exercises + experiments, personal essay, tarot

Intuition

Intuition is having a moment. Search the hashtag on Instagram and you’ll get over 2 million hits. It’s super trendy with the witches and the healers and all the new, new-agey folk (hi me!). Considering we’re living in deeply unsettling times, it’s natural that so many of us are seeking guidance and a stronger inner compass. But I often see intuition getting lumped in with things like psychic visions or other exclusionary skillsets which is disheartening and completely misguided.

Intuition is information we get from nonconscious means. Gut feelings, instincts, hunches; it’s all intuition and it’s always accessible, to everyone.

There’s certainly an illusory nature to it and some of us are so cut off from that inner voice that the very notion of “follow your intuition” seems absurd. I’ve got a healthy critic inside me, all proof and logic, and he’s quick to shame my more feeling/intuitive nature. I once confessed to artist and spiritual advisor Rachel Howe that I worried if I really followed my intuition, I’d end up doing something rash or crazy. She suggested I look around at the world, most of it is crazy AF.

She’s right. And we all know this. The Patriarchy. Colonialism. White Supremacy. Our entire society is built on some fundamentally oppressive and dysfunctional ideologies. And you only have to look at the tyrant in the White House to see where this has gotten us.

Maybe our inner critics, our egos, are just culturally conditioned to ignore that soft whisper inside, for fear we might actually listen. And by listening, we’d have to begin to unpack all that shame hiding us from our true selves.

What if our intuition speaks from that deeper, truer part of ourselves with a different kind of message? A message that might seem “crazy” at first, but only because it comes from a wilder, freer, pre-conditioned part of us. Pre-shame. Pre-fear. An innocent part, where concepts like crazy and good and bad and right and wrong don’t even exist. A subtle but spacious part connected to the spacious, larger world around us. The part from which our most novel and creative ideas come.

INTUITION HACK

Here’s what I’ve learned (and continue to learn every day):

You have all of the answers inside of you. Right now.

If you want to make bolder decisions in your life, if you want to feel more confident as you move through your day, if you want to connect more deeply with the tarot or other divination tools, if you’ve lost touch with the muse, if you want to grab opportunities faster, if you want to actually become aware of the myriad of opportunities swirling around you at this very moment, if your inner critic is already snickering as you read this; if you’re stuck, drowning in all the noise, caught up in everyone else’s dreams and furies… I invite you to breathe…

breathe…

and listen…

Notice the sounds around you right now. Notice the sensations of your breath, of your hands, your legs, your heart…

Breathe…

Remind yourself: There is a difference between hearing a message and following that message. I repeat. You do not have to DO anything that your intuition/visions/gut feelings/dreams/whispers-in-the-night tell you to do. This sounds obvious, I know, but it is the number one intuition killer, the biggest bliss destroyer I know. We get that initial “crazy” idea and we immediately imagine how to act on it and our monkey brain goes ape shit. “Whoa. What? I can’t do that. What does that mean? How? No way. Nope.” Just the thought of it terrifies us. It shuts us down.

But if we want to tap that bigger, bolder part of ourselves, we have to gently coddle our egos (this is why they’re “fragile” after all). I am not being facetious when I say this. We have to remind ourselves over and over that just because we have a thought does not mean we have to act on it. Again, I know this seems apparent but I’d wager most of you have already shut down some of your most compelling intuitive hits today without you even knowing it. We all do this.

But the second we give ourselves this reminder, everything softens. We are free just to be, to listen. And the channel opens.

When you stop to ask yourself the big (or small) questions, think of it as a 2-step process:

  1. BE. Let yourself receive.
    Because you’ve reminded yourself that there’s nothing to do, you’re free just to be, to listen to whatever comes. No judgments, no figuring things out, no planning. You’re in receptive mode only. You are yin. You are listening. The yang/active/ego voice will continually try to step in, especially as the messages get clearer (which they will) and in these moments, you are simply to nod and gently tell yourself, “Yes yes, we’ll do all that later. Right now, let’s just listen.” And pat your heart as you say this, like a mother pats the seat next to her when she wants her child to come closer. Invite that softer, wilder voice in. And listen. You can write down what comes, so long as it doesn’t shift you into planning mode.
  2. DO. (If you want to)
    Once you’ve downloaded the information, then and only then, can you start to mull it over with a more critical voice. You’ll notice some big ideas in there that can be broken down into smaller (and less scary) bits of action you could take. You’ll notice that when you allow yourself to stay in that receptive space, without judgement, your intuition isn’t all that crazy at all. In fact, you’ll notice that when you make time and space for the deeper you to show up like this, your ideas are electric, soul-stirring and strangely comforting, like a coming home.

Any #instawitch will tell you intuition is total magic. But don’t forget how accessible it is, whenever you need it. It’s like a shy puppy. Let it come to you. It’ll run away if you chase it. And remember, in a mad tea party world, our intuition is likely the sanest voice at the table.

Standard