The Emperor Penguins of Antarctica group up in the thousands during the breeding season. Once their chicks are juveniles, the adult penguins depart for open water to feed and bring home nutrition. They have this knack, when they’ve returned from their foraging expeditions, of locating their young among a throng of look-alikes, solely by recognizing their chick’s call in a cacophony of penguin noise. Parent penguins have a knack for listening.
As I’ve aged and my other physical faculties are weakening, my inner voice- my intuition is growing much stronger. Like the parent penguins, I’ve learned to recognize it from the din of voices that surround me in my external and internal worlds.
It’s a skill anyone can develop but in our left-brained, modern culture, it’s not valued nor spoken about much. It requires quiet, stillness, and patience. Intuition is an inner voice easily drowned out by messages we receive on a daily basis- live your life like this, look like this, buy this, buy that, your intuitive messages often running counter to them.
Intuition speaks to you in the pit of your stomach, in your dreams, and through repeated incidents of synchronicity. Intuition waves red flags and green flags. It is your inner compass, your guardian angel, your spirit guide, your anchor point, or whatever you care to label it. Intuition is your subconscious speaking to you mixed with a little fairy dust. It is always for your highest good. In nature, it is called instinct, guiding birds, fish, butterflies and other creatures to migrate creatures thousands of miles to places they have never been before.
Intuition is not the same as desire, lust, envy, or ego.
Learn to ask your intuition for answers. Give it a venue to express itself. Write down your thoughts and dreams on a regular basis. Take your earbuds out, go for walks and listen. Pray, meditate.
The next step is learning to trust your intuition and take action rather being dismissive about it. The nemesis of intuition is FEAR- letting the excuses drown out your inner voice such as “I can’t because I will fail, I don’t have enough time or money, I’m not good enough, or what will people think?”
If I would have trusted my intuition in my younger years I wouldn’t have wound up with the wrong men and wrong jobs. I ignored the red flags. Trusting my intuition led me to escape my house while an intruder entered it. It told me to retire early from teaching- which I did. Despite my fears, I have not starved, my life is rich and I am in the place in life where I should be.
Sometimes being willing to act on your intuition is like crossing a log over a roaring creek- something I used to dread in my backpacking days. The trick is I found is commitment and focus. Fix your eyes on a point on the other side, keep your momentum up and don’t look down.
Practicing my intuition is something I do on a daily basis. I write and create my artwork with an intuitive process. Everything from major life decisions to planning my day comes from listening to my inner voice.
The good thing about intuition, even when you’ve failed to follow the right path, like a GPS it will reroute you. Ultimately it’s your best friend. Learn to trust it.
Sometimes buried under piles of laundry
Or dirty dishes
Voice muffled, crying out
It lurks in the recesses of your shower
Alighting on your consciousness
As hot water and shampoo
Stream down your back.
It follows you around
Like a stray dog
That just wants its ears scratched
Some food, attention, or a new home
Hands waving desperately
Don’t go away.