Let’s talk about the things we ‘know’ – those things in life that we intuit without knowing why we know them. Most of us have a kind of certainty about things, perhaps inherently trusting someone you just met. Knowing that a flight you are on is going to be delayed. Making other plans before your previous plans fall through. Picking up and moving to a new city because it’s just where you are supposed to be. Buying a piece of furniture that you know will be perfect in a house you don’t yet live in.
Intuition seems to appear abruptly and with obscure origins, welling up from some deep, inner place. Intuition has largely been dismissed as fantasy or magic by skeptics and the scientific community, but it is actually a cognitive process. When we receive information from our environment, such as the tone of a voice, a facial expression, hand gesture or body posture our brain begins rapidly matching that input to stored memories. Our brains are wondrous and complex and capable of so much processing that happens beneath our consciousness. You may not know it, but the alarm bells that were set off by the expression on a co-worker’s face could have come from a mental matching to an expression that your hyper-critical third grade teacher used to make!
Often intuition is accompanied by an emotion, maybe evoking strong feelings of familiarity or perhaps even dread. Intuition relies heavily on our emotions. In fact, people who sustained brain damage resulting in a loss of emotion were unable to decide between even two very simple choices, such as tea vs. lemonade. Further, cognitive scientists report that if you experience something while your adrenaline is pumping, you remember it in greater detail. The stronger the emotion is surrounding the event, the more vivid the memory. This makes total sense. Thinking back to your most vivid memories you were likely experiencing a strong emotion such as joy, heartbreak, fear, intense relief, love or pain. If that same third grade teacher caused you to feel deep shame, then you will remember the details of that exchange distinctly! These are not emotions that we obtain information about intellectually, they are things that we experience, and the more intense the emotion, the more our intuition can rely on those memories to guide us.
Many of us have experienced a strong feeling, dream or vision, either positive or negative, about something in our own lives or about those closest to us. These messages come through in our feelings and instincts pertaining to certain situations or people, for ourselves and often regarding other people in our lives. If we can receive a message for someone else, then it stands to reason that there are others who have this particular talent. Do you see where I’m going yet?
Psychics. A profession with a reputation for con-artistry and yet our own government funded a secret program called Stargate from the 1970’s to 1995 dedicated to psychic research and particularly the phenomenon of remote viewing (seeing events or sites from a great distance). Detractors will point out that it was de-funded, evidence that remote viewing and psychics are all a hoax. While supporters will point out that the government saw fit to fund the program for over twenty years – proof that they were getting results!
I have many friends who are suspicious of psychic prediction while others close to me swear by their accuracy and helpfulness. My history with psychics is checkered, and I wouldn’t say that I was a believer one way or the other. Years ago I was confronted by a psychic who told me I was a very negative person who hid my true nature. It was literally an emotional drive by! Out of nowhere she passed by me and said this to me in front of my husband through a translator (she spoke only Hebrew). I wasn’t even offended, so untrue did all of her ‘insights’ ring. Her words didn’t touch me, but they did make me pause and learn a valuable lesson, to not naturally accept what a psychic says as the final word. While I believe that there are messages and signs from beyond this physical world that we can receive, she was not connected to them and was unable to read me, and that experience awakened my desire to become my own medium, to grow and nurture my intuition and directly channel messages from the Creator.
Cut to me, receiving an hour-long session with a psychic as a gift from a friend, because this psychic told my friend that he had a message for me.
I was wary going into it. However, this psychic was connected and his reading proved both accurate and insightful. When I hung up the phone I felt a sense of validation — a sign that I was going in the right direction, like I was on the right track and inspired to keep moving forward. Some of the things that he said did not manifest, but it was more of a message than a truth. There is a point where we get messages – good and bad – all the time, it is through our actions that we create our truth and manifest any reality.
Now, if this person had said I was going in the wrong direction and was wasting my efforts, it would certainly have given me pause and I would have thought about my course of action in great detail. Perhaps I would have made small changes, but ultimately, it would not have changed my overall plan. I knew that if I sought out someone to ask for messages, I had to be strong enough and possess the clarity to know what was about me and what was not.
There are dangers in consulting psychics. Some begin to think of them as a god. If they tell you something bad is going to happen, it is important to not let this alter your behavior or beliefs, lest your thoughts create the reality. Don’t let anyone tell you about yourself or someone else if what they say doesn’t ring true. For example, just because a psychic tells you something bad about your best friend of 15 years, that does not mean you should end the friendship. Keep in mind that not all psychics are connected, in fact, some are NEVER connected and are purely con artists playing mind games. Some of you may recall a television show that aired in the US in the 70s and 80s called Romper Room. At the end of the show the hostess would gaze into her ‘magic mirror’ and say goodbye to a list of random names as if she could actually see little Johnny or Michelle watching from their living rooms. Kids quickly caught on that she couldn’t actually see them, but this trick is employed successfully by psychics on adults all the time! The psychic employs common names, common objects to give the illusion of specificity and then leads the audience to provide the details. In one example, a psychic on the Montel Williams Show told an audience member that she was the product of an affair and that her father isn’t really her father. The woman almost immediately claimed that she had never felt like she really belonged in her family. She accepted that the father she had known her entire life, who had raised her and cared for her, wasn’t really her biological father in an instant, because she was there to believe the psychic! One last trick they employ is to wrap up the reading with a common closing, such as ‘he loves you, she watches over you, she is at peace’, etc. This ends the deception with a message of comfort from a loved one on the other side.
Other psychics do have a gift, so you have to know what is about you or what is either made up or about your second cousin! Those that are connected, you still have to ask what they connect to – negative or positive energies? When consulting a psychic, does their reading give you a renewed sense of purpose and enthusiasm or a sense of dread?
An interesting study found that people who believe that psychics can predict the future tend to feel more in control of their lives than those who don’t. Those that believe psychics can predict the future thereby believe that the future is knowable and set. It provides comfort and certainty. Those that do not believe in psychics believe the future to be changeable and unknowable, leading to a greater degree of uncertainty in their lives. I don’t dispute the findings of the study, but I challenge that one can still believe the future to be changeable and unknowable (it is!!) yet, using spiritual tools, one can grow their certainty from a real place, by putting trust into the Creator rather than deifying a psychic.
Here is my conclusion: everyone has intuition and anyone can be a channel for a message from the Creator. My advice, be your own channel and develop your intuition by looking for the messages that are sent your way every day and listen to your inner voice, your ‘gut’.
THOUGHT INTO ACTION
Often we wait for intuition to just show up when we need it, but you can use your intuition consciously any time you want. Recently I was in a huge rush, we were staying in a hotel room and I couldn’t leave without a Ziploc bag. There were so many drawers and I didn’t have time to conduct a drawer to drawer search. So, I stood still, closed my eyes and thought ‘where are you?’ I listened to my inner voice and walked right over to the drawer with the bags. Try this technique when deciding which route to take (FDR vs. side streets). Let your voice guide you, just be sure to be open and not be swayed by the way you think you should go.