What is intuition, really, and how do you know when it’s your ego talking or your higher self? When your gut tells you one thing and your logic tells you another, what do you follow?
What does intuition feel like?
This is the tricky thing: especially in the beginning, intuitive hits are often subtle. They feel like your own ideas, or your own voice in your head. Here is the best way I can describe it: imagine yourself laying in bed, trying to go to sleep. At some point, you feel an urge in your body to roll over and find a better position, so you do. What did that urge feel like? It wasn’t blaring trumpets or a clear voice or some magical sign, it was an impulse that you followed without thinking. You didn’t make a pros and cons list, you just did it.
That’s what intuition feels like, both for the novice and the pro. The difference is that those who actively work to use and develop the feeling do so with intention, which makes us better at recognizing those impulses.
As an Energy Healing Transformation Coach, I use my intuition every day, with my clients and in my personal life. It tells me which phone calls to answer, and which to ignore, what questions to ask and what avenues to explore. It tells me more mundane things, too, like what shoes to wear, where I left my phone, and what lane to change into while I’m driving.
But for a long time, my connection with my intuition was spotty, at best. I actively ignored the hits I got, because they didn’t align with what logic said – and I love logic. A solid checklist, a point-by-point gameplan, oh yes please. I ignored the impulses because I feared that if I acted on my intuition, and it was wrong, I would look stupid. Even worse, if I was wrong, that meant my intuition was wrong.
But here’s the key: intuition is a muscle. It has to be flexed to be strong. The more you pay attention to the small nudges, the stronger they get. And the more you act on them, the more you add fuel to the intuition flame.
I’ll give you an example.
After college, I ran a program for blind young adults at a large non-profit in Los Angeles. Every summer, I had to hire the staff for our summer sessions. As an early twenty-something, fresh out of college, I had to sort through resumes, interview people twice my age, and make judgment calls that would affect the success of the entire program. On occasion, I found myself conflicted about a candidate. I would hear my inner dialogue trying to convince me that the person would be a good fit, but my gut would say no. Something in me didn’t feel right, even if on paper everything seemed perfect. Every time I went ahead with the hire – every time – my gut was right, and the person somehow imploded. In my final year in that program, I learned the lesson and hired my dream team, people I could put my trust in, and who I enjoyed working alongside.
Conversely, I will tell you that my intuition missed some people. There were two employees that ended up causing huge problems – and I never saw it coming. But it’s an evolution, not an exact science, and back in those days, I was flexing my muscle by accident, rather than with intention.
Through those experiences, and many more that followed, that intuition isn’t flashy or dramatic – it’s often subtle, and easy to dismiss. And that’s good.
Hey wait! That’s not good!
If you are reading this article, some part of you probably wishes your intuition was loud, spot on, and easy to identify. I get that. I did, too. But it can’t work that way. In the beginning, intuition has to be subtle, because if it didn’t require some level of self-love, self-respect, and inner worth, it would impose on a key human right: free will.
The Value and Role of Free Will
Working in tandem with the guidance of your inner knowing is your free will. And free will is an important thing; without the freedom to make our own choices, we would become mindless drones. Without the ability to try and fail, or try and succeed, we would not evolve. Your intuition must begin as quiet and subtle because tapping into it requires intentional development, inner knowing, and courage.
So be courageous. Follow those gentle tuggings of the heart. Flex that muscle and believe in yourself.