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Can’t the Heart and Head Get Along?

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Go with the heart or go with the head? It’s an age-old question and Women’s Health magazine attempts to answer it this month with an interesting article about determining when to use intuition and when to refer back to logic. According to the article, with some decisions – such as deciding which job candidate to hire or whether to quit your job and move to another country – you should definitely use logic, while when making other decisions, such as getting a second medical opinion, you should use your gut.

My question is, why not use both? Every day we use our sense of sight, hearing and smell to form perceptions about people, places and experiences. We don’t choose to use our eyes to make some decisions and our sense of touch to make others. Intuition is no different than our other senses in that it provides information to help us make the best choices in life so why not use every tool at our disposal? When examining the pros and cons, why not slip your gut feeling into the equation to be considered a factor just like everything else?

Intuitive Action Item: The next time you find yourself confused about a situation you find yourself in, ask yourself what you feel about what you’re experiencing and see whether the thoughts that come to you shed more light on what’s really going on.

If It’s Not a Definite Yes, Then It’s a No….

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Once you decide to start living life intuitively and from a self-directed place, you’ll undoubtedly run into a situation in which you’re being internally guided to do one thing and the people around you want you to do something else. If you’ve always approached life looking to please others, they’ll likely expect you to continue doing so and you may be tempted to give up your quest to live life on your own terms just to avoid confrontation.

How do you know when you’re doing this? When you say ‘yes’ to something, yet you cringe when you think about it, feel a tightness in your stomach or dread the upcoming experience, that’s your intuition screaming for your attention. Or maybe you’ll look for an excuse to get out of the event or passive-aggressively show up late because you really don’t want to be there.

Instead of going through all of that, learn to say ‘no.’ In fact, it’s important to get comfortable saying ‘no’ if you’re going to live a life from the heart since your heart is focused on your journey and not everyone else’s.

Check out these tips from FirstOurselves.com on drawing your line in the sand. Among them: Demand advance notice from people who demand things from you, come up with specific times when you can help people out (and stick to them) and practice saying ‘No’ without giving any reason at all.

Intuitive Action Item: The next time someone asks you to do something and that feeling of dread comes over you (don’t worry, it won’t be long before this happens), take a deep breath and say ‘No.’ If that’s too difficult, say you’d like to, but you need to check your schedule and get back to them. When you realize that the world won’t stop if you’re not at everyone’s beck and call, it will get easier to follow your own whims for a change.

Intuition Saved You How Much?

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I’ve been getting some emails and twitter updates from people sharing some of their experiences with intuition and I thought I’d post a few.

Pandzz, who’s blogging about her experiences with synchronicity, writes: “I used my intuition today-got my hotel via hotels.com; something told me to check the hotel’s page and I did and saved nearly $150.”

Otesa Middleton Miles, who writes newsletters, pharmaceutical marketing materials and other items for numerous companies and associations, reports: “Last week I was thinking about a Mexican restaurant I used to go to regularly. The next morning, I awoke to an email from the co-worker I always went there with. She googled me, said I’d been on her mind. We hadn’t talked in years.”

Finally, a third reader, Florence from South Carolina, writes that she dreamt about a friend she hadn’t talked to in months. In the dream, the friend was crying. When she woke, Florence called her friend up to find that the friend’s daughter had been rushed to the hospital the night before but was now doing fine.

Intuitive Action Item: I’ll be posting readers’ experiences periodically so if you’ve got a story about how you’re making intuition work for you, drop me an email at theintuitivegirl@gmail.com or send me a tweet at http://twitter.com/intuitivegirl.

Habits You Should Break….

One thing that can stifle your intuition is habit. If you do the same things in the same order every day just because you’ve always done them that way, you may begin to rely on your memories about those things rather than how you feel about them today. You may have enjoyed your job, a hobby or even spending time with a certain person once, but do you still feel the same way or are you just going through the motions because that’s what you’ve always done?

Think about a route that you travel frequently. It could be your path to work or your child’s school, or maybe it’s the way to the grocery store. Do you notice the changes in scenery along the way, such as the house being painted or the For Sale sign that just went up? Or do you simply drive to your destination on auto-pilot relying more on memory than observation since you’ve made this trip so many times you could do it in your sleep?

When you take a new route or go someplace you’ve never been before, your memory can’t help you so you’re naturally more observant and you pay more attention to your surroundings and how you feel about them.

Intuitive Action Item: Next time you get ready to make that routine trip, go the back way, or turn on your GPS and have it provide an alternate route. Instead of thinking that you’re going out of the way, use the experience to stimulate your power of observation in the present moment.

Don’t Get Caught Up in Words

Someone made the comment that the notion of intuition is more likely to appeal to women than men because women are more intuitive by nature. Men, on the other hand, rely more on logic than feelings. I thought about this, and while I know plenty of men (and women) who feel more comfortable dealing with facts and reasoning, I wondered if this person wasn’t getting more caught up in the language and missing the bigger picture.

I don’t agree that women are more intuitive than men. While the phrase ‘women’s intuition’ implies that women have this special ability to know things, I’ve heard many men describe some of their choices as being gut decisions. In fact, when I looked up intuition in a thesaurus, I found several words that people use regularly that describe intuition, some of which seem to be more acceptable to logical folks than others.

Instinct, inspiration, hunch, perception and discernment are just some of the words that describe intuitive moments – when one goes beyond logic to assess a situation. Some people feel more comfortable crediting their intuitive decision-making to a hunch, or saying they’d been inspired to turn left when everyone else was going right. Others say they were following their heart rather than their head – another way to express the notion of being inwardly guided, rather than depending on external logic.

Intuitive Action Item: If the word ‘intuition’ conjures up the notion of a special power that certain people have (or don’t have), or if it makes you feel uncomfortable, that may be blocking you from trusting some of your decisions that aren’t based on logic. Replace that word with a word or phrase that may be a little less loaded for you whether it be instinct or even divine intervention. Whatever you call those moments, don’t let the words stop you from acknowledging the experience of marching to the beat of your own drum.