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Intuition and Wellness

The intellect has little to do on the road to discovery. There comes a leap in consciousness, call it intuition or what you will, and the solution comes to you, and you don't know why or how. - Albert Einstein

Merriam-Webster's dictionary defines intuition as quick and ready insight"; and "the power or faculty of attaining direct knowledge or cognition without evident rational thought and inference." It is derived from the Latin intueri, "to see within." It is a way of knowing, of sensing the truth without explanations.

Think of how many times in the last few months you've "known" or "sensed" something, but because you dismissed it and/or didn't act on it you lost out on some beneficial or helpful consequence. Or because you did act on it, something good came of it. The incidents can be minor or major. Maybe you were in the midst of an excessively busy day, but something told you to call a friend or colleague . . . for no good reason. Maybe you disregarded the inner "call" and learned later that your friend could have used some help at precisely that moment. On the positive side, while you may rarely enter contests or raffles, one day you do because you just know that you are going to win . . . and that is precisely what happens! Small examples, but many of us find them occurring regularly.

This section, and in fact this whole text, affirms that we humans know a lot more, and are capable of being a lot more than we generally imagine. Just as medical intuitive Carolyn Myss can sense when something is off in a person's system even before tests can verify it, most of us know when things aren't right with our health. We simply may not acknowledge to ourselves (or to anyone else) that we do know. We're afraid, perhaps. We may know when certain foods are not working for our overall health and strength, but we may not want to admit that truth because it might mean a major dietary change. We know when something is missing or something is not right in the emotional, intellectual, and spiritual domains as well. We also generally have an intuition about what that something is connected to, even if we are afraid to speak such a truth to ourselves because we are afraid of the implications. Where physical health is concerned, because our doctors or caregivers rarely ask us what we think is going on, we aren't challenged to listen deeply within to offer some of the valuable clues that could be a part of our healing process.

One of the advantages of our age is that we are seeing many old dualities dissolving - like the duality of communism versus capitalism; of science versus art; of spirituality versus psychology. Yet, other dichotomies - like the hard-and-fast duality of "healer/patient" - still hold us prisoner unless we take a stand to the contrary. Certainly, many fine doctors and healers do have more experience and training than their patients typically have, and their expertise should be respected. Yet, we know that the best healers among us will call upon the patient's own self-knowledge to accomplish a transformation; body, mind, emotions, and spirit all aligned and working together to the benefit of the whole.

Those who have a broad view of human possibilities will all affirm the same thing: intuition (called by many different names) can be nurtured and developed. We can learn to see more, to feel more, to sense more, to know things about ourselves and the world we live in - things that would benefit us all. What we now overlook or dismiss as irrelevant or unimportant often holds precious clues to self-knowledge that are there for the taking, if we know where and how to look. In developing intuition we develop self-knowledge and self-appreciation, and self-appreciation allows us to develop self-trust. And genuine self-trust (not inflated egoism) creates a greater sense of awe at the mystery of this life in which we are all engaged.

When the scientist listens, the artist imagines, the mathematician calculates, or the poet waits for the muse to guide fancy into word pictures, each is praying for divine guidance. And each receives as much guidance as he or she is capable of perceiving. - Ernest Holmes

How do we develop intuition? Well, we begin by acknowledging that such a thing exists. Openness to it is the first step. If we find that we are telling ourselves a story of "this can't happen for me," or "I'll never get this," we might watch that tendency for negative thinking, and simply divert it before it becomes entrenched in us.

Second, we watch for the arising of "intuitive knowings." We pay attention to what happens in our own mind or body when various situations, especially decisions, are presented to us. Instead of immediately trying to think out the solution to something, we can attune our other senses to get promptings or clues about which direction to move in.

Third, we allow ourselves time to wait; time to let this new knowledge emerge, according to its own schedule. Artists call this "waiting upon the muse."

Fourth, we might pray for guidance and help in "knowing." Many people find that a morning period of meditation is a time in which to rededicate themselves to serving God, or the Good, or Divine Spirit, or simply the relief of the sufferings of others. Once their overall orientation is set for the day, they then proceed to ask for their "work orders" - for example, "What needs my attention today in order to further the overall good?" In a period of silent attention, they allow whatever is being asked to rise to the surface of consciousness.

Where health and wellbeing are concerned, we hope that you will use everything you know to further your wellbeing. Take the risk of telling your caregiver what you sense is going on. Remember that radical honesty with yourself is one of the most challenging tasks you can set for yourself. It is so easy to fool ourselves, to postpone facing something we know but won't admit. Be gentle with yourself in the process. Use one or more of the modalities suggested throughout this text - dream work, journal writing, prayer, meditation, visualization - to help you to access what you already know. If you don't speak your intuitions to somebody or act on them, at first, why not try just writing them down when they occur? When you begin to see how often they prove to be true, you may be more inspired to start trusting them.

Intuition is not a startling gift that is the province of a few psychics. It is less about divining the future than it is about entering more authentically into the present. Intuition is always operative, so common that it often evades conscious recognition. - Joan Borysenko

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