Intuition: Leaping without Knowing Where You’ll Land

In this essay I discuss the nature of intuition and how I’ve decided to “surrender” to it — accept and follow my intuition without worrying too much about why and how.

A year ago, my family uprooted our home of 10 years in Austin, Texas and moved to St. Paul, Minnesota.

Before moving, we tried to be safe by lining up a new job first.  There were several false alarms, and after a few months of trying, we simply decided to make a leap of faith.  It was just too difficult to line up a job while being so far out of town.  It’s one thing if I was at executive-level, where companies do national searches and deal with people flying in for interviews, but I was just a web producer/developer.

So we moved on the faith that once in town, I’d be able to line up a new job soon enough, before our savings would run out.  The move was not without a risk, as I had to get a job where I could commute by bus, which severely limited my search.  But in the end, I secured a perfect new job within a month.  The tax return covered for our moving expense and the lost income from that month.  Financially, we broke even — an outcome that was definitely better than we had braced ourselves to face.

Intuition: What Is It?

Intuition, a “gut” feeling, a hunch — whatever you call it, it means the same thing to me.  It’s this sense of being pulled toward one direction.  Some people seem to have intuition about future, like an outcome of an event, more like a premonition.  I think that exists and I even have it sometimes, but here I’m talking mainly about a mechanism behind decision-making.  It’s about being drawn toward one choice over others, and it’s not based on reason nor feelings, though it’s easy to confuse with the latter.

I have always been fundamentally intuitive.  I actually consider it my hotline to God.  It’s like a voice that’s constantly whispering in my ear, telling me what to do.  Pretty much every waking moment of my life, I am hearing this voice.  Every choice I make, from when to brush my teeth or go potty, is made in discussion between me and this voice.

It’s true that sometimes fear or other strong emotions cloud up our minds and lose touch with the “gut” feelings.  I get so overwhelmed that I can’t tell which voice is whose.  I know that I sometimes make rash, fear-based decisions.  I’ve learned to sleep on big decisions, as giving it some time usually clears up the vision and help me figure out what my intuition is helping me.

It’s funny because a lot of times we tend to think of intuition to be an immediate thing, and I agree with that notion as well.  In facing a situation, intuition seems to arrive the soonest and stay the latest.  The first impulse may well be the voice of your intuition, though emotion can also be very quick and often very strong.  Reason does arrive later, and for us intuitives, they bring the potential to strengthen or cloud up our vision. For intuition cannot always be explained — and even when it can, the explanation comes after the direction is made clear.

My Resistance

Because I’ve always perceived my intuition to come from outside me — psychology may label it super-ego, others may call it my Guardian Angel — I always feel like there are two entities inside my head, constantly struggling and wrestling over the control of my actions.  (Just to clarify, I don’t want to get into a spiritual/religious discussion here — I myself am choosing not to define too fine a distinction between what is mine and what is God/Higher-Being/Universe.  I’m going to refer to it as “my” intuition here, though I’m not closed to the notion that it may really originate from somewhere outside me.)

Really, imagine having a cell phone taped to one of your ears all the time, through which someone is always chattering what you need to do.  Will it drive you crazy or mad?  I used to feel like that, especially because what I’m hearing didn’t make sense to me.  It’s usually telling me to do something I don’t want to do, or afraid to do, and explanation is apparently not part of its job description.  I would say I used to ignore and resist my intuition 80-90% of the time.   The illogical nature of intuition is one of the major reasons why I struggle with it so much.  If someone asks me why I did something, saying “because my intuition told me so” seemed unacceptable to me.  It sounds to me like it’s in the same league as going on a random shooting rampage and saying “God (or devil) told me to do it. ”

However, over the years I started realizing that I’d become more at peace with myself and less conflict-ridden when I simply follow this voice.  There were also times when I chose something knowing it was in conflict with my inner voice, and paid dearly for it.  It’s been one slow lesson to learn — I would say my recent batting average has been about 50%, and that’s with millions and millions of decisions I make over my lifetime.

