Do you often listen to your intuition? Does it lead you to make the right decision. Lynn Robinson thinks so.
Lynn Robinson is a best-selling author of “Divine Intuition” and well-known expert on the topic of intuition. She is also a consultant who teaches individual and businesses how to rely on intuition to make better decisions.
Today, kindly invited by my professor I was lucky to attend Lynn Robinson’s seminar in Tokyo organize by ICF Japan and entitled “Intuition: Your Inner Success Coach”.
I hadn’t heard about her previously to the seminar so I was curious about what she would have to say about intuition and how it could possibly help me in my personal life. Let me share with you what I learnt in that seminar.
What is intuition?
Lynn Robinson distinguishes between two kinds of intuition: subconscious knowledge and divine intelligence
The subconscious knowledge
The subconscious knowledge is all the knowledge you have stored in your mind but that you are unaware of. To illustrate this concept she mentioned a story from the famous book by Malcom Gladwell, Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking. In this book the author relates the story of an experienced firefighter who suddenly tells all his firefighters colleagues to get out a building that was on fire. Shortly after that, the building exploded. The experienced firefighter felt that something was wrong, he didn’t know why but he decided to follow his intuition and ordered the evacuation of the building. We might guess from that situation, that his subconscious mind identified several disturbing elements, made sense out of them and sent him a signal through some kind of sensation in his body or feelings, but that he couldn’t explain exactly what happened.
This type of intuition is probably what most people have in mind when they think about intuition. It is this kind of intuition that lead you to feel that you cannot trust someone without knowing exactly why. What I believe is happening in that situation is that your subconscious identified some inconsistence between what this person is saying and what his body or his tone of voice is conveying. As you know non-verbal communication is very important.
The Divine intelligence
While the first type of intuition can be understood and agreed on by many, the second type, the divine intelligence, will likely not be accepted by any rational person.
In one story she shared with us she explained that, while she was interacting with her client, she saw in her mind an image of a goose-shaped lamp, which seems quite weird to her. However, later she discovered that the day before was her client’s birthday and that he had received a goose-shaped lamp as a birthday present!
When my Japanese friend, who was rather skeptical, ask her where those intutitions were coming from, since she didn’t know anything about her client. Lynn Robinson replied that she believed the wisdom was available out there. She also told us that one day she saw in her dream 6 numbers. It was a Wednesday. When she told that to her husband he immediately said he would play the lottery. However, being busy all day he forgot to play but decided to place bets for Thursday and Friday instead. When they check the winning numbers in the newspaper on Friday, they realized they got the 6 numbers right! However, they didn’t place bets for Wednesday. If they had played they would have earned $5.2 million. (read the one-page story here).
How does intuition manifest itself?
We can experience intuition in several different ways.
- An inner voice
- A physical sensation
- A symbolic picture
- A flash of insight/knowing
- A dream
- A sign
An inner voice: A small voice barely audible that tells you to watch out, to do or not to do something etc.
A physical sensation: After she finished to write her book. She received a phone call from a journalist who wanted to interview her to talk about her new book. She felt very excited and honored. However, without knowing why, she noticed a strange sensation in her stomach, she knew it wasn’t due to stress or any other kind of feelings she usually feels. She decided to follow her intuition and turn down the offer. The journalist was shocked. Later on, he published a very critical article about her book with a picture of a women looking at a cristall ball. She was probably right to have rejected the inital offer. Or was it a revenge from his part?
A symbolic picture: When one of her client mentioned her boss, the image of a battle axe popped up in Lynn Robinson’s mind.
A flash of insight/knowing: We just know it without knowing why
A dream: While she was asking herself if she could keep both her side job as an intuitive reader and her daily job, she had a dream where she was standing on two canoes, one foot on each. They were going on a different direction. She decided to quit her job.
A sign: Lynn Robinson was facing a difficult challenge in her business and kept repeating that she wanting to « see the hand of god », she wanted a sign. When her husband bought an ice-cream to recomfort her, there was an hand-shaped mark on her ice-cream (see the story here)
Do you know how your intuition manifest itself?
What are you enthusiastic about?
She firmly believes that we should stay in tune with what excites us because it is an indicator of what direction we should take in our life. Actually, the word enthusiastic comes from the Greek language and originally means to be possessed or inspired by a god. I really like this idea and I also believe that we should let our enthusiasm, and more generally our emotions guide us through our life. The more we are feeling good about ourselves, the more we are connecting with our true nature and the more we will be fulfilled and succesful in life.
How we can use our intuition
So how can we learn to use our intuition? Part of what she suggests is very similar to the law of attraction. First of all you have to listen to yourself to feel what excites you the most, what energizes you. They you should:
- Be clear about your goals and write about what you want or create a vision board.
- Focus on what you want not what you don’t want and have a positive attitude (use visualization)
- Ask yourself “What’s my right next step?” when you are stuck
- Take regular breaks: go for a walk or meditate for a few minute
- Ask your intuition open-ended questions throughout the day: “What do I need to know?”, “I want some guidance about…”, “How to grow my business?”…
- Wait for the answer. It might come immediately, but it is more likely to come when you are doing something like taking a shower, going to bed, driving or washing dishes. I believe it is because you tend to shut off the rational part of your mind when performing those activities.
My understanding of this process is that first you send some information to your subconscious mind about something you desire or an question you want an answer to, then you let your subconscious mind works on the problem on its own. Finally, after having processed the information, your subconscious mind will give you an answer during a time you are relaxing, shutting off your mind and not trying to analyze everything logically (before or after a nap, when you drive, in the shower…).
