The Validation of Intuition
Updated: Apr 7
In my practice, I repeatedly hear mothers beat themselves up for having made decisions or choices which betrayed their own values. Somewhere in their bones, they felt it. I knew it, they say to me, but in the moment they were too fearful or intimidated or they simply felt unable to articulate their concerns and stand their ground. Believing that those in positions of authority; a principle, a doctor, a priest, the media, the pharmaceutical industry, their boss, knows better, women are prone to handing over their inner authority and turning away from their intuitive voice. We trust others more than we trust ourselves and we are easily lead. The worst thing for these women is that they then have to live with both the consequence of their choice, (bad schooling, domestic violence, sexual abuse, vaccine damage, inappropriate exposure, poor disciplinarian actions), and the knowledge that they were complicit.
Modern societies today are generally far removed from nature, where the intuitive muscle is developed by interactions with the forests, wildlife, and natural bodies of water. Today our children do not climb trees so they never have to feel the bough of a branch underfoot to decide in a split second if it's safe to bear their weight or not. They rarely have to decide which slippery rock to step on as they make their way across a creek. It's not often they have to know if a wounded animal in the wild is safe to approach or a wild berry safe to eat. So the muscle of intuition is generally left to waste. Instead, we are taught to quickly defer to an authority greater than ourselves and to ignore our own intuition.
The story of Vasalissa illustrates the point beautifully and I encourage all mothers to read Clarissa Pinkola Estes masterpiece, Women Who Run with the Wolves. Read it to yourselves, understand it well, and read it to your daughters. And then when they come of age, buy them a copy so they will read it to theirs. In a chapter entitled 'The Retrieval of Intuition as Initiation', the young motherless Vasalissa learns how to exercise her inner intuitive voice, by consulting a small doll (made in her image), given to her by her mother on her death bed, which she carries in her apron pocket.
At one point in the story, Vasalissa is forced to confront the Wild Hag, face to face. Estes writes, "the task of the meeting are these: Being able to stand in the face of the fearsome Wild Goddess without wavering. Familiarising oneself with the arcane, the odd, the "otherness" of the wild. Taking some of her values into our lives, thereby becoming ourselves a little odd. Learning to face great power - in others, and subsequently one's own power. Letting the frail and all too sweet child die back even further."
Motherhood for these young women is often a fast learning curve. They have had to swallow the bitter pill of their own mistake - a rather harrowing initiation. They have to face the reality that they were hoodwinked, manipulated, and deceived by the charming 'Bluebeard' of narcissistic partners, predatorial acquaintances, partners or family members, the pharmaceutical and marketing industries, the underbelly of social media or religious and learning institutions. Their innocence will never return.
In 'learning to face great power - in others', these women have indeed started to face their own and it is usually a force to be reckoned with. Many women's shelters have been built on the back of a domestic abuse victim and today's adult victims of child sex abuse no longer sit in silence. I know one mother who now fiercely advocates on social media for vaccine damage education after having previously been quite reserved. And I know many who have made it their lives work to challenge the inherent corruption of the all-powerful pharmaceutical industries.
How do we develop and exercise our intuitive voice?
The first thing we need to do is to become aware of all our inner voices and our internal dialogue. If you tune in, you will hear it. Listen to the voices inside your head, listen to your self-talk. Notice its multi-faceted nature. Observe its different tones. Is it kind and encouraging or sharp and judgemental? Is it the critical voice of a parent, or the supporting voice of a generous mentor? Just start to identify whose voices you are carrying around in your head. You will come across many. Once you get better at identifying the voices of your inner self it will become obvious which ones you should ignore and which ones you should strengthen. This excise will help you differentiate between the voice of anxiety and intuition. Because sometimes it's hard to know. We think we are just being overprotective or overly anxious, but if we can recognize our neurosis we will be better equipped to separate it from our intuition.
Then start to listen to your body, and teach your children to do the same. Instead of simply reaching out for something to eat, pause, and ask yourself what your body wants and needs at this moment. Are you tired, do you need to rest, or are you thirsty? Do you need to cool down or are you craving something specific, salt, sweet, fat, fluid? What about that bowl of pasta, what in it is appealing to you, what do you need to feel satisfied? Are you in need of some good oils or the fast energy release from a juicy nectarine? Don't indulge in judgment, just witness and observe. Fine-tuning our relationship with the body, paying attention to the details, will help us separate our emotional patterns from our real physical needs. Intuition comes from a place deep within. It is a mysterious voice, a spiritual force, but it is grounded in the gut. The more we respect the body the closer we move towards hearing its wild intuitive call.
Now start to practice listening to your intuition in your day to day life. When you incline to buy lemons, even though they are not on your list, buy some lemons. See what happens. When you incline to wait five minutes before leaving the house, listen, and see what happens. When you feel an intuitive call to make contact with a loved one, make the connection. If you go out to eat and you have in initial 'no' to what is placed down in front of you, listen to that voice - even when it is uncomfortable, especially when it's uncomfortable. Practice saying 'yes' and practice saying 'no'.
Watch out for the voice of the Pleaser. She will cause you more trouble than you could ever imagine. She is the one that says, I'm sure it's ok when she knows it isn't. She says, well everyone else does it so it must be fine. She says I trust everyone, the doctor, the priest, the teacher, my partner, more than I trust myself. She allows herself to be pressured and she is terribly yielding. She is also often confused and vague. In the past perhaps she has served you well, but she does not have your best interests at heart, she's too busy pleasing everyone else. She has been overly domesticated and she will betray you at every opportunity. So be VERY wary when you hear yourself saying, oh you're just being silly, surely they know better than me. Intuition comes from a place deep within. It is a mysterious voice, a spiritual force, but it is grounded in the gut. The more we respect the body the closer we move towards hearing its wild intuitive call.
The intuitive voice will guide you out of the thicket, but to do so, you have to build it up, feed it and strengthen it, and the best way to do that is to use it, daily.
Illustrator of the beautiful drawing unknown. I would be happy for any information.