Feedback is an important aspect of learning. We have to measure our progress by signs of success or failure. In school, instructors give us comments on our papers, or scores on our tests. And in social settings, we judge our acumen by the responses we receive. Do they laugh at my jokes? Do they want to be my friend?
When the response is negative, we have the opportunity to analyze what may have gone wrong. We can learn and grow and change our ways.
Feedback is also important in developing intuition. In a previous post I talked about noticing that little voice that is trying to give you a glimpse into the future or foretell of the outcome of a decision or action. I suggested that we can learn from our failure to pay attention to that voice (or gut feeling) as easily as we can when we obey the missive.
There is yet another aspect of tuning into your intuition. Paying attention to the signs presented, the opportunities for nature to present a metaphor that holds an important message for you.
There was a time when I lived in a condo that was situated directly across from the swimming pool. Each morning I would start the day by going for a swim. During any weather—rain, cold, or sun—I would spend about a half hour moving, stretching, floating, and being mindful in the pool. I would watch the nature around me and look for signs. I could ask questions and allow nature to reveal answers through the metaphors I observed.
These metaphors and answers could come in the form of the patterns of the water, or the way the wind danced with the trees. I was aware of how birds flew in patterns, or leaves fell from the trees. I would allow my mind to create meaning and significance, receiving thoughtful guidance and resolution to my queries.
Do I think that nature conspires to bring me a specific message? I don’t know. I really don’t think so. However, I do think that if we have spirit guides (which I believe we do), they could certainly manipulate nature in a way that would give me a metaphor to contemplate, leading to an answer or a timely thought. There is also evidence now being revealed by physicists that our own higher mind and energy field could create such manipulations of nature.
What is perhaps more important is that engaging in such a practice allows the mind to relax and move into its intuition state, opening the channels between the subconscious and the conscious minds. And I trust that my subconscious mind holds a lot more information than I am aware of consciously.
And when I begin to interpret the messages, in this relaxed and open state, I have enhanced receptivity to the wisdom and intuitive knowledge that I seek. So it could be that anything that nature would produce in that moment could allow me to achieve the same message. I don’t know and there is no way to determine that. However, in that moment I know that I am gaining a useful piece of information.
In a further example of this practice, during introductions in my recent class, Intuition and Self-Discovery Playshop, one student told a story of her experience coming to the class. As she came to the exit off the freeway that would take her to my home, she noticed that she was the only one taking that road, while all the other cars were going elsewhere.
She has obviously developed this same method of using life as a metaphor, because she said that she at first wondered whether she was “wrong” because she was going a different direction from everyone else, and then she realized that she had always taken the “road less travelled” and was “right” in making choices for herself even when it was not in line with the majority of others.
I was so happy to hear her story, and pleased that she shared it with the other students. Her observations allowed her to be open to the message, and in “sitting with” the thoughts, they developed into a positive, affirmative, and useful, message for her.
The playshop continued to bring messages to the participants. We began the morning with each participant choosing a Tarot deck from a pile of various decks that had been placed in the middle of the room. Most of the students had never worked with Tarot before, but we were looking for intuitive information, not proscribed definitions.
After a moment of grounding and centering, each student asked the cards to indicate a theme or concept to contemplate as they began the day. After a brief discussion, we moved on to experiencing a guided visualization with spirit guides, totems, and animals, using the metaphor of a journey by canoe to elicit answers and guidance.
There was a half hour of quiet time to write and draw in journals and interpret the images and experiences of the journey. During that time we were served hand-made fortune cookies from the Gifted Cookie (www.giftedcookie.com) . Delicious with a poignant message!
Playing with the Tarot once again, we drew cards that would reveal information about past lives and give direction for our next activity. After moving through a guided past life regression, participants once again recorded their experiences in their journals.
In discussions with the students, there was a universal experience that all the various methods used – the visualizations, the cards, the fortune cookies—offered a confluence of messages that were in alignment with their individual central theme. All aspects worked together to bring home the information that was most vital to the individual at that moment.
I invite you to play, too: Pay attention to the signs and signals in nature, in the flow of events, and in the unfolding of your life. Look for the metaphors, play with the interpretations. Sit with the messages. Feel them in your body, roll them around in your mind. See the results of your interpretations as you move through your life and make adjustments in your assessments as needed to improve accuracy.
Seek the evidence of your intuition! And remember to make it fun. Be as a child in your imagination and in your curiosity.