Wednesday, April 10, 2013

The Wilderness of your Intuition



I'm nearing the end of listening to Daniel Kahneman's book Thinking, Fast and Slow.  It reminds me somewhat of my Social Psychology class in college which was heavily research based, and we went over study after study after study ... after study. However, Kahneman comes to some important conclusions in his book about how we actually make decisions.

Although listening to this data-filled book is challenging, I am finding it fascinating to learn so much about our thought processes.

Kahneman says that much of what we think of as intuition is more appropriately based on something tangible such as familiarity. On a multiple choice test, I agree that "John Adams" might look like the right answer because he's the only name I recognize!

My very favorite author, Adrian Plass, is a lovable, somewhat bumbling man who is just trying to get it right. Once when he is trying to figure out if he is hearing "God's voice," he decides to write down a random thought that comes into his head: "Buy a tree frog and call it Kaiser Bill." Hilarity ensues when his wife finds the note in his pocket and looks at him with her loving look. (Oh, Adrian.)


Random thoughts are not what I am talking about. Rather, the questions I listen to my intuition on are things like:

What do I feel is the next step to take regarding this issue?
What does my intuition tell me about joining this group?
What am I feeling about what to do about this situation?
What would I do here if I were unafraid, and unattached to the outcome?
What word do I want to focus on for this blogpost?


As I pondered the idea of intuition, I realized that whereas I used to think intuition was a magical thought that jumped into my brain to give me "the answer" about something, I now believe it is much more of a sense having to do with something I want to do or do not want to do. When I turn to my intuition, I trust that the choice I make will be the best one.

Where do you most use intuition in your life? What does intuition give you? What do you believe about trusting your intuition?




7 comments:

The Mom Chef said...

So where does intuition stop and the nudgings of the Holy Spirit begin?

Susan Taylor said...

Are they not parts of the same whole? After attending a class at Crossroads called,"Welcome to the Revolution," I had a routine I did every morning where I would read some portion of Scripture, then ask God what He wanted me to know about that passage, and then I would write down what I felt like I was "hearing." That "hearing" came from some non-rational place. Intuition does as well.

Both processes involve a moment of stopping, turning my focus inward, and listening. In one case, a person would say, "God told me to take this step." In another, a person might say, "My gut says to take this step." If indeed we are indwelt by the Holy Spirit, then there is a similarity in the two processes.

There may be many Christians for whom their faith is so deep and strong that they can easily attribute thoughts and promptings to the work of the Holy Spirit in their lives. For others, there may be a journey of development which includes learning to trust oneself, as part of the journey to wholeness.

Ultimately, the decision to take a particular step, whether you attribute it to a nudging of the Holy Spirit, or a nudging from your truest self, is based on your belief that you can trust that that particular step is the one to take.

What do you think? Where does intuition stop and the nudgings of the Holy Spirit begin?

Ruby Wilbur said...

I am striving to "listen internally" more in my life. I think it is a skill that improves with practice.


Ruby is participating in the A to Z Challenge
Ruby Wilbur

Ida Chiavaro said...

Thanks for leading me here Susan, I am so glad I went the creative route in my post on intuition. I admire a clear thought process, and you covered all the nuances and then more in your comments. I know the times in my life I haven't taken a moment to "hear/sense" my options, have ended ugly. Intuition is a part of my everyday life, from deciding what colour towels to buy for my treatment room (today) to knowing when to call my mother who lives on the other side of the planet. She was stuck in a flood recently and I was the first to ring and comfort her because I just 'knew' she was in distress. It takes a little longer to shop sometimes, and gets frustrating for people around me when I don't know why I feel it should be done a certain way, but it all makes sense eventually :)

mary said...

Loved all the questions. Good food for thought. I enjoy blogs that make me think. :)

~Mary
www.maryeagius.com

sherilee said...

I have had a number of times in recent years where I've paused in my action or current plan and wondered, why am I pausing? What's stopping me from moving forward? And then, a door opens, or a new thought emerges, and I know why I paused. I have learned to trust the pause and see what is revealed between the bursts of action and energy, almost more than the activity itself.

Does that makes sense? It does to me, but as I type this commment, it almost feels like it deserves its own blog post... what letter, though?!

Great post about intuition!

Julia said...

This is quite interesting. I do not think much about things like intuition because my preference is historical fiction and fictional text, with a bit of international fiction thrown in, but this does sound like a good book to read.