Go with your gut feeling

By now most people are aware of the fact that intuition (inner voice ) does play a major part in our daily activities. The existence of intuition has been amply demonstrated scientifically through many researches and experiments conducted by psycho analysts. A 1977 study found that when faced with decisions that didn’t feel comfortable on an emotional level, subjects experienced sweating and increased heart beat !

Let me give an example of a young girl ‘A’ who learnt to trust her intuitions the hard way. She met a an attractive male ‘C’ at a friends wedding and found him irresistible. ‘C ‘was smart, funny, sensitive - yet a gnawing doubt and anxiety in her stomach and mind screamed at her ' Danger ! Watch out!. ‘A’ of course was swept away and dint listen. After getting heavily involved with C and dating him for six months , she broke off the relationship when she realised that charming Mr C had been cheating her all the time carrying on , in much the same fashion with other girls as well. ‘A’ was heart broken and poured out her tale of sorrow to her friend and was cursing herself for not having listened to her gut feeling which had warned her to keep away!

A slightly different case this time , where Mr X , a stockbroker of late was having constant trouble with his boss who seemed to find fault with everything he did. Out of the blue the boss would snap at him and often without any valid reason, so it seemed ! When Mr X got another job offer he was on the verge of quitting when a small voice within him asked him to hold on and not be rash and that things will change for the better and all said and done his boss was a good person. He decided to wait for another month and soon it was discovered that his boss was suffering from cancer and had to take it easy in the coming months and he was snapping at Mr X because he wanted him to be at his best and give out peak performance when he handed over his position to Mr X with increased perks and salary ! That was the difference of following intuitive feelings, one gained and one lost!

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Intuition is an invaluable tool

We all have intuitions and we get it time and again to warn us when there is doubt in our minds. In fact by now we also realise the importance of gut feeling or intuition as an invaluable tool that can guide us in work and our relationships. But not everyone knows how to tap into it.

Intuition is a knowledge that goes beyond the literal and rational, making itself known as a gut feeling, a hunch or a flash insight and an indisputable knowledge that almost always seems right when it has been fine tuned in individuals. However, when people have certain mental blocks such as cultural and religious beliefs or are looking for proven facts, their intuitions might not help them since they may either fail to recognise it and even if they did they may not trust their gut feeling.

I am quoting here the details of a ground breaking experiment that was conducted in 1974 by a NASA sponsored study team headed by Physicist Russell Targ at the Stanford Research Institute. Apparently, 147 subjects were asked to use intuition to predict which of the four pictures would be projected, at random, on a television screen. Not only did a significant number made accurate predictions, they became even more accurate as the experiment progressed. The importance of listening to the body’s signals for intuitive answers were put to the test by a group of researchers . They found that when faced with decisions that didn’t feel comfortable on an emotional level, subjects experienced sweating. So turning in to your intuitions can help you solve work place dilemmas, strengthen relationships, salvage bad ones or pick the right mate.

Here is a guide to making intuition work for you in all areas of your life

Work Related

Say there has been a change of management in your office and you you are unsure about the future of your job. The best option then is to do the following – At home take at least five minutes to meditate. Sit in a comfortable chair, lower the lights, close your eyes and stay calm. When a thought comes ,refocus on your breath to center yourself. Once relaxed, ask yourself a specific question, such as in this particular situation - Is my position secure ? Listen to an answer, taking note of bodily sensations. If your body feels calm or positively energised, this is a good sign and you have nothing to worry about. On the other hand if your shoulders are tense and your heart is racing, this may indicate that your job is in jeopardy and you need to take some necessary actions.

Next, you concentrate some more and ask yourself what you can do to help secure your job. Imagine about working more or talking to your boss may appear. A different image might pop into your mind – for example : your new boss welcoming you or an entire scenario may play out. A word of caution , don’t force things, intuition flows when you are receptive. You may need to mediate few times over several days before the answer comes.

Friendships

There are times when we meet someone and we click instantly. It is just mutual and it is not as if you spoke anything much or wasn’t so much what he or she said or did, but you felt great around that person and in some cases you may have just the opposite reaction when you are totally repelled by someone you have met for the first time.

Some friends are energy vampires and spending a couple of hours with them can completely drain you out. Similarly, there are some friends who love the sound of their voice so much that at the end of a conversation, you walk away with a splitting headache or feel completely drained.

Your body is actually telling you which of the friendships that you have cultivated are nurturing you and which are destructive. We should learn to become sensitive and respect our body’s reactions to people and choose friends with whom you feel at ease.

Romance

Trying to understand and read a prospective partner is a skill that can easily be learnt but according to experts sometimes, fear or wishful thinking about a romantic possibility can get in the way of genuine intuitions. There are times when you get very attracted to a person of the opposite sex you met at a party or at a friend’s place , but you have a few nagging doubts you can’t quite put your fingers on ! When this happens , once you are home, slow down and close your eyes. Visualize the person standing before you and ask yourself a simple question, such as what is it that you like about the person and whether he or she is right for you? Let your intuition work and tell you the truth instead of your fears and hopeful desires. When you get at least one of the following messages ( this can be used to tell you about any area of your life, not just romance) like for example..

