While the fourth Essential “Following Intuition” comes naturally to most mothers, everyone has experienced intuition on some level. Sometimes it shows up as a “gut feeling”, other times it is an “inner voice” that leads us and once in a while it’s “just a knowing”! When you ask someone to describe this feeling, you get mixed messages: “My intellect warned me not to invest…” or “My instinct told me to stay away…”, or “Intuitively I knew that he was lying…” It has been our experience that people often seem to use intuition, instinct and intellect interchangeably. So, what’s the difference? For the purpose of clarity, let’s define them:
Intellect is the capacity for rational thinking, to learn and acquire knowledge. The intellect is the ability to think abstractly and facilitate problem solving. It is the mental power for conceptual understanding, judging and reasoning, as distinct from feeling. Since the intellect operates within a mental construct, it has a need for proof, validation and justification.
Instinct is a natural or innate impulse, a reactionary reflex or urge without choice. Instinct is a hard-wired directive, an inborn pattern of activity or tendency to action. Someone acts instinctively, if the act is done without thought or deliberation, but rather on impulse (i.e. fight or flight). Acting instinctively cannot be overridden and does not require cognition or consciousness to perform (i.e. sleeping, suckling).
Intuition is our innate ability to know without the use of reason and is not preceded by prior experiences. Intuition is an immediate insight or gut feeling that does not emerge through the conscious process of thinking and cannot be judged by logical reasoning. Human beings have a choice, as to whether or not to follow their intuition.
Our Intuition is the highest form of knowing, without the need for second-guessing or questioning! Intuitive knowing is the gateway to our innate wisdom, leading us, without doubt, to what is optimal. It is beyond reasoning: in contradiction to the accepted opinion, intuition has nothing to do with the intellect, because we do it without thinking. Intuitive choices are very often unexplainable in the moment! The validity of these feeling-based-decisions is usually revealed at a later date.
All of us are born with the same ability to access our intuition and when unrestricted it occurs naturally. However, most people choose to ignore their internal guidance system, especially when it comes to relationships. Although we get an immediate sense about a particular person, a given situation or certain circumstances, we often choose to override our initial gut feeling. When making romantic decisions, the intellect is often more highly regarded than our greatest innate gift. By learning to listen and fully trust our intuition we expand our ability to communicate with the one we love, even beyond the spoken word.
Just food for thought, Ananda – Blissfully Yours, RayBella
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