En español | Editor's note: The best-selling author of A Book of Angels turns her attention to another mysterious subject — inner wisdom, as she calls it. Sophy Burnham reflects on what she learned from writing her new book, The Art of Intuition.
What is intuition?
Sometimes it comes as the subtle nudge — go here, not there. Other times it hits like the bolt from the blue.
Still other times it's the solution that drifts to us mysteriously in a dream, or when we're meditating or taking a walk — when our mind has left the problem behind.
Alberto Ruggieri/Illustration Works/Corbis
Scientists tell us we use only a fraction of our brain cells. Do those sleeping ones hold the gifts of prophecy and intuition, of telepathy, creative inspiration and other psychic aptitudes? I believe they do. Accessing these abilities is like tuning to a radio frequency. As you raise your vibration by compassion and purity of heart, you become more sensitive, and you hear without the static of your surroundings or the chatter of your own racketing monkey-mind.
Several things inhibit intuition: First is mistrust. We negate our insight by thinking too much. Ignorance can also block it, for we don't always recognize the signals when they come. Addictions to drugs, alcohol and mind-bending influences leave us baffled and disoriented. Over-medication can also distort the pure alchemy of our minds. Lastly, stress, anxiety and fear can cloud our inner wisdom.
What encourages intuition? I think it is simply stillness. The most important quality is the ability to be comfortable in your own skin and to listen, really listen, for the nudge of insight that is by nature yours. I believe that we are all expressions of the Divine. The very cells of our bodies are composed of stardust. We are spiritual entities enclosed in skin, but our minds can roam the farthest reaches of the earth, unhindered by space or time. As we grow older, we learn to let go of the need to control. We listen more quietly. We trust silence. We learn to act on intuition, our inner wisdom, for these are designations of our own divinity.
Sophy Burnham lives in Washington, D.C.