A. Short answer – the label or name for when we simply 'know' the answer to a situation or problem. When we seem to easily understand knowledge with no apparent effort. Our 'gut' feeling that something is right or wrong. That quiet sense of peace when we feel we have taken 'right' action. When we seem to know facts beyond the course of our normal intellect.
A. Longer answer – in all truth we truly don't know exactly 'what' intuition is. In some fields of science, including neuroscience, there is investigative studies underway. (link to come soon for current studies) In time it may be seen that we have parts of our brain involved in intuition that we at present do not fully understand or appreciate. Or indeed we may comprehend the depth of what the sages of old have stated, that we are all 'one' and in this oneness all knowledge, all future and past is present, is available now.
One point I am clear about – we all have intuition, we are born with it. It is a natural part of who we are as a human being. We each may have different levels of access or using of our intuition, but we all actually have it – intuition is our natural birthright.
I prefer to not put too many labels or theories into discussion, nor do I like to say intuition definitively is xyz. Instead, I prefer to share here my personal experience of how I experience intuition, in my daily life and in my working with people. Perhaps you might resonate with some of my sentences and be encouraged!
For me intuition is that small quiet voice that often 'reminds' me, 'you forgot your keys'; 'don't take that train'; 'call xyz person'; 'take care of this bill/situation'; 'xyz is going to happen' – or not happen; ' person xyz is going to be in contact'. Sometimes it is a 'voice' sometimes it is a picture, sometimes like a short movie, sometimes a sensory feeling. Sometimes it is a combination of these different forms. Occasionally I have dreams, different from what I call 'normal' dreams. The common 'theme' is that what is shown to me proves true in my life.
I have frequently found myself 'knowing' information about a person, their family, their life situation without having any actual input from the person. On some occasions 'seeing' what will happen in the future in a particular location or situation. It is as if I gain glimpses or fragments of what is to come or sometimes what has past. These insights arise in daily life as I go about my life, and they are more detailed if I take time to tune in more directly on a person or situation.
On many, many occasions I have had experiences of knowing 'things' that I have no rational explanation to understand 'how' I know this information. I learned over the years to simply allow this 'knowledge' to simply be, to name 'it' and to speak out what I have seen and consequently allow this to be a support for myself and other people.
I experience intuition as very ordinary, not a 'special gift'. As I have become more aware that intuition is a real part of my perceptive reality and acknowledged this 'extra sense' it has become stronger and more developed within me and active in my daily life. In decision making I include my intellectual knowledge and life experiences, and I pause for a moment to allow what else might arise to inform me.
In all honesty I simply 'know' I have intuition, as does everyone else. I do not doubt this truth. I am continuing to discover what that means in my own life and in others. It is both fun and deeply rewarding.
Through additional questions in this forum you might gain further understanding ... happy reading – and practicing!
Q. How do I know it is my intuition?
A. Simply as it has a quiet, peaceful, nonjudgmental feel. It is neither 'good/right' nor 'bad/wrong'. And these intuitive glimpses consistently have proved 'true', whether I have taken notice and acted or not! A recent simple example was that I was looking for my other sim cards as I was packing to leave for Nepal. I was certain I had them in a safe and easily accessible place. But I couldn't find them! That quiet voice said 'they are under the filing cabinet'. Yet I 'reasoned' that they simply could not be there as I had cleaned under there two days before and they were not there. So for a good hour I turned out every other place, drawers, boxes, bags with no sign! Finally, as a last resort I took heed of the voice and moved the filing cabinet – and what did I find?! Yes my sim cards were exactly there! And yes, I too continue to be reminded to use this 'extra' sense of intuition ;-)
How do I know if I am right?
A. I don't! All I can do is take note of what I have experienced via my intuition. Personally I choose to use it as guidance and consequently these glimpses inform my decision making and life choices.
