make decisions based on additional information that we are receiving from a deeper source.
What is that source? It is our imagination, our emotions, and that mysterious land which knows no bounds and which is also known as our subconscious mind.
Intuition in my Own Life
There has never been a time in my life when I have acted on this deep inner knowing and been sorry for it later. Never.
For example, when I was 35 I placed an ad on our local paper’s new singles page. The constant travel involved in my corporate job was wearing me down, so I was looking to kick up my social life a notch. There were many responses to my ad and I met several perfectly nice guys. There was nothing wrong with any of them.
But when I met “Bachelor #7” (now my husband Jeff), there was an immediate sense of knowing on a very deep level that he was “the one.” If you’d asked me before then if I believed in such a romantic notion as love at first sight, I would have laughed right in your face. And it wasn’t exactly the kind of “love at first sight” we so often see portrayed in the movies. Instead, it was a living certainty that I knew and understood with the whole of my being- body, mind, and spirit.
I couldn’t have told you then how I knew it, and I still can’t tell you how I knew it.
What was key for me was that I paid attention to this Knowing: I honored it and I acted on it.
Intuition and the Mind-Body Connection
You may be more familiar with the phrase “gut feeling.” This is exactly how it feels when you are practicing intuition. It feels like you “know” something right smack in the center of your being. It’s hard to describe but if you’ve ever felt it, you know what I’m talking about.
When you “know” something on an intuitive level, sometimes your heart will race, or just beat differently. Your breath rate might increase or it might slow down considerably. You might feel dizzy or “high” or breathless. You might feel a sinking sensation in your stomach, or your legs, or both.
It’s important to get to know your own personal body responses to intuition. This way you are more tuned in to it, and will be more likely to remember to make decisions that are wise for your own being.
Intuition and the SoulCollage® Process
As you flip through magazines, you will find that some images are calling your name and you may not know why. It’s important to trust these intuitive callings and tear out the pictures without trying to rationally figure out what you’re going to do with them later.
It is the mystery of intuition that draws you to certain images and that leads you to place certain images beside each other on your cards. Trust that mystery. Trust your intuition. Let it lead you.
Intuition is also an integral part of interpreting your cards. The I Am the One Who… exercise was designed to specifically spark intuition by helping you get out of your own way as you write or speak into the meaning of a particular card.
You are also activating intuition when you do a reading using your deck of SoulCollage® cards. The images speak to your subconscious mind and come together to inform your deep wisdom what it needs to know to answer whatever question you are asking at this moment. Gabrielle Roth describes a card reading as simply empowering/readying yourself to know what you already know at your deepest level of being.
We really do have all of the answers inside of us already. SoulCollage® is a beautiful way to access those answers, to go within and touch our deepest wisdom.
Ways To Develop A Keener Intuition
- Let go of trying to figure everything out to the nth degree.
- Practice meditation daily or weekly as your schedule permits. You will find that the more easily you can spend quiet time with yourself, the more easily you will “hear” your inner wisdom.
- Pay attention to your inner hunches. You will have more and more of them as you begin to expect them.
- Keep an Intuition Journal. Write down each hunch as soon as it comes to you, before you forget. Review your journal weekly or monthly. You will notice that your intuition is becoming sharper the more that you honor it by putting your “Sixth Sensing” into words.
- Question your feelings before dismissing them. Ask yourself why that person makes you uneasy, why you are drawn to that particular tree, why your child’s best friend frightens you. Continue this conversation with yourself in your Intuition Journal and see what you discover.
- Do a daily body scan and get to know your own body. Lie still for a few moments in the morning before you jump out of bed, or at night before drifting off to sleep. Enjoy the warmth and presence of your own body. Slowly scan from your head to your toes. Simply notice how each part feels. You can do this any time during the day as well. It never gets boring because your body is constantly changing. If it’s difficult at first, don’t worry. Just keep at it. It will get easier with time.
- Accept that there is a part of intuition that will always escape definition, a part that will always remain a Mystery. Accept it and let it be so.