The Difference Between Intuition and Thoughts
Last Edited November 2016.
Imagination or Thought, versus Intuition.
A Spirit Speaks submission came in asking how to recognize the difference between imagination and intuition. It's a common inquiry, really, when one is opening to their gifts or awakening to the Spiritual senses.
"How do I know it's not just my own thoughts?"
"How do I know it's not just me making it up?"
"The voice I hear sounds like me, so I can't help but doubt it."
"I feel a little crazy."
In sitting down to write this, I first tuned into my Guides and then felt a little encouragement to pull a card. Archangel Gabriel: Inspiration. How fitting.
The intuitive voice, the gut feeling, the inner knowing. We all have it. Every one of us. This deeply ingrained- albeit sometimes ignored or denied- gift is our spiritual birthright. Our Soul carried it into the physical when we incarnated. The intuition cannot be taken away. You have it. All it takes is some faith and trust and awareness to hear it when it speaks.
Think of the intuition like a compass. It's a built-in mechanism that you can tune into to receive guidance and a sense of where to go when you're wondering which way to turn.
The purpose of intuition is that it is a mechanism through which we receive our inspiration, guidance, insight, direction, creative impulse. You're an antennae. The Divine information- from your Higher Self, Guides, Angels, Loved Ones, Collective Consciousness- flows in and the intuition "speaks" to you, delivering the goods. Your job is to "tune in" and listen to it. Listen to yourself. Listen to that gut.
So. "How do I know I'm not just making it up?"
First of all, how do you feel when you receive the information, or when you "hear" the "voice" of the intuition? It might feel like a very sure, very deep, unexplainable knowing. You don't know how you're sure, but you just are. And here's the deal: you're probably used to second-guessing yourself, right? So when I say it feels like an "unexplainable knowing," I mean the first impulse, not the thoughts that jump in immediately after, saying, "Wait. Was that real? I'm crazy. That can't possibly be real."
An intuitive insight might also trigger a physical sensation. This would be associated with the psychic sense of "clear-feeling" or clairsentience. You feel the energy, you feel the knowing. Sometimes this sensation is triggered in such a way to grab your attention. "Listen here! Listen up!" your intuition is screaming.
To practice listening to your intuition, the best thing you can do is to still yourself. It's tricky to hear, feel, or see anything subtle when your active mind is running around like a monkey, taking centre stage. The intuition speaks up from a place of inner-stillness. The mind is comparable to a caffeinated hamster on its wheel.
Slow way down. Get quiet. Breathe and just pay attention to your breath.
A thought arises, let it go.
One million thoughts arise, let them go.
An antsy, impatient feeling arises, let it go. "Is this it? Is it happening? Where is it? This is stupid. I'm not good at this." Let it all go.
Just. Shhhh. Don't impose anything on yourself. Don't try to control anything. In fact, don't try anything. The idea is just to be. The thoughts, impatience, doubt, and criticisms are all going to come up. And you know why? Because the Ego is the Intuition's nemesis. The Ego wants nothing more than to cling for dear life and maintain its place as Captain of the Ship. The good news is, to loosen the Ego's death grip, all you have to do is acknowledge and let it go. Meeting its energy with more tightness, resistance, frustration, or agitation is just more of the Ego. It takes practice and sometimes an unreal amount of patience, but the rewards are beyond worth it.
"What you resists, persists."
Releasing the resistance of the mind opens you up for the inspiration to flow in. It opens you up so you can feel, hear, and know that energy.
The mind is a place of activity, the intuition is a place of stillness.
Intuition speaks to you between your thoughts. Hence the importance of slowing down enough to feel and hear between the chatter of the mind.
Another difference between the mind or the ego, and intuition is clarity and love. The intuition does not seek to confuse or instil fear. It comes from a place of Love, it comes from the energy that you are. It may impulse you to move quickly for the sake of your safety. It may alert you to a dangerous situation. But, it does so from a place of clarity and calm, authoritative knowing rather than in a creepy, attempting-to-get-a-rise-out-of-you way.
Ultimately, listening to your intuition leaves you with a feeling of being uplifted and empowered.
Hearing the intuition and learning to decipher it from your imagination or own thoughts takes practice, like anything else. And it takes Trust- in yourself, your core energy of Divine Light, and in the Divine unfolding and brilliant knowing that is larger and wiser than your singular ego.
A few final thoughts on intuition: it sounds like you because, ultimately, it is you. It is an energy speaking from within you- within your core- and so it is understandable that it will sound like you. Even if the impulse is flowing into you and you're channeling a Guide or a Spirit, you are still the conduit. Think of a medium who channels Spirit- they may speak differently, the rhythm or speech pattern might differ, but ultimately it is still their voice box being used. Besides, you're of the same Light that these Guides flow in from, so you happen to be hearing the frequency of Oneness as your voice because that just happens to be your perception or interpretation of it.
And lastly, your imagination is a beautiful thing. It's a useful tool for Spirit to engage with because they do use your inner repertoire and library of images, sensations, knowledge to deliver meaningful messages. Imagination is also the birthplace of creativity- and our entire existence is based upon creating and birthing our reality. So make no mistake about it, daydreaming and imaginative meditating certainly have their place in spiritual growth and overall health.
I hope that clears some things up for you!
May you quiet yourself, still yourself, to hear and feel that inner pulse of life within you.
May you trust your inner-compass and the Love with which it steers you.
(PS Shift your perception of needing to grasp anything, says Spirit. Grasping indicates a lack, a pursuance of something that doesn't already reside within you. Grasping indicates resisting the flow or tightening around an energy, clogging up its natural pulses and rhythms. Rather than actively searching, see if you might slow down and just be, instead. Open, rather than tighten. Lean back, rather than grappling forward).