Anxiety and fear often masquerade as intuition. Serve yourself a plate of each and you’ll know the difference.
As the founder and co-facilitator of a very dynamic intuitive development program The Intuitive Gym, Keisha Gallegos and I have found that anxiety and fear often masquerade as intuition. Even as I write these words, it takes me back to my childhood and to a time when I felt a great deal of anxiety and fear. Only now I realize, through the lens of the observer, that so much of the anxiety I felt as a child was due, in large part, to not understanding my intuition. Now as I work with people to help them understand their intuition, anxiety often plays a starring role and intuition is cast as a bit player. Time to reverse those roles and change-up the casting. If anxiety has a starring role in your life today, if it has unconsciously become your comfort zone, here are a few tips to track back to your intuition through the noise of anxiety and chaos of fear.
Exercising Your Intuitive Sense
In the Intuitive Gym and with my private clients, the one observation I hear time and time again is “how do I tell the difference between my anxiety and my intuition.” This is such a challenge for so many clients. When the line between your anxious sense and your intuitive sense is so blurred it can be almost impossible to trust your intuition. There are several tips we use in the Gym. One very simple one is that intuition doesn’t have what we call “a thought trail.” This is often how anxiety steps into the spotlight and we worry that something bad is about to happen and then we begin to make association connections of thought that we mistake as intuition. With an intuitive experience, there is no preceding thought that links to the next or the next and it doesn’t bring that sense of worry or dread. There is no trail. It arrives with a clear-knowing or feeling or image. We may have thoughts or emotions that surface after the intuitive hit but not simultaneously like anxiety or fear.
So here is a taste of how you can track your intuition vs. your anxiety. Let’s take them out of the realm of theory and put them on a plate where you can literally feel, touch, hear, know and see them for yourself. This is one of the many creative exercises Keisha and I use in the Intuitive Gym to assist members in developing a powerful and personal relationship with this invaluable resource.
Fear on a Plate
Close your eyes and imagine that you are in a five-star restaurant. You are seated at a table with a beautiful white linen tablecloth. The chef has prepared three dishes especially for you. Each one comes out to the table covered with a metal cloche so you are not yet able to see what the dishes look like – not just yet. Each dish is labeled. Let’s begin with the dish on the far left of the table. On the outside of the metal cover is the word FEAR.
Ok, here we go. Notice what you are feeling first as you anticipate getting a dish of fear without being able to see it. Notice how your stomach feels, now your chest. What is happening in your shoulders? Now, notice what your mouth feels like as you anticipate tasting fear. Imagine what you think this dish of fear will taste like? And now, notice how your head feels? What adjectives would you use to describe how your are feeling as your anticipate seeing this dish of fear prepared especially for you? Ok, now BEFORE the waiter lifts up the dome and reveals the dish, notice if fear has a scent, any distinct odor. Smoky, charred, acrid, bitter, sweet? And does this dish have a sound? Now, the waiter lifts up the dish and reveals what fear looks like. Trust the first impression that came to mind when you ‘saw’ the plate? What is there? Notice all the details on the dish. There might be something on the plate that makes no “sense” to your logical mind. Great, because we aren’t asking that mind what it thinks. We are very curious to know what the sensory mind, the intuitive mind is experiencing without judgement or censorship. If you are willing, you can touch and even taste what is on the plate. Notice your observations about what you are experiencing as oppose to what you are thinking because if you observe closely – they are happening at the same time.
If what was on the FEAR plate left not only a bad taste in your mouth but in your body, shake it off. Yes, you heard me. Shake. Shake your booty. Shake your body and all your parts. Hands, legs, hips and head, shoulders, knees and toes. There is some fantastic research about the value of shaking trauma right out of the body. Do it now. And then get ready for your next dish which is a plate of anxiety.
Anxiety on a Plate
Just as before, the dish is covered. Notice how your body feels as you anticipate a dish of anxiety prepared especially for you. Notice how your stomach feels, now your chest. What is happening in your shoulders? Now, notice what your mouth feels like as you anticipate tasting anxiety. Imagine what you think this dish of anxiety will taste like? And now, notice how your head feels? What adjectives would you use to describe how your are feeling as your anticipate seeing this dish of anxiety prepared especially for you? Ok, now BEFORE the waiter lifts up the dome and reveals the dish, notice if anxiety has a scent or any distinct odor. Is it smoky, charred, acrid, bitter, sweet? And does this dish have a sound? Notice all the subtle details. Now, the waiter lifts up the dish and reveals what anxiety looks like. Trust the first impression that came to mind when you ‘saw’ the plate? What is there? Notice all the details on the dish. There might be something on the plate that makes no “sense” to your logical mind. If you are willing, you can even touch or taste what is on the plate. Now, shake, rinse and repeat. This time, the waiter is presenting your last dish and it is a plate of intuition.
