Episode 25: The Intuition Equation

Join me this week while I share my ‘Intuition Equation’. I break down the process I use to tap into my intuition to create my goals, and how I make intuition-led decisions along the way. 

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • A process to reliably ‘tap in’ so you can strengthen your intuition
  • Two things that might make it seem like something is going wrong, but actually mean you’re on the right track 
  • Where I see most Creatives get stuck in this process, and how you can learn to navigate it

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Let’s become a generation of creative women who are examples for the people in our lives of what it looks like to prioritize our work (AND recognize our impact).

x, Jen

Full episode transcript below:

Welcome to today's episode, the Intuition Equation. I have lots and lots of conversations about intuition. I am just fascinated by this completely ordinary and yet totally otherworldly thing that every single one of us experiences daily. 

   After lots of conversations, thoughts, and research, today I'm gonna share with you what I've been able to deduce  so far about intuition, which again is this totally mundanely normal everyday thing, and also completely nebulous and intangible and kind of magical.

So know that this definition will change with time, but this is where I am right now with it.  Intuition often starts with a feeling or a hunch. For me, I've noticed that I often feel a little bit agitated when I'm getting some intuitive information, like something is trying to emerge. And for me, the agitation is often when I am not dedicating time or space for the ideas to come through.

Like one of my favorite ways to do that is walking.  Especially  near bodies of water. And so if I am in a busy season or in a busy week and I don't have much downtime, I often will feel kind of agitated and that's  become a signal for me that something is trying to come through, some information, and I am kind of blocking it because I'm so busy or distracted or just have a lot going.

So that may be a clue for you too, that you could start to pay attention to, or you may have other information.  But I would start to pay attention to what precedes your inner knowings, your inner feelings, and start to do your own research and  be an experimenter about what leads to your intuitive knowings coming through to you, and seeing how you can set yourself up even more  and make the process smoother for yourself too.

But I'm gonna share mine with you today. And use that as something to respond to and to notice within yourself too.  So like I was saying, intuition for me often starts with a feeling or a hunch, and sometimes I feel a little like agitated, like something is trying to come through. And when I get quiet and notice what is trying to come through and I get like a little hit about something, or a piece of information, or a thought, or like a new awareness comes in, my mind immediately, like immediately, starts talking and saying things like, you can't do that, and starts throwing reasons at me about why that is not possible for me, why that's not possible given my current circumstances, why that is ridiculous. Like all of the things, it just starts throwing all the things at me. 

And I have practiced this so much that I know that when this comes online, this like safety and security and survival narrative comes online, that it's my brain just trying to keep me safe, keep me doing what I know, keep me doing what has worked so far so that I can  stay accepted in my social circles and I  don't upset people and potentially threaten my social standing or my physical safety or my emotional safety.

I know that my brain is just trying to keep me, like I always say, our brains are wired for survival, not for us to thrive. So our brains are very much concerned and invested in us continuing to do what it knows works for us rather than something new, and that could potentially not work for a little bit. 

You know, our brains will tell us the worst that will happen, like we'll die. But what would really happen is we would be uncomfortable for a little bit. Potentially some of our survival will be threatened and we would figure it out. But that's not what our brain is saying. Our brain is not nuanced like that.

It's like, if you do this, you will die. That's kind of the shortcut. And so when that comes online for me, I know that I can just label that as my mind trying to keep me safe and I don't follow it or listen to it. I used to, I used to have ideas and my mind would come in and say, you can't do that, that's X, Y, Z, whatever. And I'd be like, oh my gosh, that's right. I can't do that. And then go off on that path. 

And what I've learned is to back up and to be able to hold the part of me that has an inner knowing and to be able to honor that and listen to it and explore it and be curious about it, with the part of me that is very much invested in me continuing to do the same things that I've always done to keep me safe. So I don't battle with that part of me, I just listen to it and I see if there's anything in it for me to learn. 

So that was the first two steps. The first step is, for me, it usually starts with a feeling or a hunch, maybe some agitation is present too. And then two, my mind immediately starts telling me that I can't do it. The narrative starts, can't do it, not possible, not for you, blah, blah, blah.

