Intuition or Distraction?

As our lives get busier, and we are bombarded with more information through email, phone calls, texting and tv, it helps to try to limit the information that is not necessary to our life's path, and follow the information that will take us where we need to go.

To limit this information, however, we cannot always turn off the phone or email. So we need to become better at choosing what to notice and what to ignore. This includes non-electronic sights and sounds as well.

When we become better choosing what to pay attention to, we become more intuitive. If we don't improve this conscious "choosing" then we may follow the distractions that lead us nowhere, including junk email. Conscious choosing helps us to distinguish intuition from distraction.

So how do we know if it is intuition or merely a distraction?

To find out, we follow our attention and ask ourselves, "does this lead me along the right path in life?" We will not always get an answer, but we need to keep asking, and practice following our attention, wherever it goes, until we can FEEL the difference. Every day we follow our attention anyways, so pick up that newspaper, open that email or call that friend that just came to our mind and follow where the attention goes. Does something come up that is meaningful? If so, this is likely intuitive direction. If not, it could be a distraction.

If we have to think about it before acting on information, then we aren't merely "following." Following is an act of "action," or of "receiving" information, not thinking. It is how our intuition directs us. It is a process of watching objectively where our attention goes, without thinking why.

So what do we do with the distractions, and why are they present? They occur because of our thoughts. Most of us aren't aware of the constant stream of thoughts below the surface of our lives, so we aren't aware how we deal with those thoughts internally. If we were, we'd notice a thought like, "this is such a big project, how do I get started?" We'd then notice how our thoughts diverge on realizing this potential stress. In many cases, our stream of thoughts "finds" a distraction.

Unfortunately, the way we notice those distractions is similar to the way we notice our intuitions, if we don't know the difference.

One difference they have is how they feel. If we continue to follow distractions, we start to feel flustered, scattered, slow, or heavy. Follow intuition and we feel life flow more effortlessly, activities line up in synch with each other, and the day feel more productive.

So, how do we know if it is a distraction or intuition before we act on it? The best way to figure this out is to notice how each one feels (in your gut, for example) as we follow it. We also notice how we start to follow it.

I find that the actions I take without much thought are my more intuitive actions. If I hesitate, then it is the wrong direction (such as a distraction) or there is something fearful stopping me. If I hesitate to call someone back to book a workshop, then it is highly likely that there is something new I am doing in that workshop and I don't know for sure if it will be successful. When I identify this fear, I pick up the phone and call them back to confirm the workshop. I know this fear is unfounded and I can work past it.

If it is a distraction, I find that my mind wanders even as I pay attention to that distraction. It is as if my whole mind really shouldn't be there anyways.

Notice the Results
When we take action, we notice the results. Simply by taking action, there may be a new opportunity, a referral to someone in our line of work, or a washing machine on sale to replace the one that just broke.

The key to consistently follow your intuition is practice. Follow it in the supermarket (where do they keep agave syrup in this store?), follow it at the start of your work day (what's most important?), or follow it when you are tired, and your child needs you (that's an easy one, even though you're tired).

Soon, you will identify the distractions before you act on them, and follow your intuition to great results.

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