Thursday, May 10, 2012

Connecting with intuitive wisdom

One of the major ways I use information is to learn about myself and the world around me. What do I think about  ____ ? Why are things the way they are? Have others realized this? What do they think? I have realized that I often browse the internet for answers if I have a question about life. I also read books and talk to people. 

But recently something has changed in me. I am still a seeker of knowledge, but not necessarily always outside myself. This was apparent yesterday when I saw a post from Leo Babauta's ZenHabits blog pop up in my reader feed. It was titled 'How to Live Well'. In the past I would have jumped to click on, read, and absorb the article, but this time I paused. I remembered myself as a third grader thrusting my hand into the air as if to say, 'Pick me, I know- I know the answer!' But unlike the simple bravado of my eight-year-old self, I felt that I had some idea of what Leo's article would say because I have learned enough to figure (most of them) out on my own. 

"Okay", I said to myself, "Let's first see what I think about living a good life." I grabbed a pen and paper and scribbled down my thoughts.

To live well:
Enjoy every day
Live simply: simplify possessions, simplify schedules
Experience things
Be in the present moment
Be happy and grateful
Learn new things
Share what you learn with others

Then I read the article. In his concise yet illuminating manner, Leo describes the eight things he thinks are key to living well. And you know what? Although we used different words, my scribbled responses mirrored most of his advice. There were only two things that I did not explicitly express, and those were 1) Be driven by joy, not fear, and 2) Forget about productivity and numbers. Also pretty good ideas, in my opinion. 

This little exercise taught me that in addition to learning from the thoughts and life experiences of others, it is also important to remember that most people, including myself, also hold a great deal of intuitive knowledge and wisdom. Looking back, I remember the times in my life when I have unwarrantedly questioned myself. Yet when the answer was revealed, I realized I knew all along. Sometimes this inner wisdom can be difficult to tap into, so we must all be patient with ourselves. 

I have decided that whenever I have a question about life, I should take it as an opportunity to pause and reflect. Before seeking 'outside' knowledge, I should first look deeply to determine if I am already in touch with the answers present in myself. Then when I seek the wisdom of others I can also develop the humility and gratefulness that comes from learning from others' experiences- and also the appreciation that other people's thoughts may differ from my own. 

What do you think? Do you agree with the content of this post? What are times you use your own intuitive wisdom? When do you seek the wisdom of others? I welcome your comments. Also, for more insight into this post and additional discussion, please read 'How to Live Well' at Zenhabits (and maybe make your own list first :). 

May all beings be happy!


  1. Wow Renata, you have given me a lot to think about. What you wrote is all very true. Most of the time, we already know what the answers to a lot of the questions we ask. Our inner wisdom could do so much more for us, if we just gave it a chance and listened to it. Thank you for the link. I'm going to read it now :)

    1. Dear quietmind279,
      Thanks so much for your kind comment, it makes me glad that you felt that what I wrote was relevant to you. I think you are exactly right- when we have a question we need to stop and listen first. Not just to the person/article/book telling us their answer, but to ourselves as well.

      If you have read the article and happen to come back to this post, I would love to hear what you thought about it.

      Thanks again, may you be well!

  2. Hello Renata,
    I really enjoyed this post of yours today with the links to click onto as well, thank you so very much!

    A very strange phenomenon has been taking place for me. Here's what has been happening most of the time for me now, and that's when I'm looking for answers to certain questions, I'll find find myself just sitting quietly clearing my mind from all thoughts, and suddenly the answers appear. Or if I want to create something to write to share with others to read, but don't have a clue as to what I should write about, I'll take out a blank sheet of paper, place a pencil in my hand, and the next thing I discover is that words start appearing on the paper without my having any idea that, that's what I was going to write about. I want to believe that the bodhisattvas are guiding my heart as to what to write, or giving me the answers I've been hoping to hear. In any case I find this as being very phenomenal.

    1. Dear Lon,
      You're very welcome. I am so happy you enjoyed this post.

      Thank you for your description of what happens when you sit quietly, that the answers you seek somehow make themselves clear. I feel this is very profound. As for how this happens, I don't know, but you may be right that the Bodhisattvas are guiding your heart as you write. But I think that also means that you already know what to write :)

      Thanks again- May you be well!

  3. Great post! I too have learned to "stay out of my own way" as a friend commented, and trust my own intuition. He basically meant that I travel through my life experiencing and being, and not spending inordinate ammounts of time being fearful or full of self-doubt. (his entire comment was that it was "a pleasure for him to watch me live my life because it always seems to unfold as it should, with very little effort, because I stay out of my own way"). His observation was very "affirming" for me, as it's easy to put obstacles in our own path when we over-think, over-worry, under-complicate things. I'm honored that somebody saw something and that maybe I'm doing something right, after all! lol

    1. Eline- good for you! You know much more about this matter than I do, that's for sure! I am glad you have learned to trust your intuition, and like how you (and your friend) put it as "staying out of your own way". If you have any more tips about this (or examples) I would love to hear them.

      Keep up the great work! ;)


Thank you so much for taking the time to stop by and leave a comment! If you enjoyed this post, please share with others. -With Metta, Renata