Back to intuition

“The only real valuable thing is intuition.” – Albert Einstein

There are moments when we can hear it loud and clear, in our inner world. Yet, we don’t dare to follow it, we think that, “Maybe I’m wrong.” Then we regret it. What does it take from us to actually listen to our intuition?  

Reclaiming our gift

We were born with the gift of intuition, known also by the name of “gut feeling”. Both psychology and spirituality agree upon the effects that intuition has on our lives: it helps us, it improves our lives.

Carl Jung defined it as the perception of the unconscious. In his view, intuition is an irrational function that human beings possess and which, by an unconscious process, provides creative ideas and solutions to problems.

In books of spirituality, like Angela Artemis’s book, “The Intuition Principle: How to Attract the Life You Dream of “, intuition is defined as the higher type of knowledge which connects the earthly knowledge with God’s knowledge (called also Greater Intelligence knowledge). In other words, intuition is the knowledge which connects us to the source of life from where we came.

In light of my personal experiences, intuition is the inner voice that tells us what people and experiences are suitable for the harmonic growth of our true self.

No matter how we define it or what kind of role we assign to it, we know when we feel it.

Intuition can manifest itself in the form of pure joy when we are fulfilling our true destiny. For example, if someone offers us a job and we are overwhelmed with joy, then we know that our most reliable consultant, the intuition, has spoken to us. We want to take up that offer.

On the other hand, if we are hesitant about someone or something, then it may be better to avoid getting too involved.

Connecting to intuition is one thing, acting upon it is a totally different kettle of fish

In our house, the remote control is lost on a daily basis – my toddler likes to hide it each day in a different place. I like to let the intuition take me to the place where the remote control can be.

Every time, after a few moments of panic, I empty my mind and let the body be in charge. One day I found it in the cupboard, among the piles of dishes and pots.

Sometimes we choose to go against the intuition, relying more on other rational thoughts.

Last July, I rented my studio apartment to a 20-years-old man, despite my intuition. The first time I laid my eyes on him, my entire being screamed, “No! Don’t rent it to him!” Two months after signing the renting agreement, he stopped paying rent.

Six months passed before he was evicted from the flat. Ignoring my intuition, I offered to him free accommodation for half of a year.

In the blink of an eye, intuition informs us if a situation would be beneficial or unfavourable to us in time. It doesn’t take too long to let us know that we’ve just met the right person.

Yet, the people in our lives (who may have the best intentions at heart) and our own thoughts provide the background noise which makes some of us ignore the inner voice of intuition.

Learn to trust the intuition

The more information our brains absorb, the more infatuated we become about applying knowledge in our life. The inner voice of intuition is muffled.

We are taught that knowledge is power. Being well informed opens our mind to the world we live in. However, intuition gives us the eyes of wisdom to live meaningfully in any aspect of our life – love life, professional life, social life, spiritual life, etc.

Intuition may be patient with us, but once we choose to prioritise it over rational choices, it also requires some discipline from us:

  • to be aware of the inner voice.
  • to be brave to listen to it, to stick to it no matter what.
  • to be consistent and search for the opportunities that can lead to living genuine experiences.

We need to commit to our intuition if we want to live meaningfully.

What if intuition stops talking to us?

Tuning into our intuition is a life-term project. There are moments when it is silent and we may feel forsaken without it.

Yet, we need to relax. Let us meditate, if we have the chance. Let’s do things that we truly enjoy doing. Intuition will show up again, at the right time and place!

The day when we base our decisions on intuition, we open the door to authentic life experiences. Like other life experiences, there will be high and lows. Unlike other life experiences, there will be the joy of finally being able to discover ways of expressing our true self.

How about you, what do you rely mostly on intuition or reason when you make decisions in your life?


What to focus on when friends bail out on you

“So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets”. Matthew 7:12

It comes a time when we need help and those we previously helped are the first persons we run to. Unlike expected, reciprocity is not guaranteed. What kind of attitude should we embrace then?

Should we bear grudge?

Rumour spread in my native town that the wife of my math teacher from high-school had been fighting with a rare type of stomach cancer for years.

He is one of the few teachers who instilled the passion for knowledge in me. As a token of appreciation, I decided to pay a visit and see for myself how they cope.

His wife was in the hospital, fighting for her life. He was in the garden in front of their house, making phone calls to raise some money for her medication.

He’d sold all his possessions. He had nothing more to sell. His last resort solution was to borrow money from relatives and friends.

Much to his surprise, individuals whom he had helped under different circumstances, conjured up excuses for not being able to lend money.

The genius mind teacher that I knew had been replaced by a wounded beast with hatred in his heart.

“My heart got sick the day when a former student who is now quite a well-off man declined any help.”, he said. “For three years, I had taught him private classes for free.”

“Life is treacherous. People are treacherous.”

These are the words of a 70 years old Romanian singer who was asked to describe some of her core beliefs in an interview.

My first reaction was to pity her for having such a gloomy outlook on people. Contemplating more on it, I concluded that she adopted a rather cautious attitude.

