Intuition and the Skill of Interpretation

Intuition-and-the-Skill-of-InterpretationThe skill of intuition is not really in the receiving. That part is easy. Just close your eyes, take a few slow,deep breaths and draw your attention inwards. In that moment you will probably find that you are aware of something that you hadn’t noticed before, even if it is only the sound of the beating of your own heart. When we drop inwards or tune-in, there is nothing we have to do in that moment to make the information “appear”. The information is always there ,just as the beating of your heart is always there (even when you are not thinking about it).

It is naturally easier to be aware of previously un-noticed information, or new information, if we draw attention away from what ordinarily captures our senses. This is partly why meditation and closing the eyes works so well for triggering new insights. Our consciousness and by that I mean conscious awareness, can only handle so much.

In our day to day lives we are constantly being bombarded by sensory data, some putting it at the equivalent of 15 million bits per second. In comparison, what we can mostly consciously process and be aware of, amounts to between 15 and 40 bits per second. These figures will vary in the literature but what doesn’t vary is that there is a vast difference between what we receive and process subconsciously and what we can process consciously. When we let go of some of what has been taking up room in our consciousness, we make space for something new to take our attention. This really is the first step of intuition.

On some levels, letting go of what normally takes our attention is easy. Turn down the lights, shut the door and shut your eyes and you have lessened the quantity of sensory input. If you are learning intuition as a new skill, all of this will help in the beginning. These circumstances, however, aren’t always convenient and even if they were, there is still the challenge of the thought processes and ways of thinking. Shutting the eyes, whilst perhaps calming the mind, doesn’t necessarily turn it “off”. Our patterned ways of thinking can persist and often do., even if we are now applying that patterned way of thinking to another pocket of information.

The practice of intuition is primarily a practice in thinking differently; thinking more expansively and creatively. It is designed to move us forward in life; to step us into higher levels of creativity and consciousness. We are all inherently intuitive and everyone has moments of spontaneous intuitive awareness, but being intuitive on a conscious level requires practice. Why? Because receiving a different pool of information is just part of the equation. What is equally important, or even more so, is how the information is taken in and interpreted. As we practice, we become more aware of our thought patterns and perceptions and are more easily able to let go of the limiting ways we perceive and interpret information. We become more aware of when we are distorting the information in order to meet pre-existing agendas. We can appreciate something new and fresh; even when we don’t understand it , or necessarily agree with it (in our logical minds).

Living intuitively is fun. Living creatively as a consequence is a great joy. To be able to take any situation and create newness out of it is a great gift and one, in my mind, to be fostered and shared. Its certainly worth the practice!

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