While I am on the mend, i've asked several of my friends to help out and guest post to my blog. Today's guest blog is from Elizabeth Cassidy, a certified life and career coach. She is a national blogger for Skirt!(site w/ a very cool attitude), NY Life Coach expert for Examiner.com. and one-half of the Blogging Team - Coaches on the Edge: Skirt. You can also find her at Branching Out Life Coaching. This article can also be found at skirt.com
Intuition is a tool that so many people fail to use when making decisions in their lives. I recently interviewed Tara Crawford Roth, an intuitive coach, and she is sharing her thoughts on intuition and ways for people to tap into their intuitive side. So sit back and get real clear about what you want in your life and then ask your intuition what is the best path to take. You just might be surprised to find out that the answers do lie inside you!
ec: Before we delve into the subject of Intuition and how it has impacted your life, in all areas of your life, can you give us your definition of Intuition? I think there are still some who feel that getting in touch with your inner voice only happens in a smoked filled backroom with a woman named Mistress Sylvia and a crystal ball.
TR: Well that has been known to work but there is a better way. My definition of intuition is that still inner voice within that we all have but have learned to discount. Einstein called intuition the highest form of knowing. The word intuition means "in to you" in Latin. It is the voice of inspiration or sudden insight that comes from out of the blue. It's been called the sixth sense, an inner knowing or divine guidance. My experience is that it is an incredibly valuable resource that helps us live our lives more fully once we learn to recognize how it communicates with us.
ec: When did you realize that you were receiving intuitive hits and were not just someone with a vivid imagination? Was your reaction one of embracing this gift or were you fearful that something was off? I would imagine it had to be a little unsettling at first.
TR: When I was really young, I could communicate with animals but it wasn’t til later I realized this was unusual. I was the kid who liked to dress up as gypsy and read your fortune with the Magic 8 Ball for a nickel. I thought it was mysterious and fun. Sometimes, when I would get an intuitive hit, it was confusing, especially if I got one that was incorrect. Over time, I learned to pay more attention and notice when it was really my intuition and when it was “just” my imagination.
ec: Being intuitive from an early age, when did you reveal this side of you to your family and what was their reaction? Somehow I don’t think this would have fallen into the same category as discovering that you have a strong backhand for tennis or that your singing ability rivaled Aretha Franklin’s?
TR: Well it certainly wasn’t something you bragged about to the neighbors. I was deemed “sensitive” by my family at an early age; at first that was code for too emotional. Later it had to do with sensing things others missed. I kept this all to myself until I was a teenager and was noticed I was having prophetic dreams. The one that stands out the most is when I dreamt I met Paul McCartney and he asked me for a date. I met him the very next day in Central Park but he was with his new wife Linda, so I guess he couldn’t ask me out in front of her! I shared this story with my family only to find out my grandfather occasionally had “visions”. He was afraid of them so it was a family secret.
ec: So intuition is something we are born with? Like getting your father’s blue eyes or your grandmother’s wide forehead – we are all intuitive souls?
TR: It is something we are all born with and some families who understand it encourage the gift. Most people have no frame of reference for it and discourage it or call it imagination. Ever listen to some of the things kids will tell you? I had a cousin who at the tender age of 5 started telling my aunt stories about her own mom who had died long before she was born. She “knew” about her life growing up in the UK, pet names she called her and other events that occurred. My aunt was amazed and had to acknowledge the accuracy of the information.
ec: Tara, how do we develop our intuition? Are there actual exercises that people can do to sharpen their intuitive skills?
TR: The first thing you need to do is commit to pay attention to the nudges, quiet voice or feelings you receive and acting on them. Intuition is like a muscle that needs exercising and committing to listen for it is the best way to begin. There are many exercise and techniques you can use (many are in the audios on my website) but a daily centering and practicing stillness ritual is critical. You need to “”tame” the monkey mind so to speak to be still so you can hear the guidance of your intuition. Once you have done that you want to start asking your intuition questions every day and then expecting to get an answer. When you expect an answer, you are “tuned in” at some level all the time and open to the guidance.
ec: People who have intuitive hits will say that they had a feeling, they heard a word or a phrase, saw some type of picture pop up in their mind or they just knew. These intuitive hits do have “official” names besides butterflies fighting in the abdomen, hearing the lyrics from a Steely Dan song, a photo of a mountain on fire or being Miss Know It All. Can you please share what they are and it is true that some people pick up their guidance through smell?
TR: There are 4 main ways people receive their intuition and most people have at least two of them operating in their life. They are called the “clairs” meaning clear. There is clairvoyance, clear seeing, clairaudience, clear hearing clairsentience, clear feeling and claircognizance, clear knowing. To give you a little more information clairvoyance is seeing vision, pictures or images both literal and symbolic in your mind and includes prophetic dreams. It is not just seeing full blown 3D visions or dead people! Clairaudience is hearing voices inside or just outside your head and not that kind that require medication! This clair is prevalent in people with musical ears and can include hearing song lyrics that convey a message or a random comment that answers a question you had.
