How many times have you heard some spiritual teacher tell you, “Just follow your intuition!” or “trust your intuition!” If you’ve been living on the same planet as I have, I’m going to guess about a million times. As spiritual people, we are constantly told that we need to trust our intuition or follow our intuition, or intuition this and intuition that. But nobody ever really stops to explain what the hell intuition even is and how you’re supposed to follow it or trust it or whatever it is we’re supposed to be doing with it.
You’re just told to trust it, like that’s some kind of switch that you can flip on and you’re good to go. If you’re someone who struggles with your intuition, or maybe you think you don’t even have an intuition, this can be infuriating. It’s like telling a person with anxiety not to be anxious. Like thanks, that was the opposite of helpful. If I could just do that, don’t you think I would have already?
To be fair, lots of people have a natural connection to their intuition and it’s generally these people that you hear spouting off about following your intuition because to them it doesn’t make any sense that you might not know how to recognize your intuition. That’s just not a part of their reality. And they have no idea how to help other people connect to their intuition because they never had to go through the process of connecting to it in the first place. They were just connected by default. Not everyone is so lucky, though! If you’re in camp “what the hell is an intuition, anyway?” then this blog post is for you. Today we’re going to be breaking down exactly what intuition is and what creates a lack of communication from it so that you can start getting in touch with your own intuition.
What Is Intuition?
One of the hardest parts of teaching about intuition is actually defining what intuition is. This is a rather nebulous concept! It’s no wonder that it causes so much confusion for so many people. It’s difficult to define and isn’t a solid concept to wrap your mind around. It’s kind of like explaining what an emotion feels like to someone who has never felt emotions. Or, more accurately, it’s like trying to explain a specific emotion to someone who has been feeling emotions their entire life but doesn’t have the words to explain which emotion they’re feeling at any particular moment.
Intuition is kind of like that. Everybody has it and everybody feels it, but not everyone is aware that they are feeling it.
You can think of intuition as a kind of “knowing without knowing”. Whenever you “just know” something, that’s your intuition communicating with you. The most common way that just about everyone experiences their intuition is when you get a gut feeling that you shouldn’t be somewhere or you need to get out of a situation. You know when you meet someone new and without really knowing why every part of you just doesn’t like them? Like you just know that they’re a liar? That’s your intuition screaming at you. Or when you’re walking home the same way you walk home every night, but tonight something feels off and you decide to take a more well-lit route home? Again, that’s your intuition.
In these situations, your intuition is communicating with you on full blast. The volume is turned all the way to 11, and it is screaming in your face that there’s something you need to know. This high volume intuition commonly happens in situations that are dangerous or that might be life-threatening. Consciously and logically you may not know exactly why the situation is dangerous, but some part of you knows that the situation is dangerous and wants you to get the eff out of there. It makes perfect sense why these are the only situations where you can hear your intuition. If your roommate is ignoring you when you’re just trying to have a normal conversation, it’s annoying, but you’ll probably just get ticked off and go away. If your roommate is ignoring you when you’re trying to tell them that the house is on fire, you’re not going to walk away. You’re going to say it louder. And louder. And LOUDER! Until they listen and get the heck out of the burning building. This is not the only time that your intuition is communicating with you, though!
Your intuition is actually trying to feed you information all day, every day. Intuition is a non-stop stream of communication with the subconscious, energetic, and extrasensory parts of ourselves. Much like your emotions never really shut off unless something goes very wrong and throws you into shock, not much can turn your intuition off. This is very good news because it means that you don’t have to worry about finding your intuition, turning your intuition back on, or training it from scratch. You simply have to become more aware of what it is already telling you. This brings us to the primary problem that causes most of the disconnection from our intuition.
You’ve Been Taught To Ignore Your Intuition
Yep, if you struggle to feel or connect with your intuition, you have been taught to ignore your intuition by pretty much every adult you were around as a child. Children are not born disconnected from their intuition. We are born naturally connected to our intuition in the same way that children are naturally connected to their emotions. Kids don’t come into this world disconnected from their feelings. They come into this world fully plugged into their feelings and responding to them in the most obvious and overt way they can possibly find. When a baby doesn’t feel good, it cries and screams. When a baby does feel good, it laughs and giggles and plays. There’s no disconnect between how the baby acts and how the baby feels.
Intuition is the same. When we’re born, we have no concept of not listening to our intuition, so listening to our intuition is second nature and we do it without thinking about it. We have to be trained out of listening to our intuition in the same way that we’re trained out of having temper tantrums. If we are born into a situation where the adults in our life have been taught to ignore their intuitions, they will then teach us to ignore our intuition. It’s not intentional sabotage, it’s simply how they have been taught to interact with the world, so they teach their kids to do the same.
This process of teaching children to ignore their intuition happens in a million subtle ways. It’s not an overt process. Nobody sits you down as a kid and tells you “hey, you listening to and reacting to your intuition is causing problems for the rest of us so we want you to stop doing that.” No, instead it is a slow, subtle undermining of what the child feels and knows because the adult thinks that they know better. You can see this in a child being made to hug a relative that they are uncomfortable with. The adults in the room think that the child has no real reason to be uncomfortable, so they encourage the child to “overcome” their discomfort and hug Aunt Marge anyway. In reality, the child’s intuition is telling them not to trust Aunt Marge and by forcing the child to ignore that and have close contact with her anyway, that child is being taught that their intuition shouldn’t be listened to. They’re learning to bulldoze their intuitive knowing.
If you have no connection to your intuition, I guarantee this happened to you growing up. You were told not to be afraid of the monsters in the closet. You were told to make nice with relatives that skeeved you out. You may have been taught to ignore your hunger signals and the cravings that tell you what your body wants and needs. You were taught to trust empirical facts and other people’s knowledge over your own gut feelings. And as a result, you grew so proficient at ignoring your intuition that eventually you lost any awareness that it was there at all.
Can You Learn To Recognize Intuition?
The wonderful thing about intuition is that whether you’re aware of it or not, whether you can hear it or not, it’s still there. And if it’s still there, you can learn to tune into it and connect with your intuition again. Nothing anyone has taught you can take your intuition away from you, it can only dim your awareness of it.
The good news about learning to connect more deeply with your intuition is that the process has already started. By making you aware of what your intuition is and how you lost touch with it in the first place, your mind will naturally begin to remedy that situation. At this point, even if you did nothing else, your connection with your intuition would strengthen slowly over time by default, simply by having made you aware of what it is and how you lost it. Our minds simply cannot gain new information like this and do nothing about it! On a subconscious level, your brain is already working to get you back in touch with your intuition.
If you want to take matters into your own hands and begin fostering a connection with your intuition intentionally, keep an eye out for next week’s blog post. We’ll be diving into the nitty-gritty of how you can find your intuition again, strengthen your ability to hear it, and begin using your intuitive knowledge in your day-to-day life.