I have been practicing paying more attention to my gut instincts lately. And, yesterday, I had the blog post for today written, formatted and ready to go out. And then, I scrapped it, and wrote a different post.
That is the first time I have done this since starting this blog. I was unsettled as to whether it “landed the plane” of what I was trying to say. I showed it to my wife, Katie, and her primary comment was “this is really esoteric.” And that confirmed my intuition. So, I scrapped it.
So, how do you discern between intuition and your mind playing tricks? And, conversely, how do you know when your gut instincts are playing tricks on you?
While I know of no definitive answer to that, one solution is to employ both your mind and intuition (along with your emotional intelligence) and stay present. All three intelligence centers (head, heart, and body) are equally important. But, the cultural water we swim in is mostly focused on rational thought as being the end-all-be-all. The drift of the culture will always tend to take us in that direction. In my example above, I tested and confirmed my intuition by asking someone I trust, Katie, for her take.
The best selling author, Eckhart Tolle, has some helpful thoughts in the following four quotes regarding how the mind plays tricks on us….
“Thinking is a wonderful tool if it’s applied. Thinking, however, cannot become the master. If you’re dominated by thinking, then your life becomes very restricted…..
Most people in this world are still so identified with every thought that arises in their head. There is not the slightest space of awareness there.
The mind is a superb instrument if used rightly. Used wrongly, however, it becomes very destructive. To put it more accurately…you usually don’t use it at all. It uses you.
Thinking fragments reality-it cuts it up into conceptual bits and pieces.”
– Eckhart Tolle
I believe that the mind is often playing tricks on us, and not paying attention to our intuition simply intensifies this. Most of our internal conversations, subconscious thoughts and unconscious thoughts are preoccupied with survival, fears from the past, or concerns over the future.
Practicing being present in each moment and clearing the mind of extraneous thought allows you to start discovering what all the internal white noise was covering up. It allows your body intelligence and your emotional state to penetrate your present awareness.
This can truly be an awakening to your whole self-your heart, body and head. It can become a unifying reality-where you operate with much higher levels of balance and integration.