“Have you heard from Maria lately?” I asked another participant in Tai Chi class this week. “I’ve phoned a few times but hadn’t heard back.”
“Oh. I thought I saw something in the newspaper this past weekend. I think Maria passed away.”
I felt stunned. Barely able to concentrate, I wanted to run out of class and check the obituaries. Call another mutual friend.
Before it’s Too Late
Have you ever had a nagging sensation where a person keeps reappearing in your thoughts? Not because you are obsessing over them but feeling a need to contact them, see how they are.
This happened to me last December. My accountant, I knew was battling cancer but this was ongoing for nearly 10 years. Still, he kept reappearing in my mind. I brushed it off, thinking it due to the approaching tax season. He died before the end of January.
The year before, my tailor kept popping into my thoughts. He and his wife were a lovely older couple and when sending them my annual thanks giving greeting I learned he passed away in October.
My friend, Maria, would have been 96 this year. I can still hear our “Oohs” and “Ahs” over the splendor of blooming ornamental trees and giant rhododendrons while driving her around country roads this spring. We planned a similar outing for autumn’s vibrant foliage but…it didn’t come about.
Maria absorbed my thoughts while driving to Tai Chi this week. I planned on phoning her after class that afternoon. Only now am I beginning to understand why Maria occupied my mind. She was buried at 11AM that morning.
intuition/ (in-too-ish–uh n) /noun
knowledge or belief obtained neither by reason nor by perception
instinctive knowledge or belief
a hunch or unjustified belief
A Voice with Many Names
My yoga teacher’s ability to accurately see from the inside amazes me. Just as the physical body communicates in the only language it knows — a headache, a pain, sleeplessness, an itch — the brain communicates through an inner vision, a nondescript sense of nonconscious emotional information. Derived from deep within, some call these diaphanous sensations a “gut feeling,” “inner voice,” “intuition,” “sixth sense,” “instinctual feeling,” “hunch,” or even God.
The Answers are Deep Within
Struggling to solve problems on my own for years I could not comprehend “the answers are within.” The incessant mental chatter, like current TV commentators, blocked out any truth. And when that sense of knowing without really knowing did appear, I discredited it as irrational or dismissed it as unfounded fear. I didn’t recognize the guiding light.
I now see that when my inner voice speaks to me, I need to take notice and probably some action. Here’s what I’m doing to develop a more intimate relationship with my inner voice. You can befriend yours too.
5 Tips for Tapping Into Intuition
1. Get quiet. Intuition speaks softly. The answers may be subtle and only heard through quiet. If seeking guidance for a problem, engage in a relaxing activity like meditation, walking, music, or anything to stop the mental chatter. Then close your eyes, take a few deep breaths and ask your sixth sense to dialogue with you.
If I think of my inner voice as shy, it is more easily coaxed to speak up when I am peaceful. I must listen closely. It may be only a whisper. At first.
2. Pay Attention. When ideas, insights and impressions come out of nowhere, grasp them. Be aware that the brain, aka sixth sense, is communicating to you.
3. Respond to Your Inner Voice. When the brain says call or visit this person now, do it. You may not get the chance later.
4. Record Your Gut Feeling. This helps determine the accuracy of that sixth sense once you have chosen to either ignore or act on the insight given.
Logging in my recent experiences makes me less likely to brush off similar future occurrences.
5. Get to Know Your Self. Make friends with your intuition. Develop that bond of trust. Thank it for its accuracy. As you listen and honor your sixth sense, it will become a valuable part of who you are and a useful guide for decision making.
“It’s all about learning to use unconscious information in your brain… Just as people can become more comfortable making decisions when they apply logic and reasoning, they may also become more adept at trusting their intuition when they use it more frequently over time.” —
Have you experienced a sixth sense? Do you act on it?