Until recently I didn’t realize that people’s intuition actually speaks different languages. Intuition or our “internal guidance system,” comes from the Latin intuitio, meaning looking at or considering. For some people this visual description is accurate– they literally “see” or “visualize” possibilities, images or landscapes with their inner eye. Others experience intuition as an inner voice offering gentle directions or considerations. Some connect to their intuition most easily through physical sensations in response to a situation, question or choice. A meditator in a recent class I taught shared about a bitter taste in her mouth when considering an unappealing option so taste and smell may also be a clue.
It does take practice to distinguish intuition from imagination or an intrusive critical voice (here is a tip: any voice which is always against you is part of your ego structure. )
So how to tune in to this inner wisdom?
First, clear the channel. When stress is sky high no intuitive nudges get through. Meditation is a great detox. So is time in nature and a good night of sleep.
The second part of the practice is to recognize the preferred mode of communication for your intuition. Simply observe your intuitive hunches, especially the ones you override with rational justifications only to find yourself wishing you had heeded later on. (been there!) Are these nudges coming to you in the form of words, visions, or body sensations?
Meditation clears out a lot of the inner static and can create space for intuition to come through. Another clue: intuition connects with present day options — it isn’t about action way down the road, but instead reveals the one or two next steps.
The flavor of my intuition is partly visual and partly an inner sense of buoyancy in my body. Whatever intuitive nudges I receive feel more like invitations or experiments than marching orders.
One other quick caveat, some people collapse instinct with intuition. A quick rising of heat in the belly may have more to do with your personality type than your intuition. (According to the Enneagram three of the nine personality types lead with their body center of intelligence and anger is their most common emotional experience.)
Intuition bubbles up from a deeper or more subtle register, under the habitual thought patterns or emotional frequencies.
And regardless of it’s flavor (visual, auditory, or somatic/body)– it always tastes like freedom.
What is the flavor of your intuition? How can you discern between helpful inner nudges and fearful or critical voices? Leave a comment below, it might help someone else discover their intuitive voice!
PS Parents also come in different flavors. Do you tend to process life + parenting challenges through your head, heart, or body? To lean into conflict or to look for a way around? Join me for an upcoming teleclass on Learning Your Parenting Personality on November 12 & 13. You can read all the details below and check out this new video of an Enneagram Type One (Perfectionist) mama sharing her challenges and joys in parenting. Not a parent? I’d love your help connecting with others who would enjoy conscious parenting community + support! xo
No matter how much we adore our children, there are bound to be parts we’d like to ‘parent’ out of them.
‘Where did my child learn to whine (or rage or be so completely disorganized)?’
‘Why isn’t she more caring, (or less judgmental or more talkative)?’
The Enneagram, which maps out nine different personality patterns and the motivations behind them, can guide us toward new ways of interacting with our kids. First, we learn our own types. Next we look at how our type plays out in our lives as parents.
After that, through observing our children and listening to what they are saying and what they aren’t saying, we begin to get a sense of what personality patterns we see in them. Without necessarily typing them–though some children will be old enough to discover their own types–we can begin to respond to the behaviors and underlying motivations we sense in our children in ways which resource their growth and inner alignment.
Armed with the wisdom of the Enneagram, you can:
…learn how to respond to your children’s behavior in ways that allow them to stay true to themselves instead of who they think you want them to be.
…begin to understand their motivations, build compassion and reduce frustration.
…learn ways to work with their behaviors rather than against them.
Starting in January 2015, we will offer a 6-week ecourse where we look in depth at the 9 Enneagram types in children and specific ways parents can respond to and interact with their kids depending on what they observe in them.
To prepare for this 6-week class, please join us in November for a 90-minute teleclass where we’ll describe the 9 different points of view and help you figure out your parenting personality type. Click on the photo below to watch a video about the class and register today!
We will offer this class two times:
Wednesday November 12 at 7PM (Central)
Thursday November 13 at 12PM (Central)
Learn best one on one? Like some support in responding to current parenting challenges? Invest in a private coaching session to complement the course.
Register Below to Learn Your Parenting Personality
*After you register you will receive details about the classes and can pick which time works best for you!
About Courtney + Nancy
Courtney is the founder of Bird in Hand Coaching, host of the Summer of Meditation Challenge, and publisher of a weekly enewsletter on real-world mindfulness practices (including conscious parenting tips.) She lives in Oak Cliff, Texas with her husband Richard Amory where they try to keep up with their three young children and remember to water their garden boxes. Courtney can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or you can schedule a complementary clarity session to talk more.
Nancy Goodman is the founder of A Parent Connection and a licensed clinical social worker and EMDR practitioner. Passionate about helping people find freedom and peace, Nancy is also a mama of two who lives with her family in Denver, CO. You can read more about Nancy and her work at http://aparentconnection.com/about/