Step three of this equation is I check in with myself over and over and over, and over, and over,  and follow what I feel led to or called to do. That encompasses intuition-led decisions, choices, and actions. 

So this is a dance and it's a really individual process that everyone needs to develop for themselves. There's no one right way to do this, but like I was saying, there is the process of holding your inner knowing, holding the information you're getting. Holding the things that are pulling at you or that you're curious about, or that kind of just keep tugging at you, along with the parts of you that wanna keep you safe and keep doing what you know how to do and just keep going because it's working for you.

So there's the process of holding those two parts, and then continuing to check in for more information, to do what feels right in your body, even if it doesn't totally always make sense logically yet, or make sense for your situation.  And  the secret here, that's not the biggest secret, is that you just keep doing that over and over until you create what you want.

You keep tapping in for information, honoring the inner knowing, balancing the survival part of you that may feel threatened or scared, keep checking in for what to do next, and then do that thing over and over and over, and that's how you create whatever it is that you want, and that's how you do it in an intuitive way. 

Not just in a left brain, analytical, logical way of creating your world, which if you're anything like me and a lot of the people I work with, you have done that.

You have lived probably a good part of your adult life doing that, and you're starting to realize that that is not  working, and it's not really satisfying because, I believe there's an integration that's being called for. Integrating  both sides of your brain, integrating the analytical like very smart part of you, with that inner knowing, with the part of you that is unique to you, that no one else has the same expression, and that you are meant to realize in your lifetime.

Another thing I wanna add there is that making intuition led decisions often leads to a period of deep discomfort. And to me it's like a WTF did I just do? There's often a groundless feeling associated with this space, because it's a truly unknown space for you.  It's new to you territory.

You have never been there before. And so if you think about the way our minds work, you don't have a mental map for this new space. It's going to feel uncomfortable, and different. And for most of us, that's a scary experience because of the unknown, because it's different, because we're wired to survive.

It's different than what we know. So what's happening is you're developing new mental maps, like literally new neural networks in your brain for these new experiences, for this new information, for doing things differently. And that's what that deep discomfort is. It's the process of literally physical changes being made in your body and in your brain .

A lot of people interpret it as, oh no, oh shit, I made a wrong decision. That's not what it means. It just means that there's a new experience for you happening and unfolding in your body, in your physical space, and you need to explore that, and understand it, and create that mental map so you know what it's like to do something new that is calling to you for the first time that you've never done before.

 Let me just stay there, sometimes maybe you did make a wrong decision, so I don't wanna say that it never means that, but there's a very big difference between following your inner knowing and feeling comfortable and like, where is this taking me? I don't understand why I'm doing this, versus making a decision, and having a very bad feeling about it, and feeling like something is very wrong.

That may be really important information for you to listen to. I am not saying to bypass that, and you need to know for yourself what the difference is between those two experiences. Something new and a little uncomfortable, like, ugh, I'm not used to this, I don't know what this is like yet, versus something is very wrong and I need to change it.

Very, very different, and you need to know for yourself the difference and be able to honor.

This doubt period that I'm talking about is   actually a really critical part of this intuition equation because things are getting reprogrammed or reshuffled to accommodate making space for this new possibility for you. You can think of it like needing an internal capacity upgrade , or another way that I like to think of it is like programming a new operating system. I feel like that's very apropo considering how digitally connected we all are. So it's like a new operating system for the iPhone. You're just literally programming a new operating system into yourself, into your experience.

And you know that whenever you get a new operating system on your phone, things are in different places. You don't have the same muscle memory. You need to  slow down and actually pay attention, you can't just be an autopilot. All of that is an upgrade. And that's what's happening in this discomfort period when you are following an inner knowing that you don't yet understand why or where it might be taking you.

There's a famous quote that I wanna share with you, and it goes like this. "Fear is excitement without the breath." And it's attributed to a lot of people, but in my research, the first person I found who said it is a man named Fritz Perls, and he is the founder of Gestalt Theory. If you've never heard this quote before, it's the idea that fear and excitement feel the same in our bodies, but our bodies can't tell the difference between what is exciting and what is fearful.

