Sunday, October 2, 2011
Intuition Training, Wandering Aimlessly
It is my decidedly not documented theory that all intuition begins as sensation. There are clairvoyants who receive visions, clairaudients who hear voices and sound, and clairsentients who receive information through touch. I'd be willing to bet good money that every way of receiving intuitive information is preceded by sensation.
What I mean is that when intuitive information is received, sensate perception changes first, mainly from out of the nowhere. For example, you get the goosebumps suddenly, not because of a change in external temperature, or the hairs on the back of your neck stand up. Your heart starts racing, or calms down, you break a sweat even though it isn't hot, or feel queasy, edgy, headachey. It's hard to breathe all of a sudden, or you start coughing though you are not sick and aren't suffering from allergies. Or maybe you feel extremely happy all of a sudden for no apparent reason. You're smiling, laughing - from out of the nowhere.
Sometimes people stand up and walk to a window before the guest arrives, head towards the phone before it rings. This is the body understanding what's about to happen, but before the brain catches up.
After sensation comes the story, vision or message. The hair on my neck stands up and I hear someone walking behind me. But when I turn around to see who it is, there's no one there. It is only then that I decide it was a ghost. (Most people would decide it was "just the wind" or some other, more rational explanation.) Whatever it is, the hair on my neck knew first, after which the frontal cortex cranked into gear to create the best possible story of what just happened.
To work with intuition, we need to be embodied as often as possible, so as to notice changes in sensation straightaway. If you can derail, even for a few seconds, the machinery of cerebral story-making, you'll catch a glimpse of the raw data before it has been interpreted, like the live feed off a satellite, before it is spun into "the news." Does this make sense?
Here's a great exercise. It's fun and interesting if you can be open to whatever happens. There is no goal here except paying attention. Gather your camera, phone, maybe a bottle of water, and head outdoors. Decide you have nowhere in particular to go, and will absolutely not run errands. Next, put one foot in front of the other, see where your body leads you. If you normally turn left on the sidewalk, stop before the habitual turn, check in with your body. Will you follow the path well marked and frequently taken? Does your body want to go in another direction?
Follow your body for awhile, at least a half hour. Initially it's likely you will feel self-conscious or your rational function (being the bully it is) might try to shame you by saying you should be doing something productive, or you're wasting time, or this is stupid, blah blah blah. My conscious mind goes on and on. For heaven's sake. I honor my skepticism but there are times when I need to place the tyrannical voice on the back burner. When I wander aimlessly is a great time to turn DOWN the volume on the bossy rational function. When I notice that my mind is harassing me, I invoke my curiosity, then go back to letting my body lead me around. I'm not hurting anyone with this behavior, and even if I walk in circles for a half hour, well, so what? It's fun.
If you can't connect with where your body wants to go, ask yourself, "Where is the most energy here?" Also, "Where is the least energy?" Watch what happens with your body when you pose the questions. Sometimes the eyes dart to the left or right, other times the whole body will turn in a specific direction. Do you want to walk towards the energy or towards a less active location? Follow your body.
I know it sounds silly. Well. It IS silly, but well worth the effort, if you want to work with intuition, that is. I remember one year at camp in England when my body literally turned 180 degrees, my head tilted back and I found myself staring at the sky micro-seconds before an aqua blue-gold meteor fireball streaked overhead. I saw the whole thing because my body turned me around. Amazing. I could tell a hundred stories like this, but I will spare you the details.
You will learn so many things about yourself if you try wandering aimlessly. Also needless to say it's great for your physical body to take a wander. Fall is here in the northern hemisphere, a great time to take a walk. Spring, too, is an excellent time to explore, don't you think? I do.