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When one of the most successful people of our time, Oprah Winfrey, tells us that intuition is real, important and critical to her own success, I think we should pay attention. Really, she’s voicing that deep knowingness, deep within each of us that knows the truth. It’s a new era. It’s time to reclaim our whole selves. Not to is foolhardy, short-sided and, ultimately, not in honoring true YOU.
Intuition, historically linked to women, has largely been discredited until recently. It’s a mistake that it’s linked to woman. It’s true that it’s linked to the feminine energies. There’s a difference. One is gender, the other is the archetypal attributes associated with that energy. Having a balance of both energies, masculine and feminine is natural, fluid and appropriate in both males and females.
Oversimplifying these energies, the attributes of feminine energy include being, nurturing, allowing, intuition, creative, abstract, collaborative and receiving, while the attributes of masculine energy include doing, analytical, concrete, controlling, striving, competitive and assertive. Looking at the list, you can see how all of these qualities can be vital and appropriate in the right setting or situation. But we all know of people or even organizations that lean too far in one direction or the other.
For centuries, longer really, humanity has been out of balance to the masculine. The mind, analysis and logic have been preferred and valued, while intuition, sensing, feeling, feminine attributes have been diminished, condemned, undervalued and denied. Not to put too fine a point on it.
“What I know for sure is that if you were going to buy only one issue, ever, of O, [the one on intuition] would be the one. Learning to trust your instincts, using your intuitive sense of what’s best for you, is paramount for any lasting success. I’ve trusted the still, small voice of intuition my entire life. And the only time I’ve made mistakes is when I didn’t listen.
It’s really more of a feeling than a voice—a whispery sensation that pulsates just beneath the surface of your being. All animals have it. We’re the only creatures that deny and ignore it.
When you don’t know what to do, do nothing. Get quiet so you can hear the still, small voice—your inner GPS guiding you to true North.”
~ Oprah Winfrey
While Oprah shares how using your intuition “gives you a sense of what’s best for you”, Barbara With takes it a step further. In her material, she talks about intuition as one of the key parts of each of us that when giving us a sense of what’s in our best interest it is also, miraculously, the same thing that’s in the highest good of the whole. THE whole. She shares that it comes as “the next small step for the good of the whole.”
Intuition guides you to be at the best place at the best time. But you must discipline yourself to listen and commit to “obeying” as Barbara With describes it. Obeying the nudge, the knowingness, the guidance from within you.
There’s no real trick to it. It’s natural. It’s already within you. You need only allow it. Long ago I made a commitment to develop my intuition. Or if that doesn’t click with you, it’s really just sensing and feeling. This was a critical part of my journey into a deeper knowing of me. It was a part of what I aligned to as part of my morning ritual. I committed to being open to it at all times, to spending time each day in silence, listening in. I agreed to “obey” it when I heard a message, felt a nudge. You also might get it through your inner eyes, as a thought image or “seeing” something in your mind’s eye.
The obeying part is critical, though. Your intuition is giving you the next small step for the good of the whole. If you don’t follow through, your intuition will pull back. Go quiet or dark. It’s patient. It’ll wait. If you insist on ignoring it or sticking with logic at all times, it will honor that. But if you’re like me and you decide to step into trusting self, trusting your intuition, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the outcomes. For me, it’s become so natural. I don’t have to work at it. And my clarity has improved dramatically with practice.
Truly, it’s just a matter of cultivating the discipline and committing to it. But here are a few things that helped me…
Make a clear conscious choice about it. Choose to connect with it and expand your abilities. Then make time for it. Pick a quiet spot. In nature is a good choice. And then be still and listen. You may not receive anything for a while. I didn’t. I was convinced that I was the only person that was born without it (Drama much??? ). But one day it just clicked. There it was. Loud and clear. And then I could begin to trust it. Hear it all the time. Not just when I was sitting quietly on my own. Then there was an expansion in how I received information, too. Goosebumps, snapshots of a vision, added to the clear voice I had become used to. Eventually, even my sense of smell got involved. (But that’s a story for another time.)
Explore how you receive your intuition. As I eluded above, the most common are hearing, seeing, and feeling. There are exercises you can do to get clearer about that, but I like things when they’re simple. Not a lot of complexity and procedure. So I’ll let you use your intuition to find them, if that resonates with you. ; )
My friend, Barb With, gave me this one…let it literally be your GPS. Find a time, when you’re going someplace new. A time when there is no time pressure so you don’t hear your inner voices insisting you hurry up. Make a clear choice about where you want to go and then invite your intuition to get you there. If you get, turn left. Do it. Try not to question it. See it as an adventure. Have fun with it.