Indeed, human beings can be cruel, violent, savages, liars, contemptuous, gossipy, mean, etc. Bearing these negative characteristics in mind, we are less vulnerable to others’ behaviour.

At the same time, human beings can be empathic, highly moral, compassionate, kind, and loving. Such individuals can be firm adepts of the Golden Rule, which states that we should treat others the way we would want them to treat us.

In my view, humanity is in a constant fight against the bad with the good in us and outside us. As Albert Einstein said, “The world is not dangerous because of those who do harm but because of those who look at it without doing anything”.

The question is how can the good Samaritans maintain the goodness inside when others won’t lift a finger in their times of need?

After all, any kind person can feel embittered, angry, disillusioned and betrayed when being mistreated by peers!

Staying aware throughout the emotional meltdown

When being hurt, it is darn difficult to remember not to take others’ treatment to heart. Most of the times, others’ behaviour reflects sides of who they are.

  • They may have their own problems, maybe not be as urgent or crucial as ours, but nevertheless prioritised.
  • They may have a partner who is in charge with the family finances.
  • They may be modern embodiments of Dickens’s Scrooge, too greedy to lend a penny.

The bewilderment of the refusal may cloud the awareness of the unconscious expectation, which we place on others the moment we help them. Some of us take it as a moral obligation to return the help subsequently.

Yet, not every person has high morals. So, when we treat others the way we would like to be treated, we need to be aware that we choose to do that. Because we believe in that.

Spreading goodness is a value in life. Like any other value, it is not absolute. If others choose to live by other values, we need to learn to let them be.

Alignment of life circumstances

When the help is not reciprocated, we can safeguard our wellbeing by thinking, “Well, he can’t help me now. But maybe someone else will.”

Maybe there is a timing of the Universe regarding what people can be helpful, where and when. There is a stroke of fate when we cross our way with others whose life circumstances are in alignment with ours.

Preferably sooner than later, we will find our way out of the tornado of negative emotions and marvel at the mysterious dynamism of life based on the Law and the Prophets.

If you experienced similar situations, how did you react towards the persons who didn’t treat you as good as you had treated them before?


How can travelling broaden the mind?

“Home, sweet home”. Most of us sigh with relief when we return from a trip. For a day or so, we feel refreshed to be back to our life, the way we know it – with our habits and struggles. Yet, have we ever considered a new destination as a potential home?

Travelling challenges our abilities

In the 19th century, English aristocrats would send their youngsters on journeys of initiation. The aim of the journey was to enable young men the transformation to the stage of adulthood.

Some of today’s youngsters, including women, continue this tradition. Their goal can be to take distance from their parents and see what they’d like to do in life.

Irrespective of age, venturing abroad can be an eye opener to hidden sides of ourselves.

The unknown environment is suitable for testing our abilities. For example, if we get lost in a new city, we can resort to:

  1. Asking for help from locals. We may want to do that to test how well we manage talking to people in a foreign language.
  2. Using our intuition. No matter if we are intuitive type of person, we may still want to test if our intuition can bring us back on the right track.
  3. Using the GPS application on our phone, if we want to become an every day tech-savvy.

When we are back home, we may surprise ourselves with creative solutions to the problems which seemed insurmountable before the trip.

Visit new cities as if you would temporarily move there

When I discover a new city, I like imagining how my everyday life would be if that place were my home. I choose to focus on the positive sides of the respective habitat.

In Barcelona, I would live close to the Barceloneta beach, so that I can have my daily dialogues with the sea and make my way in the streets among enthusiastic tourists.

In Paris, I’d live in the Latin Quarter to be surrounded by student life and book stores evoking the literary past.

In Amsterdam, I’d choose to live for one month on a boat on the Canal to wake up with a different view at the window, each morning.

After imagining how it would be to live in different places, we can become aware how the surrounding environment can influence our state of mind and our thoughts.

Wherever I Lay My Hat (That’s My Home)

This is the title of a song which was first recorded in 1962. Some of us identify themselves so much with the house where they live and the objects in it, that it must be very hard imagining another place called home.

Without doubt, it is good for our emotional balance to feel rooted in a place. Yet, it is even better for our psychological and spiritual growth to develop the ability to feel like home wherever we go.

Every city has one characteristic that resonates in us and reveals who we truly are.

How about you, what do you like about travelling? And how does travelling affect you?


How can we fight the expectations of the dear ones on us?

“If we could see ourselves as others see us, we would vanish on the spot.” – Emil Cioran

Others’ expectations on us have a direct effect on how we behave, as shown by a social psychology study done by Dr. Snyder from University of Minnesota and his colleagues. Understanding that our behaviour is affected by others expectations can help us see how we turn into different persons in various social situations. When it comes to persons we feel affection for, their expectations can affect our lives at even a deeper level. Why are we influenced by expectations from dear ones and how can we realistically manage any of their negative effects on our lives?

When we feel how others see us

Early morning, the rain was pattering against the windows.

The rest of the family was sleeping, while I was awake, feeling disappointed with myself for not being able to put into practice my birthday resolution.

