Reaching into the unknown
Every cell in my body told me there was something seriously wrong with my child. He was screaming in pain at the slightest movement. I admit it didn’t take a genius to work out he was sick. But the doctor was dismissive. His cursory examination found nothing abnormal. I was an over-anxious mother. He didn’t say it in those words, but I just knew that was what he was thinking. He’s just pulled some muscles in his chest, he said. I wasn’t convinced. To placate me he reluctantly ordered an X-ray. So off we went and had it done immediately. And guess what? I was right. My son had pneumonia without all the usual accompanying signs and symptoms such as high fever and breathlessness. The doctor, to his credit, apologised and made note in his file that this child is prone to atypical pneumonia. So how did I know? I knew without knowing – my intuition told me so.
Now that’s just a bit weird! However, it is also a common story, especially when it comes to mothers and children. I’ve heard many friends relate similar stories to mine, some far more dramatic. Not that it’s exclusive to mothers. I’m sure you’ve all either experienced it yourselves or heard stories. More than likely both.
I have always known that my inner knowing, instinct, gut feeling, hunch, sixth sense, psychic ability – whatever you want to call it – has never let me down. As long as I can remember I have experienced it. A deep inner knowing that what you know with absolute certainty is right even though you have no idea why it is so. It has certainly stood me in good stead, particularly so throughout my nursing career.
Intuition is a funny thing. It’s hard to get a handle on it. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines it as ‘ a natural ability or power that makes it possible to know something without any proof or evidence; a feeling that guides a person to act a certain way without fully understanding why; something that is known or understood without proof or evidence.’
Interestingly, scientists have been studying this phenomena in controlled laboratory experiments for the last 150 years. Controversy abounds. Debate about results centres on controls, methodology and interpretation of results. Sceptics dismiss it out of hand. The jury is still out. But – there are some interesting things happening out there in the world of scientific research.
One such study is that being conducted by Joe Kirschvink
‘Birds do it. Bees do it. But the human subject, standing here in a hoodie—can he do it? Joe Kirschvink is determined to find out. For decades, he has shown how critters across the animal kingdom navigate using magnetoreception, or a sense of Earth’s magnetic field. Now, the geophysicist at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) in Pasadena is testing humans to see if they too have this subconscious sixth sense. Kirschvink is pretty sure they do.’
The scientists at the HeartMath Institute have also been busy with research. ‘Our researchers have explored the intricacies of heart-brain messaging, how emotions affect human biology and the influences of geomagnetic fields.”
Results of this research appear to be that the heart is involved in the processing and decoding of intuitive information and that –
- The heart and brain appear to receive and respond to intuitive information
- The heart appears to receive intuitive information before the brain
Mindfulness, a non-critical, non-judgemental attitude, keeping a journal, meditating regularly all enable a connection to the intuitive right side of the brain rather than the left sided rational, logical brain. It all helps to tap into the intuitive self.
The Huffington Post recently published an article detailing ten things that highly intuitive people do differently :
- Listen to that inner voice – easy to dismiss; a balance of intuition and rational thinking is best
- Take time for solitude – helps to connect to deep inner wisdom away from the hustle and noise of life
- Create – creativity and intuition work hand in hand
- Practice mindfulness – helps to filter out mental chatter
- Observe everything – it will help to connect dots that you might otherwise miss
- Listen to the body – the gut feeling is called that for a reason. Research suggests that emotion and intuition are rooted in the ‘second brain’ in the gut.
- Connect deeply with others – intuitively ‘read’ others from words, emotions and body language
- Pay attention to dreams – they spring from the unconscious, where intuition also resides
- Enjoy plenty of down time – busy-ness distracts and stifles intuition
- Let go of negative emotions – they cloud intuition too. A 2013 study in Psychological Science showed that a positive mood boosted the ability to make intuitive judgements in a word game.
I personally don’t need scientific validation to know that intuition is real. I know it from my own lived experience of it.
© Raili Tanska
This is reworked from my Sept 2016 Newsletter