unfolding into JOY

 
 
How to Not Kill Your Cat — Intuition as a Guide

We’ve all had the experience of “having a feeling” about something - a hunch, a knowing without being told. Maybe you’ve had a sense about a job opportunity or person that didn’t feel quite right, or that felt exactly right, somehow you’ve known what to do - or what not to do. This intuition or inner voice is a powerful resource of insight and can serve as a reliable guide in making decisions. Yes, you might say, but how do I really know? How can I be sure? It takes time, patience and practice to reconnect with this inner voice but once you are experienced in hearing it you will be able to distinguish it clearly and “know.”

Why do I use the word reconnect? Our intuition is the voice of the unconscious. According to psychology pioneer Carl Gustav Jung we all are connected to the unconscious. He suggested that at birth we are entirely drenched in the unconscious, without being aware of it. As we grow up we learn to pay attention to the many stimuli of the outside world and forget about the inner voice. Or, we are actively encouraged to defer to what others can also see and hear (and thereby confirm) — at the price of our connection with the unconscious, and with it our inner knowing. We all have intuition but we do not necessarily have access to it. We do not know how to trust it anymore.

I feel that advancing intuitive abilities is extremely worthwhile. In my coaching practice I witness clients have “a-ha moments,” or moments of insight, all the time. I see the surprise, relief and ease that arises from having such an experience. Plus, when I recently went through a near-death crisis with my cat, it was my intuition - my inner knowing - that saved her life. This was despite the odds and somber predictions of several vets, many of whom led to the gentle suggestion of euthanasia. But in my “gut” I knew better. It was a severe crisis but she was not ready to die. Lo and behold, she is still among us, giving us tremendous joy. Apart from saving a pet’s life, reconnecting with our intuition means inviting in more relief and ease. Sounds good, doesn’t it?

In the following I’d like to offer some suggestions for working with intuition.

Be patient and experiment
As we grow up we are trained to place a heavy emphasis on data received through our eyes and ears and trust the “rational” mind, while dismissing intuitive knowing. Tangible data is often identified as trustworthy and “true”; intuition is perceived as an unfounded guess. We learn to trust our reasoning over our gut when in fact both the rational mind and our intuition are powerful sources. In order to make use of your capacities in an optimal way you have to use them all. In my example I had veterinarians suggesting I have my cat put down even though they didn’t fully understand the cause of her symptoms. I could question this with my rational mind. But I might not have caught their jumping to conclusions had I not trusted my “gut feeling,” that she had more life in her than some of the data led to believe. I had to trust my intuition in the same way we learn to trust reasoning and I had to distrust science in the same way most of us have learned to distrust our intuition. I could only do this because I value my intuition as highly as our thinking capacity.

To develop intuitive power you must pay attention to your reactions to things. You have to allow time to take in a situation, a person’s attitude, that which is not said or exposed on the surface. With intuition it is like with everything: If you don’t give attention to something it will not grow - be it a plant, a skill, a relationship or your intuition. So if you are wanting more intuitive power it is essential to recognize and respect your intuition when you experience it. Know that it is natural to doubt yourself and your intuition when you have been trained to do so all your life. Be open to experiments. Begin to give your intuition the benefit of doubt. Allow time; be patient. Accept the fact that you will receive conflicting messages, as I did.

Implement simple tools
Deepening your intuition is a little like tuning your radio to receive a different station. It’s about adjusting your frequency so you can receive a broader range of information, or receive information more clearly. The voice of your intuition is mighty but often quite soft. In order to hear it you need to turn off the racket our thoughts create all day long. How do you actually do that? Here are a few things you can try:

1. Connect with your body and with nature
Have you ever gone for a jog or taken a spin class and felt clearer afterward? Remember the joy and satisfaction you feel after a hike in the woods or a walk on the beach? Exercise and time in nature (or both at the same time!) are excellent ways to “loosen” your thoughts and create space in your head for intuitive guidance to show itself.

2. Meditate
Meditation is the process of not thinking. Mindfulness meditation uses awareness to note thoughts as they arise and observe them as you might observe a cloud passing on the horizon. Other methods suggest focusing on a sound or a word or your own breath. The goal is to give the mind something to focus on other than the endless internal chatter. It means giving your mind a rest. If meditation sounds to alien to you, try turning on a piece of music and just listening to it. Turn down the voice that begins to organize your schedule, or practice that conversation you need to have, or figure out your finances until the song is over. Notice as many details about the song as you can. What instruments are being used? What is the tempo, rhythm, mood? Perhaps you want to follow one particular instrument you love. Do as you please, but stay with the piece. If music isn’t your thing try eating a bite of a food you enjoy as slowly as you possibly can. Again, see how many details you can notice - the nuances of flavor, the texture, temperature. See how long you can hold it in your mouth before swallowing. Enjoy the moment!

3. Practice being without an agenda
There is doing and there is being. Doing is the state most of us operate in most of the time - performing tasks at work, going to the grocery store, planning our time. Being is the state beneath the doing. It’s experiencing the present moment without getting absorbed in whatever is next. When we allow ourselves to “just be” we give ourselves a chance to re-center and connect with our intuition and deeper knowing. Like most things, this takes practice. Start in small ways. For example, try playing with a child or animal without any agenda other than to enjoy yourself and create enjoyment for the other. Or go for a walk in nature and consciously take in all the sensations nature offers: the colors and shapes of the sky, trees, meadows, flowers, insects and other creatures; the sounds of the wind, of birds, of other animals.

4. Seek assistance
Most things are easier with support. If you want to more consciously be in touch with your intuition it may be beneficial to work with a coach or other professional who appreciates the power of the unconscious. Generally, life coaching is about helping people become happier. Against popular belief, happiness does not strongly depend on outer wealth or fame—even though there is nothing wrong with these. The conditions for true happiness arise from the inside. Among others, wholeness and dynamic balance are important components for a happy constitution. That’s why in my practice I help you work toward a balance of being and doing, creating fertile ground for a deepening of your relationship with your inner knowing, which in turn will lead to your happiness. Together with each coaching client I find individually suiting practices to support the deepening of this relationship. I gently but steadily guide you on your path of self-discovery.

In addition to individual sessions, my offerings include SoulCollage workshops that enable you to reconnect with your center. The results are truly amazing. Following my simple instructions for a grounding exercises participants have astounding insights and experience tremendous growth. Consider checking out one of these programs, or something like it.

Our intuition is a tremendous source of powerful information. Learning to trust it takes time and patience. It is worth the effort! Continuing to ignore or overlook our intuitive sense not only deprives us of an important resource; it also cuts us off from an important component of who we are and is in the way of our happiness. Be patient, be curious, be kind to yourself. I am here to help in any way that I can.

To your evolution!



 

 


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Eva has been my coach for one and a half years. She has helped (and continues to help) me to become clear and see what I really want and need in my life. With Eva as my coach I have manifested more than I ever expected.
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