We are often taught to think with a rational mind, but what about our â€œinner voiceâ€ - that niggling feeling influencing us behind the scenes?
“I should have trusted my gut.”
“I knew that was going to happen.”
“I wish I listened to my heart.”
Sound familiar? That’s your intuition -that niggling little voice in the back of your head. And we all have it, each and every one of us. But sadly it seems that our intuition has become a deeply misunderstood creature, and one that often gets pushed to the sidelines. Why, you ask? Because society tells us.
As a culture we are full of contradictions. Whereas on the one hand society embraces our instinctive hunches by reeling off numerous inspirational phrases like “listen to your intuition” or “follow your gut”, it also berates us for doing so.
While intuition is an age-old habit, we have since learned to believe in the power of rational thinking. We have become master rationalisers. Where once feelings and emotions were key to everyday decision making, logic now stands in its place - dictating our every thought and decision. And as consequence we’ve forgotten to search for the middle ground, to delve deeper inside our own feelings and to listen to our gut instinct. In the words of Bob Samples,
“The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honours the servant and has forgotten the gift.”
But what if I told you rational thinking can sometimes be irrational? And what if I told you that by learning to look past our thought-based reactions which guise our instincts, you could be steered toward a happier, more complete you?
Intuition is a challenge to define, and while it plays a massive role in our day to day lives, it’s still little understood. But no matter how it’s described, we still intuitively know what it is. That’s the very nature of intuition. It’s knowing without knowing. It’s always there evaluating our situation whether we hear it or not, and whether we like it or not. Albert Einstein once described intuition as one of our most unused senses, while being our most valuable. And while science is still yet to explain the phenomenon, it has been seen all throughout history and in every culture. Intuition is innate. So where did it all go so wrong?
As complex as our thought processing may be, it’s still a relatively young development in comparison to the millions of years of evolution that went into our senses. Our thoughts are simply reactions to events which can then be twisted through rational thinking, whereas a gut impulse is instinctual and usually more sincere. By relying on rational thinking, we have gone in the face of evolution. Our feelings were designed to guide us, to help us make rational decisions.
In order to readdress the balance, we must first disregard everything we have been taught. It’s time to tap into our instinctual self. Remember, our thoughts are just our minds rationalising an event and we want to look deeper than that.
The first step toward reinstating intuition into our lives is to clear our minds of all the noise that’s there. If your initial reaction to a situation is to think of a million and one possibilities and outcomes... then stop. You’re doing it wrong. Take a breath. Relax, maybe even meditate. Try and look past all these crazy thoughts to the feelings behind them. That’s where your inner voice will be.
Try and recall events, both positive and negative, and how you felt at the time. Were you happy, sad or apprehensive? Maybe you had butterflies in your stomach? These are all emotional signals reflecting your feelings. Now, think about a current situation – maybe it’s a person, job or event. Focus on that image. How does it make you feel? Relate this current feeling back to previous events. Maybe now you’ll have more insight as to whether it will have a positive or negative outcome.
By focusing on our feelings, we can get in touch with our instinctual core. This in turn can guide our thought processes. Learn to focus on the feeling behind the emotion first, and then let that feeling guide your rationalisation of the situation.
Sometimes we can miss emotional cues. If this happens then don’t forget to pay attention to how you physically feel. The body is a powerful indicator of our health and well-being. Notice how different situations affect you. Do certain people or situations give you energy or do they drain it? The latter are toxic – remove them from your life. The one’s who give you energy? Keep them close, they’re the positive energy your intuition adores.
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