written by Kasey Huff, DSW, LCSW
Kasey is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with a history in massage therapy, which helps inform her holistic approach to therapy. She is passionate about helping her clients find a path of self-actualization, finding inner growth, peace, and joy.
René Descartes, a French philosopher, scientist, and mathematician, regarded intuition as a distinct feature of an observant mind, uniquely capable of seizing an idea in its wholeness and clarity. He viewed intuition as a genuine source of true knowledge. Descartes further clarifies intuition as a process of gaining subjective knowledge that must be balanced by reflection on observable facts and reasoning.
Intuition can be a useful tool to alleviate emotional turmoil through instinctive feeling rather than solely by conscious reasoning. Intuition does not need to work in isolation as knowledge is assimilated. In fact, it is advantageous to use intuition in conjunction with rational thought.
Intuition can be interpreted as direct and immediate knowledge generated by the unconscious mind in the form of “hunches” or “gut feelings.” This process happens without conscious deliberation—intuitions arise spontaneously from deep within a person. Intuition complements rational thought and combining the two can be a more comprehensive means for acquiring knowledge rather than using just one or the other. It is important to not pit intuition against rational thought when making choices. They work best when working together. Everyone has a capacity to receive intuitions and deepen their connection with intuition, but not everyone taps into this vital source and others completely disregard it as unimportant.
Miriam Rose, Aboriginal artist and educator, describes intuition as a unique characteristic of intelligence that allows you to connect with a “deep spring that lies within us.”
Becoming aware of your intuition and trusting yourselves to accurately discern this knowledge can take time and practice. It is a process, but a valuable one that can be useful throughout the course of your lifetime. Intuition can provide valuable insight necessary for healing emotional needs since intuition connects unconscious knowledge with your conscious mind. Learning to listen to your intuition can help sort out your path for healing.
Three ways to enhance and strengthen your connection with intuition:
1. Get Moving
Swiss psychoanalyst Alice Miller viewed intuition as body-based and as an irrefutable understanding and knowing of truth that supersedes the intellect.
Yoga, dance and walking/hiking in nature connects your mind to your body in playful and enriching ways. Physical activity can help quiet the mind enough to open yourself up to deeper levels of knowing. Sometimes a change in scenery can help you shift your perspective on a matter you are struggling with.
Through mindful movement, the body can assist you in expressing what you already sense on the inside but are not consciously aware of, such as a stuck emotion or an emotion needing to be expressed. Moving intuitively is not necessarily the same as exercise. Intuitive movement means consciously and intentionally connecting your mind and body. It is feeling the movement and expressing yourself authentically and spontaneously. The movement becomes a way to release emotions.
2. Feeling Your Feelings
Enhancing emotional awareness can also increase your capacity to utilize your intuition. Miriam Rose states that to connect with your intuition with heightened clarity, you must first achieve a state of quiet, still awareness. This means you must not be in a state of resistance when it comes to feeling your feelings.
Instead of pushing away sadness, grief, anxiety or anger, attempt to fully allow and even welcome these emotional states. Observe and notice, but do not judge. Actualizing this space of emotional acceptance is a process and can take some practice. This acceptance translates into awareness, which in turn allows for greater connection to your intuitive wisdom to flow.
3. Dream Work
Dream work is an excellent way to use intuition to heal emotional injuries because dreams can bridge the conscious and unconscious mind. Intuition is housed in your unconscious mind.
Create a dream journal that you keep on your nightstand close to your bed. First thing in the morning, write down any dreams you remember and any feelings they evoked. Right before bed, flip through your journal to recall any dreams you feel held special meaning for you.
Consider writing down any problems you are struggling with and emotions you feel are stuck inside or you are unable to express. Also, write down any interpretations of dream symbols. Ask your dream self or intuition to clarify dream symbols or any dream’s meanings that evade your understanding.
By utilizing these techniques, you can strengthen your intuition to support and maintain your emotional health. Listen to and trust your inner voice while applying rational thought. By connecting your unconscious mind with conscious knowledge, you’ll have better clarity and a stronger capacity to heal emotional wounds.
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