Power of Intuition
hat if you wake up one morning with a funny feeling that your child shouldn't go to pre-school? Should you keep him home? How about if your child's babysitter rubs you the wrong way, but you can't put your finger on exactly why? Should you let her go? Sixth sense, gut feeling, hunch -- no matter what you call it -- chances are you've experienced intuition at some point in your life. But is it really intuition? Or just a random guess?
Even for experts, it is hard to know. "That's the challenge of using intuition," says Laura Day, an intuitive who counsels Hollywood stars and is author of The New York Times best-selling book The Circle (Jeremy P. Tarcher/Putnam). "You don't know." Day, whose son is now 13 years old, believes that a woman is most intuitive when her children are very young. "This is a time when you are predicting the needs and safety of your child on very sleep."
Everyone -- men and women -- is somewhat intuitive. At its most basic level, intuition is the act of receiving information and interpreting it -- usually on a subconscious level. How often have you said to yourself, "I knew I should have called her yesterday," or "I had a feeling I should have just stayed in bed today"? The key is to tap into your intuition and act upon it ahead of time -- rather than look back and wish you had.
But how? Experts say that anyone who wants to hone their intuition needs to exercise it on a regular basis. It's believed that intuition is something we all possess at birth -- it's a survival mechanism. However, our keen ability may wane as we become adults and base our decisions on logic. "We tend to rely on our more civilized senses," says Day "and we forget that our most reliable senses are the ones that developed first."
So when something doesn't feel right, take a moment and stop what you are doing. Think about it. Attempt to determine if what you feel is a passing fear, or might it be something deeper? For example: When getting ready for a night out with your friends you may suddenly have a fleeting thought that you should not leave your husband home with the baby. Is this intuition or fear? If you stop and think about it, you know your husband is a great father and will do just fine. On the other hand, if you have a funny feeling about a new babysitter, and you stop and think about it, you might realize that she did not seem to listen closely when you were telling her about your child's allergies. That could be your intuition telling you to beware.
Intuitives advise that when something doesn't feel right, it's probably better to be safe than sorry. "Intuition is a gift of crisis," says Day. "It tells you the right thing to do when you don't have time to figure it all out."
And have fun paying attention to your intuition. Start a journal where you keep track of thoughts or feelings that seemed to hit you from out of the blue. Also, when you get a strong feeling of intuition, such as, "I think I know that lady in the line next to me at the grocery store but I just can't place her," don't ignore it. Say hello and explore that funny feeling of recognition. You may just be reunited with someone from your past.
Linda Frahm is a freelance writer who covers health, fitness, travel, and home-related topics for national and regional magazines, as well as popular Web sites.