Steve Jobs is often quoted saying that intuition is “more powerful than intellect”. In a culture that trusts in logic, power and reason, the power of intuition is often underrated and underused. It is far easier to be blindly guided by public opinion, or our own noisy egos, than it is to listen to the quiet voice of our intuition. When you come to crossroads, a whisper of doubt, or a ‘gut feeling’, is easily dismissed. Always take the better paid job, eat the salad, join the gym. Perhaps these are the right choices for you, but part of becoming more intuitive, is understanding that the path you think you should take isn’t necessarily the one that will best serve you.
Speaking to Helen Jacobs, a woman who makes a living out of listening to her intuition, she adds ‘fairly early on we’ll have an idea of what the expected life path is for us based on the expectations and experiences that society tells us we fit into. It won’t necessarily be our path.”
Paulo Coelho, The Pilgrimage
We always know which is the best road to follow, but we follow only the road that we have become accustomed to.
Responsible for the rapid fire decision making, our intuition comes from our primitive brain – helping to identify danger or potential threats. Able to make a judgement call at a heartbeat, our intuition is grounded in past experience or knowledge we have stored deep in our subconscious. Faced with a new circumstance, our body digs into it’s archives and pulls out the relevant information for us.
Growing accustomed to listening to our first thoughts is a practice in building self-trust. Just like a muscle, our intuition grows stronger the more it is used. Building a trusting relationship with your inner voice is a continual process. Jacobs explains, “it wasn’t that I woke up one morning and totally trusted this weird feeling that I had.” It takes time, introspection and patience, but, nurturing our intuition and making use of its wisdom helps us to thrive and grow.
Intuition comes very close to clairvoyance; it appears to be the extrasensory perception of reality.
Whilst in the past it has been disregarded as obscure practice, the schools of scientist and psychologists have turned their attention to exploring the significance of unconscious reasoning and the role it plays in our lives. We spoke to Helen Jacobs, a self-appointed seer and psychic about her personal relationship with her intuition and how it changed her outlook on life. She explained that through daily journaling, self-care, listening to her body, and learning to empathetically relate to others, she was able to pull her intuition into focus and call upon it as a tool to seek balance and clarity.
Accessing your Intuition
William S. Burroughs
Your mind will answer most questions if you learn to relax and wait for the answer.
Listening to the Body
Beginning as a physical feeling in the gut, fear and intuition are often confused. In order to wake up to your intuition, you have to first learn to navigate the difference between intuition and fear. Intuition feels expansive and affirming, whereas fear is often emotionally charged and comes hand in hand with a feeling of pulling dread. A huge part of learning to trust your intuition involves learning to be present in your body and acknowledge its voice.
We aren’t taught to listen to our bodies and are often out of touch with the messages and warning signs our subconscious sends from behind the scenes. Whilst our minds may be clouded with fear or the clamour of anxious thoughts, our bodies will often speak a different message.
After a few seconds we are able to recognise when someone is a potential new partner, lying to us, or if we are in danger. These split-decisions that often present themselves as ‘gut feelings’, are the result of your subconscious making rational decisions just as your conscious thought processes would do. The subconscious picks up on cues in the environment and compares the situation to thousands of similar ones deep in your memory. This stimulates your bodies biological instincts. We underestimate the power of our natural, bodily intelligence and its ability to protect us. As soon as we are able to listen to our bodies, we can start to understand what it is we really need – whether it’s to pack up and emigrate or to just make a few changes in your daily routine.
Stilling the Mind
By learning to still your mind and cultivate an awareness of your physical reactions, you can start to bring intuitive knowledge into your daily decision making. One of our earlier contributors, Max Strom, is a keen advocate of tapping into the mind-body connection and working to release deep-seated negative emotions through focused breathwork. Bringing the physical body into closer harmony and quieting the mind, working with the breath can help to draw us into the present moment and reawaken our the voice of our intuition.
When we are learning to use our intuition we have to remember that the things in life that we want the most, scare us and are most are often the things we push back against. To uncover your own journey in life Jacobs explains that you should “start with your intuition, strap yourself in and wait for the ride.”
ASk A Psychic
Helen Jacobs X The Bod Edit
TBE : Do you believe in having a life plan?
I guess it depends on which part of you is doing the planning. I think that if we were to just follow our ego and only listen to that voice, it won’t be our path necessarily. Fairly early on we’ll have an idea of what the expected life path is for us based on the expectations and experiences that society tells us we fit into. I believe that the soul has a very different plan, and a very different perspective, on what this life is all about.
Helen Jacobs, Psychic
I recommend keeping a journal. It’s important to be able to have space, stillness and create a practice of just being with yourself. Practicing meditation and yoga are helpful in cultivating that quiet; to slow down, listen and honor the stillness.
TBE : We’re nurtured to believe in empirical truths, how do we begin to trust in our intuition?
I started treating my intuition like a relationship. Being able to tap into intuition, to understand it, starts to open up a whole new relationship to ourselves and others. And like any relationship, you need to take the time to build trust.Being in touch with your innermost feelings and intuition can be incredibly difficult. Not only because we’re so busy and that there is so much noise, but we’re also programmed not to feel. We’re actually programmed to not be overly emotional. This is particularly true for women. We eat our feelings – we smile, grin and bear them, but we’re not actually in touch with them.
TBE : How can you differentiate between the voice of intuition or your fear impulse?
This is something I am interested to touch on because some people ask me ‘how do I know if it’s my intuition or if it is fear?’. The voice of your intuition is confidence building and it is also encouraging. It tells me if there was something to work on or to improve or be aware of, but without the negative feeling.
TBE : Moving into the new year, a time for resolution and renewal, what practices can we draw upon to help life a fulfilling life?
In a new year, we typically make resolutions about what we don’t like, we don’t want and what we won’t stand for anymore. I think it is important to simply come back to how you want to feel. What is your body telling you? I also urge people to look at difficult, challenging times and ask what these moments are revealing to them. To take time to really tune into who you really are and what you really want.
Sometimes the right path for the soul, is the thing that teaches us the most.
TBE : How do you know when you’re on your path and the right path to your journey?
The first way to answer that is that where you are is perfect. You’re already on the path, even if it feels like you’ve stumbled into a back alley somewhere along the way, you’re always exactly where you need to be. There will be some good signals that you’re on the right path – you will feel positive, and actually want to wake up everyday doing what you’re doing. That doesn’t mean that you’re going to be in a state of ecstasy every minute of every day, but it also means that when you do face challenges or avoidance and resistance, you will feel the commitment to see it through. I think that can be applied to not just a career but it’s true of relationships too. Sometimes the right path for the soul, is the thing that teaches us the most.
To look after yourselves and others without getting overwhelmed I those same things- stillness and self-care. The more that you love yourself, the more you’re going to trust your intuition. I’ve certainly learnt this year to trust the process and ask for help more than I ever have before.
TBE : The last question that I have really is how do you define ‘a good life’ and how would you go about living one?
That is a really good question, can I get back to you once I’ve lived it all? (laughs).I think ultimately for me, in the last decade or so, trusting my intuition has opened up a lot of doors for me – I believe that’s a good life. It’s full of opportunities of abundance, experience and richness. It’s also been full of lows, grief and sadness and pain but, I think that a good life is involves this embracing this duality. I guess you start with your intuition, strap yourself in and wait for that ride.