So what do you do when your intuition says hmm this doesn’t seem right but you can’t really prove your intuition instinct?
I’ve been talking about getting out of unconscious habit pattern reactions and focusing mindfully on the present and the whole picture – seeing the figure and the ground. Developing your intuition, and trusting it, is key.
Intuition is that quiet voice that says bring the umbrella it’s going to rain when the skies are clear and blue.
My running partner is my dog. We have been running together for a long time. Then just before Christmas he hurt his knee and had to rest. After three weeks of resting he went into what the vet called congestive heart failure. Crazy, how does that happen, running everyday for 4 miles then boom congestive heart failure? Well we knew he had a valve problem and a slightly enlarged heart so it’s understandable from that perspective; and he is 15, so there’s that, but still it was surprising.
Many difficult interactions with various vets for a number of ridiculous reasons ensued. His heart was triple enlarged with a slight degree of fluid in his lungs by ultrasound and x-ray; his pulse was between 150 -170 (120 being the high end of normal for dogs). He had a serious mitral valve prolapse; he couldn’t get the blood to his brain and he was having syncope; finally we’re at a specialist and she was following her statistics and numbers and based on these she wanted to put him on a high dose of lasix.
I sensed something was wrong with this medicine, because his kidneys were weak and I knew it could make his kidneys fail and he didn’t have that much fluid in his lungs. I know a lot about alternative medicine for humans and I tried to get her to give me fuller information to help me decide the best course of action. But she took the I’m the expert position and wouldn’t fully communicate with me. I found that instead of her relating with me in a collegial way, my expertise was challenging to her.
When it came time to treat him I decided to trust my intuition that this medicine was the wrong medicine for my dog and I gave him 1/4 of what she suggested. It turned out even that amount ended up creating a further destabilization for my dog. Luckily, I found a much more amenable vet who seemed to understand the subtleties of intuition in treating patients.
But here’s the kicker- if I had ignored my intuitive sense of my dog then it would have killed him.
Intuition is a function of a mindful approach to living.
Knowing yourself, knowing the environment and acting on that knowing in a mindful, present moment way.
Even though the studies indicated it was a reasonable choice I had a bad feeling about the medicine. And the vet was caught up in the ego of being the doctor and couldn’t compute the intuitive information that I brought to the circumstances. I had a knowing that there was some piece of the puzzle that wasn’t being interpreted correctly – I didn’t now what that piece was – but I knew that the medicine was not the best medicine for him.
Intuition is some part knowledge from the universe like Jung’s collective unconscious, and some part observation of how something is out-of-place, and some part knowing. It has an imprint quality and it comes in wholes – it is the answer with the picture and the explanation all at once.
It’s a knowing not a feeling.
Learning to trust your intuition requires a few things. First, you have to hear the quiet inner voice. So if you’re good at ignoring those nagging voices/senses you have to shift that so you listen more acutely and more often. Practicing some type of meditation or breathing exercise like Qi Gong, or Yoga is helpful to develop this.
Second, you have to be able to distinguish between fear/anxiety and intuition. Fear/anxiety internal voices tend to have an intensity and loudness to them – they break through whatever is going on. They push through to the front. These are usually not intuition; these are unconscious habit patterns. If you feel immediately triggered it is more likely that rather than any sense of intuition.
Intuition is quiet and not forceful and it usually doesn’t have an urgency or any other emotional imprint with it. It’s like a quiet whispering that has substance and neutral certainty to it. It can have a nagging quality to it. I know I have used the statement I have a bad feeling about this as a reference to intuition but it isn’t really a feeling it’s a sense/knowing without emotion. It’s a quiet certainty.
Practice listening for that quiet inner voice and taking action based on it. And conversely practice not acting on those fearful/anxious impulses. See how you change as a result.
See you tomorrow.