The more reflective and contemplative a life we lead and the more rooted in faith we are, the finer our instincts and well-honed our intuition is.
One often ends up placing much more value on rational thoughts and ignoring what the instinct has to say, but if we carefully observe a lot is waiting to be revealed to us.
Whether it is our body signalling us to stay away from certain food or people or things via a feeling in the pit of the stomach, or an extrasensory perception goading us to step back into the house (only to make us realise we have forgotten something important) or a deal that we were unsure of falling through, proving our hunch was right, it is always helpful to pay attention to what our instinct is telling us.
How does our instinct work? Our instinct or intuition is nothing but a deep well of patterns and information in our subconscious mind which is not readily accessible in day to day life. Which is why when we sense danger or a challenge is thrown at us, patterns are quickly scanned, recognised and our instincts kick in. The dopamine neurons (which some scientists call the molecule of intuition) that act as a messenger between the cells in our brain urge us to respond in ways that might surprise us. While our right brain is associated with intuition, our intestines are believed to house the eccentric nervous system known as the second brain (hence the expression gut-feel).
Apart from humans, some birds and animals with an acute sense of hearing and smell also have a strong sense of clairvoyance or intuition and can feel disasters coming — for instance when a tsunami is coming (which happens after an earthquake). Earthquakes bring in vibrational changes on land and in water, while storms cause electromagnetic changes in the atmosphere. Some animals realise that something is happening long before humans do.
The more reflective and contemplative a life we lead and the more rooted in faith we are, the finer our instincts and well-honed our intuition is. Paramahansa Yogananda explains it by saying, ‘When one comes into the silence of solitude, the vibrations there will talk to you through the voice of God.’
Insights often surface when we are taking a long walk, or a shower, or are on a train journey or in the wee hours of the morning. Something seems to free up in that meditative moment when the conscious mind is disengaged from the pressing tasks in hand. As Albert Einstein says, “The intellect has little to do on the road to discovery. There comes a leap in consciousness. Call it intuition or what you will and the solution comes to you and you don’t know how or why.”
Although sometimes we have to make snap decisions when we don’t feel right about something, buying time to mull over it always proves beneficial in the long run. Taking time to listen, observe and tune in gives us several cues that spark our intuition.
Having placed much faith in the brain, we sometimes tend to ignore our intuition and call it a figment of our imagination. But over time and with practice, as we learn to pay attention to the various signs that show up in our path and the signals that we receive, we are able to understand our instincts better. Making a note of instances when you listened to your gut feeling and were proved right will eventually help you control your intuition better. Learning to complement what our rational mind says with what our instinct is conveying will surely work for one’s good.
Tips to follow:
The writer is a Reiki channel, yoga practitioner and a spiritual seeker