Fostering Intuition – following your hunches



Cease trying to work everything out with your mind.

It will get you nowhere. Live by intuition and inspiration

and let your whole life be Revelation. Eileen Caddy


Last weekend I looked down at my left hand and to my absolute horror one of the diamonds in my engagement ring was missing.  I took a deep breath, feeling so disappointed and shocked.  After my initial horror I became frustrated with myself because I had recently been thinking that I should have the ring “serviced”, just to check that all was well with it and that the diamonds were still very secure.  20/20 vision with hindsight!  If I had have had my ring polished and checked I would still have the diamond today, minus any disappointment or regret.

What I am finding very interesting is that both personally, and in my discussions with other people I have been hearing the same statement over and over again.  People are saying that they should have listened to themselves, to their gut feelings on things.  They should have backed themselves and followed their own hunches and insight in to the situation. In essence they are saying they should have trusted their intuition.

Some people think intuition is a mystical power or mythical concept.  Sceptics write it off as a lucky break, guess work or coincidence.  Those people who are well versed in it believe it is the most accurate aspect of their mind.  Recent research into intuition states that it is a very real ability that can be identified empirically in scientific experiments and clearly seen on brain scans.

 Intuition is defined as:

1. The ability to understand something immediately, without the need for conscious reasoning.

2. A thing that one knows or considers likely from instinctive feeling rather than conscious reasoning.

A few of years ago I did some business with the owner of a  small business and was happy with the result of the product produced, and really unhappy with the process of the business transaction, although I couldn’t put my finger on the exact details of why I was so disappointed in the transaction.  At the time I said to myself that I would never do business with that person again.  Recently the opportunity to do business with this person arose.  I rationalised it in my mind, dismissed my previous feelings and ran with it.  Unfortunately I was sorely disappointed during the process, which ended with me disengaging from the relationship completely, causing both of us significant stress.  If I had listened to myself and stayed with my “gut feeling” rather than forgetting my previous decision, I would have avoided the whole situation and the angst it created.

We all get hunches, gut feeling and intuitions.  What often happens though is that our conscious, logical mind comes into play and begins to override them.  When we start to analyse our intuitions with logic we begin to find reasons to talk ourselves out of what we are feeling intuitively.  It is so easy to let the external “garbage” get in the way, to look to logic to reassure and comfort ourselves that we are doing the right thing, especially because we have no solid evidence to support our intuitive decision.

A more positive personal example is when I met Helmut.  On our first date I knew that I was going to marry him.  I couldn’t put my finger on how I knew, I just did.  Happily, I did marry him and have been wonderfully happy together ever since!!!

Intuition is really nothing more than an internal mechanism, free from language, which assists us in making decisions.  It is sometimes called gut feeling, instinct, inspiration, a sixth sense that tells us, non-verbally, to do something or not do something.  The great thing about intuition is that it can be developed and is amazingly accurate and has only our best interest at heart.  The problems arise when we begin to second-guess our hunches or fight against it because we either doubt ourselves or it is leading us in a direction we are resisting or don’t want to go.  It takes courage to act on our intuition and go against what seems rational and obvious.

When I work with left brained people, who are very technically based and who are often cut off from their feelings, they tell me they don’t have hunches.  Research indicates that everyone has intuition, only some people choose to listen to it and act on it.  Those people who do seem to have a knack for success.  Business people who are most successful often speak about their intuition as a way they make decisions – not from a wacky perspective, but rather from a strong and overwhelming body response to what they are considering.  George Soros, the world’s most famous trader, said, “I suffered from back pain.  I used the onset of acute pain to signal there was something wrong in my portfolio, which prompted me to look for something amiss when I might not have done so otherwise”.

Roger Sperry defined intuition as a right brain activity opposed to left brain analysis and factual deliberation.  Our society has spent the last 200 years focusing on building our left brain functions at the expense of our right brain.  Intuition works by developing a conscious awareness of our thoughts and feelings in tandem with our right brain.

There are two very easy ways to develop intuition –the first one is through learning to ask good questions of yourself and then listen to your right brain responses.  When we ask good questions of our mind and then allow our right brain to begin to provide insights and responses, often metaphorically or symbolically, we are provided with the insight we need.

The second way verifies your right brain insight with the technique of muscle testing which provides 100% accuracy every time.  This technique is based on the research work of Dr David Hawkins who wrote Power v Force.  He teaches people to use muscle testing as biofeedback mechanism that accesses the right brain with 100% accuracy.  What this means is that through the process of muscle testing we can ask any closed ended question or statement and test for a yes or no response.  The initial research by Dr John Diamond into kinaesiology describes the kinaesological response from clinical muscle testing where a positive stimulus (physical or mental) evokes a strong muscle response, and a negative stimulus evokes a demonstratable weak muscle response.  Hawkins takes this research further to discover that the kinaesologic response not only differentiates positive from negative stimuli but also life threatening from life consuming issues and situations, and most dramatically, truth from falsity.

The process of muscle testing, which is based in the science of kinaesiology, is simple.  It requires two people – a subject and a tester.  The subject holds their arm out laterally, parallel to the ground.  The second person presses down with two fingers on the wrist of the extended arm.  I like to test first by getting the subject to first say their name and have the second person press down.  I then have the subject say a false name and the second person press on the subject’s arm, which always goes weak – demonstrating less resistance and less strength in the muscle.  After that, you can ask any question and get an accurate response.  The biggest challenge is that it is so simple it sometimes takes people a while to build up their convincer that it works so easily and accurately.

The bigger question then is not whether intuition works, because the research clearly shows that it does.  The bigger question for all of us is are we willing to trust it and ourselves?  When we begin to trust our intuition and instincts we start to really believe in ourselves and life takes on a whole new quality and meaning.   I have now made a very conscious and deliberate intent to live consciously moment to moment, listen and act on my intuitions – so far so good – I’ll keep you posted on how I am going!

As always, I would be thrilled if you would share your thoughts and results with me at

Posted in On Running Your Brain