There were nine of us sitting in a circle on the floor of the bookstore that day as I began my intuition workshop. Whenever I teach people about intuition, our journey together always begins the same question:
“Tell me something” I asked them, “how many of you feel your too sensitive and that this sensitivity hinders your life?”. Every hand in the room raised up, a few more tentatively than others. I could see flashes of emotion cross their faces as the internal struggle between what our society defines as weakness and what their hearts were telling them began; it was that age old struggle between the head and the heart, one that highly sensitive people know all too well.
“So what your telling me, is that my dogs ability to hear sounds at a great distance or smell something I’m cooking in the kitchen while they are outside of the house is a weakness? “
Intuition And Spirituality
Pushing further, I posed another question; “How many of you feel a strong urge to work with the spiritual aspects of your life, perhaps through a desire to help others but aren’t quite sure how to accomplish this in a way which is personally meaningful? Remember, that on some level we seek guidance through our spirituality; what happens if we can’t manifest that spiritual guidance with our daily actions? In other words, does your life reflect the core beliefs of your spirituality?”
I wasn’t referencing religion here; instead my goal was to increase awareness of their spiritual values because our deepest values always originate from the heart. A trait I notice in highly sensitive people is a deep connection with their spirituality; a connection with the divine which speaks to the heart rather than the mind.
With a one last question, I pushed my point deeper; “Is your heart telling you of an imbalance between the aspects of your daily life and spiritual life? Not necessarily in words, but in a gut feeling, perhaps one felt in a dream or in moments of quiet? Maybe, you are here, sitting in this workshop, because it is time to blur the boundary between the two.” The room had gotten very quiet as my questions were contemplated. People’s moods have a tendency drop a bit whenever I ask these questions during a workshop. There’s a certain sadness felt when an imbalance between the head and the heart is illuminated.
Giving them a few minutes to be alone with their thoughts, I thought back to a time some years ago when I met a dear friend for coffee. I had spent the entire conversation lamenting the conflict between my head and my heart. My heart was calling me to work with people while my head was asking me what qualifications I had to do so. Being that I had no college degree or any sort of formal training, I could not see myself in any kind of position to teach.
Intuition And Knowledge
Returning to the present, I continued on; “Remember that sensitivity I asked you about a few minutes ago? What if I told you sensitivity was a gift that could be used to achieve balance in your life? If you think about it, from a young age we are always taught to look to people more knowledgeable than ourselves for answers. In doing so, we stop listening to the intuitive voice of our heart. Seeking knowledge from others who are farther down the path of life isn’t necessarily a mistake, however for highly sensitive people the mistake is made in only seeking knowledge through that path.
What your heart has been trying to tell you all these years is that there is another path; one that is internal and one that is aligned with your sensitivity. What you may consider a weakness is actually your greatest strength because sensitivity will lead you to intuition. And intuition, will lead you to balance.”
For highly sensitive people, sensitivity is often felt through emotion which can distract us if we get wrapped up in it. Intuition on the other hand, is much more subtle. Briefly felt in the gut, speaking in a quiet voice, it defines what is meaningful in our lives; a way of knowing without knowing how we know. That day in the coffee shop, my friend who also was a highly sensitive person, challenged my viewpoint regarding my lack of formal education by pointing out sensitivity was something which could not be taught and was key to working with people. Without it she said, we were simply going through the motions.
In learning to listen to, and work with your intuition, you need to view everything in your life as energy. Highly sensitive people already have a natural gift for feeling the energy of the environment and emotions of the people around them. By taking it one step further and using your intuition to gauge how this energy is affects you, allows you to make better decisions in the areas of mind, body and spirit. The easiest way to access intuition is by “checking in” and seeing what your gut is telling you. Concentrate on the area just behind your belly button for any physical reactions which may be followed by a quick non-judgmental thought or image in your mind.
Exercises For Accessing Intuition
As the workshop continued I outlined an easy way to work with our intuition on a daily basis by outlining what I call the “Seven Steps to Intuition” which allows us to use intuition on a daily basis, one for each day:
- Monday – Making decisions; check in each time you are faced with a decision. In which direction are your gut feelings steering you?
- Tuesday – Relationships; check in and see how your body is reacting to the energy of the people around you. Do they energize or drain you?
- Wednesday- Health and Well Being; check in and see how your body is reacting to the choices you have made for optimal health.
- Thursday – Diet; wait half an hour after you eat and then check in. How is your body and mind reacting to the foods you ate? Food has the potential to affect us as strongly as the medicines we take.
- Friday - Quieting the Voice of Opinion; sit quietly for 5 minutes and observe your thoughts. Are they constantly passing judgment on the world around you? That judgment is the voice of ego or the strict parent in our lives. Check in and ask your intuition if these judgments are necessary in your life.
- Saturday – The Art of Listening; as you converse with someone, check in and see what your intuition is telling you. Is the person being truthful or trying to manipulate you? This can be a very effective tool during business meetings with new clients or vendors.
- Sunday – Listening to the Voice of Your Dreams; as you wake up in the morning, check in and see what your emotions are telling you. Often in our dreams, feelings from our subconscious come to light. While you may not remember a dream from the previous night, the feelings you wake up with are good indicator of what your subconscious was chewing on while you slept.
As you repeat the process throughout the week, you will find using your intuition becomes second nature. Over time, you will start “checking in” with your environment on a regular basis without having to consciously think about it. Remember that working with intuition is a process backwards from traditional learning; you don’t need to read the book first.
It’s been many years since that workshop at the bookstore. But in moments of quiet, I often think back to that conversation in the coffee shop. My friend had been right; it wasn’t a framed diploma or workshop certificate hanging on the wall which qualified me to teach people. Instead, it was the gift of my sensitivity guided by the quiet voice of intuition. These days, I teach through shared experience and in looking back, I realize nothing has really changed; I’m still as sensitive as I ever was. Instead, it is simply a matter of perception which creates the balance of my journey.