“Intuition will tell the thinking mind where to look next.“
~ Jonas Salk
How often do you follow your hunches? What happens when ‘a little bird’ tells you something? Why is intuition so important?
Intuition is one of those woo-woo things that defy rational explanation. We all have it and we all use it, although when we’re asked to trust someone else’s we’re often leery. It’s part and parcel to the human condition and yet still less than understood.
You might be standing somewhere and suddenly feel the urge to turn your head. Someone you know is looking at you. You think of someone and a second later the phone rings and there they are. Something tells you to pull over, you run into a thrift shop and score a treasure.
These are just a few examples pulled from memory because they’ve all happened to me recently. You’ve undoubtedly got many more. There’s no rhyme or reason to the mystery of intuition and yet when it comes through loud and clear we automatically trust it.
Think of it as a non-linear signal from the cosmos. To extend the woo-woo methodology one step further it’s as if your Crown Chakra, the one floating above your head, is the receiving antenna. From there it goes straight to your gut before bouncing up to your brain.
Much like a radio, TV, or WiFi signal, intuition can be subject to static, interference, or even jamming. The trick is in knowing when you’re getting a clear transmission and when you might be led astray. The key to your receptive ability is your emotional baseline.
The biggest red herring in the morphogenetic sea is anxiety. That low-level indistinct variety of fear has a way of masquerading as intuition. The danger is that where it leads is not to the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, but down the rabbit hole to despair.
Swiveling your head to catch a glance is one thing, diving into an alternate world view is another. If some seductive belief system has you moving towards it with increasing credulity, beware. If it’s just feeding your fears, you may be walking into a cult.
The secret sauce of accurate intuition is emotional intelligence. Being in touch with what you’re feeling as you’re feeling it is a skill to develop. That’s why embodiment is so important by simply “moving your body with an intention for greater awareness.”
That’s long been my definition for the term ‘Conscious Dance’, the term I coined back in 2007. The essence of somatics is using movement to close the gap between mind and body. The land of intuition is in that huge continent between the two.
Today’s writing is a case in point. I went to bed last night all set to write about the idea of adaptation and how we humans have a unique capacity to roll with the punches life deals out. Then I started dreaming in the wee hours and woke up with a different plan altogether.
In my dream, I was giving you my tips and tricks on how to successfully shop at thrift stores. It’s not a topic I’d typically write about, but then again, in case you haven’t noticed, I try to spin up a topic out of practically any little thing that crosses my mind.
My thrift shopping advice goes like this. If you’re on a mission for a specific item, make a beeline to that section, make a quick decision, and get out. Years ago I would wander in and browse at random, only to arrive home with maybe one out of a dozen things worth keeping.
If you’re not on the hunt for a certain item, but your gut gets a tug as you pass by your local thrift emporium, trust your intuition far enough to at least investigate. Let your spider senses guide you straight to your hunch. If it pays off, great! Otherwise, bail.
For me, it’s vinyl records. Last weekend I passed a Goodwill store and hit the brakes as I cruised past. Circling around the block I thought “Well, maybe, it’s worth a look.” More often than not the vinyl at thrift stores is bottom-of-the-barrel — worthless dreck to me.
So as I started flipping through the stacks my eyes opened wide as I began finding all sorts of obscure Cumbia and Tango LPs from Argentina, Guatemala, and elsewhere in Latin America. To add to my excitement, there were over a dozen in pristine, ‘Near Mint’ condition!
Whether any of these make it into my DJ sets matters little. As a collector of records I had a good feeling about these and upon getting home found out that most were worth upwards of $20 to $30 each on Discogs. Excellent trading fodder for a vinyl-swapper like me!
And so it goes with your intuition. Just as my dream shifted my subject matter for the day, so might you be guided to some special occurrence along your way. Let your body be the antenna and pay attention to when you’re in tune. Serendipity is but a moment away!
Much love and happiness till next Monday!
Dance First Member Insight: 5Rhythms Facilitator Emma Leech.
Where to begin? For most of us, the impact of COVD is a surreal reality, hitting like a Sci-Fi movie: a mysterious killer pandemic sweeping the Globe, claiming thousands of lives, and testing humanity to its core. It leaves us to grapple with uncertainty, knowing anyone can be claimed by the virus without notice. The dominant emotion sweeping through us is fear, freezing us into submission.
This global human collective experience divides us by how we manage the situation. Some panic; some take refuge in the imposed solitude, reflecting in silence and space; some tap into long-forgotten dreams, giving their passions room to breathe.
I am a dancer and an artist. I was fortunate when the pandemic hit. My 30 years of practice in 5Rhythms moving meditation has helped me transform and free my suffering. And yet, this was not without its own unique challenges. Lockdown came with a sudden thrust into technology. I had to transition my dominant survival instinct, to keep moving, into an online forum.
This really freaked me out! I am not adept at technology and have never tried to take my movement practice into a digital forum. I have always tried to do things within a simple framework, removing complications, and working with what I know—focusing on learning new skills in a familiar setting. This was no longer an option.
The daunting aspects of moving under constraints inspired me to develop my “Silent Waves” practice. Teaching from empty space and silence allows the symphony, the song, and the poetry to rise from within our instinctive inner choreography. It has now become my favorite way to teach the practice of 5 Rhythms. My Soul on fire!
I danced every day, one-on-one, with a dance partner from Italy. Together, we ‘zoomed’ through the fog, thunder, darkness into the sunlit horizon. This gave us both some much-needed human connection. As much as humans like to boast individuality and independence, connectedness is the basis of the human experience. The unified collective experience can strengthen our ability to overcome hardship.
More than anything, what got me through was dance, movement, and meditation. I did not allow myself to be frozen in fear, instead allowing tension and anxiety to move through me. I opened to mother earth and her profound wisdom, discovering the poetry, metaphors, and songs of movement. Though the pandemic has presented immeasurable challenges and changes, I hope we take positive lessons away from the trials. May we learn from this experience, opening ourselves to deeper understanding, compassion, and love for ourselves as individuals and the whole planet.
I will continue to offer the art of 5Rhythms as support, helping movers to release their trauma and mental anxiety. Having relocated to Rome to take refuge within my Italian dance community, I will hold my silent wave classes over Zoom for everyone who needs them. Stay tuned for announced dates and times!
Learn more at: www.EmmaDance.co