In this article I will be discussing how we can deepen our willingness to work with our intuition even if it has led us into difficulty and pain in the past, and I will offer six tools for working with difficulty if and when it comes up. These tools help so that you can be more present in your life, continue to deepen your trust in your own inner wisdom, and so that you can move more fearlessly towards your desires.
“The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind its faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.” – Albert Einstein
I had a conversation recently with a friend about intuition and how hard it is to trust it when it has guided us into pain and difficulty in the past. Our intuition has the ability to expand our world outside the bounds of the mind and predictability, and to guide us directly to many wonderful experiences. But it also has the ability to push us in the direction of our biggest hurts, and it’s here that we want to slow down and repair the relationship with the intuition and see if we can continue to trust.
Quite likely if you have been developing your relationship and respect for your intuition you will have come up against times where it seemed your Knowing hasn’t done right by you. Perhaps in choosing a new job or partner … You meet someone who seems just right, and your inner voice emphatically says “YES!!”. You follow the yes and sometimes may find yourself in a situation where you are triggered in all the biggest ways. Abusive or neglectful relationships, painful aloneness, and growth periods that feel like a kind of death can all be at the end of a path seeming to be lit by “Yes”.
So, how do you trust your intuition if it has led you into sh*t? Right into the most difficult situations and relationships? It doesn’t make sense that this life-affirming Knowing in your body would lead you into pain, but it does seem to be a common occurrence.
The answer I have to this is …
Your intuition is helping you and we’ve got our perspective all wrong. We all want to live a happy and thriving life. We want to love and be loved, we want harmony and growth and good health. But we seem to think that having a good life means we wouldn’t feel negative emotions, wouldn’t be challenged and pushed to our edges, or not That much, and would only attract good and easy experiences. (As always, I write this because I need to hear it!)
What I see is that this life affirming Knowing consistently guides us into Life and Into our pain. And sometimes the biggest pull, the biggest “Yes”, guides us directly into our most challenging hurts. We can tend to feel betrayed by our Knowing when it guides us this way, but I encourage you to take a broader view.
The Heros’ Quest
For eons, archetypal stories have been told of the hero’s quest. She sets out in a search for treasure;.. a princess, a prince, riches, power or fame. Along the way she is met by darkness, challenge and a test of her nature, heart and morals. Often the challenge comes in the form of a dark, wizened crone, a force of nature, a beast or man of abnormal size. When the heroine faces her challenges despite all the odds she arises transformed and she is gifted. Both in the (possible) possession of her desire, and in the transformation of her inner qualities of love, hope, peace, respect and inner strength.
“You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition. What you will discover will be wonderful. What you will discover will be yourself.” – Alan Alda
Our body wisdom and our intuition can help us grow past painful reactivity and into deep, loving and present responsiveness to life. When we see the intuition as a beloved friend, and trust that challenge may actually be good for our heart and soul, we can begin to work with intuition in a deeper way.
In this spirit, I’d like to offer these six tools for your journey, so that when your intuition seems to guide you into sh*t, you have steps to take which keep you connected to your body and your heart, and help you to transform your challenge into inner treasure. These are a melding of tools gathered by me in my journey and in my practice with the nervous system in Somatic Experiencing.. please consider and enjoy :
Create silence and slow down.
We generally speed up when things get difficult, have you ever noticed? When you move fast in life, talking fast, acting fast, keeping busy, it is very hard to stay present with your self and the valuable “hurts” that are arising. The more you can slow yourself down, the more possible it is to stay present with yourself and your inner guidance, and not go into reactivity and drama.
Reach out for connection and Support.
We are not designed to be isolated. Humans are social creatures with biological wiring that makes us work better when we are connected to others who love and care for us. We produce relaxation and bonding hormones when we touch and are touched, when we are listened to, when we love. Reach out to your loved ones and let them give you support where you need it. By doing this, your loved ones can help you re-wire your stressed brain pathways and create new ones based on connection and love.
Despite all appearances (sometimes!), your intuition is on your side. Trust that there is a reason you have been guided into your situation. Your intuition may be showing you where you are blocked, hurt and stuck in the past, unable to move freely in the now. Our hero in the archetypal story doesn’t give up when she falls down the witches well, she may be scared but she takes one day after the other, the next step as it presents itself, and remains open to help from her inner knowing and from the spiritual and natural world. This is a courageous journey!
“Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become” – Steve Jobs
Be present with the sensations in your body.
When we focus solely on painful thoughts and emotions it can intensify our experience dramatically. By coming out of the mind, dropping the thoughts that are describing or obsessing about your situation, and simply being with how your experience shows up in your felt-senses (sensations in the body) you will return faster to your centre and body wisdom.
We humans are part of a Divine tapestry. It can help so much to connect with something bigger than you and be like a child in the universe when things get challenging. Send your awareness out into the broader reality of life and connect to something Bigger (God, Spirit, the Divine), be open to response and interaction with that Something Bigger.
Do your feeling work.
Be willing to feel the emotions that might come up for you. If you have tried slowing down, reaching out for support and being with the Sensations in your body you will have created the sense of safety, containment, and presence required to feel your feelings and not be overwhelmed by them.
Over to you:
What is your experience with your intuition and difficult situations? How have you handled your intuition leading you into pain (if it has done so)? I’d love to hear your experiences in the comments section below …
Would you like help to deepen your trust in your intuition and your ability to be present and grow through challenge? I help people create safety, containment, and presence to be able to shift the blocks to a full life and would love to help you too if you feel called. Have a look here for more details of how I might be able to help you.