Two sentences from 1977.
The one single, specific memory I have from the ninth grade was during a math class. We were being introduced to Geometry for the first time. The teacher whose name I can surprisingly not remember, asked “What is intuition?”
I raised my hand (an unusual act for me at 15 years old) and said, “It is having a hunch: sort of knowing or having an idea of something out of the blue, like without really knowing you somehow know.”
In my mind’s eye the picture is crystal clear. How the teacher was poised, what his sport coat looked like, where in the room he was standing, how his head was turned just so. I think his name might have been Mr. Tennaro. I was in his class for one week.
Yet that question and answer still calls out to me more than twenty years later. Forever caught in freeze frame across three thousand miles and countless other classrooms and a huge number of hours and moments and conversations. Intuition. An inkling.
Sharon Franquemont, former professor of Intuition at John F. Kennedy University and author of “You Already Know What to Do” makes an important distinction. Rather than using intuition as one of many tools for living, she suggests that one choose to make the practice of intuition a way of living everyday.
Some think, “That is all well and good and I know for a fact I have no clue how to live intuitively. I don’t even know for sure if I believe in intuition in the first place.” Before we discuss that, lets point to some very interesting illustrations.
It may be surprising to learn that some of history’s greatest thinkers believed an intuitive lifestyle was very beneficial. Albert Einstein said, “The only real valuable thing is intuition.”
Intuition is not just “women’s intuition” and it is not only for what might be called “artsy” people. For centuries inventors, entrepreneurs, engineers, parents, children and yes, artists, have all experienced intuitive flashes. These inklings sometimes lead to something big. A positive growth situation beyond our usual way of thinking or being.
An inkling may lead to a new invention or an improvement upon an already existing product. Ralph Waldo Emerson described it this way: “Man is a shrewd inventor, and is ever taking the hint of a new machine from his own structure, adapting some secret of his own anatomy in iron, wood, and leather, to some required function in the work of the world.”
Have you ever experienced a breakthrough time? An “A-ha” or an “Epiphany” moment? Arthur Koestler, Hungarian born writer, wrote “The moment of truth, the sudden emergence of a new insight, is an act of intuition”. Akin to a “sixth sense”, intuition brings pieces together. It gives the gift of heightened awareness. One simple way to practice intuition and make it real into our lives can make a remarkable difference. You can start right now.
Here is how it works.
When you are faced with anything where the solution is not immediately apparent, thoughtfully and mindfully ask yourself one of these questions or a similar question of your own creation.
“What is the spark that is missing to make this into a fire?”
“Is something missing here? What is it?”
“How can I really make a difference in this situation?”
Quiet your mind, even for a millisecond. Breathe. For me, sometimes it helps to get up and move.
And then, listen (and speak or write down) your very first response.
Don’t rationalize, categorize or intellectualize.
Simply let it be. Use your senses to flesh out the possibilities.
Perhaps you will not find an immediate connection. Later in the day, another insight will flash through your brain which will bring another answer or perhaps a more refined answer.
Listen or speak or write down this answer.
See where your intuition is wanting to take you. Decide that in all you do, you express artistry. As Lao Tzu spoke so many years ago, “A good artist lets his intuition lead him wherever it wants”.
Where is it leading you? Go there. Live passionately. Today.
Julie Jordan Scott is a Co-Founder of We Coach People Network: a Community for Coaches to Create a Webpresence and Methods for Achieving Coaching Success without Breaking the Bank. Find out more about this new site now: http://www.WeCoachPeople.net Visit her website: http://www.5passions.com