When I first began to practice using and living by intuition I put a lot of pressure on myself to be 'right'. Over time I realised that this prevented me from actually seeing/hearing my messages clearly. So I began to experiment with simply not knowing if it is right or not, and seeing what actually happens if I take it as a possibility it might be true. That helped me to realise that often these glimpses are simply that, glimpses, and if I try to conclude too far from where I am now in this moment then I cannot see the whole picture because often I don't have the references to see what will actually happen. The glimpses often prepare and support me like guideposts along the pathway. As if I am travelling along to an unknown destination and as I see landmarks and signs that I have 'seen' then it gives me comfort that I am on the right path, or as reminders to look again at a crossroads as to which choice will be the easiest path.
Q. Why should I develope my Intuition?
A. My first response to this query is simply 'why not?'. It can be a great support in making better choices, and consequently leading to a happier life. Additionally it can lead to a healthier and stress-free life. The adventure of uncovering more of 'you' can be truly freeing, relieving and inspiring. It can help to understand and live your own true potential.
I am living a really amazing full and rich life as a consequence of having the courage to follow my intuitive inner guidance. The glimpses have encouraged me to take choices with more confidence, at times against the ideas of friends and family. These choices have delivered me into life experiences that have matured my outlook on life, given me a wide variety of input and skills – which my friends and family now respect. Some of these choices have been way outside my known experiences and outside my conditioned view of life and consequently helped me to experience and live more of my potential as a human being. Not only has this personally benefited myself but it also meant that I have been able to be a support to many more people in my life.
Q. Why do some people seem to have intuition and some of us don't?
A. I am truly certain that we ALL have intuition! We are born with intuition, it is our natural birthright. I have now met and talked with thousands of people, including many skeptics, and each one has been able to acknowledge they have intuitive experiences.
Most of us as children have been conditioned out of our natural access to intuition. As you were growing up you might have been told, "don't do that, don't think that, don't say that" – consequently you may have lost the trust, the confidence and the clarity with that naturally intuitive part. Children, really little ones, can often speak out truth that you can't believe they know. And that's often because it hasn't been conditioned out yet. They haven't learnt the society rules of what is appropriate and not appropriate to say.
To re-connect with our intuition we have to get back to something that is already here but we have lost connection with. One good hint for helping reconnect is playfulness. Take it as a 'playful' exercise to practice and see how you can find your intuition. (Link here to come for exercises) To feel confident and clear that you are in touch with your intuition it definitely needs practice. Without practice you don't get exercised. You can't just theorise about intuition, you need to experience it. As you have more direct experiences and it works, it gives you more confidence and more trust.
An analogy I like to use is going to the gym and exercising your body – as you exercise more you find out more distinction and flexibility in your body, which makes it easier to exercise, which makes it easier to see your bodies potential. It is the same for intuition, the more you exercise, the more you understand how it works, the more you are willing to exercise.
For each person intuition will feel differently inside of you. It can be really helpful to remember how your intuition expresses itself is unique. Just as we all have a different way that we look out at the world with our normal vision and we each have a different voice, thus so is our intuition unique to us. Finding your own intuition, how it expresses within you, is what makes it accessible and useable in you're everyday life.
Additionally, we each have had layers of conditioning – from our parents, school, society, religions – all of which restricts our access to intuition. If you have a strong conditioned belief that is it 'wrong and very bad' to hear or see the future then you wont see the future. If instead you realise that this is a conditioned belief and begin to experiment then you might find you start to easily have glimpses.
In essence, the more self aware you become, the more understanding you have of your own limiting beliefs and attitudes, the easier it can be to access your intuition. Thus self enquiry is an important tool in uncovering your intuition and in general to discover your own potential. To know yourself it to know yourself!
Q. How can I trust my Intuition?
A. The short answer to this is 'practice'!
The longer answer is an expansion of that practice principle. Throughout the answers here you will see reference to practice regularly. Primarily as it has been through practicing and having the courage to listen/see and act upon my intuition that I have personally developed trust. I cant imagine how you can develop truth from simply thinking about it!