Lately, I’ve noticed a recurring pattern in my spiritual journey of identifying when it’s the ego judging the situation from a limited, 3D lens versus when the intuition is bringing us insight from a higher consciousness. Like myself, for many people that have been left-brained for a majority of their life, even accepting that we have intuition can be tricky for their spiritual growth.
So, I want to start by putting together some research to help the inner skeptic feel more open to the idea of being intuitive. And then, share the different ways to develop an understanding of when it’s your ego versus when it’s your inner wisdom.
What is INTUITION? And is it even real?
I can best describe intuition as that feeling you follow, like a hunch which guides you to do something, even though you don’t have an understanding of why it’ll work yet. And then, when you do take action, you realize that it worked in your favour. But how could you have known to do that, without your analytical mind having the answers?
I love the image below, as the answer. Your soul knows.
But to be less woo-woo and give this conversation a real spin, is intuition even real, or was this an off-chance coincidence? I mean, can we really know something before it happens? And why can’t we replicate this intuitive experience to be real in all circumstances?
There’s some cutting-edge research beginning to help us appreciate that intuition might not just be a spiritual philosophy, but a scientifically-proven phenomenon happening within our body.
3 Studies Centred in Science That Explore the Evidence of Intuition
You can dig deeper into these experiments if you feel like it. Or if they’re beyond your interest, you’re also welcome to skip to the next section where I share tips to develop your intuition and resolve the conflicts with your ego-mind.
#1 – The HeartMath Institute’s Experiments
There’s an institute dedicated to the workings and miracles of the heart. Of the many experiments they run, they speak highly of the heart’s intelligence, ability to learn and memorize events. They call it the “heart brain“.
And their backing of intuition comes with their interpretation that intuition is “the ability to understand or know something without conscious reasoning”. In that, they call our heart the instrument that conducts these intuitive feats for us!
#2 – Pearson’s Measurement of Intuition
In the experiment, the participants were shown stimuli composed of a cloud of many moving dots, which looked like the noisy “snow” you might see on an old TV. Participants had to report which direction the cloud of dots was moving in, left or right.
“While our subjects were making these decisions, we presented one of their eyes with emotional photographs, then we utilized another technique called continuous flash suppression to render these emotional photographs invisible or unconscious,” Pearson shared.
“So while the subjects were making these sensory decisions, they never knew they were being presented with these emotional photographs.”
The result? Even when people were unaware of the images, they were still able to use information from the images to make more confident and accurate decisions. In other words, there’s an unconscious part of us picking up on things that we consciously may not know of.
#3 – Rollin McCraty’s Electrophysiological evidence
In his research, Rollin used a mix of calm and emotionally triggering images to test the heart and mind’s response in the participants. The studies were surprising, because one, it appeared that the heart is involved in the processing and decoding of intuitive information.
And two, they monitored a significantly greater heart rate deceleration occurred prior to future emotional images compared to calm images. It’s as if to say that the heart has a mind of its own! Here is a two-part study publicly available for anyone that wants to go down that rabbit hole of research.
Is intuition for everyone?
Intuition is NOT something you accidentally have or are a superhero for having. We all have some degree of sense of ‘bad vibes’ or ‘gut feeling’. But many of us just need help developing that intuitive muscle because we haven’t learned to flex it yet. But a small caveat before we proceed.
I have heard many people advise that intuition will come from the gut, and you’ll feel neutral, even if it’s a negative intuition. But, to understand if a feeling is coming from the gut or not also requires some level of intuitiveness towards our body.
And honestly, for many of us that are too traumatized to be in the present moment, being attuned with the body’s signals may not feel normal. I know that when I was first learning to heal my relationship with the present moment, I could hardly remember anything else because I was so consumed by my survival energy of fight, flight and freeze!
So I know that focusing on what the body has to say can initially feel more confusing than comforting for some.
So what do I do? And what can YOU do to find out if it’s your intuition speaking to you, or your ego? A couple of things.
#1 – Have an Internal Dialogue with the Universe
I’ve learned this the hard way, that I don’t know what’s best for me. And while that leaves my ego feeling attacked, it opens up the possibility that something else can happen to me, now that I’m not trying to plan or control the outcome too much.
When you’re in a fix about how to proceed, ask for Divine Intervention. In the exact moment that you need to make a decision, allow the universe to guide you through a simple and straightforward question in your head.
If you see a sign, great! If you don’t see a sign, remember that’s also a sign.
I’ll explain this further with a few stories from my personal life.
Story #1 – Cafe : To Eat Or Not To Eat?
The huge foodie that I am, it should come as no surprise to anyone that one fine day, I set out to try another new cafe. My sister-in-law picked the spot for us, on a whim. We were very hungry and willing to eat just about anywhere that came at the next turn, as long as the food met our expectations.
As soon as we entered, the cafe triggered a “red-flag” siren within me. I couldn’t understand why, exactly. The lights were dim, but there were a lot of tables occupied. So I asked for a sign.