  1. An image with remarkable crispness and clarity, with exceptionally bright colors or clear voices
  2. A sudden powerful knowing, as if a light bulb were switched on ( I am sure you get my point)
  3. The sense of being an observer and watching a scene play out in your head, stepping back from your emotional involvement with the person.
  4. A feeling of comfort and peace

The secret of being able to read people correctly can be done only after you set aside preconceived ideas and expectations from your side. You may get some answers that may surprise you.

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Close Family

We may not realise this but family members are often the most difficult to read>you get too emotionally involved to see them with detachment. I remember a friend telling me that she was totally shocked to hear her mother tell her that her grand son ( my friends son) had been complaining about her lack of understanding. My friend felt that she was a perfectly balanced mother and that her son was very happy with the way she dealt with matters, but how wrong she was ! That’s why with family issues you may need to turn to dreams...

Say for example you have an overtly critical spouse who is constantly nagging or being a control freak , how best can you deal with such a situation. Psychiatrists suggest that beg]fore going to sleep, you must pose the question ‘ How can I get through to my spouse’ to yourself. Because dreams ( sub conscious) bypass the frustrations or anger that can cloud your intuition, you will find some cues that help you resolve your problems as you learn to interpret the images. This is supposed to have happened with one study subject who could not get along with her mother in law. After she sought therapy and followed the counselor’s advise, one night her dreams and the sub conscious mind saw her mother in law sobbing and looking very unhappy and when asked what was wrong the woman is supposed to have said that she missed her husband ! 

This thought was probably already there in the subject's mind at sub conscious levels but the talk she had with the counselor brought it to the forefront and also created an opening for talk between the two at a different level. She took her mother in law out for shopping and lunch and after that a bond was cemented between the two. This has been the experience of most of the subjects who were all able to either enhance or mend their relationships with family members both close and not so close.

It does not matter if you recall a single image or a series f images or an action packed sequence , look for what makes an impact and sense to you. It may be a feeling of righteousness or a specific advice or may be just some images showing distress and unhappiness. Dreams are not always easy to interpret and given the state of mind you should be ready to concentrate and write down as much as you remember about the dream and its consequences. Try free association to get at the meaning. To quote an example given by a psycho analyst, when a mother is worried about her son and problems he is facing adjusting to college and hostel, you may dream of your son climbing a mountain trying to reach the top and the dream assures you that he is making adjustments and there is no need to worry.

The more we practice accessing our intuitive powers the easier it will be for us to manage things around and within us.

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Ways to tap into your intuition

*Meditate- By quieting your mind, meditation will train you to get in touch with your sub conscious and intuition. First , find a comfortable position, close your eyes and focus only on your breath. If thoughts arise, and they definitely will, try not to dwell on them. When you feel calm and at peace, notice any intuitive images, sensations, or knowledge. The secret here is practice as anywhere else in life - practice makes perfect . Begin with five minutes and gradually increase and build up to whatever is suitable to you .

*Active Visualization – This technique can help you learn to read people and situations. Close your eyes, and focus on the problem at hand and ask yourself a question. Then visualize the cause of the problem like for example if a neighbor is the cause visulize her or him. Take a few minutes and notice what impressions come into your mind. You might see your neighbor looking confused and unhappy and you will see that the problem from her or him is not really that serious.

*Listen to your body – Our body tells us a lot , this is also called as psychosomatic reactions. The mind and the body acting in unison. Do you feel a knot in your stomach when faced with a certain situation or do you feel agonized or energised or at peace or feel a warm glow? Pay attention to all these various messages that the body sends and take action based on what they tell you.

*Remember your dreams – The trick to recalling dreams according to analysts is to make it interesting and fun. Take some trouble over it, buy a journal to record as many as you remember , making a note of the day and also any event that happened that day as a note for you to help your analysis. Before you go to sleep, pose a question regarding the problem you are facing and the next morning immediately jot down your dreams before it vaporises. If you get answers apply them, if not try to do the same exercise of suggesting and questioning yourself again at bed time. Do this for a week and keep jotting down all the dreams and with time this process becomes second nature.

Final Conclusions

At some level intuition , sub conscious mind, dreams and our experiences get intermingled with each other and the sum total of it is what we normally call as inner voice or insight. Once we develop this and start listening to it becomes very easy to handle problems and find the right solutions. It is not superstition nor fantasy but a science a process of psycho analysis that has now become a very important branch of study. This has also helped psychiatrists as a tool to help people while counseling.

For a normal person it helps in becoming much more aware and sensitive to one's surrounding and others needs as well!


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