Updated: Dec 2, 2020
Call it gut feeling, inner voice, instinct or inner knowing, intuition is a phenomena we all experience. There may have been occasions where you trusted your Intuition than your logical mind. Your mind gives all the logical reasons on why to not trust your instincts but your intuition keeps shouting aloud to follow it's calling. The dilemma on Head Vs. Heart is actually the dilemma between listening to your logical mind & listening to your intuition. The question is, which one is right & how to know the difference?
There is no right or wrong answer. But most people who follow Intuition are more at peace with their decision. Personally I have had a lot of regrets of not following my hunch. Although, there have been times where when I listened to the logical mind, the decision turned out to be right. But there have been occasions where following my intuition brought more peace to my soul.
According to the Nobel prize winner & author of the book Thinking Fast & Slow, Daniel Kanheman, our brain can be divided as slow brain & fast brain. The fast thinking brain is the one that reacts instantly. For example, a dog suddenly barking will make you either run from it or throw a stone at it. This is fast thinking. Your instant reaction. Slow thinking on the other hand, is the thinking that is more deliberate. For example, when you are on a house hunt, you will go through your list of requirements. Then you deliberate from the available choices. This slows down your brain & forces you to weigh your options before finalising the house. If you make an instant decision here, it may turn out wrong. So both types of thinking have it's own merits & demerits. According to Malcom Gladwell in his book Blink, intuition is a phenomena when you master your slow thinking to the point that it becomes your instinct. For example, when you are learning to drive, the skill is new. So initially, your slow thinking brain will be at the forefront. Your brain slows down to absorb & learn the new skill. With practice, this new skill becomes the new normal & it comes naturally to you. Instinctively you know when to change the gear & steer the wheel. Now driving becomes fast thinking as you do not require forced thinking to do it. It comes intuitively to you.
So is intuition the same as fast thinking? I personally believe No, intuition comes from the soul while logical & rational thinking comes from the brain. In spiritual terms, I believe intuition, inner instinct, inner knowing comes from the soul's guidance, a spiritual realm. While rational thinking comes from our Ego or the physical realm. This is purely my personal belief & there is no scientific proof to validate this. Thus, take what resonates with you.
How can you differentiate between the two? If you are basing your judgement or decisions from a place of Love, Joy, Passion, Creativity, Service, Growth; it is coming from your Soul or Intuition while if your judgement or decision is coming from a place of insecurity, fear, control, hate, anger, fame, show off, lust, greed, boredom, revenge, trying to teach lesson etc, it is coming from a place of Ego.
When I have to make a big decision, I use slow thinking to weigh my options & weigh each option's pros & cons but the final call I take is based on my intuition. Yet, I have not perfected intuitive decision making & still there is a long way to go. Over time, I have realised that trusting my intuition brings more peace to my soul even if the outcome doesn't turn out the way I had expected. The points below might help you hone your intuitive skills:
Analyse your past
Write down in your journal your past decisions. Segregate them according to whether you made them as per your intuition or ego. Now analyse whether they turned out good or bad in the long term. If your ego based decisions turned out better & you have no regrets, then continue to follow your ego. On the other hand if your intuitive decisions turned out better, then hone your intuitive skills. Think back to the time, why did you follow your instinct. What made you decide to go ahead with your gut feeling. Use those skills in future also to make decisions.
When we calm our mind, we are more in tune with our inner consciousness, hence more aligned to our intuition. So start practicing meditation. Especially when you have to make a big decision, meditate for some time, journal about it & then listen to your intuition.
Pay attention to body
Our body is a Temple of wisdom. The term gut feeling itself is self- explanatory which emphasises on our gut reaction to situations. When your intuition says a big no to go ahead, pay attention to how your body feels. Look inwards. Do you feel contracted & wanna turn away from the situation or you feel expansive & wanna go ahead with the situation even if there is slight fear in doing so? Your body doesn't lie. With time, you will learn to better understand your body & listen to your Intuition. For example, you might have an opportunity to do public speaking. Your ego might talk you out of it for the fear of being ridiculed but your soul might want to do it because of the growth opportunity it is giving. So if your