Intuition on a Plate
Just as before, the dish is covered. Notice how your body feels as you anticipate a dish of intuition prepared especially for you. Notice how your stomach feels, now your chest. What is happening in your shoulders? Now, notice what your mouth feels like as you anticipate tasting intuition. Imagine what you think this dish of intuition will taste like? And now, notice how your head feels? What adjectives would you use to describe how your are feeling as your anticipate seeing this dish of intuition prepared especially for you? Ok, now BEFORE the waiter lifts up the dome and reveals the dish, notice if intuition has a scent or any distinct odor. Is it smoky, charred, acrid, bitter, sweet? And does this dish have a sound? Notice all the subtle details. Now, the waiter lifts up the dish and reveals what intuition looks like. Trust the first impression that came to mind when you ‘saw’ the plate? What is there? Notice all the details on the dish. Unlike the previous two dishes, most people find that there is no need to ‘shake off’ the feeling of intuition. It is generally sensed as something clear, calm, neutral and doesn’t leave a “bad taste in your mouth.” Was the same true for anxiety? Or for fear?
Write down your impressions and experiences with this exercise. If you are like the members in the Intuitive Gym, you will find that this was informational and inspirational for distinguishing fear from anxiety from intuition and you will now have more information and insight as you learn to discern what life is serving you on that proverbial plate. And the symbolic information and impressions during the exercise, well, it isn’t chopped liver. You will find that there are gems of pearl-like wisdom in each image and smell and sensation. Write them down…you’ll be glad you did the next time you find yourself torn between your anxiety and your intuition.
Freeing the Senses
As we bring a sense (or five of them) of wonder and curiosity and neutrality to our thoughts, we can develop new muscles of awareness which in turn leads to a greater sense of peace and freedom.
Authors note: The exercise is intended to be a guided imagery exercise. Therefore, if you want to fully experience the exercise, have a friend walk you through it. Really, you will be surprised by the impact of the experience. Or better yet, consider joining The Intuitive Gym. Working out your intuition will change the way you see yourself. And when how you see yourself changes for the better, so does everything else.
Written by Mary Welty-Dapkus, July 17th, 2013 | 1 Comment »
Listen When You Speak: What You Say Makes A Whole Lot Of Sense
Here’s the truth. As a general rule, when we talk, we think it is so other people can hear us. Talking is often not just an automatic but an autonomic response. What I mean by that is there is often an involuntary and un-examined awareness when we speak. In light of tracking intuition, it isn’t just the phrase, “think before you speak” that is important, though in most situations it is not only invaluable, it is well, it’s just kind. The important phrase to remember when tracking intuition is “think while you speak.”
I know, I know, all that RESEARCH on multi-tasking has you questioning your ability to do two things at once! I have the absolute (and ab-soul-ute) confidence you will master this new art of actually listening while you speak. You will find out that what you say makes a lot of sense. And on a side note, what you are moved to say is generally very wise and clever, even if that wasn’t your intention!
As I have tracked intuition the last several years with myself, with family and friends as well as clients, I have noticed we give ourselves so many rich and vital clues in what we say, and we often aren’t paying any attention to it. We are in a Tower of Babble of sorts, all that unexamined talking and it is time to start listening – really listening. Here are several very simple examples of how the very words and phrases we say comes from a deep place of wisdom and we are often missing out on the word-play because we are not listening to ourselves when we speak. I know, I know, the doing two things at once can be tricky, but I have faith that you can do this. You know why? Because it is so important to hear yourself clearly because you make a lot of sense(s.)
Here are some little examples of the connections we make:
On an episode of Chopped, one of the contestants was running to use something called the blast chiller and one of the judges autonomic response was to say “Cool.”
