We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned,
so as to accept the life that is waiting for us.
-- Joseph Campbell
Just as there is day and night and two sides to every coin, whenever there is negativity there is also positivity. And just as negativity can block your intuition so, too, can unrealistic positivity.
You probably are blinking your eyes at the moment wondering what I am saying because isn’t positivity supposed to be the cure-all? Isn’t feeling grateful and seeing the bright side the key to not just better intuition but also happiness?
To a certain extent, yes. Anxiety clouds intuition and feeling positive, calm and centered is more conducive to tuning in to your inner wisdom. There are also stacks of studies to show that an optimistic or positive mind-set is a recipe for a happy life.
However, there is also a strong argument for suggesting that fantasy thinking or unrealistic positivity can stop you tuning in to your intuition just as much as anxiety and fear.
If you can, meet with triumph and disaster
and treat those two imposters just the same.
-- Rudyard Kipling
Research shows that positive thinking can actually be an intuitive roadblock. Always focusing on the positives or searching for happiness can seriously decrease your chances of attaining it.
In the words of that immortal poet Kipling it seems that the best way, not just to boost intuition but to live a contented and satisfying life, is to treat those imposters ‘triumph and disaster’ ‘just the same’.
Stop the habit of wishful thinking
and start the habit of thoughtful wishes.
-- Mary Martin
A few years ago, I was contacted by someone I believed to be influential, who had read one of my books and said it changed their life for the better. He described himself as one of my biggest fans. Of course, I was flattered and especially so as this person came from a trusted source and offered to help promote my books in a global way.
My initial response was one of calm disbelief. It truly sounded too good to be true. I remember laughing out loud to myself thinking this is not for real and I had so many question marks in my mind. However, fantasy thinking took over and by the time we had exchanged emails and phone calls I believed what I wanted to believe. I ignored what my instinctive reaction was, decided to trust and think only positively, and as a result I stopped asking any necessary questions.
You guessed it – a year down the line, after investing a considerable amount of time, energy and dreaming, I realized that I had been completely deluded and the project I so urgently wanted to believe in had absolutely no substance. In hindsight, I looked back and saw so many warning signs.
I asked myself why I hadn’t paid more attention and why I hadn’t done my due diligence. The reason was I didn’t want to see anything that made me question my big dream in any way. My absolute belief that this dream was coming true blinded me to the actual truth.
In some ways the experience was good for me. It made me truly question the power of positive thinking. I had absolutely believed and visualized success yet achieved the absolute opposite – loss and disappointment. I had meditated and done my affirmations and all for nothing. What I hadn’t done was keep a level head, ask necessary questions of myself and the other party involved, listen to my gut instinct and take positive action. Positive thinking and fantasy thinking really got in the way.
I started to research the positive-thinking movement in depth and in a moment of calm intuition realized that the missing ingredient to the power of positive thinking, was the power of positive doing. In other words, the life-changing power of ritual.
BRINGING THE RITUAL TO LIFE
FREE – Finally Releasing Every Emotion.
This ritual is designed to help you shift your perspective and let go of emotional attachments to an outcome, so your intuition isn’t clouded by unrealistic expectations. All you need is an eraser or any small object that won’t break if you drop it.
Find somewhere where you can be peaceful and free from distractions and take a few deep breaths. Pick up your small object and place it in the palm of your hand. Project your hopes and dreams for something that you really, really want to happen into the object. Then clasp your hand around that object and stretch out your arm. With your palm facing up open your hand. Let it go. You’ll notice that nothing happens.
Now, to symbolize your shift in perspective, close your fingers around the object again and turn your palm over. Take a deep breath and once again project your hopes and dreams onto that object. Then open your hand and let the object go. It will fall to the ground.
Through this powerful ritual you have symbolically signalled to the universe that you are releasing your dreams and your beliefs around what you can or cannot control about the outcome. You have loved your dreams but detached, turned over and released your expectations. Releasing expectations, both negative and positive ones, opens the door to your intuition.
If you need to let go of a dream as well, take the time to explore the driving force behind its dissolution and ask yourself if the dream was truly yours or if it was an expectation.
-- Erica Rachel
Wishful thinking vs intuition: Not being able to tell the difference between intuition and fantasy-thinking is a huge block for this ritual and tuning your intuition. Sometimes we want something to be true so very much that wishful thinking takes over. It’s like when you support your favourite sports team and convince yourself that they are going to win, but then they don’t.
So how can you tell the difference between intuition speaking and your desire for a preferred outcome? How can you tell the difference between intuition and a likely outcome? There are some tell-tale signs and I’ll try to be as clear as I can about them.
The Mind vs. The Body and Emotions
When intuition speaks it is often through your body and your emotions. Wishful thinking lives in the mind – the original point of impact is in the mind through your thoughts.
