Fear vs. Intuition: How do you tell the difference? Once you start to turn inward for your truth and direction, inevitably there’s the task of discerning between the narration of your fear-based ego and the divine wisdom of your intuition.
There are a few ways to tell them apart, one of which is paying attention to how the message is delivered. Fear is the chatty-cathy voice in your head carrying on and on and on. It will rarely stop talking without your conscious intervention as it presents the arguments for its position in a repeating loop, persistently trying to compel you into doing (or not doing) something.
In order to hear intuition you have to get quiet. Usually its insight is concise and to the point—on average using only a few words or a sentence or two at most. Intuition doesn’t feel like it’s trying to sell you on something, rather it’s simply connecting you to what feels like your own inherent knowing.
You can make room for accessing intuition more readily through the process of meditation, which is largely the practice of not being so attached to all the noisy chatter in your head. You can also access it by simply sitting still, taking a deep breath and asking your highest consciousness, heart, god, whatever resonates with you: “What is my loving truth right now?”
Fear generally motivates more talking, more seeking information outside of yourself, and more restlessness and agitation. Whereas guidance from your intuition will only feel surprising or uncomfortable if it requires you to consider or do things that are outside of what you currently allow yourself. When you connect with intuition there won’t be any confusion about what the most authentic you would choose, it will only be a question of whether you’re going to take action in alignment with your soul rather than try to take refuge in the mandates of your ego.
What if we trusted life enough to let it surprise us? What if we believed in ourselves enough to be fluid in evolving and adapting? What if we released our assumptions about what should be and more often celebrated the miracle of what is?
These past several days the notion of “surrender” keeps presenting itself—in guided meditations “randomly” chosen, in newsletters from people I admire, and in an email from a dear soul making sure I knew about Michael Singer’s latest book (even if it’s a couple years old).
Singer’s “The Surrender Experiment” artfully unravels the ways in which our fear-based thinking arbitrarily preconceives what is safe, what is acceptable, and what is a life we can relax into living. And as is the case with virtually all our defenses, these efforts to protect our tender egos end up causing needless suffering and hold us back from our greatest potentials.
Each call to surrender—surrender—surrender echoing through my week compels me to relax deeper and deeper into the flow of life. This repetitive messaging, often referred to as synchronicity, is one aspect of the magic of life I’m most intrigued by. When I’m aware enough to notice it happening, it tends to bring both clarity and peace of mind.
Watch for subtle (or not so subtle) synchronistic calls for your attention. I find they usually hold timely and pertinent information to help break free from the limited perspective, or “plans”, our fear-based narratives cling to so dearly.
When faced with pain, heartache, fear and struggle, there is often a gut level reflex to recoil in an attempt to avoid the stressor in front of us. There’s utilitarian function to the instinct that steers us clear of the real physical dangers that threaten our survival, but when this instinct becomes generalized to the emotional, psychological and social stressors inherent in life, this habit to avoid undermines our true potential.
It’s THROUGH adversity that we gain strength. It’s by facing our fears, stretching ourselves past what we believed we were capable of, surviving and rising above what once seemed unthinkable that we have a deeper confidence and understanding of the enormity of our capacity and power.
This principle is clear to you in other areas such as your physicality. You know you must exert your body, strain and literally tear muscle fibers, tolerate challenge, discomfort and usually pain, in order to build stronger, healthier, more effective muscles.
The same is true for our spirit. We must not shrink in the face of even overwhelming despair or lose hope in the midst of seemingly bleak unknowns. Instead, recognize these moments in our lives, these chapters in our history, as the opportunities for our greatest triumph and evolution.
Seek out mentors. Ask for help from guides. Turn inward more often to your own intuition. Call on the support and camaraderie of your fellow warriors and teammates. Take breaks as you need them. BREATHE. Rest and hydrate often. But KEEP GOING. This is the time. This is the moment. Greater fortitude, resiliency and healing than ever dreamed possible lies just on the other side of what’s in front of us.