Monday, January 11, 2010

Intuition or Something Else?: How to Tell the Difference Between the Various Voices in Your Head

By Amy Phillips-Gary

Recently, I re-watched the late 1980s movie “Field of Dreams.” In the film, Kevin Costner plays a somewhat new-to-the-vocation farmer in Iowa named Ray. One day, as he stands tending the corn in his fields, he hears a voice call to him: “If you build it, he will come.

Ray ignores the voice, jokes with his wife and daughter about it and loses sleep over it. The voice doesn't give up! Finally, a vision of a baseball field right in the middle of his corn crop accompanies the words.

And so begins Ray's weird and wonderful journey to plow under a significant portion of his crops and build a baseball field on part of his land. If you've seen the movie, you already know that “they”-- meaning baseball players from just before the 1920s who were banned from the game-- did indeed come and play ball on Ray's field.

Along this amazing journey, Ray faces inner doubt as well as apprehension and even derision from others. He takes financial and emotional risks and he is never assured that this will come out okay in the end.

But he does it anyway.

Voices in our heads
Perhaps you've never heard actual voices in your head as Ray did. You may, however, have felt a pull or a strong impulse to make a different than usual choice.

Sometimes this pull leads you toward outcomes that are pleasing and expansive. Other times, they don't appear to be positive at all.

Quite often, it can become confusing to really determine whether the impulse you are called to follow is truly intuitive or if it comes from something else.

There is a significant difference between intuitive inner information and the thoughts or beliefs that derive from fears, anger, desire for escape or other urges.

In order to thrive and expand in desired ways, it's vital that you learn how to tell the difference.

As you might have already discovered from your own experiences, when your actions are driven by worried, fearful or lack-based impulses, you often end up in the unsatisfactory places that you've been before-- or maybe even places that seem worse!

On the other hand, when you trust an intuitive pull, just about every time you feel improvements. They might not come immediately, but the steps you take based on the call from your intuition moves you closer to where you want to be.

Differentiate, Trust and Take Action
Two ways to tell the difference between the intuitive “voices” and those others that are based in such things as fear, lack, anger or escape, is to pay attention.

Start to notice the emotions and overall mood that accompany a particular compulsion arising within you.

For example, if you feel drawn to quit your job and open a cafe, are you mainly feeling beaten down by your current work situation and just want to get out? Or, are you mostly excited about the prospect of owning your own eatery?

The way that you feel is key!

If you find that your primary motivator at the moment seems to be upset about your present job, I don't necessarily recommend that you immediately abandon the aspiration to open a cafe. It just may not be the right time to take action.

Intuitive voices usually occur alongside feelings of excitement, eagerness, invigoration and often a sense of certainty or knowing.

Of course, as certain as Ray in “Field of Dreams” was that he had to take action and build that baseball field, he also encountered moments of doubt, worry and mistrust.

This can make for a confusing ride.

But when those doubts arise, return to your inner self. Take a deep breath and see if you can tap into those excited and eager feelings. Remember why you chose to follow your intuition in the first place.

As long as you can reach into that reservoir of hopefulness and vision within, it is probably wise to continue along this path. If not, you might decide to alter your course or to pause and take no further action for a period of time.

Practice tuning in to your guiding impulses in everyday moments.

As you are out driving, do you feel drawn to take a different street or highway than you usually do? If so, chances are there's a reason. Take that different route and see what happens.

Notice how it feels to act on a worrisome urge as opposed to an intuitive pull. How do the outcomes usually differ?

Following your intuition can seem like handing over the reins of control to your life. This is uncomfortable for many people, including me.

Keep breathing and tuning in to the way that you feel.

Make mental note when you take action on an intuitive pull and it has pleasing results. This can help you to more fully trust in the process and to know that we all truly do live in a benevolent and supportive Universe.

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