Follow Your Intuition

Intuition. Something not talked about much - but known universally by all. That little voice in the heart - not the head - that tugs at us gently and sometimes, forcefully, when it knows something that the head doesn’t know. In many of our stories, the intuition is represented by an animal friend, spirit guide or wise ancestor. Think Mushu the dragon in Mulan, Haku the river in Spirited Away and the ocean in Moana.

Often the intuition tugs at us to do things that the mind disagrees with. Intuition tells us to break up with that boyfriend that just doesn’t feel right, while the mind says ‘you need to be loved,’ ‘all your friends are in relationships’ and ‘I don’t want to be alone'.

Even before that, on the very first date, the intuition told us ‘this guy isn’t right for you’ and ‘your soulmate is out there.’ But the mind says ‘I don’t like being single,’ ‘I want someone to hold me at night’ and ‘all the best ones are already taken.’

What is clear is that the deep intuition is based on love and heart-based, whereas the voice in the head is fear and mind-based. The intuition always knows. One way to tell if an insight is the voice in the head or the tug of intuition is to ask yourself how sure you are about something. If you instantly get an answer that you are dead-sure about, that you are willing to stand by no matter what, then it is the heart-based intuition.

When the ocean told Moana she was the one to return the heart to Te Whiti - that was heart-based intuition. When her grandmother told her to go and return the heart to Te Whiti - that was heart-based intuition. When Moana tells herself ‘I will find Maui and return the heart to Te Whiti’ she is reinforcing what she now knows because of the intuition and her conviction no matter the odds, is testament to this deep heart-based knowing.

Unlike Disney movies, most of us can’t see or talk with the representation of our intuition i.e. we can’t converse with Mushu, the Ocean or our wise ancestors. But there are other ways to decipher the guidance of the intuition.

If the answer is ‘I guess we could break up with him… but’ or ‘maybe I could do that’ it doesn’t have the instant surety of the heart-based intuition. It is probably the voice in the mind. If there is any fear or lack associated with the answer... ‘I don’t want to be alone’ or ‘no one else will ever love me...’ then it is definitely the voice in the mind.

What happens if we ignore the intuition? Same as if we live life ignoring the pangs of our heart. It is not a life that is truly lived. Simple as that. We remain in circumstances, relationships, jobs… you name it...  that are not for our highest good.

How do we follow the intuition? We listen to the heart… and we act on it. It takes bravery and is a road for the courageous only. Sometimes the heart wants us to do things that society may not agree with. It is not an easy road but it is ultimately rewarding. It is a life that is truly lived.

So, what is intuition? It is the highest you.

 This article was originally published as a love letter by Ataria for Body Love New Zealand, a fitness community teaching women to love themselves and their bodies


Awa Wahine, Editor Ataria Sharman is an avid reader and writer. Her manuscript for young adults fiction novel was selected to take part in Te Papa Tupu 2018 - a programme for selected Maori writers facilitated by Huia Publishers and the Maori Literature Trust.