Many geniuses from Mozart to Einstein owe their discoveries to dreams, synchronicities or flashes of intuitive insight. Often these individuals would never have achieved their breakthroughs with logic alone and this ‘non-linear intelligence’ as it is sometimes called, also holds great possibilities for you too once you know how to use it. I have included a chapter on it here because I believe that using your intuition can give you some precious and important insights into your health and wellbeing.
It is often referred to as having a hunch or a gut feeling about something, but whatever you chose to call it, it is that quality of direct and immediate knowledge that tells you what you need to know when you need to know it. Your intuition can help to connect you with a greater knowledge than is available to your conscious mind alone. It connects you with that part of yourself that has an overview of your life and which always has your best interest at heart and just like any other skill the more you practice the better you’ll be.
I believe that enjoying a higher level of wellness involves creating balance and wellbeing in all areas of your life and information gained from your hunches or gut instincts can be a valuable addition to enhance your normal logical thought processes. I’ve worked with many people over the years who have been surprised at the quality of information that can come through in this way. It has certainly helped me whenever I have felt stuck, or blocked, or simply undecided as to which way to go. So I would like to share some of my discoveries with you in the hope that you will find them interesting and decide it’s worthwhile to develop your sixth sense too.
To use your intuition is a very natural thing to do. You don’t need any special skills to do it, just a genuine desire to get results and the commitment to practice with focused attention. One of the main reasons why it can be such a valuable asset is that it gives you a resource that provides an additional level of information that does not come from the logical, analytical or rational side of your mind alone. Perhaps you have already had the experience of having a gut feeling about something where you suddenly know something that your conscious mind was unaware of. The trick is to be able to summon this information on demand, consciously and on purpose. It is a natural skill that we all possess, but like any other kind of skill, it gets better with the right kind of practice.
Using your ‘sixth sense’ is very definitely a skill that can be learnt and it can be a valuable tool in helping you to make wise and healthy choices or to simply become more aware of the messages your body may be trying to give you about what it needs.
The first thing you need to be able to do is to identify and distinguish your genuine insights from the background noise of fear, desires, imaginings and normal mental chatter. Next, you need to learn to trust and follow your hunches. Listening to the heart as some people describe it is a key to getting more information. Your intuitive guidance system is sensitive and if its messages are not being appreciated, they will soon diminish in frequency. On the other hand with the right type of cultivation, those messages will increase in both frequency and accuracy so that you can come to trust and rely on this inner intelligence.
So how do you go about developing your intuition? There is no mystical secret here just basic information and lots of practice. Most of all though you need to pay attention to it, everyone can do it, the difference is that some people listen to this subtle information and act upon it whilst others discount it.
A sign in Albert Einstein’s office is rumoured to have read:
“Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.”
HOW DOES YOUR INTUITION SPEAK TO YOU?
Your intuition works rather like a radio signal which sweeps through the frequencies looking for your favourite radio station and that momentary signal as you cross through the stations reflects just how fast your sixth sense works. It can take care and experience to become skilled in the deciphering of those signals but when you get going it is fun, fast and very accurate.
These hunches when they come can attract your attention in many different ways. For some people it is more of an emotional response, a ‘gut’ reaction that tells you if something is fundamentally good or bad, for others it may be a mixture of mental images or symbols that can appear in your imagination or dreams and for yet others it may even be a physical sensation or an external synchronicity or coincidence.
Think about this for yourself. How do your ‘hunches’ most frequently get your attention? Is it a physical sensation, an inner knowing, a change in your energy, what is it? In general, the sooner you start noticing how your intuition attracts your attention the more quickly you will be able to recognise it when it comes.
OBSTACLES AND PITFALLS
Another important point is to become aware of some of the obstacles that might be blocking you from becoming more insightful about your health. For most people, it is their logical mind that turns out to be the biggest block of all as it usually wants to seek proof of the validity of the information before accepting it and your intuition just doesn’t work that way.
So don’t try to second guess what your intuitive instincts might be telling you, or let your intellect, fears or desires slip in with some unhelpful comment or additional information. Aim to immediately acknowledge any information that you get in response to your questions without judgement, or trying to work it out.
