When I asked my husband what he thought about intuition, he looked at me like I was crazy. In all fairness, I tend to bring up deep questions at times he wants to watch football or, like last night, just before we were about to go to sleep. I sat up and rephrased.
“Do you think intuition can be built, like a skill?” Because he’s kind, he thought about it, and a rather interesting discussion began.
We discussed the difference between compulsion and intuition—being rash versus going with the gut. We discussed the balance of information and feeling in leadership. We discussed Trump. We discussed spirituality. We discussed the fact that we shouldn’t have such discussions right before bed.
Intuition, for me, is something that not only CAN be built but but HAS to be built up. It is a skill. Sometimes, intuition feels stronger due to external events. Mothers, for instance, seem to tap into a deeper intuition when they have young children to take care of and few resources (see: Jasmine from my forthcoming book, Resolutions.)
I’m currently reading On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous. The book is remarkable. It reminds me of the power of the authority of the narrative voice. Not the authority itself but the power that drives it. The power that we can seize, if only in our minds, to control over events that befell us as children.
I like to think that this power we find in great literature, in a strange way, is always with us. Even before we are able to look back with emotional distance. Perhaps, from a literary/spiritual/sleep-deprived lens, this power is our intuition. I've been playing with this thought in my writing and in my yoga classes. It gave me an idea for a prompt.
Write a story about a fictional character who is at odds with his intuition. Every time it tries to tell him something, he takes the opposite course of action.
If you're struggling with whether to trust your own intuition, check out my meditation on indecision here.