Why Should You Trust Your Intuition? By Dr Linda Berman.

7368102282_4f55569e78_oScott Burdick – From the Dominican Republic. Gandalf’s Gallery. Flickr.

“We all have an inner voice, our personal whisper from the universe. All we have to do is listen — feel and sense it with an open heart. Sometimes it whispers of intuition or precognition. Other times, it whispers an awareness, a remembrance from another plane. Dare to listen. Dare to hear with your heart.”
CJ Heck

How do we explain intuition? It has been variously described as a sixth sense, an inner voice,  imagination, seeing the light, inspiration, soul, wisdom, enlightenment, knowing, vision, instinct, truth, heart, gut feeling, being centred. 

Intuition can be all of these and more; it is a part of us that functions to teach and guide us, sending up its wisdom from our unconscious, from the very core of our psyche.

7163557618_edcbfb556f_oSampsa Sarparanta – Dream Catcher [2000]. Gandalf’s Gallery. Flickr.

Perhaps this knowledge come through dreams, or from feelings of déjà vu, through flashes of insight, or through the goose-bump inducing experience of a sudden realisation or recognition.

48979013416_8e0154c847_oAlma Thomas – Fantastic Sunset [1970]Gandalf’s Gallery. Flickr.

Intuition is especially important in the 21st Century world, with its data-driven and fast-paced ways of thinking.

Distractions come from every direction, and there is an increasing need to centre on ourselves and on the deeper insights, on the powerful senses and gifts that we possess.

These can often be overlooked in the frenzy of a media-driven life.


Mia Bergeron – Shangri-La [2018. Gandalf’s Gallery. Flickr.

“Intuition is the treasure of a woman’s psyche. It is like a divining instrument and like a crystal through which one can see with uncanny interior vision. It is like a wise old woman who is with you always, who tells you exactly what the matter is, tells you exactly whether to go left or right. It is a form of The One Who Knows, old La Qe Sabe, the Wild Woman. “

Clarissa Pinkola Estes

Listening to Ourselves.

7044408881_8816a711d3_oAlejandro Rosemberg – Juliana. Gandalf’s Gallery. Flickr.

“I believe in intuitions and inspirations…I sometimes FEEL that I am right. I do not KNOW that I am.”

Albert Einstein

Listening to ourselves, to our inner voice, is a skill that can be acquired through self-reflection, through therapy, through meditation, through self-knowledge.

It is not easy to listen to oneself. We first have to recognise who we are, to discern clearly what is our own voice, untangling this from the multitude of confusing voices inside us from others, past and present.

To do this we need to attain some peace of mind, some calmness and serenity….

“A mind too active is no mind at all.”
Theodore Roethke

6915097593_9666e7935d_oTina Spratt – Reflection. Gandalf’s Gallery. Flickr.

Our inner voice can be drowned out by authoritarian, moralistic, or over-parental messages, or perhaps by internalised societal or cultural influences.

Abbott_Handerson_Thayer_-_Angel_-_SmithsonianAbbott Handerson Thayer – Angel. Wikimedia Commons.

“When I stopped to take a breath, I noticed I had wings.”

 Jodi Livon

If we really are able to pause, to ponder and to listen to ourselves, our intuition can guide us through – and perhaps even give us wings!

It is a trusty messenger from within us, a kind of ‘satnav’ for the soul….

“Practice listening to your intuition, your inner voice; ask questions; be curious; see what you see; hear what you hear; and then act upon what you know to be true. These intuitive powers were given to your soul at birth.”

Clarissa Pinkola Estés

In his well-known book Blink, Malcolm Gladwell underlined the value of intuition, of the spontaneous reactions we have.

He felt that intuition is actually based on years of condensed experience, and referred to it as the ‘adaptive unconscious.’

Gladwell’s view is that it is possible to train and hone this part of our brain to become efficient in quick and reliable decision making. 

Gladwell’s viewpoint is challenged in several quarters.

It does appear that the experts do not always agree on the role of intuition in, for example, the making of decisions. Kahneman found intuition may inhibit judgement, whereas other researchers had more positive views about this.

The cognitive neuroscientist Stephen Fleming provides valuable evidence that a little hesitation can result in more thoughtful decisions:

“But what if the allure of decisiveness were leading us astray? What if flip-flopping were adaptive and useful in certain scenarios, shepherding us away from decisions that the devotees of ‘Blink’ might end up regretting? Might a little indecision actually be a useful thing?”

Stephen Fleming.

It cannot be denied, however, that intuition, appropriately combined with awareness and discernment, can be a way of tuning into the self, into the miraculous gifts of energy that we have been given and need to be sure to utilise.

