The Qualm Before the Storm

I have developed a fascination with intuition.

This comes out of necessity. I used to blame this on being a Libra, but I have come to admit that I am a person who has such fear of doing the wrong thing, that I make decision-making miserable.

Intuition is defined as “the ability to understand something immediately, without the need for conscious reasoning. A thing that one knows or considers likely from instinctive feeling rather than conscious reasoning.”

Intuition. Also referred to as a hunch, instinct, clairvoyance, second sight, sixth sense…

I really like the idea of second sight. A way of seeing, not with the eyes, but with the body.

What?! How amazing is that to contemplate? The idea that my body can figure things out for me if I will but listen to her.

I have in the past called it the “uh oh” or the “red flag” feeling I can get in my gut. Usually around a person or entering into a space…an internal grab and/or a turning over of the stomach (similar to something I feel on a rollercoaster.)

That qualm in my stomach when something feels “off.” When I am about to do something or have just done something and I experience a seeping, creeping sense of dread around something having to do with it. A small wave of nausea followed by a feeling of dread…

At times I have honored these signals, and have been glad that I did. Other times, I ignored them, only to wish later that I had heeded their wisdom.

(Especially when I was dating. Turns out my body was always right about “reading” guys while my conscious brain worked hard to give them the benefit of the doubt, not wanting to “know” what my body was trying to tell me. Once I simply held my boyfriend’s little address book while moving it off a table in his apartment and I was flooded with fear and a sense of doom. I suddenly just “knew” that he was having an affair. I brushed this little feeling off, judging myself as paranoid. Turns out, I was right on the money. Months later and in a very horribly public way, the truth was exposed. )

That gut feeling, that little inner voice. The part of me that is wiser than my conscious mind.

Sometimes my intuition is very hard for me to sense or “hear.” I can struggle so much around certain decisions and am told to listen to my body for the answer. I sit and meditate, I journal, I ask, but at times, that inner sense, that “knowing” feeling, that little voice can feel so darned elusive.

Why is that? Am I blocking the signals by my looking for them so hard?

As an actress who has been trained extensively in the modern Method, I have learned to listen deeply to my body and not to discard any clues that she gives to me when approaching and working on a role.

Performers learn to follow their impulses and instincts for their craft, and while the intellect is certainly utilized, any one of us will tell you that it is crucial to “get out of your head” and into the body. We train in ways of strengthening our connection to our unconscious, to listening to our bodies’ responses to stimuli, to acting on the impulses our body generates.

Mental and physical tensions are the buzzkill to our creativity, our unconscious, or non-conscious. I have been addressing and exploring that for years.

These days I am on a mission to expand and deepen my relationship to my intuition. Not just for my work, but for every area of my life, especially decision-making. Practicing tuning in and developing it. Growing my trust in my own innate wisdom. Wow. I feel a qualm just writing that sentence…

I found a terrific resource in Jack Canfield regarding “cultivating intuition.” (I love that framing — I will cultivate my intuition!)

He says that “Just like memory, critical thinking, and intellect, your intuition is a mental muscle you can strengthen and use to create success and become the best possible version of yourself,” and suggests some ways to do that.

I am excited and nervous (in a good way) as I continue my journey with this. I can’t wait to see where I am led. I sense that it is gonna be good.

#intuition #JackCanfield #bodymind