Updated: Aug 8, 2019
When you have your own mind under control, intuition will give you all of the knowledge of the world” —Yogi Bhajan
I'm a dog LOVER. I haven't quite crossed over into crazy dog lady territory, but given enough time I'm sure I'll get there (full disclosure: I have seriously considered a T-shirt with my puppers adorable little furry face on it). So you can imagine the scene that unfolded a couple of weeks ago when my husband and I got a call from a local rescue organization asking if we would adopt one of their puppies?
Yes. Start the car!!
We went immediately to meet the little guy, and of course he was adorable, our current dog loved him and it looked like everything was set for us to take him home. But, the weirdest thing was happening inside of me—I felt completely torn about the decision. I couldn't believe it. Part of me wanted to scoop up the teeny tiny fur baby and take him home, but another part of me was saying 'I just don't feel right about this'.
Intuition is our ability to hear information from our higher guidance in order that we can make our best decisions. The challenge is that often when we face big or difficult decisions voices other than our intuition start to chime in. Was my intuition urging me to adopt the puppy or telling me to take a hot minute and rethink it?
"In the space between your thoughts, lies your truth" —Reuben Lowe
Big decision can be tricky because there're emotionally charged and in those situations the ego voice, logical mind, conditioned thinking (what you've been taught to think), and advice from others all start to play out in your mind and pretty soon it feels like all of this dialogue has deteriorated into an argument between yourself and...yourself. At moments like these it's important to have a strategy, or referee—a way to send incorrect or fear-based information to the sidelines so that you can clearly hear your intuition/higher guidance/inner wisdom and make the best decisions for yourself and everyone else involved.
I had to learn and practice new ways of making decisions because in the past I would get completely overwhelmed by different sources of internal dialogue, and made some pretty bad decisions as a result. Standing there cuddling this little puppy I knew that I owed it to him, my husband, our current dog, and myself to make the decsion that was best for me and to the rest of us. I knew that if I could sort through to my intuition that making this decision would be easy.
Here's what works for me:
1. Slow down. If you don't know what to do, then don't do anything. If you can buy time, do it. I knew that making a decision while holding a puppy was not going to let me get clear on what my higher guidance was urging me to do.
2. Come into your awareness. Take some deep breaths and let yourself come into the moment. This helps because it puts you back in touch with your feelings. When we get overwhelmed by thinking, which is what the voices in our heads are—they're thoughts, you need to get back into the present moment and allow the stillness of presence to quiet things down a bit. I'll admit that while this is one of the most effective tools I have, its taken me a LONG time to develop it. I wish there was a shortcut to becoming really good at this, but I haven't found one other than to practice it, and practice it, and practice it...
3. Pay attention to how you are feeling. When that inner dialogue kicks in, notice how you are feeling as each thought comes up. (It will be easier to know what you're feeling if you take a moment to connect into your awareness—see #2). How does your body feel with each thought? I've learned that my body is a wonderful intuition detector. Messages from my intuition make me feel relaxed a little like I'm being pushed forward, whereas messages from my ego make my stomach feel knotted up. Trust your gut!
4. Take some time to relax. A stressed out nervous system is a HUGE barrier to accessing your intuitive mind. Get into nature, take a hot bath or go for a walk. This gets you out of your head and back into your body. Often times a change of activity is just enough for you to let go of whatever you're worrying about and allow the answer to come to you.
5. Get more information. I really like this strategy because the logical mind gets overwhelmed very quickly—at least mine does! Our logical brains can only process very small amounts of information compared to our intuitive minds so they get quickly left behind and start to panic. I've learned to give myself permission to take as much time as I need to gather enough information to satisfy my logical mind. You could also call your logical mind your 'planning brain'. It's the part of your brain that wants to really think through like, 'ok if we get this puppy how much will it cost? How will we take care of him?' Your logical mind is a very important part of your thinking, and deserves to be satisfied rather than ignored (even though our logical plans very rarely work out exactly the way we envisioned!) Usually a little information is enough for the logical mind to relax and quiet down making it easier to hear your intuitive guidance.
***For those of you that have highly developed logical/analytical minds, you may feel like you can never have enough information before making a decision; (I'm looking at you, brilliant lawyers, teachers, nurses/doctors and accountants) learning to turn down the volume on the logical brain can be VERY challenging. That's why we created our Clear Connection for Intuitive Clarity and Mastermind for Mental Clarity room sprays. The botanicals in them are intended help you come into the present moment and help to balance out your intuitive mind with your logical thinking.
After practicing these strategies for a while what I've learned is that what's most important is to trust yourself. Intuition is a natural ability for all of us and the best decisions are those that are best for you and everyone else involved. Let your intuition guide you there by tapping into your higher guidance! It does take courage to listen to it, and it can take a little bit of practice in order to clearly hear your guidance but ultimately I have found that when I trust my own counsel is when I make my best decisions.
As for the darling puppy? He didn't come home with us. After taking some time to think about it, it just didn't 'feel' right. It was hard to let him go, but I knew it was the right decision. I heard about a weeks later that he found a wonderful home as a second dog to a family that lives on several acres south of town, and I know that everything will work out for the best—both for him, and for us!