“At times you have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition. What you’ll discover will be wonderful. What you’ll discover is yourself.”

Alan Alda

It is sometimes difficult to trust one’s intuition. It does take courage to trust oneself, to rely on one’s instincts.

At times, we may feel panicked into making decisions without really feeling into our intuitive energy.

Often, anxiety can prevent us from allowing ourselves to do this.

“Intuition has always been my greatest gift. It has provided me with many ideas for my creative work and saved me from a lot of trouble. It’s just that when I feel stressed and desperate, I forget this gift.”

Yong Kang Chan

Is Intuition All We Need?

Whilst being too cerebral and lacking intuitive powers is not helpful, we do, however, also need other aspects of ourselves in order to function in a balanced and whole way.

We need to use both our head and heart. Experience, rationality, thoughtfulness, logic and common sense and the ability to pause and hesitate, are all important aspects of ourselves that we call on in our daily lives and which help us gain a more complete view of life.

“Many cognitive scientists argue that intuitive and analytic thinking should not be viewed as opposites. Studies indicate that our decision-making often works best when we blend both strategies.”

Laura Kutsch

“Follow your heart but take your brain with you.”

Alfred Adler

Intuition, Science,  Invention And Creativity.

“The intellect has little to do on the road to discovery. There comes a leap in consciousness, call it intuition or what you will, and the solution comes to you and you don’t know how or why.”

Albert Einstein

“Intuition will tell the thinking mind where to look next.”

Jonas Salk -1914-1995.(Virologist, Discovered The First Vaccine Against Poliomyelitis.)

50271810602_8e0244a516_oLotte Laserstein – Annie Spitz [1946]

“When you reach the end of what you should know, you will be at the beginning of what you should sense.”
Kahlil Gibrán

The scientist David Goodsell makes watercolour paintings of cells and viruses. He is a research professor in New Jersey.


Coronavirus, 2020.Illustration by David S. Goodsell, RCSB Protein Data Bank; doi: 10.2210/rcsb_pdb/goodsell-gallery-019

It is interesting and highly relevant to read his thoughts about these watercolour studies:

“I’m a scientist first. I’m not making editorial images that are meant to sell magazines. I want to somehow inform the scientists and armchair scientists what the state of knowledge is now and hopefully give them an intuitive sense of how these things really look—or may look.”

David S. Goodsell.

Goodsell shows how there can be beauty in the deadly, and, most importantly, he uses his intuition to sense what colours would be right for each virus he is painting.

He creates something out of his own deeper vision, his own intuition, whilst possessing at the same time a very high level of scientific knowledge.

The one does not cloud the other; on the contrary, his intuitive grasp of the characteristics of the virus has helped to explain and describe it for himself and others.

“I like the way his paintings look like they’re created by a human being. They’re reminiscent of the fact that science is done by humans, by scientists, and it’s less something that’s a complete fact, but something we’re envisioning, a hypothesis in the human mind. The hypothesis of what’s inside a human cell is a human creation.”

Janet Iwasa.

Intuition plays a large part in many creative endeavours, whether it be writing, art, psychotherapy, medicine, and many many others.

“Formulaic thinking is the antithesis of art.”
James Morcan


Anastasiia Mills – Path of the Heart, Another World [2019] Gandalf’s Gallery. Flickr.

Trusting and believing in one’s own intuition, without needing to justify or defend it, is part of becoming a person, with one’s own opinions and ways of thinking.

Can we trust our intuition in times of crisis, such as the pandemic?

Allowing one’s intuition to guide us through difficult and uncertain situations helps to ground and stabilise us.

Whilst we obviously need solid data and facts during such a crisis, there certainly is also a place to use our intuition.

It is important not to overlook this part of us at this painful time, because of anxiety and feeling isolated and lost.

Yet, if we can listen, our intuition will tell us, for example, that we need to think about others rather than ourselves at this time, to focus on tasks that distract us, to stay with the present moment,  and to know that ‘this too will pass.’

“Intuition is the whisper of the soul.”

Jiddu Krishnamurti

“Intuition is perception via the unconscious that brings forth ideas, images, new possibilities and ways out of blocked situations.”

 C.G. Jung

6464910731_028a6ce1a9_oSalvador Dali – Woman at the Window [1925]

“Listen to the wind, it talks. Listen to the silence, it speaks. Listen to your heart, it knows.”

Native American Proverb

©️Linda Berman

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    • Thanks Janette! Hope your intuition tells you some good things this year, not just about death.
      But I think our intuition is so useful, in creating art also. X


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