On the journey of becoming a mother, the inclination to connect with our inner wisdom rises up spontaneously. What is intuition? According to Wikipedia, intuition is the ability to acquire knowledge without proof, evidence, or conscious reasoning, or without understanding how the knowledge was acquired.
Trust your gut. Follow your heart. “I just feel it’s true.” “I wish I had followed my instinct.” These are ways that we acknowledge this mysterious part of our being, the inner knowing, the soul voice.
Being pregnant and giving birth naturally ignites the spark of your intuition. It is up to you to cultivate that spark into a reliable flame. This requires some simple skills. The first thing that you need as you embark on the journey of discovering your soul voice is a desire to know this part of yourself fully and completely. This desire will propel you to expand your awareness and trust yourself throughout your process.
Intuition is an intrinsic part of our human experience; it is not relegated to a select, gifted few. I believe that we are all born deeply connected to our inner knowing, but once out of the womb we begin to forget. Intuition is an integral part of who we are; it is a human gift, and a valuable one.
In our modern world we live demanding lives with little time for reflection or connection, and few of us have good role models for nurturing our intuition. We have systematically lost the connection with our inner voice, our natural intuition that has served human beings well throughout time. Through the din of external voices, we must dive deeply into the heart to hear the gentle purr of intuition.
I know you.
You are the one who speaks within me.
Your voice, no louder than the whisper of a butterfly, softly sings the truth to me.
I strain to hear you.
I only hear the noises of eternity.
But in a moment comes
your soft, subtle voice,
catching my relaxed listening,
and I hear beyond my ears,
the deep calling of this mystery.
Notice what happens when you tune out the external voices that tend to drown out the subtle message of your soul voice. Especially loud for parents is the chatter of well-meaning advice, which can pull us from what our hearts are saying. Rarely do we receive the gift of someone trusting us to listen to what we need from the depths of our being. To listen to our bodies, babies, and children from a place of inquiry and inner silence is a powerful act of autonomy that brings us into the present moment. There is so much doing as a parent, and not enough pure being.
To listen to your intuition, you must quiet down any self-doubt and worry, listening between the thoughts, in the pause. Through disciplining your mind and by tuning in to your body and your heart vibrations, you begin to tap into the great well of knowledge already inside you. Notice when you feel sensations in your body— tingling, tightness, your heart rate climbing for no apparent reason. These are some signals that can give you a lot of information. Our bodies are amazing conductors of energy. Intuition is simply an exchange of energy. When we tap into our personal body language and start to decipher its meaning, a wealth of wisdom becomes available to us.
Through your intuition you can listen to your children’s underlying needs. Under the surface you can feel what the soul needs. It is in our ability to listen deeply that we begin to hear what the underlying need truly is. When we switch our awareness to an intuitive focus, it looks something like this: Your higher consciousness listens to your soul. Your soul relays the information to your heart, which then relays the information to your mind, which allows you to act on it if needed. Your mind is no longer fully in charge, but it’s linked with the intuitive voice of your heart and soul. We live in the pervasive cultural narrative that we can’t trust ourselves, that experts and authorities know what we need more than we do. To develop your intuition is to take back your autonomy and empower yourself. Remember, it is important to be responsible for the information you receive and to ask for help when you need it.
Cultivating intuition is a powerful practice to bring to your life. It is especially valuable for parents, because infants and children cannot always verbalize what they need. We figure out what our babies need through trial and error. When a baby cries and we become increasingly agitated, scrambling to fix the problem, we grow farther away from the communication that baby is giving. If you have children, do you remember a time when you inexplicably “knew” what your child needed? All of us have had an experience like this. It’s not serendipity, it is soul listening. Cultivating this awareness has benefits that last throughout you and your child’s lifetime. You will help your child remember that they, too, have a strong inner knowing within themselves, and as they grow you can guide them to connect with their intuition.
When my son was born, I remember being afraid that I wouldn’t be able to meet his needs and that I would fail as a mother. I knew this was not rational, but it was a real fear for me at the time. I noticed that when he became upset, I would become upset, too, and would hurry to fix things for him. I would run through a mental checklist of all his physical needs: food, diaper, sleep, comfort, etc. Once I had attended to everything, if he was still upset, I would find myself becoming more anxious. My fear of failure and self-doubt would take over. My son would continue to cry, and both of us would be miserable.
One day I noticed a pattern. When I was calm and simply rocked and held him, singing a mantra sweetly to him, he would calm down quickly and harmony would resume. But if I went into fear and agitation while trying to make it all better, he would cry louder, and our misery would go on for longer. I had to bring myself into a peaceful state for my son to feel safe and calm. It was entirely my responsibility. I knew that I had to give up my fear of failure. I began a personal campaign to learn to trust myself. I began to listen to his crying from my heart. I would talk to him about what I noticed, ask him if I had perceived his needs correctly. It may sound strange, but it’s as if he would answer me, even as a non-verbal infant, and I would just know what to do. I no longer came from a place of fixing the problem, but from the place of being an active listener to his needs and meeting them as best as I could.
I use three tools to connect with my intuition. The first tool is patience. Your soul voice has its own timeline, and when given the space it needs to be heard, the soft whisper becomes louder and clearer. During my connection process, I sensed that it would take time and practice to cultivate deep self-trust. To be patient with myself was my first lesson in this subtle art form.
The second tool that I use is meditation. The only way to truly quiet the mind is through meditation. I use Sanskrit mantra meditation to help connect to my intuition through calming my mind and bringing up my heart vibrations.
The third tool, which goes hand in hand with the other two, is cultivating awareness. It is helpful to start by training your mind to focus on messages from your body. Learn to use discernment as you interpret your body’s visceral cues. I get a lot of information from noticing sensations like my chest tightening, a squeezing in my gut, a spontaneous deep breath, a gentle shiver, or feeling flushed. Not all sensations require action, but through repetition and perseverance you will begin to interpret the cues more quickly. I find that these sensations are consistently giving me valuable information. It then becomes a question of how I will choose to act (or not act) on the information. Knowing when and how to act on your body’s signals is another area of discernment. Practice and patience are the key to success.
Believe that you have everything you need within you. You are whole and complete as you are. No matter what you have experienced or how buried you may feel, within you lay worlds upon worlds. You have the power to connect deeply with that which is your birthright. Your soul voice. Your intuition.
I am convinced that the work we do to connect with our intuition, this deep and wise part of ourselves, is infinitely beneficial for our families and our children, as well as all of our relationships.
Connection is not just being in the presence of other people; it is being present with other people. It is listening as well as talking, it is opening our minds and hearts to the shared condition of our humanity and our inherent interconnectedness. Being connected within oneself deeply and fearlessly allows our connections with others to flourish throughout our lives.
This article appeared in Pathways to Family Wellness magazine, Issue #65.
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