I had promised to myself an act of liberty – to start learning how to break free from the silent expectations that others may have on me.

I was staring at the fog outside the window. It was so dense that I got the feeling that it would be just a matter of minutes before it broke into our house.

The sudden shriek of a seagull disturbed the rhythmic noise of the rain drops. Even the fog flickered.

My inner peace is startled in the same way when someone I care about behaves as if, “You’ve disappointed me!”

Momentarily, the energy level goes down with frustration. Why do others have opinions about how I should live my life?

Not only that, but they adopt a silent disapproval, which is even more compelling. Eventually, we may give in and start considering how we can behave as others expect us to. We start considering how we can please.

Love and expectations

Are we afraid that failing to live up to the unspoken expectations would make others love us less?

The truth is that love and expectations have nothing to do with each other. Love comes from the heart, expectations come from the mind.

So, any expectation someone else might have on us is reflecting their own mindset and perspective on life.

As much as we care about someone else – be that our partner, parents, siblings, friends or colleagues -, it would not be fair for us to adjust our behaviour so that it can fit their view on life.

In a party, it is fun to be flirtatious with the man in whose eyes you read, “You’re sexy!”. The way others view can temporary change our behaviour.

But, the expectations of the loved ones on us can bring tremendous turmoil in our life.

In times of emotional unbalance, it may be hard to remember that we have our own life to live and we owe it to our true self to live unhindered by others’ opinions or emotional reactions.

Forgive others for expecting

It’s important to be observe how much our wellbeing is dependent on others expectations and decide to do something about it.

It may help to be more mindful next time when the turmoil is about to start. Instead of making yet another compromise, we can go on taking action based on our principles and beliefs.

Otherwise, we’ll get old and feeling like failures if we keep on asking ourselves, “What will mother think if I venture into a trip around the world?”. And later on, “If mother were alive, what would she think if …?”

We should not expect that others’ expectations on us will ever stop. On the contrary, one expectation leads to another. And maybe that’s their way to show that they love and care about us.

What we can do is not to react to the demands on what we should do or shouldn’t do. And we need to practice patience until the frustration, anger and sadness caused by their interference go away.

Our reward is the inner peace, which shall be restored again!

Maybe we should avoid wondering how others see us in order to blossom.


To help or not to help others

“Speak to all people as though they are the wisest, gentlest and most beautiful beings on Earth; for what they believe, they become.” – Heather K. O’Hara

The history of mankind is full of lamentable wars and conflicts. In each case, there are stories of how individuals helped others fighting for the same cause. In times of peace, how much are we willing to help one another and why would we be willing to do it? 


How natural it is to help others?

For many years, I’ve been living in my cloud of naiveté where I believed that everyone is willing to help others.

I thought that every human being is ready to …

Be aware of others needs. For example, sitting in the train and listening to the narration of the person sitting opposite to you.

Offer flowers to show appreciation, admiration, love or even encouragement.

Offer drinks or dinner to a friend who happens to go through a tough time.

Smile at strangers, whether that’s the shop assistant or the person with whom you have a random eye contact in the street.

Say encouraging words. Observing a particular strength that someone has and say it to that person when she may feel under the weather.

Give a lift, etc

In Finland, I became acquainted with another way of living – I can do it alone, I don’t need help and I don’t offer it either. As a result, if I push a pram, carry a back bag and hold a shopping bag while leaving the supermarket, I am prepared to depend solely on my physical strength to see my way through the shop door.

Helping at any cost?

Of course, helping others shouldn’t become a burden for ourselves. For example, should a friend ask for a lift at 3 am, then maybe we can politely suggest to use the service of a night taxi.

Helping others should feel good. If we feel uncomfortable about smiling for example, then we should not do it.

But if we are willing to help people, and yet too shy to approach them, then we may want to do something about our shyness.

At the same time, when it comes to approaching strangers, then we may want to use our common sense and figure out what would be the best way of offering help. For example, some mothers would not accept any help with getting the pram in the bus.

Offering and receiving help is a choice.

Why should we help?

The short and simple answer is because we WANT to help. Most certainly, each human being has her motivation for helping. As far as I am concerned, I admit that I feel happy and useful when I help someone.

If I am to receive help from someone else, I prefer to receive it from people who have the same motivation as me for doing it.

Helping someone and expecting something in return is not help. It’s manipulative behaviour, which makes the person who’s been helped to feel indebted.

Helping – expecting anything in return or spreading joy?

When we help with all our heart and good intentions, we contribute to the betterment of goodness in the world. We may inspire other people to do the same.

Helping for the sake of helping increases the awareness of interconnection between individuals. We may not be aware how much our happiness is affected by others happiness, until we are in a group of people. Then we have the chance to see how uplifted or down we may feel depending on the general mood in the group.

So, if you are one of those who believe in helping others, let’s start planting seeds of happiness in people more often. And let’s see how much happier we will become.

Yes, it does take some of our time and energy to think of others and sometimes some money to help others. But we wouldn’t have survived so far, if we hadn’t taken care of one another.