Today I want to discuss intuition. There are so many ways intuition plays a part in our lives, but for now let’s talk about the idea of reclaiming your intuitive self. The word “intuition” comes from the Latin word intueri, meaning “to look inside”. I couldn’t think of a better way to express the truest sense of what intuition is and how it can help us throughout our lives.
First, some personal background: Ever since I could remember, I have been an intensely intuitive person. Born from a family of healers and wise women, storytellers, magic-makers + people of the Spirit, intuition has always been a guiding force in my life. I was saved from an Earthquake when I was young due to an intuitive sense of pending danger, I have seen visions of miscarriages, illnesses + deaths that came to pass and I even listened to my deepest intuitive self to find my soulmate, a man in the middle of a crowd hundreds deep on a hot Chicago summer night, knowing that I would spend the rest of my life with that stranger (but that is a whole other story!)
But I know that my experience is the exception rather than the norm. In fact, many of us are taught from an early age that things such as intuition or your “gut feeling” are irrelevant, silly even. We are told in school that only concrete, scientific matters of the mind are valid and that anything else is “purely emotional”. Sadly, we end up completely ignoring (or worse, forgetting entirely) the intuitive aspect of ourselves.
So why do we have intuition at all? Many scientists believe that intuition is a vital remnant from our evolutionary development. When we were more primal versions of our current human selves, we needed intuition to survive. Being able to quickly scan someone’s face and decide if they were friend or foe would have been the difference between life and death. Listening to a bad “gut feeling” about hunting in a certain area or during a certain time might have saved your life from a stampede or attack. Intuition served a very important purpose that allowed us to not only survive, but thrive and multiply as well.
Times may have changed (and so have we!), but our intuition still guards us, warns us + sometimes saves our lives. I have heard many stories of women sharing their relationship with their intuitive selves. Have you ever gotten a bad feeling about someone? Maybe an ex-partner of yours who you now realize, looking back, was always wrong for you? Have you ever had that sinking feeling about taking a job, or moving, or signing up for something without knowing why? Intuition also comes to us during our day to day activities as well. Have you ever felt compelled to cross the street, for no apparent reason? To board the next car of the train, or even skip the train altogether?
While we may not always know why these feelings arise, it is important to acknowledge them as more than just feelings. They are the inner pieces of wisdom that remain from our ancestors. They serve an essential purpose: to guide us to what is right for us + to protect us from things that will not serve us. They remind us of our more animal selves and also of our divine nature. We all share this innate gift and it is up to us to uncover it, layer by layer until we are fully aware of the wisdom we have been given.
[beautiful illustration by Linnea Vedder Shults]