Do you follow your intuition? We all have it, but many people fail to follow their innermost feelings.
The dictionary defines intuition as “The ability to understand something immediately, without the need for conscious reasoning,” and as “A thing that one knows or considers likely from instinctive feeling rather than conscious reasoning.”
For me, pure intuition always provides pure guidance. Because intuition is so under-utilized, its expression remains in its infancy, however I believe that we all have the power to tap into it.
Being aware of one’s emotional state has a great impact on how much intuition we let in. Thoughts that feel pure and good can lead us in the right direction, and thoughts that feel adverse often don’t align with the truth. If we believe in the seeming magic of intuition, we will eventually see its reality.
Woman have historically better accepted and utilized their intuitive powers—but nevertheless, as we continue to evolve as a planet, the Baha’i teachings say that men will begin to claim this spiritual quality as their own, when the equality of men and women brings about a “more evenly balanced” civilization:
The world in the past has been ruled by force, and man has dominated over woman by reason of his more forceful and aggressive qualities both of body and mind. But the balance is already shifting; force is losing its dominance, and mental alertness, intuition, and the spiritual qualities of love and service, in which woman is strong, are gaining ascendancy. Hence the new age will be an age less masculine and more permeated with the feminine ideals … an age in which the masculine and feminine elements of civilization will be more evenly balanced. – Abdu’l-Baha, Star of the West, Volume 2, p. 4.
In my quest to allow greater intuition into my life I only have to observe my daughter Julia. I realized when she was too young to talk that she was very intuitive, like so many young children. As a toddler, she used to like to brush my hair. One day, as I sat on the floor watching TV with Julia I thought, “I would really love it if Julia would go get the brush and brush my hair right now.” Immediately Julia got up, went to the bedroom, got a brush and then proceeded to brush my hair. From that day on I have delighted in the many manifestations of her intuition. This spiritual knowing of hers was not limited to people, but to all living creatures.
Being in tune with our inner guidance can seem truly magical by materialistic standards, but when it happens repeatedly it becomes hard to deny. Still, many times, if I had not seen it with my own eyes I would find it hard to believe.
Case in point, a few days ago, my daughter Julia came home from her job as a teacher. As she talked about her day, I saw her open her lunch bag and pull out a frozen cold pack. On it was a fly, just sitting there. I watched as she took the cold pack outside, and the insect flew off of it and away. As I tried to understand what I had just seen, my daughter proceeded to tell me what had happened to her earlier that day.
“I was in a conference room today, Mom, and I noticed this fly in the room. He was trapped because all the windows were closed as well as the door and there was no way he was ever going to get free. I felt bad and he flew over and sat right in front of me. I sent him loving thoughts, wished the little creature well and then went about my day and forgot about him. Somehow he found his way into my lunch pack and survived the rest of the day and the drive home until now when I opened my pack and found him inside!”
We both looked at each other in amazement. Was it really possible that my daughter’s loving thoughts engaged with this tiny insect enough so that he was drawn intuitively to find safety in her care? Or was it my daughter’s intuitive intention that transported the little fly to shelter? In any case, my daughter’s intention and prayer for the fly was realized and the tiny creature was saved. Many people would think it silly to care about a simple fly, but my daughter, being raised a Baha’i, has always been taught to hold the utmost love and respect for all living creatures. In the Baha’i writings we are taught that all life is sacred:
Briefly, it is not only their fellow human beings that the beloved of God must treat with mercy and compassion, rather must they show forth the utmost loving-kindness to every living creature. – Abdu’l-Baha, Selections from the Writings of Abdu’l-Baha, p. 158.
Unless ye must,
Bruise not the serpent in the dust,
How much less wound a man.
And if ye can,
No ant should ye alarm,
Much less a brother harm. – Ibid., p. 256.
Since I was a teenager I have been fascinated with the subject of intuition, which always seemed magic and otherworldly. One day I had a conversation with a dear friend on the topic. My lovely elderly friend named Ramona Brown had the privilege of spending many occasions conversing with Abdu’l-Baha on a variety of subjects. On one such occasion the subject of intuition came up and he told her:
You have intuition. You must follow it always, because when you follow it, it increases and becomes more clear. Only a few have this gift. It is like the tinkling of bells, a sixth sense, like the voice of God speaking. The more one follows intuition, the more it increases. – Memories of Abdu’l-Baha, p. 14.
So how do we develop this wondrous spiritual quality of intuition? Perhaps it requires learning to balance our intellect with what our heart says, and listening carefully to that still, small voice of the soul we all have within us.
Intuition comes when we listen to the promptings of the unseen, loving guides all around us. Trusting when something feels right, and following our emotional guidance as a sure path, can help us achieve our spiritual goals. I would even venture to say that the more we get in touch with the pure guidance of our inner being through heartfelt prayer, consistent meditation and sincere reflection, the more we will be able to hear that magic “tinkling of the bells.”