Discernment is important in many things, including intuition. In the beginning you need to learn what is mental, what is intuition. Generally, you literally feel mental thoughts in your head. Sometimes there’s a tightness. There’s the feeling of effort. Intuition feels more like flow. It isn’t linked to thoughts. It’ll be as if it drops in out of no where. If you feel cloudy or confused, ask for clarification. I used to ask for things to be louder so I wouldn’t miss it or mistake it. Another rule of thumb I employed was that if it wasn’t an absolute yes, then it was a no. This is a part of you, find what works best for you.
Intuition. Everyone has it. It is, indeed, part of our personal system. It won’t ever steer you wrong. Get quiet and alone. If you can, sit on the earth. Breathe. Center. Listen. Can I sense it? Can I be still enough to feel it? The next impelling. What to do next, one step, next step. It begins with one step.
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Wings of Intuition by Andrea Matus
As I’ve shared, I’ve invested much of my time coming to understand issues I’ve had deep within, which are core to us all, noticed or not, faced or not. Understanding things about self love and acceptance of self; understanding how to get out of this whole cycle and drama of victim energy in order to claim sovereignty and creatorship; how to move beyond the limitations of the mind into the imagination, intuition and an expanded or divine intelligence.
By going through these processes myself and understanding the energetics, understanding some of the physics and understanding how it impacts me in every different way, it has given me the tools, the knowledge and the wisdom to do the work I came here to do. To do the work to be who I truly am. And to get to the point of truly living…in joy, in compassion, in love, in sovereignty. Why else do the work?
Here’s some dos and don’ts that supported me along the way…and continue to. My guess is none of it is new to you, but in my experience, the wisdom, person or resource shows up when you are ready for it. So, maybe there’s something here for you. An insight. A nudge. A reminder. Or maybe it just feels good knowing you’re not alone!
Develop the habit of observation. Notice your thoughts. Observe your reactions. Without judgement. Awareness is the first step in all transformation.
Take the stance that everything is happening for a reason. Then explore how that is true. Ask yourself why it’s perfect. What are you getting from it?
Get alone, quiet and still on a regular basis. Then listen. Spend time feeling into and imagining what you want in your life. This isn’t a mental activity, it’s a feeling and sensing activity.
Fake it until you make it. Let the mind work for you. It doesn’t know the difference between real and imagined. So act like you’re already the way you choose to be.
If you get stuck, choose clarity, ask to be shown, ask to be supported. And then allow it to come to you.
Don’t be fooled by the external conditions of your life or of a situation. You’re the creator. It’s all illusion. It can shift in a heartbeat…if you allow it. Focus on what you want, what you need, what you choose. What you focus on expands. Wouldn’t you rather expand what you desire, instead of the things you loathe?
Don’t fight. To quote Adamus, “When there’s nothing to fight, there’s nothing to fear.” Fighting it, resisting it just makes it persist. Push means push back. This all about acceptance, allowing, grace and ease. Take a deep breath and allow. Choose easy!
Don’t stop. If you’re anything like me, you’ll take a step forward and then experience a few steps back. No need to quit. You’re not doing it wrong. Change is not an A to B experience. It’s a zig zag, a spiral, a back and forth. When you notice that you’ve fallen back into an old pattern or habit, take a deep breath and begin again. No worries. This is natural. You’re going to get there.
Notice some themes? It’s simple really. Whether it’s easy…or not…is up to you?
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Seed by EverywomanArt
1. making no noise or sound, especially no disturbing sound
2. free, or comparatively free, from noise
4. free from disturbance or tumult; tranquil; peaceful
5. being at rest
6. refraining or free from activity, especially busy or vigorous activity
Small word, big impact.
“Remember, all the answers you need are inside of you;
you only have to become quiet enough to hear them.”
~ Debbie Ford
Recently, I was with the little boy for whom I sometimes nanny. He’s 1. Late in the morning, he was giving all the usual signals that he was ready for a nap. We went upstairs to read a book and begin to quiet down from our morning of giggling and play. His readiness signals continued but he was also doing lots of things to resist: squirming, muttering, flopping onto his belly for a quick second of stillness, then sitting up again, staring into space then re-engaging the book.
I stayed quiet and calm, letting him lead the way. I rubbed his back when he was still, waiting for his need to rest to overtake the momentum of activity. Eventually he flopped up against me. We took some deep breaths together (yes, I taught a one year old to do deep, conscious breathing…it is a thing of beauty to behold) and within a minute or two came that sweet moment of surrender. He allowed himself to settle into quiet and stillness and then sleep.
Know the feeling?
We live in a world with intense energies, constant noise and the seduction of distraction every which way we turn. It takes great awareness and discipline to stop resisting the need for rest, quiet and stillness, like my little friend, and surrender into connecting with self.
It’s so simple. But for many it’s not necessarily easy. Deep conscious breaths are the quickest way to achieve this connection. Allowing the space and time for stillness and quiet. Turning inward. Allowing insight. Coming back to center when things feel topsy turvy. Letting your mind, body and spirit catch up to shifts and changes.
