Many years ago, the psychologist Robert Plutchik (friend of Albert Einstein) concluded that humans have the ability to experience 34,000 different emotions. (As I'm sure many women will agree, this comes as no surprise!) But at the root of all these emotions, I have learned that there are really just two foundational energies: love or fear. That’s it. Love is the energy of creation and expansion. Fear (though it sometimes protects us) is the energy of constriction and withdrawal. That means that we can discern the difference between an intuition and a fear based on how we feel.
In her book The Intuitive Way, Penny Pierce says that information based on fear tends to makes us feel reactive, defensive, anxious, limited, pressured and small. Fear energy can feel mean, harsh and self-negating. By comparison, information based on a real intuition makes us feel grounded, relaxed, peaceful, trusting, connected and expansive. It feels gentle, compassionate and affirming.
Say you want to try something new, but you’re feeling resistance. Is your resistance an intuitive sign that you shouldn’t do it… or just your reptilian brain, freaking out? If there’s a voice in your head saying mean, negative things, that’s your inner critic speaking, reacting in fear. But if there are no words, if it’s just a visceral feeling of “yes” or “no,” that’s your intuition—and you can always trust it.
Writing / Rumination Prompt: Intuitive Discernment
Think about a time you were scared to do something but felt called to do it anyway—and it turned out really well. Now think about a time you listened to your fear and it protected you. What was the difference between those two fears? How did you know when to push forward… and when to pull back? Write about it. And know that THAT is your intuitive genius, which will just keep getting stronger, the more you listen to it.