Saturday, August 30, 2008

How to avoid the intuitive voice.


The intuitive voice is always there - but it can be blocked or muffled - in much the same way as those layers and layers of mattresses in the Princess and the Pea concealed the pea to all but the true princess. Learning to hear one's intuition clearly is a process of taking off the layers of mattresses or at least identifying them so they no longer have such power.

Sometimes it is easier to get at the heart of a matter by turning it on its head. So the question I invite you to ask yourself today is: How do I block my intuition?
Here is the list I came up with:

1. Tranquillize it with too much food, sleep, late nights etc.

2. Get locked into a fixed idea of what I'm going to do when or how something should happen.

3. Allow my knee-jerk rebel to take over - I'm not going to be told what to do by anyone - even if it is my own intuition!

4. Get carried away by someone else's energetic pull or by needing someone else's approval.

5. Refuse to take my intuition seriously unless I can work out with my mind ahead of time why I should do what it is telling me.

6. Choosing addiction over intuition - ie reading gossipy mags or surfing the internet or checking my daily astrology or falling into self-pity or disappearing into grandiose fantasies.

Intuition, so Clarissa Pinkola Estes points out, will lead us along the path of the least psychic fragmentation. The quest to hear one's intuitive voice clearly and to trust it enough to follow it may take time, but the resultant flow in one's art and life and the sense of inner peace make the journey well worth while. 

Saturday, August 23, 2008

The Power of Intuition

detail - The Princess and the Pea - etching

I don't know about you, but I can't think of a time when I've followed my intuition and regretted it. On the contrary my major regrets have been when I have heard the nudging of intuition and not followed it. Caroline Myss describes this as an act of self-betrayal which can lead to deep suffering. 

I believe that as children we are often strongly connected to our intuitive voice, but a host of minor and major traumas, of teachers, parents and siblings telling us they know what we want better than we do, and our own squashing of our true self in order to gain acceptance and approval, all contribute to the distancing of intuition. Like the pea in the fairy tale the Princess and the Pea - the intuitive voice is still there, but it is hard to discern through the padding of all those mattresses.

This fairytale does not offer instruction on re-connecting to our intuition, it simply highlights that this is an essential skill one must have for the sacred conjunctio (from alchemy meaning the transformative union of unlike substances) or inner marriage to take place between our female and males aspects. The importance of this marriage can be found not only in the study of alchemy, but in the many, many fairytales that all focus on this same theme - finding the true princess/prince and being worthy of that partner. 

They are really not talking about one's husband or wife in the external world, they are talking about the internal marriage between the feminine element - the princess- who, clearly in touch with her intuition is able to hear soul guidance as to what must be done - and the masculine element who puts that guidance into action, who makes it manifest in the outer world. An excellent discussion of the sacred marriage and the roles of the inner female and male can be found in Clarissa Pinkola Este's book Women who run with the Wolves in the chapter called:Clear Water:Nourishing the Creative Life - The Man on the River. 

If the princess cannot hear her intuition, if she cannot feel the pea, then the instructions given to inner male are faulty, ill conceived, arising from some other source and not the true self and the realisation of these instructions will not bring about an internal sense of fulfillment. 

In the Princess and the Pea, the princess not only hears her intuition, she cannot avoid it, she is so sensitive to it - even through all those mattresses - she is kept awake and turned black and blue. It can take a lot of work to develop this degree of sensitivity to one's intuitive voice, but the resulting inner sense of empowerment and peace makes the work worth while. Re-connecting to our intuition is the essence of the journey of self-discovery.