My girlfriend was describing how her son almost passed out in church one day and started the story by saying, “Holy smoke, I thought he was going to faint right there.” Turns out that coupled with the heat there was incense in church that day, but she was completely unaware of her ‘holy smoke’ comment. It was indeed ‘holy smoke!’
The phrase ‘no pun intended’ sums up this experience so completely. I like to say that the pun is the soul’s favorite way to get our attention in a simple, direct way – what I call ‘the power of the pun.’
I have been tracking this for years. I have dubbed it the energy of language or word-play for short and it is a living, sentient expression of directional energy and an often unconscious one. Rather like the Cameron quote above, you can indeed hear yourself clearly if you are willing to really listen to the energy conveyed in the words you speak. Another simple yet powerful way to begin to track your intuition in the 24/7.
Up next in the final part of our Sense and Synchronicity series:
“Briefly, intuition, so viewed, is taken to be an integral process of the mind, which culminates in an act of insight. The process involves reasoning, but the insight in which the process culminates does not. Intuition, is not a form of knowledge; rather it is only one means to knowledge which together with reason, sense-experience, and revelation (in the Heideggerian sense) make possible knowledge and understanding.” – Hope K. Fitz, Intuition: Its Nature and Uses In Human Experience.
There is a wonderful quote by Jonathan Ellerby that says “inspiration is not an idea, it is an experience.” I think the same may be said for intuition.
In my work as an intuitive coach and consultant, I am often asked questions about developing intuition. I tell people, and this comes directly from my own experience, we lose touch with our innate intuitive ability when we get stuck in the idea of intuition instead of the experience of intuition.
It’s that simple.
So, let’s begin there with how one experiences intuition and then exercises these mind, body and soul muscles. I like the phrase sense-experience. In The Intuitive Gym, my intuitive development program, we create the sense-experience each week as a model for practicing the art and science of intuition.
And intuition, like art or medicine for that matter, takes practice; a lifetime of practice. Begin that new life today with your fresh intuition. As the Ellerby quote suggests, begin by expanding your knowing about the world, YOUR world, through exercising your senses. Intuition isn’t static – like a noun waiting to be defined by others. Intuition is a living-breathing verb and is an invaluable tool and way of being – not just a way of thinking.
Drop your story. Your idea about being intuitive or not being intuitive, or your pre-conceived judgments won’t bring you closer to your intuitive sense. Time to conceive of an intelligent-intuitive YOU. I know it feels riskier, but I guarantee you, it is a high-octane fuel that will empower your life in unimaginable ways. Time to imagine it.
And that is what tracking intuition is about – feeling, sensing and navigating with new insights and awareness. So, discover the character of your intuition by its actions, by the inspired insights that come through the use of your senses…all six of them.
Up next in the Sense and Synchronicity Mini-Series:
Tracking Intuition Tip #4
Listen When You Speak: What You Say Makes A Lot Of Sense
Being thrown of the habitual path is an experience that happens to all of us at one time or another in our lives. The truth is it happens multiple times. And as Tolstoy reflects in the quote above, “it is in the experience of being lost, that we come to our proverbial senses.” And this is the place from which we discover ourselves…all of ourselves.
We spend an inordinate amount of time everyday THINKING we are thinking. The cognitive part of our brain thinks it is the big boss and if we haven’t the time or the inclination, we build a wall around our senses.
So, how do you take that first step back on a new path after all feels lost. Ah, there is the word. Feel. I know, messy huh. But tracking our feelings – what we sense is the very way in to all SIX of our senses. So, here is the tracking intuition tip for this week in the five-part series.
Tracking Intuition Tip #2
Your Sixth Sense is one of your five on steroids.
Your Intuitive-How – Mapping the Muscles
A great and simple way to begin to exercise your intuition and develop it as a tool is to look at your five senses in a new way. The first and most important tool isn’t to understand intuition; it is to understand YOUR intuition.
Your 6th sense is a frame of reference with the 5 senses you already use.
Each of us is a blend, with a few of these being our predominant ways receiving information. We are getting intuitive information all the time. When you understand how you are likely to be getting information, you will be able to lift more “wait” with your right mind!
Why is it important?
I always say, once you are aware of your patterns, you are 70% of the way to change. In this case, the change is the increased power and reliability of your intuitive voice. It is important to suspend your disbelief when learning to trust your intuition. Sometimes the impressions we receive make no logical sense, but carry valuable symbolic information for us to decipher.
