The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift." ~Albert Einstein
It is the first principle I teach because without intuition there can be no intimate relationship with God (Spirit, our Higher Power, or The Universe), the horse or ourselves.
It doesn’t matter what you call it or how you access it, your intuition touches the wisdom of All-That-Is and leads you to what you are here to learn and accomplish.
In horsemanship it is what the great horseman Tom Dorrance referred to as ‘feel’ - his belief that we as humans need to feel what the horse is feeling and operate from where the horse is. When we have ‘feel’ for our horses, and they ‘feel’ us, we form a true partnership. (Read last week’s blog post about true partnerships here).
Intuition is a sixth sense that I believe all species possess. As animals preyed upon in nature, horses must know the intentions of those around them. The horse actually intuits whether or not it is safe and if it can trust those around it to support its safety. Rather than analyzing the situation, as we humans do, the horse actually feels through its intuition and responds accordingly.
(We would love to hear your thoughts. - If all animals have this innate ability that connects us to the Divine and to one another does that make them conscious beings? Or do you believe that in order to be conscious requires the ability to reason?)
Our intuition is a gut feeling, a deep inner knowing, and a form of guidance and wisdom from God. Like the horse our bodies are designed to be responsive to our environment and the world around us. We continually receive information about anything that is a threat to us or that is our best interests. We like the horse have an instinctual self that serves to not only help us survive but also helps us to thrive.
Intuition is like a radio or television station that transmits twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week; but we only hear them when we turn the radio or television on and tune into it. Our failure to hear the messages doesn’t mean the station isn’t transmitting.
As children, we are often conditioned to not listen to our intuition, our feelings, or our gut instincts in order to fit into what is considered ‘normal’ in our families and the society we live in. Over time we forget that we have this innate guidance system.
I believe that intuition is a connection to our soul, a way for God to communicate to us. Through our intuition we can access profound guidance that allows us to make the best choices for ourselves. Only through listening to our intuition and following it can our lives be led to a life that is abundant, successful and full of limitless possibilities.
As you listen for guidance on a daily basis, you will find yourself being given one step at a time, because God never gives us more than we can handle. The answers may come through an inspired idea, an image, a song, a body sensation, or a sudden insight that offers a new direction. Intuition comes in many forms. It communicates in different ways to each of us. Following are some of the ways intuition makes itself known.
Emotions - Intuitive information often comes through our feelings or emotions. Our feelings are neither good or bad, they are simply messages to guide us in life. Linda Kohanov has written extensively about the emotional intelligence of horses and what we as humans can learn from them in her books. She has developed the Emotional Message Chart to demystify the message behind each message. (We will further discuss how our emotions affect our horsemanship in a later blog post.)
Physical sensations - Our thoughts and emotions are deeply connected to our physical body. Rarely can we have a thought or feeling without a reaction from our bodies. We generally call such sensations a gut feeling, but they can be any sensation in your body. The sensations in your body, especially those in your stomach can be a clue as to what your true feelings are. You might find that your body feels heavy if a decision you’ve made is wrong. Your body may feel light or experience chills if it is the correct path for you.
Inner Voice or Heart Communication - Many people report a still, quiet, inner voice. Your intuition will always communicate with you in a compassionate, loving manner that is perceptibly different from your normal often critical inner chatter.
Dreams - You can receive a wealth of guidance when you learn to ask for intuitive insight from your dreams.
Symbols - Intuition often comes to us in symbolic images or through the symbolism of a song. You might receive a symbolic impression of a rocky road if you choose Path A. If you choose the alternative Path B, you may see a clear, well-paved path in your mind’s eye.
Inspiration Through Nature - Nature and animals has an ability to bring me peace in a way nothing else does. Seeing the beauty, creativity, and complexity of creation has had a profound effect on my spiritual life. All of God’s creation has something to teach us if we are only willing to listen.
Circumstances, Coincidences and Synchronicity - It's been said that coincidences are God's way of remaining anonymous. When you experience frequent synchronicity you'll know your intuition has led you on the right path.
While I have always wished intuition would proclaim itself in a loud voice, saying, "Here's what you should do," it doesn't. Intuition has its own language; its own code. There is no one right way to hear its guidance. I personally have to quiet myself, look within, and position my heart to hear the still small voice within. The following are a list of exercises to help you tune into your intuition.
- In your journal, write about the last time you trusted your feelings about something and you turned out to be right.
- Sit quietly in nature and just listen to the sounds as you breathe. What do you hear, sense, or feel?
- With your horse, see if you can sense through your intuition what the next movement he/she will make.
- Notice what’s going on in your body. Breathe into the sensation and ask for its guidance.
- Check in with yourself on a regular basis, pay attention to the messages behind your emotions.
- Keep a list of synchronicities and coincidences.
- Keep a dream journal.
My hope for you is that you’ll find your intuitive guidance like the horse, a steadfast companion on your path in life; a true friend who wants what’s best for you, who is always there, guiding, listening, encouraging - showing you the way to achieve your heart’s desire through love and compassion.
Feelings are your guide. Trust your feelings and learn to express them, and do not blame anyone for how you feel. Be yourself, observe yourself." ~ Barbara Marciniak