This is part one of a two-part series on Intuition. Written by Emily Curtis for Parimukti
Part 2: The initiate takes the plunge
Have you been in a yoga class where the instructor has said, “be your own teacher?” They’re telling us to find and be guided by our own inner wisdom. Not to mimic what we see.
Sadly, living in the moment, and developing self-trust to weather uncertainty, isn’t something my culture promoted. Many of us grow up with a model version of our self that we’re expected to imbue. There may be more than one version. There are the models our parents demonstrate, our teachers, siblings, partners, our former selves, the media, and perhaps religious institutions.
But they are models.
I have challenged ‘in-the box’ thinking most of my life, but I was still a pollster – a part of me was still attached to the nice cosy feeling of belonging to a group, any group. The antsy feeling of uncertainty was like a launching pad, propelling me into the center of a conversation about it. The resistance to uncertainty can be like a projectile that aims me away from the real feeling that lies underneath: stress, nervousness, excitement, or the sheer feeling of being alive…
When I realized that I didn’t need to do what anyone else expected of me, it was profound. It has taken time to get use to; I had never realized just how entrenched external expectations had become.
And it has been an initiation.
I jump off the boat, take the plunge into the unknown, coasting, soaring, trusting. I haven’t grown immune to feeling giddy, anxious, or afraid, because then I’d be dead! But I have gotten better at enjoying jumping off the boat and the confidence I feel when I know I’ve trusted myself. Now I find that I can usually sit still long enough to quiet the antsy chatter and allow my creative inner voice to emerge from the wellspring of feeling under the uncertainty.
Some have called this voice the intuition, the inner wisdom, the voice of reason… some call it the divine. For me, it’s my clear, uncharged self that arises. It comes when I am able to truly witness the presence of uncertainty and my minds’ rush to fix it, and just chill with it. I still feel the urge sometimes to look outside for help, to look up to the heavens, or to a trusted confidante.
Habits can be hard to break. But embracing uncertainty and trusting my intuition is a relationship with myself that I am so grateful I signed up for.