Surrendering to My Intuition

My wife and I were talking recently and she was telling me about a revelation this one book about intuition brought her (she’s an intuitive person as well). She said that her body suffers when she has an intuition about something but is not strong enough to go with it.  That was a major revelation to me as well, as I knew exactly what she was talking about.

So I decided,  I’m going to surrender to my intuition.  I’m going to simply listen to the voice that whispers in my head, not worry about the reasons why.  I’m going to live as much of my life as possible based on my intuitive decisions.

And that includes a major, near-suicidal career move.  I’m going to abandon my career as a web developer, rent a studio and start making music (and blogging) full time (click to read more about what led to that decision).  We have little money, and I have no idea how this activity is going to support me and my family.  (Oh yes, I have a realistic idea about how long it takes for blogs to start generating income.  Longer than 3 months.;))  I’ve been developing a business plan to attract financial support, and to justify such a move — and so far it hasn’t worked out.  No matter.  That was my latest attempt to justify my desire to make music anyway.

I am so scared that if I stop and think too hard about it, I’d start panicking.  But the decision was made.  Why?  Because that’s what my intuition has been telling me to do — for over a dozen years. Am I being naive to think that something will work out?  You bet.  Am I an irresponsible dad for subjecting not just me but my family to this dangerous journey?  Perhaps.  (My wife did approve, however.)  Do I have any idea how such a move can possibly work out?  None.

All those “sensible” voices do exist in my head, too.  But I’m going to ignore them.  Here’s me, leaping once again without having any idea where I’m going to land. My only comfort is that I have done it before, in different ways — and every time, I did land somewhere I liked.  It has happened with other people, too.  Read this tale from Brynne Betz — I encountered it just when I needed it to strengthen my resolve.

Rest be assured, OBV will continue.  In fact, I’ll explore this theme of intuition in a series in the coming weeks.  If you are interested in following me along to see how I’ll fare when I surrender to my intuition, subscribe and watch for announcements regarding other sites I’m going to launch soon.

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17 Responses to Intuition: Leaping without Knowing Where You’ll Land

  1. Chelsea Elm says:

    Interesting article. It certainly takes courage to go with your gut feelings rather than all the voices of reason (especially these days that practicality is so over rated)but it often works for the best and what if it doesn’t couple of times, Im sure we can handle a couple of set backs on the way to happiness:-)

    Chelsea Elm´s last blog post..Ice Breaker: Untie Knots

    • Ari Koinuma says:

      Hi Chelsea,

      Thanks for your comment! Well, there have been a few things I did where I felt that I had to do it, but only to find out that that’s something I don’t need to pursue. In the other words, pursuing leads to a solid conclusion to drop it. I feel like a flake in a way, as I start something and immediately I drop it, but I suppose that’s the one way to be certain.

      ari

  2. Muk says:

    I agree that listening to this inner voice, though might turn out to be physically hard, it brings a mental peace by assuring us that we are on the right path. It requires a great deal of trust on this voice to completely surrender to it and I suggest that it is purely the individual’s choice on this issue and there is no universal rule.
    However, whether this is a voice of God, is still doubtful. Although I am strong believer in the power of God, I still think that this effect is more the result of a multiple goal oriented mind where the mind for achieving different aims, proposes different paths.
    What might be the effect of God, is the making of different goals which leads to these thoughts.

    • Ari Koinuma says:

      Hi Muk,

      Welcome to OBV! I’m with you that whether intuition is actually connected to God or not is really subject to each person’s interpretation. I’m constantly asking myself “what if my intuition is wrong?” but I can tell you that I’ve been more wrong from not following it, than following it.

      ari

  3. Pingback: 60-Day Challenge: Intuitive Entrepreneurship — Will Power of Love Be Enough? | Our Best Version

  4. Jessica says:

    hey Ari..thanks for your thoughts on my situation….i have another question?? what are your thoughts on intuition and signs…?? you know when you cant decide what to do..so you ask for a sign etc….and you get a clear one!!

    what are your thoughts on that?

    thanks
    jessica

    • Ari Koinuma says:

      Hi Jessica,

      I do believe that there are signs, but again, the tricky part is how we interpret those signs. We can make them to mean just about anything we want them to. If there is a “negative” sign, does it mean you should not pursue it? Or is it testing your resolve and you should still go for it?