“Dear universe, if we’re not safe here, please give us a sign to leave”.
Remember how I told you a while back that no sign is also a sign? Well that’s what happened. There was absolutely no sign. I waited for a few minutes even as we got seated. And I let the anxiety settle down in me by reminding myself that the Universe always has my back.
This place turned out to have the best sizzling brownie I have ever had. No jokes! Had I listened to my siren, which proved false in this situation, I would have missed out on some great dessert.
Story #2 – The Time The Universe Asked Me To Shut-up
This is another story from my time at a cafe. Cafes seem to be important in my life, no guessing why though!
I sat across an excited girl, as she shared her spiritual awakening story with me. It had been quite some time, as I sat quietly and listened to her story. I was trying to be a good listener, but my ego was beginning to grow restless.
I didn’t know if I should pitch in, or just keep nodding. But the moment I decided to say something, I noticed the projector flash behind her. The song had changed, and it was called “quiet”.
I was grinning ear to ear, now, and I bit my tongue, doing as told to by the Universe. She saw that my mood had changed. I told her what had happened, and we both were amused at this beautiful synchronicity!
Story #3 – The Time I ALMOST Went To Vancouver
If anyone knows me well enough, they’ll know that my shifting to Canada has been the longest and slowest process. It’s uncanny, how fast our wedding happened and ironically how slow our actual married life took to begin.
So this is the story of when my visa came and I had 4 days left before my flight. We were all in a flux.
“Should I go, will it be safe?” The virus scare had been rising in India.
But I realized something – my intuition wasn’t saying anything to me. Nor was my ego. While there was ambiguity all around, there was silence within. So I did what I do best. I surrendered, with a practical prayer.
“Dear Universe, I have no idea if I’m supposed to go or not. So you do something that makes it clear. Very clear.”
The next morning, I woke up to the news that airways amongst all other transport had been put under lockdown. And bam! There was clarity. While this was a tough call for me to take, I consider it a blessing that the Universe showed up for me with such a grand gesture.
#2 – Separate Ego From Self-Esteem
Have you had the rush of energy to do something negative in your life, like
- reveal a deep dark secret that could shake someone’s life,
- say something nasty during a fight that is ‘crossing the line’
- give empty breakup threats when you’re mad at your partner
- and so on?
Well, as much as we want to believe it’s our intuition or self-esteem guiding us, it’s really our ego.
I always say this, that the ego loves drama and the soul loves simplicity.
So right before you do something controversial, here are two things worth thinking about:
One, will this satisfy my ego and give me a ‘high’, or is this actually necessary for my growth?
Two, is this an attempt to put somebody else’s ego down or create drama?
You’d think that it’s okay to make someone feel worse because they hurt you, but you may want to think a hundred times before you try to even the score.
It can be tricky because your ego will say “no, that’s not what’s happening”. So let me step back and say that if you even feel like asking these questions then there’s a large possibility you’re operating from a place of ego.
In such cases, let that moment pass. And remember, you can always have this conversation again, in a more detached yet compassionate way. Don’t let yourself get caught in the ego trap, thinking it’s about self-esteem or that you have the right to hurl nasty comments on someone’s character because you’re triggered.
You’ll also find it helpful to reflect on these questions to work towards building a healthier ego structure and raising your self-awareness.
#3 – Seperate Trauma from Intuition
When you surrender and let Divine Intervention lead your way, you can then realize that many of the false alarms are your wounds and traumas.
Of course, it can take some getting used to because we might not be aware of how the Universe is talking to us. If this idea of surrender is new to you, and you’re curious about how the Universe guides us, you can explore this list of signs of divine guidance.
For me, through surrender, here were the pain points I discovered.
In the first story I mentioned above, I was scared and uncomfortable because most of the tables were occupied by groups of men drinking alcohol and laughing out loud. My subconscious was wired to think the worst of such situations, but I never realized it until that day.
In the third story, when I was trying to interrupt the girl with my own insights, I was really just trying to validate my experience and become preachy. This is an old subconscious behaviour which resurfaced in that moment, but wasn’t able to make space in reality, thanks to divine intervention.
So as you begin healing these false hits, your intuition naturally becomes stronger and you’re able to create more space between intuition and ego.
I know the word ‘intuition’ can sound woo-woo to many, because we’re so habitual of being logical and practical in day-to-day decisions.
But the moment we start acknowledging how little we really know about anything, and that there’s much more happening behind the scenes than we can even fathom, we open our crown chakra. And an abundance of wisdom and guidance showers on us!
I also really like nervous system and healing expert Irene Lyon’s insights on tuning into the cell’s impulses, which points towards the path of building awareness. Check it out below.
This journey is a fine one – learning how to work with the universe and speed up our healing. So when we say unlearn old ways, it’s really just saying stop living in the ego, and start moving into your intuition.
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