People have lots of different ideas about intuition–what it is and how it works. My experience and ideas continue to evolve. I hope this post will spark a dialogue and I can learn more from you.
I have had a strong intuition my whole life, but was conditioned to ignore it to please others. There were still plenty of times when it bust through the conditioning insisting I heed it. Once I was reading a Campus Life magazine in the Kaiser waiting room and I saw an ad for Teen Missions and I just knew I was supposed to go to Scotland. Similarly, when I was looking at colleges in Southern California I thought I would probably end up at UCLA or Long Beach State, but when I walked onto the USC campus I just knew that was where I belonged.
I did not attribute this strong desire to intuition; I did not have a vocabulary for understanding it. I certainly did not try to cultivate it. I did notice that my intuition was more fluid, or I was more open to it, when I traveled.
Fast forward to about 2 years ago in the Co-Active Leadership Program and suddenly, the floodgates of my intuition were opened. Sometimes it resulted in some physical discomfort–I felt like I had vertigo or was motion sick when I thought the truth was going unsaid or someone was being very false. I realized how much of the time I was “powering through” situations that my intuition was actually asking me to slow down and handle differently.
Then last October I led a Habitat Global Village build to Porirua, New Zealand. I hoped to combine the trip with some exploration about a possible move abroad and New Zealand was on my short list. Norway was too, but in a skype call with my friend Susie she said that if New Zealand seemed like a good fit, to go for it. (even though it was not in her best interest!). I flew the short 12 hours (I was expecting more than 17) and had to change planes in Auckland. As I sat in the domestic terminal with an egg McMuffin and a cup of coffee, I looked up and saw the big display for the Rugby World Cup October 2011. And a voice said, “you’ll already be here by then.” Whoa! That got my attention. I spent the rest of the trip paying close attention to what else there may be to say.
The build itself was fantastic and I could envision living in Wellington, but I still had Christchurch and Auckland to check out. My intuition was a combination of “not that”, “look into that”, “remember that!”. I couldn’t see myself living in Christchurch but I saw an exhibit about Anartica that was “remember that!” as I loved studying law of the sea in college. I woke up early one morning in Auckland and realized that I could go back to law school. And a terrific session with a counselor got me really pumped up.
Now I am in Auckland. And reality is much different. I have actually stepped into my future. And sometimes it feels so fantastically right, sometimes I am overwhelmed by fear, and sometimes I feel rock solid in my faith–sometimes all in the same day.
I have more of a sense of intuition as being God’s way of speaking to me through my personality. It is not yet a fine tuned radio broadcast. It still involves playing red light/green light while paying attention to where my energy increases and where doors and window seem to be opening. At the same time, I remember that while I definitely made a good decision to go to USC, it was not all sweetness and light. So intuition still requires faith on my part and I have to actively manage the fear of disaster. And here I am.
What is your experience with intuition?