For many people setting expectations that are too high is also a cause of disappointment and failure. The goal, in the beginning, is simply to train yourself to become more aware of the more subtle information your body is giving you about your needs. Be patient with yourself and as you practice you will get more and more confident that the information you are picking up on is reliable and valid.
If you tried out some of the exercises in the last chapter such as Your Inner Board of Health Directors, or Doorways to Decisions, then you will already be familiar with the importance of symbols in helping you to interpret your hunches. Don’t worry about trying to find a literal interpretation of these symbols, just accept that the language of symbols and metaphors is part of the way your intuition speaks to you on a daily basis. If you haven’t tried those exercises yet I suggest you bookmark them for another time when you can put them to the test. Make sure that in the beginning, you try them out on the situations, people or things that you can assess with your logical mind too so that you can begin to develop some trust and confidence in the process.
Last but not least you need to keep asking the next question. Initially, it is tempting to be so pleased with any response you get to your first question that you stop there. Don’t, keep asking for clarification. Get into the habit of asking for further information, perhaps from a different perspective and then ask for a clear interpretation of any information that you pick up on.
Let me share Karen’s story with you to help you appreciate just how important your hunches can be.
Karen was about three-quarters of the way through her pregnancy when I met her. She was thoroughly enjoying being pregnant and the focus of our coaching together was on helping her make the transition to becoming a working mother as smooth as possible. Her greatest challenge was on letting go of her role at work and keeping her stress levels under control. As her pregnancy progressed she realised that if she didn’t start to delegate her workload and agree on an action plan for her return then she would soon find these decisions taken out of her hands. So much of our coaching was focused around planning an acceptable work/life balance.
One day as she was getting ready for work she started to get a strong ‘gut-feeling’ that all might not be well with her pregnancy. Her words were that this felt like, “an urgency to get help”, with a nervous feeling in her stomach that just wasn’t logical. Karen was already very good at paying attention to her gut feelings so although there was no obvious reason to do so she decided to work from home that day. She was absolutely fine all morning but later on that afternoon she went into premature labour and was admitted to hospital.
In the end, both she and her baby were fine, but by listening to her intuition that day she gave herself the very best chance of being prepared for what was to come.
Over the years I’ve come across many people who have benefitted tremendously by listening to their hunches. You can use it in a hundred different ways to help you make the healthiest choices. You can even use it for the simple little things like helping you to pick the freshest and best quality food in the marketplace. It’s all helpful.
SOME HELPFUL TIPS:
Finally, let me offer you my top ten tips that I have come to value over the years to help you build your intuitive awareness of how you can improve your wellbeing.
1. Quieten down. Noise, especially a noisy mind makes it impossible to listen to what your sixth sense is telling you. Find some time each day to be quiet with your thoughts.
2. Stay focused and in the present with your attention directed outward on the task at hand. Aim to have a period of quiet reflection or meditation each day, or schedule an appointment with yourself in your diary for some quiet and undisturbed time for reflection.
3. Keep your stress levels down. When you are stressed you are not paying attention to much else and the speed and subtly of your inner hunches can easily be lost or overridden.
4. Learn to recognise how your intuition ‘speaks’ to you. How does it most frequently attract your attention? With fleeting images, by interrupting your mental chatter with an unexpected thought, or perhaps by some physical sensation.
5. Be prepared to follow through. The information you gain will be useless unless you act on it.
6. Make a note of these subtle impressions as soon as you can after receiving them. Your intuition is held in your short-term memory and can easily be forgotten, so record your impressions accurately as soon as you receive them, making sure that you don’t add anything from your logical thought processes.
7. Realise that your ‘sixth-sense’ will always come to you via your own filters of beliefs, prejudices and cultural assumptions. Being aware of this will help as much information get through as possible.
8. If you have a strong personal need be aware that it is also likely to colour the information you receive.
9. Try to tie in your ‘gut-reactions’ with other forms of knowledge. Several indicators together are much stronger than one alone.
10. Practice acting on your gut feelings to build your sense of confidence in your own abilities. Use it or lose it as the saying goes.
ACTIVITY: ASKING YOUR INTUITION
If you were to quieten down enough to ask your intuition right now if there is anything you should either start doing or stop doing to help improve your wellbeing, what would your answers be?
“One of the unfortunate things about our education system is that we do not teach students how to avail themselves of their subconscious capabilities.”
BILL LEAR, AMERICAN INVENTOR