It feels the same. The fear is a natural continuation of those feelings, the excitement about new and possibility and potential, that you're considering. And it doesn't mean that anything has gone wrong. It's just new information for our bodies, for our nervous systems, and we need to learn how to contain and to process and to have that new felt experience.

It literally just means that new neural networks are being created in real time. That's why it feels funny or uncomfortable, or for me, a lot of times I will say, this feels like it's breaking my brain. It's because I don't have that neural wiring yet, and I can almost feel like the edges of my understanding, and it's either like breaking my brain or it hurts my brain when I'm  not quite there yet.

And I've learned how important it is to stay in that place of unknown, of discomfort, of uncertainty, because that's where our growth really lives. That's where we grow. 

Okay. I wanna review everything I've shared today. So this intuition equation, the first step is that you often notice your intuition or an inner knowing because of a feeling or a hunch that you're having. And for me, agitation is usually involved because it's like something is trying to emerge. 

 The second thing that happens, once you've heard that inner knowing, is that for me, and I'm guessing for you too, my mind immediately pipes up and says, you cannot do that. And here's all the millions of reasons why that's not possible, why you shouldn't, why you're not ready yet, blah, blah, blah.

And this is where a lot of people get stuck. And a lot of the people I work with are in this place where they are just,  that voice is so loud for them, that they can't hear outside of it. And so like side note, a lot of the work to do is to learn how to hold that voice  while you hold and tap into the inner knowing and learn to balance them and hold them both, and still make very intentional decisions about what you want.

Okay, so once your mind pipes in and says, nope, that's not possible for you, that's the second step. 

The third step is the dance of checking in. So to notice the calling, notice the protests, and to ultimately follow what you feel led to do or called to do. And that to me is what defines an intuition led decision.

Now, once you've made an intuitive decision, there's often that period of discomfort as you expand to contain or have what you're going after. This discomfort isn't a sign that anything is wrong, it's just a physical reminder for you that you are undergoing an internal reorganization or upgrade or installing a new operating system. Whatever metaphor resonates for you there.

Your job here is to stay tuned into what you know, and to do the next thing you have a hunch about, over and over until you've realized your goal. That is the intuition equation, and that is how you create things intuitively from your inner knowing. 

I've said this before  in a podcast episode, but I know the very deep desire that I'm gonna say every human has, if not okay, most humans, but I would probably say every human, has to have a HOW map. They wanna know how to do every step of what they wanna create. And a lot of people get hung up on this, and I get it. It makes sense because your brain is like, oh, well I would feel safe if I knew how I was gonna do it. I would feel secure and confident if I knew how I was gonna do it.

Makes total sense. But when I reflect on my life, and the very best things in my life, I had no idea what they were when I started, and I also had no idea that I would be able to create them. And if I had insisted on knowing how I was gonna do something, I would have ended up with less than what I currently have.

 Having that HOW plan, knowing every step, every how of how you're gonna do something, really limits you because you're only going to do what you can see. You're not going to  explore or be open to other possibilities or literally the way it works is you just  follow one breadcrumb to the next, to the next, to the next.

And when you can trust while you're doing that, things are so much bigger and better than you can imagine than when you are starting out. When you are setting the goal with what you currently think is possible for you. So just keep that in mind. It's normal to want to know how, the most normal thing about you, and also insisting on knowing how you're gonna do something will limit you and you will create less than you are capable of.

And if you had the ability to look back in the future, and tell yourself something right now, I guarantee you it would be to not be so focused on how you're gonna do it and not insist on being clear on what or how you want to create it. And to just start now, and start unfolding it, and following the breadcrumbs, and letting it become and participating in the process, and that it will be so much bigger and better than what you can imagine for yourself right now.

Guarantee it. I absolutely like bet my life on it. So that's what I wanna leave you with today to  explore with this intuition equation for yourself. And also to begin to find ways to start working towards what you want without knowing exactly how you're gonna do it. 

That's what I have for you today. I am so glad that you are here and that we get to walk our paths together. See you next time. Same time, same place. Bye for now.


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