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Your Intuition, Part One: You know it, you just don’t know you know it

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Welcome to Intuition Land!

This introductory post is basically two things, other than the first of many on this topic: 1) a summary of the lecture I used in my classes for YEARS on the topic of intuition (which saved more than one life, because of the book upon which it is based); and 2) a love letter to Gavin deBecker’s the Gift of Fear, which is where most of this information comes from (and when I mention chapters, that book is what I am referring to). This essay is also a great explanation on how to listen to your instincts. And while you’re at it, read this, listen to this, become a Murderino, & stop. being. polite.

First, let’s start with a definition. Intuition is, among other things, knowing something without knowing either how you know or why you know (or even that you know). It is a system in which our brains reach conclusions without immediately telling us that it’s reaching conclusions. And when the stakes are high, intuition becomes:

      A brilliant internal guardian standing ready to warn you of  hazards and guide you through risky situations. It also is neither logical nor emotional. It is a cognitive process, wherein your brain jumps from A to Z without stopping at any other letter along the way.

Let your intuition do the work, & listen when it speaks to you, in one of these many ways:  

Nagging feelings, Persistent thoughts, Humor, Wonder, *True* Anxiety (a post on false anxiety is coming soon.), Curiosity, Hunches, Gut feelings, Doubt, Hesitation, Suspicion, Apprehension, & True Fear (– From Chapter 4). There are several appearances by Mr. de Becker on TV shows, in which he explains in more detail why these things above are true.

What else do you need to know? The basics:

  • Your intuition always reacts in response to something.

  • It always has your best interest at heart.

  • When someone tries to talk you out of your intuition, get away from them now.

•   Behavior is predictable. We predict behavior all day, every day; the myth that we can’t do so is wrong and dangerous for us, as that mentality allows us to ignore what we KNOW to be true..

•  Stop judging. Judgment of another person or situation is the ‘great enemy’ of intuition.

•  Context is much more important than content. The Rule of Opposites can help with this.   “We recognize all things by the existence of their opposite….All types of behavioral predictions can be improved by applying the rule of opposites.”   (Ch 5). This is often how we know something is amiss, and out of context. Your intuition is always on the lookout for what is out of context, so you don’t have to. Ask yourself this: What kind of behavior would be normal or appropriate in this situation, and am I seeing that behavior now?

The bottom line is this: let your intuition (not bogged down by logic & emotion) guide you, including letting it guide you towards answers to all your relationship questions. If we think don’t know the answer, we need to make a “random” guess. It won’t be random. And we will usually be right.

Now, if you are anything like my students (and, oh, I hope you are.), you likely have questions and arguments that include the idea of “guardian angels.” Hey, I don’t dismiss angels*, but it also can live hand-in-hand with deBecker’s book. On the other side, if you’re one who doesn’t believe in angels, don’t dismiss the fact that intuition is also a cognitive process, just faster than your logical brain can possibly recognize. Other questions, please post below. I look forward to it!

That’s enough for an introduction. Please buy the book in the meantime. Upcoming posts will include the signs of manipulation or lying; breakups; how and why to avoid unnecessary worry (“What?! I have to worry! Worry is my jam! I can’t help but worry!”) A, no, you don’t. B, no, it’s not. C, yes, you can. Worry is a choice, one that gets in the way of your intuition. And D, your life will be so much better once you stop worrying and calm the eff down.

Until then, stay Veracious, my fellow Voyagers. Stay Veracious.


*There are more things in Heaven and Earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy. - Hamlet