Increasing intuition can be a life saver. I believe that with all my heart, mind and soul.
As I’ve written about before, I’ve personally had to take extreme measures to curtail my analytic tendencies. As a young woman who struggled with OCD, these extreme measures included having a complete nervous breakdown (only I call it a nervous break-through, because it was the best thing that ever happened to me) and walking away from a twenty-year career in veterinary medicine.
The nervous break-through opened me up to the full-blown wonders of the intuitive process and pretty much cured me of my OCD overnight. This isn’t unheard of. It’s been reported thousands of times in the medical literature. Unexplained spontaneous resolutions of psychological conditions happen frequently enough they’ve lost their “miraculous!” sheen.
But they still can feel pretty darn miraculous to those of us who’ve felt an instantaneous shift from a pattern that has beleaguered us our entire lifetime.
There are an infinite number of paths which lead each individual to something like a spontaneous resolution, so I won’t pertain to tell you the way. I think we have to feel our way to those answers; I believe each and every one of us has that blueprint inside of us. But for me, the way to my own healing was through increasing intuition.
I learned to feel my way through life as much as think my way. And today I’ve designated feeling and thinking as my two sacred partners. Each is miraculous and imperative in its own right. I would never cherish one over another.
A couple of years ago I became a formal student of Alberto Villoldo, a medical anthropologist and psychologist, and his Four Winds Society, a shamanic school devoted to cultivating intuition. My Cherokee heritage makes me especially drawn to earth-based shamanic/totemic practices and after studying with six other shamanic teachers over the years, I settled down with Dr. Villoldo’s teachings. They feel right for me. They feel pure.
One basic foundational teaching of any indigenous culture is the Medicine Wheel and the Four Directions, although depending upon the indigenous nation (Apache, Lakota, Cheyenne, etc) this teaching will vary.
The practice that I’m initiated into is a 50,000 year old form of shamanism of Andean and Amazonian origins. This practice for me has been instrumental in increasing my own intuition and expanding my mind in the search for right and left hemisphere integration (becoming a whole person through the cultivating of the right and left brain hemispheres).
To give you just a little taste of it, and a possible addition to your own daily meditation, I’d love to share with you the basic tenets of this particular medicine wheel, which assigns archetypes and qualities to each sacred direction. Practiced regularly, this will most definitely become instrumental for you in increasing intuition (which is a system that actually encompasses both your right and left brain hemispheres).
The Four Directions:
South– The direction of the Healer. The archetype is the Snake/Serpent. The level of perception is the Literal/Physical level. The South is the place of earth connection. It’s being “belly to the earth”, one with Mother Nature. It’s about transformation and shedding our skins all at once, instantaneously. It’s about understanding our wounds, being one with/resolving our past hurts and finding the gifts in our injuries.
West– The direction of the Warrior. The archetype is the Jaguar. The level of perception is the Mental/Emotional level. In the West we’re the top of the food chain. We are asked to recognize what needs to die in our life, to let go of, to make room for the new. It’s the place of karmic and genetic patterns in our life. Here, we’re asked to let go of ancestral patterns that no longer serve us. It’s us, crouching in the realm of the shadow, like the powerful Jaguar.
North– The direction of the Sage/Teacher. The archetype is the Hummingbird. The level of perception is the Soul/Mythic level. In the North, things are joyful and beautiful. Here, we just do it. We step into our soul purpose courageously and without doubt. We don’t question everything. The North teaches us to find our life’s sweet nectar, to find that one special flower we were born to drink from. It’s the place of individuality, the soul’s journey, the spirit’s calling. Here we don’t try to hide. We are flamboyant and uncompromising.
East– The direction of the Visionary. The archetype is Eagle/Condor. The level of perception is Energy. In the East, it’s all about spontaneous healing, manifestation, miracles. Here, we’re asked to identify exactly what we want and how we want to live. In the East anything is possible. We fly wing to wing with Great Spirit and fully merge with the forces of creativity and intuition.
The Practice of Increasing Intuition:
Every single one of us has within us the Healer, Warrior, Teacher and Visionary.
The practice is to first identify, on any given day (or week or month), which one you desire a greater connection with. Perhaps you’re feeling as if you’re allowing everyone in your life to push you around. So, connecting with the teachings of your inner Warrior is where you need to concentrate. Or perhaps you’re completely lacking in confidence, feeling that you’re pretending your way through your professional career, suffering from impostor syndrome. If so, then connecting with the teachings of your inner Sage/Teacher may be healing for you.
Once you’ve identified what you need more of, then sit– outside on the grass, or inside in a chair, wherever you feel most connected– and simply face that direction. If you need to connect with your inner Visionary, for example, then face the East. Just sit, meditating on the qualities of that direction, praying for guidance (if that’s your process), all the while honoring the archetype of that direction (Snake, Jaguar, Hummingbird or Eagle/Condor) by keeping it in your mind’s eye. There’s no set period of time this practice requires. Just enough that feels right for you. Five minutes or fifty minutes; it’s up to you.
Guaranteed peace. Guaranteed strength. Increasing intuition also guaranteed.
It is said that in our western society, we try to solve every problem with only two levels of perception, Physical/Literal and Mental/Emotional. But indigenous cultures believe this to be so limiting, and it truly is. Native practices believe that healing takes place on the Mythic level and transformation (permanent change) takes place at the level of Energy. But more importantly, each level influences the next, so we need to connect with all four levels of perception to experience a fully lived life.
I wholeheartedly agree.
This entire concept, using the Sacred Medicine Wheel, stretches us into the Mythic level where increasing intuition takes place, where healing takes place.
If it feels right, try it for a month and see where it takes you. I’d love to hear about your experiences with it. And beware… you just might blow your heart wide open.
But that’s a very good thing.