Defined as “the ability to understand something immediately, without the need for conscious reasoning. A thing that one knows or considers likely from instinctive feeling rather than conscious reasoning.” The etymology says it comes from the latin word intueri, which means consider.
While reading the definition I was surprised to find the word feeling at almost the very end of the second sentence. When I think of intuition, feeling is the first thing that comes to my mind. What is it to intuit? To feel, right? We hear about gut feelings all the time. Isn’t that what intuition is? Something inside of you nudging you toward or away from something? Take this road and not that one. Trust this guy. Don’t trust that other guy. Don’t go down that dark pathway. Don’t answer that email just yet, think about what to say a little bit longer. Sleep on it. Say yes! We use our intuition all the time. We get funny feelings about things just because we do. But are we tuned in as much as we could be? Is it possible to trace the origins of those feelings, that intuition?
I told myself that I wouldn’t make any new year’s resolutions that were about producing tangible results this year. No goals have been set for new records, new books, improving my physical body except that I plan to give it more rest than is my natural tendency, no big plans to learn how to knit or even grow roses. What I planned to do, and what I’m working hard at learning how to do is to improve my mental health, to strengthen my relationship with myself and my center, my intuition if you will — to tune in to that inner voice that I sometimes ignore because either I or someone else tells me it’s wrong — so that my actions are aligned with my intentions. I have begun to meditate every morning (mostly every morning, sometimes it’s afternoon before I get to it but I try for the AM), to give myself at least 10 or 15 minutes to be quiet, to reflect, and then to do some quick writing about what comes up. I try to go back and look at what I’ve written through the day. I’m learning to visualize my third eye. I’m learning to breathe (God, it’s hard). I’m learning to take my time and am trying to get used to acting instead of reacting. Of course I’m still a quivering mess quite often, but I’m making progress, however small. I haven’t pursued Buddhism but who knows, I might. I’m still trying to figure out how non-attachment works — I get it, but do I get it for me? Regardless, the most rewarding part of all of it right now is the tuning in. Tuning: “bring into a state of proper pitch.”
If I can learn to bring myself into a state of proper pitch, and to better feel and therefore understand my unconscious reasoning and honor it, well, I think I could stay out of the ditch most days. Sounds like the best resolution I’ve had yet.
By the way, I’m reading Mark Epstein’s “Advice Not Given: A Guide To Getting Over Yourself.” I love it. It’s all about the ego and how it gets us in trouble. Check it out.