Think back to a time when you acted on your intuition. Do you remember HOW you received the information? Was it a feeling in your body, a thought, an image, a voice, or a sense of knowing? Now try to think of another time. How did you receive that information? And another? Is there a pattern to the information? Once you start to notice a pattern in the way information comes, you will be better able to recognize it as valuable rather than random chatter.
When you know your intuitive type, you will notice the clues coming your way IN the way your intuition speaks to YOU.
Time to exercise this “common sense”. Indeed, it is “here that the new and the good things begin.”
Up next in the Sense and Synchronicity Mini-Series:
Tracking Intuition Tip #3
Intuition is not an idea, it is an experience
Written by Mary Welty-Dapkus, May 13th, 2013 | 1 Comment »
As you may have gathered from the title, I am a huge Jane Austen fan. HUGE. I suspect that in a past life, I lived in Bath, a featured location in the Austen’s novels. I was thrilled to travel there with family and friends many years ago and visit the City of Bath, walk the streets of a place so real to me from the novels I had read and the scenes I had watched in favorite BBC shows over the years.
Oh, yes, I have read the books multiple times and I go on these binge weekends where I will watch my favorite Jane Austen films. From Pride and Prejudice, to Emma (just happens to be my daughters’ name) to Persuasion, (my personal favorite – but don’t let the others know, I would want anyone of them to feel slighted) to Sense and Sensibility. I just watched the wonderful Ang Lee film again last week for the umpteenth time.
But I digress.
This isn’t a post about Jane Austen or Sense and Sensibility, (though, I’m tempted) it is about tracking intuition – one sense and one synchronicity at a time. I actually started writing this post several weeks ago and it has sat patiently awaiting my return.
And it is poignant and synchronistic that today is the day because I just pressed the PAUSE button on my Daily Dose subscription. It just went on hiatus while I find sustainable ways to develop that creative work and bring it to more subscribers. It is hard to leave the familiar routine of the Dose format and offer up something new to you today. Today is the first day in almost a year I didn’t press that send button. Today, I feel vulnerable and exposed as I share something else of my own making with words to inspire your journey.
I am reminded of one of my favorite quotes, and I am tearing up at the synchronicity as I write this. On this day, as I leave the familiar Dose and offering this in its place, I just realized that this happens to be the very quote I used then. First day’s offering then and now. I am stunned. And once again, as I begin something new today, I find the solace and the courage in these words that I sent out to subscribers on June 11, 2012 and here it is again as I start this journey anew today.
You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition. What you’ll discover will be wonderful, what you’ll discover is yourself.
So, let’s go into this new wilderness together.
I hear all the time from clients about my unique way of seeing the world and the wisdom of developing authentic intuition and I want to reflect on some of those tips from my own experience today. So, even though I leave the Daily Dose behind for today, here is a different “dose” of vitamin C for your soul.
As the founder and co-facilitator of an intuitive development program called The Intuitive Gym, my coaching partner Keisha Gallegos and I give each Gym member a private assessment, much like a personal trainer does when assessing your fitness level and current strengths. We apply this same method to assessing intuitive awareness and ability. And our findings thus far are significant. In our assessment, we ask a series of general questions to start. Take a moment and respond. How true is each statement for you?
1. I use my intuition on a daily basis.
2. I apply my intuitive awareness to all areas of my life.
3. I trust my inner voice.
4. I notice when synchronicity occurs in my life.
5. I trust and act upon my intuition.
How did you answer #4?
Well, I would love to hear how you answered all five if you would like to share.
#4 is a standout in our assessment. Almost every member, to a one, answered in the affirmative. And this did not surprise me in the least. Synchronicity is a powerful magnifier of intuition by its very definition. You are the only one who knows whether an outer experience mirrors and inner one. And when you greet these deeply meaning-full experiences through synchronicity, they awaken something within you. You sense that there is something greater than your own small experience. Synchronicity is expansive and everyone, even when they answer No to question #3 and No to question #5, which most do when they begin, they answer Yes to #4. And that, that is a vital clue.
Start there. Exercise that muscle of recognizing where synchronicity is showing up in your life today. It is taking you to a place of deeper consciousness and connection…and that my friends, that is the place where our authentic intuition resides. And synchronicity is one of the keys to this wild-new kingdom.
Up next in the Sense and Synchronicity Mini-Series: