I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year
'Give me a light, that I may tread safely into the unknown.'
And he replied,
'Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the hand of God
That shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way.'
Minnie Louise Haskins, American lecturer, 1908
"What I am actually saying is that we need to be willing to let our intuition guide us, and then be willing to follow that guidance directly and fearlessly."
Shakti Gawain, motivational speaker and author
Over the past few decades it seems we have collectively come to greater awareness of ourselves as intuitive creatures. The fascination with the idea of intuitive intelligence as an inherent part of our nature has only seemed to grow as science catches up with what many have already discovered for themselves through their own personal experiences with it. As has been echoed throughout the ages by spiritual seers, teachers, mythology and literature from all cultures, our intuitive intelligence is something that lays dormant with in us all and is ours to use, or not use, as we move through the journey of life. It is our personal Sacred Compass.
In discovering and developing this unique part of our nature, we achieve an essential evolutionary and developmental step for until one knows one has such an available inner compass, one cannot choose to use it. And without use, our intuitive intelligence cannot develop fully into a compass that is as reliable as every other form of intelligence we possess and operate from.
There is now a wealth of information about intuition available to us, a significant jump forward from the times when the concept of intuition was either marginalized or rejected completely. However despite our expanded intellectual understanding of the nature and gifts of intuition, there seems to be an ongoing challenge for many of us to more fully integrate this aspect of our nature into ourselves and our lives.
In response to the difficulties and uncertainties we continue to encounter in navigating our personal and collective experiences, the question must be asked, ‘are we actually using this gift in our daily lives in ways that ultimately contribute a greater sense of assistance, clarity, peace and confidence to us on our journey and to the world around us?’ Are we allowing these inner promptings to guide our daily lives, to facilitate our deepest healing, comfort us in times of challenge and expand our experiences in life and if not, why not? Do we truly understand and value the capacities of this facet of our being, or recognize the unnecessary difficulties which can result from not allowing it more fully into our lives?
More than simply a nice idea, could our ability to use our intuition truly change not just our lives, but the larger experience we are all sharing on the planet at this time? Certainly the challenges and confusion many of us experience in our personal lives and are witnessing in the world around us suggest the value of asking these questions.
In my work and travels I regularly encounter individuals who are well-versed in the topic of intuition and are deeply drawn to using it in their daily lives. The desire to move more intuitively through life is now strong in many, yet we continue to encounter specific and significant obstacles to doing so. Could there be more to accessing and living from our intuition than previously believed? Why isn't it easier to do, and what could this possibly mean?
Having had to walk and practice this path regularly myself, and having had the privilege of witnessing the same process occur in the lives of many others, one theme in particular has stood out: the intuitive way of moving through life presents us with both profound gifts and profound challenges necessary to our growth as human and spiritual beings. Without question, it is a sublime gift to have present within us an inner compass gauged always towards the 'True North' of our highest good and greatest unfoldment. This inherent connection has the capacity to guide us through any situation life may present to us, from the mundane to the significant, with an exquisite level of simplicity, clarity and direction. These are the ‘fruits’ of intuitive development and are that which many seek and yearn for. The momentum and growth of the intuitive movement over these past decades speaks to this yearning for connection, guidance and help as we journey through life.
And yet, there can be no fruits without labor. To be able to fully utilize and benefit from this sacred inner instrument, we are presented with specific growth challenges in order to receive it fully and master its use, each of which calls forth essential aspects of the spiritual self. Herein is where we labor, in the growth and development of the spiritual life and foundation from which intuition springs. This is no small task, as one who begins the process of inquiring into the intuitive self soon finds out. If spiritual development is the process pulling us ever toward itself, than our yearning for intuitive connection and the fruits thereof are the 'bait' which lead us into that very process.
Somewhat unlike other 6th sensory-type phenomena - such as psychic sight, prophecy, mediumship, ESP, etc., all of which represent a specific sensory ability not necessarily connected to one's personal level of spiritual development or growth - our intuitive self is deeply entwined with our personal spiritual terrain. In this regard, intuition is much morethan a special sensory ability; it is an inner resource available to be developed by all, a place of deep connection where our personal knowing and guidance systems are infused with more than simply information. It is our own personal phone line into a more comprehensive and sophisticated matrix where information is put into broader context and tempered by understanding, trust, discernment, compassion and wisdom. We intuit not just information, but also the larger context for understanding, holding, moving with or sharing sensitively that which may have come through. Intuition is made up of many subtle senses and abilities, all ideally working together at the same time.
The gift of intuition also requires something of us in order to receive it fully and benefit from its offerings. More than simply a tool for our own use, this particular gift requires the development of very specific spiritual qualities, qualities which will enable us to use it in the manner for which it is designed. Seen through this lens, the effectiveness, accuracy, helpfulness and depth of our intuition, as well as the ability to trust, share or act on what comes through, are directly related to the spiritual foundation of our being. To be able to effectively access and use our intuition fully, we must develop ourselves as beings. We must show up not just to receive but also to learn, and to bring to the table that which is necessary for the intuitive conversation to complete itself. Much like learning a foreign language, it is necessary that we come to understand the roots and dynamics of intuitive communication before we can become fluent and use the tool of this language in daily life. And as we expand our capacities to engage our intuition we find this very growth process has gifted us twice, for the very qualities and strengths we've developed to participate in this process are now within us and available for use in every part of our life. It is in this way that our intuitive development develops us.
For some this call to further one's inner development is exhilarating, exciting and full of potential. For others, standing at the precipice of what can feel like unknown territory can stir fear, apprehension and uncertainty. For most of us, it is some combination of both. We yearn for the help, the clarity, the ease that comes from a strong intuitive connection...but what might be the price? What might be required of us to access this gift within? Do we really want to know the answers to the questions we ask and if we do, do we have the courage and trust to act on what might come through? Along the road of intuitive development we may encounter many things, but one thing we are sure to encounter is ourselves, the parts of us that embrace guidance, clarity and help, and the parts of us which fear, doubt and resist the very same things. We are sure to meet those shadowy places of our own ambivalence as we court such a sacred gift, and it is in these very places that our intuitive capacities either expand or close depending on our willingness and courage to engage and learn from them.
In the next several installments, we will journey through the deeper process of intuitive development, moving beyond individual techniques to explore the deeper spiritual opportunities and spiritual challenges present in each step of development. It is in this exploration that we may find the answers to why we perceive that our intuition works ‘sometimes’ and not others, why we may not trust it, why we sometimes back away from it or even ignore it all together. Whether you are looking to enhance your intuition in general or use it more specifically in one area of life, one thing is for sure...it exists and waits only to be invited further into the life. It is only ‘we’ who can keep it at bay for our own individual reasons. Like a river ever-flowing, it waits only for us to step into it and learn its ways. From there, it promises to carry us to exactly where we need to go to heal, grow and experience that which our individual and collective lives potentially have to offer us.
The Sacred Compass blogpost was originally published in 2011. This post has recently been updated and re-posted.