Intuition. It’s the best piece of armor in anyone’s self defense arsenal.
Everyone’s Inner Warrior (yes, you have one!) has feelers out into the world like the stands of a spider web. Intuition reads when danger hits those strands. Your conscious mind could be clueless about the impending emergency, but intuition picks it up in a flash.
In my previous Think Like A Black Belt articles on this subject, many people commented to me that they weren’t sure about their “inner knowing.” They couldn’t tell if their intuition was talking to them or if the impressions they were receiving were just deep-seated worry.
I recently ran across a great explanation of why some of us don’t trust our gut instinct. In her book Bird by Bird, author Anne Lamott spends a chapter explaining intuition from a writer’s point of view. In it she notes:
“When we listened to our intuition when we were small and then told the grown ups what we believed to be true, we were often either corrected, ridiculed, or punished … If you asked innocently, “Why is Mom in the bathroom crying?,” you might be told, “Mom isn’t crying; Mom has allergies.” Or if you said, “Why didn’t Dad come home last night?,” you might be told brightly, “Why Dad did come home last night, but then he left again very early.” And you nodded, even though you knew these were lies, because it was important to stay on the adults’ good side … So you may have gotten in the habit of doubting the voice that was telling you quite clearly what was really going on.”
Lamott believes intuition is an important ingredient for writers. She adds, “You get your confidence and intuition back by trusting yourself, by being militantly on your own side … you get your intuition back when you make space for it, when you stop the chattering of the rational mind.”
This is true in self defense as well.
With her deft humor she adds that intuition may need coaxing “because intuition is a little shy.” Her remedy is to realize intuition comes and goes at first and may wilt from too much forcefulness, “So try to calm down, get quiet, breathe, and listen. Squint at the screen in your head, and if you look you will see what you are searching for …”
Lamott also advocates finding a name or metaphor for you own inner sight. The author — being the odd sort she is — calls hers “broccoli.”
As a martial artist, that doesn’t quite cut it for me! Maybe “my animal self” or “my inner guide” or “my Gandalf,” but not any names of vegetables!
How about you? Can you think of a name for your intuition that will give you a better handle on it?
SIMILAR ARTICLES ON THIS SUBJECT:
- How our intuition warns of danger
- Intuition — first self defense weapon of choice
- Getting to know your intuition
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