It can be tricky to follow our intuition even hear it above the buzz of our days. I found it really needed to shout, knock me over the head, and speak in an undeniable voice in the past. But these days after practice, it is much easier to catch the gems and recognise them as they come in.
When I was in first year uni I use to notice this car on campus. I memorised its numberplate, not really knowing why. About a month later, a last minute timetable clash meant class changes, I snuck in the back of the tutorial and sat down. I immediately got this full body sensation, tingling all over. I remember feeling hot, a rush to my head. Something like love at first sight. The brown curly haired guy next to me turned into my first love, a relationship that lasted several years and he was the owner of the car, previously mentioned.
These coincidences are known as serendipitous events where you often remember things in hindsight, like pieces in a puzzle they seem to make sense later. With practice, we can live in a more aware state, open to signs as they arise in real time. By fostering an active relationship with our intuition, we can learn to recognise the body niggles and whispers when they come up.
What is intuition?
It is described as a receptive state that allows for knowing or instincts without conscious reasoning. Conscious reasoning is the other voice, the one that questions, challenges, picks apart and analyses. All necessary tools for our survival and functioning in day to day life. However, this mode derived from the head and the intellect are only part of the picture.
On my fortieth birthday, I decided to sit in a plant ceremony within a supportive environment. I was nervous as my few previous teen experiences with hallucinogens hadn't gone well (insert: I thought I was going to die. I was that person). But some deeper feeling persisted that it would actually be good medicine for me now. At the same time, I had my conscious reasoning voice telling me why it was unsafe, why did I want to challenge myself and what if something happened? All valid concerns and I said to my inner scared teenager,
‘Yes I hear you, we can go along and see, leave at any time, and we don’t have to partake if you feel unsafe’.
From that place, I drove to the ceremony and sat with these feelings, yet my fears receded and I felt at peace once it began. As the plant chemicals worked on my brain, large words kept coming up, firstly 'SERVANT' which related to study and intellectualising from the HEAD. The message needed interpretation much like a dream. It was clear that although I rely heavily on the intellect which deserves respect, it is also the lesser cousin to the real player, the HEART which took me across time and space, plants and animals to the Almighty interconnection of Nature and true consciousness, where the word 'MASTER' plastered across the visions. This is the home of intuition, gut feelings, joy, spontaneity, creativity, love. Of course, we use both in our decision making and it is important to do so, but the natural order was pointed out clearly. On a planetary scale, this is obvious that Nature and Space are beyond our mind's comprehension, as much as we try and catch up.
Plant medicine is a burgeoning field in mental health and healthcare. It was a life affirming experience which was helpful in identifying its value when importantly taken with reverence and safety. It remains controversial and can be risky yet there is growing use in mainstream medicine of psychedelics, such as psilocybin in dealing with end of life, terminal illness and depression. Read more about it here. National ketamine trials in Australia are underway for treatment of persistent depression at micro doses with little side effects and few altered states. The work of Doctor Gabor Mate, a renowned addiction expert and recovery is interesting to follow as he promotes alternative and new ways of thinking about the current mental health crisis and addiction.
How to connect with your intuition?
When we are more connected to our intuition and our bodies, we get in touch with our heart and deeper longings. We have more capacity to feel, love, empathise and heal. We all have the ability to develop our intuition and it can start with understanding our senses better. We are constantly processing information through our senses, such as sight, touch, hearing, smell which we use to interpret our environment and intuit messages. It could be seeing an image or picture, which may or may not always be directly interpretable or literal rather symbolic. Some people see colours, other times, we can have vivid dreams and are left to decipher its meanings over time. Another sense is clairaudience which is to hear a voice clearly like a guidance system, no you aren’t going crazy, it is more like a quiet calm wise voice. The most common feelings of intuition are gut knowing that often jolts us to course-correct to avoid that dark alley at night. We get body sensations, such as goosebumps or ‘knowing something in our bones’, maybe like when we fall in love. Our body whispers to us regularly we just need our mind to be quiet enough to hear it. Lastly, there can be times called claircognizance when we blurt something out without our logical brain being involved!
I asked my new boss at my first corporate job if she was pregnant without censoring, and she gasped, 'How did you know? I haven't told anyone'.
The more time we spend noticing our bodies and environments, we can grow our intuition. It takes time and practice to quieten our mind, so we can listen to our heart. Time spent meditating, outdoors in Nature, unplugged, pursuing creative projects (how do artists create amazing art? using their intuition of course!) and somatic body therapies all help to develop this ability that we all possess. I love to hear stories of where our intuition has lead us, to places and peoples when following one’s ‘nose’ and intuitive feel, especially useful when travelling. I decided to move the whole family to Cambodia based on a strong intuitive message, which was one of the hardest and enlightening experiences to date. I recognise the privilege I have had to be able to follow these whispers.
We all have examples of following our intuition. The more time we connect with our heart, not as a lofty new-agey ideal, but as a conscious practice of letting the voice of reason recede momentarily, we can develop this new language that can lead to great rewards and discoveries.