      I think you can ask for and use signs as catalysts for decisions, instead of using it as a predictor of outcomes. The important thing is to discover what’s in your heart and be true to it, not try to foresee what’s going to happen.

      ari

  5. Hi Ari – As someone who very clearly prefers Intuition I really appreciate this post! One of the most difficult things I find about using my intuition is having to explain my choices and decisions. Many times I have no logical reason, only that I feel attracted to a particular choice. Great post.

    Amanda Linehan´s last blog post..How To Live In The Moment (When It’s The Last Place You Want To Be)

    • Ari Koinuma says:

      Amanda,

      Ah, you’re my kind! I never realized how much I was holding myself back because I simply couldn’t explain/rationalize/justify my decisions. I love it when I can tell my wife I did something “because my intuition told me to” and she doesn’t need any more. I finally feel free to be the person I have been all along.

      ari

  6. jessica says:

    hi all! i am so glad i found this little forum….need some advice! i have been learning so much more to trust my intuition….i have looked at my past and some experiences and was reminded that i should have gone with what i first thought…not what everyone else thinks!! so i have had a real real gut feeling about someone…and i wont go into all the details…but things that have happened in the past i was RIGHT on…even when my friends thought i was crazy! well he is back in my life now…but went through a rough divorce…she cheated on him while she was overseas and he was back here watching her two kids….and he found photos to prove it….and i still feel the same intuition about him…we started things up again..but he seems to have pulled away…and i decided to give him the space…even though it is killing me! 🙂 my question is what do you do when you have such a strong intuition about something…but you are powerless to do anything about it?? and logically it doesnt make sense….i had attempted to IM him just to say hi…but i had no response…so i just thought i would let it go….any thoughts on intuition when it comes to personal relationships??

    thanks
    j

  7. Ari,

    Once again you have captured the essense of what it means to be human. Willing to make mistakes in the service of growing as a person.

    Well done1 G.

    Grace Kleppin´s last blog post..Day 1 of going car-less

    • Ari Koinuma says:

      Hi Grace!

      Thanks! I’m sure I’ll make a few mistakes, but somehow I don’t think I’ll screw up enough to get into huge troubles — like I did before. Let’s see if I have learned my lessons.

      ari

  8. It’s funny how we call that sense “intuition” — I now use the word “living” when I think of moments where I’m following my instincts. These are moments where it doesn’t even feel like the idea comes from me, but I’m just a channel for it to emerge. Those are moments of life expressing itself, as opposed to me blocking the flow of life with supposedly “rational” decisionmaking. Anyway, end of rant on that. 🙂

    Chris Edgar | Purpose Power Coaching´s last blog post..Podcast #4: Procrastination And Self-Acceptance

  9. Jay Schryer says:

    Thank you for this post. I’ve only recently began listening to my inner voice, and to be honest, at times I have felt a little less than sane because of it. I call my voice the voice of my Goddess, and I definitely think it originates from outside of myself. I, too, find that my body and/or life suffers when I don’t listen to it, and that I am rewarded when I do listen. I applaud you for your bravery, and I wish you much success in your new endeavor! Now, if I can only screw up my courage to do the same thing…

    Jay Schryer´s last blog post..Insensitive

    • Ari Koinuma says:

      Hi Jay,

      Welcome to OBV, and thanks for your comment!

      I can tell you that I am terrified! Absolutely shaken to the core with my own decision. But I’m going to do my best to purge my fear and don’t act from it. I’ll keep a more personal diary of this journey at AriKoinuma.com, so check back with me to see how I’m doing with this.

      And I wish you the best with your life’s challenges — I hope you enjoy a harmonious relationship with your Goddess. 😉

      ari

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