Intuition doesn’t start with the intellect. It hits you right in the heart and gut. It also tends to be accompanied with feelings of elation and inspiration. There aren’t any counter-arguments, frustrations, confusions or doubts. Your intuition does not coerce. You just know, without knowing how you know, or even wanting to question why.
When you get that gentle, clear and empowering feeling that typically encourages you to do something – rather than dreaming about doing it – don’t hesitate or blink, act on it.
Over-attachment: The best advice when you aren’t sure if it’s intuition or fantasy-thinking is to see if you can remove your attachment to the outcome. If you can’t detach yourself, then it’s going to be hard for you to tune in to your intuition.
There isn’t anything wrong with wishful thinking or trying to force a positive outcome with positive intentions because sometimes we need ideals to inspire us. Indeed, setting goals is absolutely crucial for success in life but, if you attach your feelings of self-worth to these goals, they won’t bring you joy even if they do come true. Growing and learning on the journey rather than focusing on the outcome is the most important thing for a contented life.
Expect the unexpected: Last, but by no means least, working with your intuition will mean that you need not only to detach from a desired outcome but also to become more comfortable with not knowing the full picture. Intuition is the opposite of logic.
When I let go of what I am,
I become what I might be.
-- Lao Tzu
Mindfully detaching from your desire for an outcome to be positive or what you feel should happen is the best way to avoid confusing wishful thinking with intuition. From this state of peaceful observation, you can tune in to the voice of your inner wisdom.
In the future, whenever you feel your expectations and hopes for a certain outcome are running away with themselves, and you have no idea whether to believe them or not, you may want to revisit this potent intuition-igniting ritual. Use it whenever you need reminding of what is real and what is not and when you are still attaching your self-worth to an outcome, because every time you do this, you block your intuition.
DO IT: LET IT GO
The best things in life are unexpected,
because there were no expectations.
-- Eli Khamarov
There’s a reason why ‘Let It Go’, that empowering song from the Disney movie Frozen was such a mighty success. Emotions and expectations are wonderful things and they can truly give us great power, but they can also divorce us from who we really are. They make us think that something or someone can give us meaning when the only true meaning is the one we discover within ourselves.
The princess in Frozen sings this song when she stops trying to live up to expectations from both herself and her family about how she should behave and who she should be. Instead, she decides to let go of all those expectations and follow her own inner wisdom to be true to who she really is.
This is totally optional, but if it helps you let go of your attachment to desired outcomes, you may want to listen to this song playing when you perform this intuition-igniting and life-changing ritual.
Finally, you may want to check out a mind-opening book by psychologist and magician, Derren Brown. It’s simply called Happy and is a terrific read, all about the nature of happiness and the futility of relentless wishful-thinking.
HOW TO LET GO OF POSITIVES
As you perform this ritual don’t be surprised if you feel a little resistance when the moment comes to turn your hand around and let the object that symbolizes your wishful thinking about something go. You may want to hold on to those expectations for a while longer. Give yourself as much time as you need but be sure eventually to let the object go.
Letting go of your expectations won’t diminish your dreams or hopes in any way. It will prove to you whether they were ever real or not. This metaphor might help. If you try to hold a bird in your hand to stop it flying away, sooner or later it will be crushed or suffocated. Let the bird go and if it ever truly belonged to you or was meant to be in your life, it will return.
FOR THE RECORD
Intuition-igniting ritual: Let go of wishful thinking.
The theory: By releasing your grip on expectations you allow yourself to see the world with new eyes and open the door for your intuition.
The practice: Take a small object and place it in your hands. Close your fingers around that object. Project your dreams and hopes about something or someone onto that object. Now put your arm in front of you and, with your palm facing upward so the object doesn’t fall, open your hand. Then turn your hand around to symbolize a release of expectations when the object falls to the ground.
©2019 by Theresa Cheung. All Rights Reserved.
Excerpted with permission. Publisher: Watkins,
an imprint of Watkins Media Limited.
21 Rituals to Ignite Your Intuition
by Theresa Cheung
Like optimism, intuition can be cultivated. Research has shown that contrary to popular opinion intuition isn't something we are born with and it doesn't come naturally to everyone. Intuition is a skill that we can learn and we can get better at it the more we practise. Drawing on science, psychology and Theresa's techniques this book offers 21 simple and proven daily rituals to help you tune in to your inner wisdom and start making better decisions in your life today. (Also available as an Audiobook and in Kindle format)
About the Author
Theresa Cheung has a Masters from King's College Cambridge and has spent the last twenty years writing bestselling books and encyclopaedias about the psychic world. Two of her paranormal titles reached The Sunday Times top ten and her international bestseller, The Dream Dictionary, regularly bounces to number 1 on the Amazon dreams bestsellers chart. Visit her website at www.theresacheung.com