The cultural norm, at least in the U.S., is to work…go…do. A strong work ethic is highly valued and rarely questioned. For many, needing or wanting rest still equates to weakness or laziness. Sometimes it’s not even a conscious thought, but lives as judgment in the unconscious. It is wielded both inwardly at oneself and externally at others.
Seems to me it’s time for a new norm. There is so much power in silence, so much potential in the space of stillness. Just 10 minutes out of your day. Nothing to DO. Just BEing. Breathing. Feeling and sensing. Allowing your energies to flow. Allowing the focus to be inward. Not chasing down thoughts. Not resisting. Not pushing. Just awareness and noticing.
I wonder what’s possible…I wonder what will show up…I wonder what wants to be released…I wonder what’s there to be received. Don’t you?
Just as I finished writing this post, I came across something on Facebook that resonated and seemed relevant to this post. I felt it deeply upon reading it, as did a few of my friends. Some of us were even moved to tears. It reminded me of a significant and transitional time in my life. After closing my shop and dealing with all the physical and logistical aspects that were required of me, I experienced months of hearing a loud and compelling voice from deep within, imploring and insisting that I rest. Apparently, for that period of time, my “work” was to rest. It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. For what is honored and valued in my family is work…and doing…and I was being asked by the grander part of me to rest…and be. I KNEW that I had to cultivate both the discipline and the courage to honor what was true and pure at my very core…and trust that it must be the right thing for me. It has paid off in spades…led to places I could not have imagined…worth every bit of challenge it required me to face!
The person who posted this credited it to Jeff Foster. Does this resonate with you?
Your tiredness has dignity to it!
Do not rush to pathologise it, or push it away, for it may contain great intelligence, even medicine.
You have been on a long journey from the stars, friend.
Bow before your tiredness now; do not fight it any longer.
There is no shame in admitting that you cannot go on.
Even the courageous need to rest.
For a great journey lies ahead.
And you will need all of your resources.
Come, sit by the fire of Presence.
Let the body unwind; drop into the silence here.
Forget about tomorrow, let go of the journey to come, and sink into this evening’s warmth.
Every great adventure is fuelled by rest at its heart.
Your tiredness is noble, friend, and contains healing power… if you would only listen.
These days the world is a noisy place. It’s chaotic, distracting, tiring and even, at times, a little frightening. That’s not yours. None of that is you.
It’s important, even if it sounds a little (or a lot) cliche, to take time to be with you. To get back to you. To feel centered in you. I would even say that in today’s environment, it’s no longer a luxury, but a requirement. Don’t dismiss the idea because every woman’s magazine, talk show and blog has suggested it. Take it to heart. See the simple wisdom in this simple act.
The weekend is here. What will you do for you? I hear your excuses already. Family demands. Obligations you’re committed to. But now is the time to begin making you a priority. So what’s it going to be. It’s simple. Make a choice and begin. It can be as simple as this:
Take a bath. Just 30 minutes. Lock the door. Light a candle. And have a long, hot soak. Take some deep breaths. Tell your mind to shut up. Let it all wash away. Water is such a good support for you. Literally. It cleanses on many levels. It relaxes. It reminds you to be in the flow. Add some sea salt and you’re helping your body to remove unwanted toxins.
Take a walk. A stroll. This isn’t a workout, it’s about well being. The weather is changing. Nature is in it’s full glory. What a great time to get out and enjoy the the natural world. Notice what you smell, see, feel. Breathe deeply. With each step, let it all fall away. Just be with you. Right here, right now.
Sit in silence. Find your favorite spot to cozy up and relax. Take a few deep breaths. Sip some tea. Be still. Listen to what comes. Be at ease. Make sure it’s quiet and that you won’t be disturbed. Just allow yourself to relax into you.
I once gave this as an assignment in one of my workshops. When the group met again the following week, I had them share how the experience had been for them. Many found it challenging to shift their patterns of putting others ahead of themselves, but most found a way to do the assignment. One woman shared that the only way she could get any alone time from her busy family life was to lock herself in the laundry room. She found that her family avoided the area, it was warm and fairly quiet and she liked the fresh, comforting scents of the detergents. No excuses from her. I applaud her ingenuity and commitment to self! You are where you are and you have to start there. Wishing otherwise is futile and a waste of your time and energy.
Further thoughts on the subject…
This isn’t about distraction, it’s about connection.
This isn’t about being with others, it’s about being alone with you, in your own energies.
This isn’t about being active, it’s about stillness, mental stillness.
This isn’t about thinking, it’s about sensing and feeling.
This isn’t about being external, it’s about being internal, turning inward, focusing on you.
What will you do to connect with you? How can you feel self nurtured this weekend?
Here’s to you being with you! Here’s to you putting you first for a bit…or a lot! Because self betrayal is the worst kind of betrayal.
Happy weekend everyone!
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