Is Your Intuition Real Gold or Fool’s Gold?

Intuition can be a powerful tool for making decisions, but how do you know that your gut feeling is coming from inner awareness and not inner resistance? Hidden fears can cloud your insights and steer you wrong. Your instincts may be like fool’s gold instead of the genuine article. To discover if you’ve mined true inner wisdom, use the following steps for mindful exploration.

1. Think about your current situation and note the quality of the emotions and thoughts you’re experiencing. If what you’re feeling doesn’t support a sense of well-being, what seems to be intuition may actually be a reaction to your hidden emotions.

2. As you think about the decision you’re making and your instincts, notice any feelings of urgency and anxiousness and any rigid, heavy, contracted sensations in your body. Ask yourself, “Where is this feeling or sensation coming from?” Be still and listen to the answer. Be open to what you may discover.

3. Ask yourself, “If I were acting out of disempowering feelings and thoughts, such as fear, jealousy, unworthiness, or vindictiveness, what would I say and do? Is that how I’m behaving now? And how would I react if someone confronted me about my behavior?

4. List three reasons why might feel angry, scared, insecure, etc. Then ask yourself what you’re feeling right now.

As you allow your hidden emotions to rise up into your awareness, know that any suffering they cause you will soon disappear and you’ll have cleared the way for your genuine intuition, the real gold of your inner wisdom, to reveal itself.

Adapted from Dr. Ronald Alexander’s new book, Wise Mind, Open Mind: Finding Purpose and Meaning in Times of Crisis, Loss, and Change (New Harbinger Publications, 2009).

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