Clairsentience, clear feeling is a very physical form of intuition and includes a gut feeling, goose bumps or butterflies in the tummy. Many people with this clair are empathic which means they are very sensitive to the feelings and energy of those around them. Claircognizance, clear knowing is the most common form of intuition and the easiest to overlook because you “just know” something. Ideas pop in your mind full blown or you get an inspiration or insight out of the blue. Einstein said this was the way his intuition worked.
Two more obscure ones are clairaugustus, clear tasting and clairfragrance, clear smelling. I have never experience the first of these but when my dad, who is deceased comes around I smell smoke. It is his calling card.
ec: Okay, so now we are feeling our intuitive side coming to life, but how do you separate what our heart is telling us vs. what our egos demand?
TR: You know this is the classic struggle we all face. What part of ourselves are we giving power to- our mind or our heart? Your intuition is always positive and leaves you feel expanded with a sense of possibilities. It is supporting, loving and persistent and will address you in the 3rd person. Even when your intuition is warning you of danger it will do so with positive information and action such as: turn left, go faster, or look behind you.
When your ego is giving you “guidance” it is characterized by many things including negativity and fear. It can have a demanding tone and be judgmental. You may feel discouraged or pressure in your chest. It will tell you how you can’t do this or that or remind you of all the times things have not worked out. It is a little tyrant!
ec: What are some ways that people can “set their intentions” when it comes to asking their intuition for answers?
TR: Setting intentions is as simple as focusing on what you want. Remember, we see the things we focus on and not the rest of what is around us. If you don’t believe me try NOT to think about pink elephants for the next 10 seconds. You can’t do it!
I tell students to set their intention to be intuitive all day, ask questions of it and then expect the answers to arrive. Keeping your focus on your intuition allows you to experience it more easily.
ec: What do you think has happened in our society that people are now taking a look at intuition with new eyes? It is amazing to hear people now say that they are tuning into what their intuition has to say. I am hearing that all the time now. Of course, I am asking people and am thrilled to see that intuition is now becoming one of the tools of choice to use when making personal and professional decisions.
TR: It is time I think we have truly entered the Age of Aquarius where people are recognizing that everything is energy. Through movies and the net, people are exposed to these ideas and science has finally caught up. Quantum physics proves that everything has an energetic makeup, our bodies are composed of energy and so are our thoughts and emotions. Once you can work with that concept, intuition is easier to understand. It is about feeling the vibrations and the energy. I am expecting this shift to increase in the next few years and expect to see intuition become as accepted as any other sense. Won’t that be fun?
ec: As an intuitive business coach, do you see things or get feelings about what is going on with your clients? Do you share these intuitive hits with them?
TR: I do get intuitive hits when I am coaching clients, sometimes even in between sessions! I keep track and share them with clients, if it is appropriate to what we are working on, but the key is I have no attachment to being right. If I share an intuitive hit and it does not resonate with the clients, we move on. Coaching, as you know, is about serving the client and what they need in the moment.
ec: Why do you think tapping into our intuition is so important? Couldn’t we do just fine without listening to it? Or are you seeing an acceptance from people who happen to be CEOs, budding entrepreneurs, artists and even other life coaches?
TR: You know many CEOs I know tell me, in confidence, that they are intuitive. It is like having an extra edge on the competition and they have learned to trust their hunches. I believe science is helping intuition become more accepted among the left brained, logical population. Artists and coaches tend to be more creative to begin with and use the right side of the brain where intuition resides.
ec: Alright, so people are ready to start using their intuition as another skill – do you suggest they start off with the small stuff and then work up to the big issues?
TR: You want to start small. You wouldn’t begin an exercise program by going to the gym and lifting 100 pounds! Start by asking questions that are not emotionally charged like who is at the door, how many pieces of mail do I have, what road has less traffic or what task shall I tackle next? If you ask when will I meet my soul mate, chances are you will not get a clear answer this early in the process because you are too attached to the outcome. You can work your way up to more challenging questions after you are clear on how your intuition “speaks” to you.
ec: Tara thanks so much for explaining how intuition can bring more joy, satisfaction and personal and professional growth in our lives. I bet a lot of people may still have more questions. How can people contact you to learn more about becoming friends with their intuitive gifts?
TR: They can visit my website at TaraRoth.com There they can sign up for my bimonthly ezine Intuitive Insights and listen to archives of my radio show Intuitive Living. Or they can email me here. I would love to hear from them.