Today is boom time for ‘consciousness’, for ‘awakening’. We’re in an effervescent era of mindfulness exploration as we all grapple to breathe, be present and step out of the whirlwinds of our tumultuous, tech-filled, stimulus-assaulted lives. We’re all fervently seeking utopian states of peace, joy and fulfilment, be they ephemeral or eternal.
Much of the advice out there, amidst the exploding array of self-help literature and wellbeing businesses, encourages us to follow our hearts. To listen to the deep inner voice showing us our true paths, ideal relationships, things to do, ways to be. To trust that ‘knowing’ telling us how and when to cut out the noise, shun those invasive distractions and honour our apparent true purpose.
If we’re to follow our guiding intuition as sacred how do we truly know we can trust it? How do we segregate between what is a soulful calling versus a fantastical pie in the sky blast of wishful thinking? How do we identify a gut inspired path versus an ego driven pursuit? When we are finally, momentarily still and reflective which voice indeed should we listen to?
Reassuringly, there are some obvious, distinguishing features of the ego’s voice as different from your heartfelt intuition.
EGO VERSUS INTUITION
1. The ego shouts and stimulates high frequency sensations in the body. High energy excitement and anticipation or bone shaking fear and anxiety. Extreme sensations, repetitive thoughts, loop cycles, that wired ‘brain getting stuck’ state making you feel a sense of mental dementia. Intuition on the other hand is very subtle and calm. It’s a still, deep, gentle and soft knowing. Whether you like what your intuition is telling you or not there’s no crazy physical or mental reaction, you are steady in the acceptance and acknowledgement of what it. The knowing is almost soothing.
2. The ego is driven by logic, rationalisations, impulsive desires and an intense focus on what the outcome will give you. It is driven by gain, by an end result that satisfies your self esteem, your public image, your extrinsic world. It is without humility. Conversely intuition is your heart, your gut. It’s a soft direction without articulation of a specific, explicit goal. It’s a pathway rather than an end point. You may visualise success of a particular goal but without obsessive attachment to that outcome, just a reassuring knowing that it’s coming. It’s a humble truth.
3. Your ego is driven by fear whereas your intuition is positive internal guidance. The ego is trying to protect you from harm a la primeval fight or flight instinct. Do this to save yourself, to protect your reputation, look better and so on. Intuition seeks peace and takes you to a place where needs are met and satisfied positively for your growth.
4. Your ego can be destructive as it’s self serving. It doesn’t speak to a place that is best for you. It is short term and potentially self-sabotaging. Intuition on the other hand feels deliciously natural to follow and trust. You don’t need an inner dialogue back and forth to justify the course it’s guiding you to take. You know with every cell in your body, deeply in your soul that it is right.
As we hit our mid lives, if we haven’t been following our intuition it rises up as our cliched mid-life crises, slapping us abruptly around the face and we either lull into depressed, grumbling acceptance channelling the disquiet away through frenetic work or hedonistic behaviour, or we relish the call for change, determine to obliterate the stuck feeling and start making radical, often dramatic changes to areas of our lives. The latter drive seeks new impact with integrity, honouring more of who we are refusing to tolerate any suppression of that knowing of what’s right any more. We step into bold authenticity and it feels empowering and invigorating. It could be as simple and gentle for instance as pure as more time devoted to self care for instance, or perhaps more deeply cleansing and life re-modelling shunning now-unserving diets, habits and perhaps even people.
Listen carefully to your heart. The gentle, intuitive wisdom within you is leading you to your most exceptional experiences and your absolute highest potential. It feels a whole lot purer than following those egoistic impulses too, I promise.
As ever, this article is written freely with love from me to you to encourage you to flourish. Please subscribe and share and if you’d like to read more of my work, I have written a couple of books and many more articles you may enjoy and grow from. To work together, let’s chat. Thank you, Bianca x
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