In a prior post – Am I Doing this Right? Unpacking Intuitive Perception – I defined intuitive perception and addressed some of the pitfalls we can experience when developing our intuitive faculties. But there are more! Intuitive blocks are similar to creative blocks. For a great book on working through creative blocks see The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. Some of this post is inspired by comparisons I noted while reading through this book again, and many of the book’s exercises can be applied to intuitive as well as creative flow. As with creative blocks, much of intuitive blocking comes from our relationship to intuition, our fears, and our often unhelpful preconceived notions and expectations about it from cultural conditioning. We think nothing is happening when in fact something is happening, it is just not what we expect. These common misconceptions will be the focus of Part 1. Intuitive blocks can also be the result of energy body restrictions and the need for stronger boundaries. These will be addressed in Part 2.
The Special Person Trap
Let’s start with one that has become prominent with the expansion of modern media: the expectation to be an intuition virtuoso right out of the gate. We look at people who have spent many years practicing and honing a craft and we, who have spent little or far less time, compare ourselves to them. We compare our beginning efforts to what they can do after years of development. We tend to believe, consciously or unconsciously, that being good at something like music, dance, intuition, is something that just happens. This may sound like an exaggeration when stated directly. But notice the way we relate to professional artists and intuitives as special humans instead of as people who have put a lot of time into developing their craft. Professional artists practice and prepare for years. What they can do is a product of those years of development. Sure there is an occasional outlier who has a quick development of their art early in life. But for most people these are skills that are developed over long periods of time, and even prodigies put in time and effort.
To avoid this and other forms of false comparison, assess your situation on an individual level without comparisons to others. We all are unique in the conditions that factor into our lives. For some people, blocked or semi-blocked intuition is a factor that needs to be addressed before they can experience more intuitive flow. For others, they may have more access to their intuition from the start. This is not a difference in ultimate potential; it is a difference in conditions.
Beginning Stage Insecurity and Awkwardness
Every artist starts at the beginning and does unimpressive work for a while. I played violin as a youth and it was a good two or three years before I was producing anything close to a decent sound. If you’re not used to working with your intuitive senses there will be a beginner phase, likely characterized by feelings of insecurity, uncertainty, and awkwardness.
I did not consider myself particularly intuitive until my late 20s when I had to use that faculty as part of a class. And then was I good at it? Not especially. You wouldn’t have been blown away by my readings at the time. I was not touted as an intuitive genius, someone with a gift. It was not easy to do at first, and by “at first” I mean a few years. It was not easy because I felt insecure and self-conscious about it, so it took some courage and vulnerability. But it was also not easy because it was a muscle I had not been consciously utilizing. Using muscles as an analogy: most of us have the same set of muscles but few of us are professional athletes. The difference is *a lot* of practice and training. Similarly, because intuition is a function of your state of consciousness it is already there; and if you practice and develop your intuitive faculty you will be able to do more with it and have more ease with the experience.
Don’t Expect a Psychedelic Trip: Intuition Can be Subtle
When I first started actively working with my intuition the input I received was often subtle and vague. Some people expect to have very clear sensory experiences when it is much likelier they will be perceiving more of an impression of things – maybe vague impressions at that. This means an outline of a figure but not facial details, a sense of a bird without knowing what type, the impression of being spoken to without hearing actual sound. This aspect of intuition coupled with the insecurity many feel as beginners can dissuade them from pursuing it further, thinking this vagueness means it is not working. But this impressionistic aspect is typical and to be expected.
While I have developed more clarity over time, a good portion of the input I receive is still on the vague impressionistic side of things. What has changed for me the most over time is that I pay attention to all of the impressions I receive, vague and more overt. In this sense, “clarity” is more a result of the confidence that comes from experience than a change in way I receive intuitive information. I have become comfortable responding to subtlety. And intuitive input is not always subtle. A major part of readings I do today is looking for what pops energetically. But this doesn’t mean the more subtle signals are not relevant or important; sometimes the path to what pops is a process of following the more subtle breadcrumbs showing the way. When I was learning how to do intuitive readings I realized that if I didn’t acknowledge what I was perceiving, subtle or otherwise, the reading would go nowhere. It was easy to get jammed by my own insecurities, judgments, and doubt. I had to learn how to relax imposed expectations and acknowledge what was happening. Then the reading could flow.
You are a Part of Your Intuitive Perception
Not only can intuition be subtle and vague but it is also often symbolic in expression, and the symbolism is at least somewhat specific to the intuitive. This can cause a jam if you get caught up in the idea the conveyance of information can’t have anything to do with you. Watch interviews of professional psychics and they will often note that a part of their skill development was learning to interpret the symbols and feelings they were perceiving. As intuition is consciousness to consciousness communication, it will occur through your consciousness and therefore often through your personal frames of reference. This doesn’t mean intuitive input is always as expected and that there is no novel information present, there will be that as well. The key is to not dismiss what is being experienced as a projection just because you have a sense of personal association.
An example of this happens when we meet deity people in mediumship circle practice. Sometimes a deity will show up as we might expect them to. For example Thor may show up as a big muscled man with a hammer. This doesn’t mean what the medium is perceiving is solely a projection of their own consciousness; it just means that their frame of reference for Thor is being used to communicate his presence. Which if we think about it makes a lot of sense. If Thor showed up in an entirely unexpected form then it wouldn’t be as clear of a communication. What we find in doing multiple mediumship circle sittings with the same deity person is that they can show up in different forms but will often default to the ones that fit, at least in part, our preconceived conceptions.
If you are concerned about the influence of self-projection, the key is to be able to recognize the difference between what you project with effort and what you receive through flow. These are distinctly different energetic and mental states. There can be focus and intention to intuitive perception; focus and intention help us to hone in on specific channels. But that focus is concurrent with receptive intuitive flow, not effortful mental projection. Another way to stay more clear of self-projection is to develop the ability to generate a personal state of spaciousness and neutrality. When we are too close to an issue, and there is a strong emotional charge, it is much more difficult to get clear information through our personal hopes and fears. I sometimes hire a professional reader when I want guidance for a personal issue that I would have trouble being objective about.
When it comes to the question “where is this from?”, a good question to engage for discernment purposes, connection of awareness is key. If your awareness is connected to, and focused on, your thoughts, the information will come from there. If your awareness is connected to your body, the information will come from there. If your awareness is connected to your deep self, information will come from there. If your awareness is connected to wise and loving ancestors, the information will come from them. So to answer the question “where is this from?” answer the question “with what or whom am I connecting?” Making intuitive perception an intentional ritual process, like it is set up in Ancestral Lineage Healing or Transformational Mediumship, can help with this kind of discernment, as can any method of developing boundaries and self-awareness.
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