The power of intuition never ceases to amaze me.; this invisible, yet at times almost palpable, connection to humanity that gives us an innate sense of connection to each other. I had just given birth to my daughter via Caesarean. They let me see her for what felt like mere seconds before they whisked her away. She had swallowed fluid as she emerged into this world and we were told that she would be in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) for 24-28 hours or maybe up to a week. As the post-operation nurse wheeled me towards my room, she leaned in and whispered, “Do you want me to take you to see your daughter?” I was surprised, delighted, and scared all at the same time. As she wheeled me in and I saw my sweet baby girl lying in her crib, a nurse asked me if I wanted to hold her and I said, “yes, of course”. I immediately thought I should try to nurse her, but I was not sure if that would be okay, but the thought was so powerful, I asked. Within an hour of nursing her, her breathing became regulated, her heart beat slowed to a normal rhythm, and they were calling us to say she would be joining us soon. Maternal instinct is the more obvious example of intuition. However, what about the moments when a name pops into your mind? You dismiss the name, it reoccurs again moments later, you text that individual to say hello and without knowing you were needed, you become a lifeline in a moment of disarray.
Research suggests that female brains may be optimized for combining analytical and intuitive thinking (Scientific America). What silences analytical and intuitive thinking the fastest? Self-doubt.
As females we can become extremely task focused in proving our worth in a male dominated society. We often find ourselves unable or too tired to hear our inner voice, our intuition. There might have been a time as a child or young-adult, when we trusted what we “thought” was our intuition and the outcome turned out to be very disheartening, so we stopped. For some women growing up in a conservative religious household caused them to be afraid to trust their intuition. They were taught that everyone was “born with sin”, if intuition is a part of them and they are sinful, intuition cannot be of God, hence their intuition cannot be trusted and could possibly lead them astray.
In our culture when a man has a “hunch” he is often applauded for verbalizing his intuitiveness. When a woman has a “hunch”, she is not taken seriously unless she has a history of proven hunches. I point this out to encourage those who truly believe they are not intuitive or have stopped trusting their intuition. As women we have so much more to create, inspire, and experience. Yet we have to start peeling back the layers of perception that society has placed upon us and that we have placed upon ourselves. The layers that tell us we only exist to be the glue in a family unit, or that we need to stay in jobs that sustain us but do not fulfill us, and most tragically, that risk taking from a hunch is for those with proven talent.
The thought of acting on an intuitive idea can be scary and cause a sense of anxiety, but I find that the core idea is never a defensive response or action. As women we must begin to choose to trust ourselves. For when we do, we will begin to experience a freedom that no one can take away from us, a freedom that was birthed in us the moment we took our first breath.