Today we tackle the topic of intuition. Have you ever made a major decision based on your intuition? How did you hear what your intuition was saying? (and have you ever gone against your intuition?)
For me, intuition offers a short-cut. If my intuition, signaled by a heightened sense of energy and excitement – sometimes seasoned with a pinch of nauseating fear – says “go for it!” it often means that the choice I’m about to make aligns with my values, offers learning opportunities and challenges, and may lead to significant life change. I don’t need to do the analysis (though I usually do), my intuition has already done it for me, on a subconscious level. Even when the choice scares me, even when the choice takes me away from an alternative that is known and safe, I try to follow my intuition when I can. As an example, in 1989, I had a decent professional job, making a reasonable amount of money, with benefits. The economy was tight, and the market for lawyers was terrible. Yet I made the decision to go to law school, to leave my job, take on a pile of student loans, and live in student squalor for three years. Best decision I ever made. I loved law school, made tremendous friends, including my husband, took risks and learned skills that have opened many doors for me. Will I practice law for the rest of my days? Probably not. Will I use the analytical and communication skills I learned in law school and as a lawyer in my (soon to be defined) vocation? Yes!
But how do you access that intuition? I think intuition is a very right brain gift. You don’t access it in the same way you compile lists, perform mathematical calculations, write computer programs, or develop legal arguments. You can’t study to strengthen your intuition or research how to access it in the library. But you DO have to welcome your sense of intuition, develop it, exercise your intuition muscles, if you will. So I think meditation, prayer, and yoga are useful. Doing any kind of left brain activity, such as drawing, sculpting, playing music, or using your non-dominant hand could help. Journaling, definitely. Attending to your emotions when making major decisions. But I ALSO think it helps to use your logical, analytical left brain to lay the groundwork. Maybe using Captain Left Brain to prep can help your your loosey goosey right brain intuition understand that you’re on a timeline. And then sleep (and dream) on it.
I will try using my alter ego, Ms. Left Brain Lawyer Lady, to lay the groundwork for my search. MLBLL will compile and refine lists of my passions and interests, goals and life objectives, and values. MLBLL is very good at logic and analysis, so she will review each item and assign weighted values to all of them. MLBLL may also identify the top resources for further research and potential next steps. But once MLBLL has done her Type A, goal-oriented thing, it’s time for her partner, Ms. Right Brain Hippy Granola Lover to come in and supervise the mellowing and fermentation process. Now, MRBHGL doesn’t always work on a schedule and doesn’t always appear on command. But perhaps using my left brain to lay the groundwork will encourage my intuitive, right-brain side to make itself available sooner, rather than later.
How about you? How have you accessed your intuition? And how did it turn out? Try making a commitment to doing one left brain thing every day!