Two things happen:
- Your subconscious mind will look for any information it has stored so far and will process the information in order to help you achieve your goals. Being the center for all your beliefs and your values as well as your self-image, it will be able to better answer the questions you asking yourself since you are not necessarily aware of all the beliefs and values under which you are operating.
- Your subconscious mind, fed with whatever question or goal you have, will look around you for answers, hints, situations or any kind of information that may help you achieve your goals or answers questions you are asking yourself.
It is very similar to the servo-mechanism Maxwell Maltz talked about in his book, Psycho-cybernetics (highly recommended). He explains that we have a built-in success mechanism within us. Once we have a goal set, our subconscious mind will automatically steer us to a goal already in existence or discover something already in existence.
There is one mind common to all individual men. – Ralph Waldo Emerson
Coming back to the divine intuition, it is worthy mentioning that some great thinkers believed that ideas can come from outside ourselves. Edison used to say that “ideas are in the air”. Lynn Robinson also believes that we can access to knowledge outside of us. She mentioned a story where, without any prior knowledge about a client, she was able to give him so much information about his family, that the client’s psychiatrist called her, accusing her of breaking into his office and stealing his files. How can we explain her divine intuition? Frankly speaking, I don’t know.
What to think about divine intuition?
How can we explain the stories about the lottery, the goose-shaped lamp, the psychiatrist accusing her of stealing his files?
I can only think about three possibilities:
- She is lying
- She was lucky
- There is some kind of ways to tap into the knowledge around us
She is lying
It is the only answer that “rational” people can think about. My natural tendency is to trust people and I don’t know why a best-seller author like her would lie, but I might just be too naive. Afterall, we have no proof about the lottery since she didn’t actually play. Neither do I have a way to know if her stories about her clients are true or not.
She was lucky
She could have been lucky, but the accuracy of many of her intuitive readings are such that luck is improbable. Not to mention the lottery.
She tapped into knowledge around her
It is possible to access to knowledge that we don’t have through mind reading or other techniques. If it is true I want to learn how to do it 🙂 Assuming that there is a way to actually access to information outside of us, how can we explain the fact that she woke up a Wednesday morning with the winning numbers of the lottery for the exact same day. Is it not anymore about absorbing information around us, it is about predicting the future!
I personally believe that if we are willing to listen to our subconscious mind, our subconscious knowledge will guide us and help us take the right decision. I also think that we often know deep down what we are supposed to do. For that reason, it might be worth trying to ask ourselves questions like “What is the best way to…”, “What is my right next step?”, “What am I supposed to do?” throughout your day. After that, we can take break, meditate for a few minute, go for a walk or take a nap. In short, sometimes it might be better just to stop thinking and listen to our inner voice.
Divine intuition remains mysterious to me. Until recently, I used to be very rational and was quite skeptical about the law of attraction and any kind of other phenomena that haven’t been scientifically proved. However, I realized that it shuts me down from possible new experiences that could be beneficial for me. I understand that the moment we refuse the possibility for something to exist, we will have almost no chance to experience it if it actually does exist. Being open and curious about anything is my way to go now.
Divine intuition, law of attraction – my thoughts on rationality
I like to go for a walk and look at the stars or at the moon. When I take a few minutes to think about the universe, it just blows my mind. It is totally ridiculous. it is just insane! I just checked right now how many galaxies there are in the universe. We don’t know exactly but experts estimate the number between 100 and 200 billions! We are living on one planet in one galaxy among 100 or 200 billions of others. Our planet is revolving around the sun in the middle of the universe at a speed of 30 kilometers per second. The Earth moves on its axis at a speed of 460 meters per second, our solar system (including the Earth) is moving at 220 kilometers per second. And I’m sitting perfeclty still on my chair. Don’t just read this paragraph as a series of facts, take a few minutes to really think about it. Don’t you find it incredible? We have no clue why the universe exists, we have no clue why we exist.
In addition, there are many stories of people who can heal themselves without doctors being able to explain how it is even possible. Miracle seems to happen from time to time and we are unable to explain them.
What was irrational yesterday is rational today and what is irrational today might be rational tomorrow. If we had told to people hundred years ago that we will be able to send a message instantly to someone who is living thousands of kilometers away, do you think he would have thought it to be rational? That’s why, when people talk for instance about the law of attraction and how our thoughts have various wave frequencies that influence the universe, even if I’m skeptical I cannot discard this possibility. Who I am to decide what is rational or not! A new Einstein might appear in the future and explain it in a rational way.
The pragmatic side of me tells me to get benefits whenever I can. If focusing on what I want can improve my life, who cares about how the law of attraction works. If listen to my intuition can bring me positve results in my life, who cares what is the process behind it.
Practical tips to tap into our intuition
- Stay in tune with your emotions and let them guide you. What are they trying to tell you?
- Ask open-ended questions to guide you throughout your day. What should I do next? How can I improve my situation? etc.
- Allow yourself breaks to let your intuition communicate with you. Take a nap, go out for a walk, meditate, clean your house…
- Stay open to your intuitive guidance by changing negative thoughts into more empowering thoughts:
I have bad luck. I’m a failure→ I’ll look for evidence of good things coming my way I don’t know what I wnat or what to do→ My intuition guides me through my enthusiasm, excitement and interests I’m stuck→ Today, I’ll take a small step towards what I’m being guided to do
- Before going to bed, write a paragraph about some worries you have, then write a question. Wait for an answer. It might be a dream you have or a gut feeling, an image…
- ex: How can I grow my business? Should I stay at my current job or change my job?
What about you? Are you an intuitive person? Have you ever make a decision based on your intuition? What was the results? I would be more than happy to have your thoughts on intuition. Please leave me a comment below to start the conversation 😉
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