Intuition is a wonderful tool that can allow us to unlock our creative potential, and transform our lives.
In her book, ‘Emotional Freedom,’ Judith Orloff MD defines intuition as ‘a potent wisdom..a practical, smart decision-making aid…Intuition can be a hunch, a dream, a ‘’knowing’’, specific guidance, or a warning of danger.’’
She explains that the phrase ‘gut feeling,’ is actually literally true. Cutting edge scientists have now discovered a kind of brain in the gut, called the ‘enteric nervous system.’ It is a network of neurons that learn and store information.
Intuition, is a kind of knowledge that can help us make better decisions, and avoid the endless circling in our heads, that leads to nowhere. When we write intuitively, our characters seem to take on minds of their own, our words flow, effortlessly, we are no longer thinking.
But we have to find our intuition, we have to switch off our minds, and allow our writing to come from a different place. When I began to write while being consciously aware of my body, I found a voice that was wiser than myself, who wrote much better words than me. They did not even seem like my words anymore.
Here are some other things that help switch off our circling minds; Go for a walk or swim before writing, dance around the living room, meditate. Write somewhere out in nature far away from distractions, so your intuition has the space to speak.
If you’re a beginning writer staring at a blank page, your head can sometimes sabotage the process by worrying about what you will write, and whether it will be good enough. But you can simply ask your intuition ‘’what should I write?’’ and your intuition will answer at the speed of light. Simply write down the first thing that comes to you, no matter how strange or ridiculous it seems. Keep doing this, following the trail that you intuition leads you along.
My intuition has never let me down, when I ask questions, it answers. These could be questions about my life, or about my writing. When I was in my early twenties, I worried about when I would have children, so I wrote down the question, and then the answer that popped into my head. At 32 years old. I actually had my daughter two months before thirty second birthday, so perhaps your intuition, can’t always foresee the future! But it can make an accurate intelligent estimation, based on you and what might happen.
Recently I was struggling to write a novel, trying to find the time, getting frustrated by interruptions, and feeling upset, about how I would never fulfill this dream of mine. Then I wrote this simple question on the page. ‘’Why can’t I write a novel?’’ My intuition explained, that at this stage in my life, with a young baby, I just don’t have the headspace for it, and I have other writing projects that I need to work on first, such as my book about creative writing and healing. When that’s done, then my head will be empty for a novel. I’m much happier to leave my dream on the shelf for a while, because now I understand that I just need to be patient.
In modern western society, we are led far from our intuition. We are taught to think and talk, but not so much about how to listen. Writing is a trail back to ourselves, to the intuitive voice that whispers in our bodies, a wise voice, that will give you an answer, just a long as you remember to ask.
Write a question, about your life or your writing ambitions. Then write the answer, the first thing that pops into your head.