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Intuition: Examples of How to Recognize It

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You must train your intuition. You must trust the small voice inside which tells you exactly what to say, what to decide. –Ingrid Bergman

Why must recognizing intuition be so confusing?

Confusion of intuitionExamples of intuition and how to recognize it.

Intuition is a broad term

The term “intuition” is loosely used to describe a variety of brain functions and their corresponding experiences which is why everyone has such difficulty recognizing it.

The main purposes of intuition are:

  • Warns you of danger
  • Takes control of thinking during a crisis
  • Illuminates the mind with insight and inspiration
  • Connects you with others to inform you of their thoughts and feelings.

One of the most common intuitive experiences is intuitive insight or the “aha moment.” A revelation “hits” you illuminating your mind and you “know” that you received the solution to a problem or that you simply “must” do this or that. These impulses will not be ignored.

To help illustrate the different variations of receiving intuitive information I asked a few colleagues to share some of their intuitive moments.
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Can you tell which of the types of intuition all of our examples fall under today?
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My daughter had moved to Israel when she was 18. I was visiting her 2 or 3 times a year for a short period of time. And she would come to the states once a year. It wasn’t ideal but we talked every day on the phone and made it work.
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When my son moved to Israel 5 years ago, I still thought it would be enough to see them 4 times a year. It was tough. I was so busy working that I saw no way of spending more time there.
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I finally made the decision to rent a place and try living in Israel for the winter. By the end of the 2nd month, I knew that I wasn’t ready to go back to Philly. As much as I missed my life there, my instincts said that Israel was where I needed to be.
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My son was getting married and my daughter was starting a business with which she wanted me involved. I realized that nothing was more important than being with them, sharing experiences and sharing love. I would never be able to retrieve these moments once they passed. It was as simple as that.
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I have learned to love Israel. But I would not have chosen to live here if it weren’t for the circumstances. I’m a firm believer that everything happens for a reason. There is no doubt in my mind that I am meant to be living my life in Israel…here…now… Fran Sorin www.AwakeCreate.com

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Six months after my husband passed away I had a thought.  I should go to America.  Then another thought…what on earth for?  Then another thought…oh yes to visit my sister.

.My sister lived in Tennessee and was going through her own struggles.  That’s it, I need to go and support and encourage my beautiful sister.  So I went.

.She was in desperate need of a holiday, a break from the ongoing challenges she was facing so I asked her where we should go for her getaway.  She said Florida.  So off we set.  I’d never been to the states before, and certainly never driven that far.  Britain is soooo much smaller.  We had lots of adventures en-route and first time experiences…well for me.  We had a great time and I headed back to my life in England.
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Time passed.  A tiny thought…you should go to America.  What?  I went, don’t you remember.  Been there, seen it, done it.  Time passed.  You should go to America…the thought was a damn nuisance and wouldn’t go away.  Well winter’s on its way, it might be nice to walk on a beach and soak up some rays for a few weeks.
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I bought a travel book on Florida and decided the Gulf of Mexico sounded…well exotic.  I called a Realtor and told her to rent me an apartment, as close to the beach as possible.  She did.  I packed two suitcases…hey it was an extended trip.
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I fell in love.  I fell in love with America, with the American people who are so incredibly hospitable to strangers…and the weather didn’t hurt either.
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A tiny thought.  You should stay longer.  I can’t…I need to get back home.  I left, only to rent my house so I could return to Florida and stay longer.  I wasn’t sure what was going on, but I was having fun.
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One year turned into another.  A persistent tiny thought said, stay, stay, so I did.
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And finally I found out what it was all about.  I met the most wonderful man in the world. The man who is in part responsible for me being the happiest woman on the planet.
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I give thanks each and every day that I listened to that tiny, tiny voice.
                         Elle Sommer www.ReflectingALife.com

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My moment happened in the summer between 4th and 5th grade.  The day is crystal clear.  I was riding my bike down the street and fell off right in front of our house and badly broke my arm.  So much so that there was a space between my hand and my wrist.
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My mom and aunt rushed me to the emergency room.  When I got there, the interns told jokes while they set my arm wrong.  It was the most pain I have ever felt.   The “real” doctor had to reset it.
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While I waited in the x-ray line to see if the second setting of my arm was done right I felt a knowing deep down inside myself.  I knew that I would grow up to be in a job that helped others.
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It was a total gut feeling, a knowing that I would spend my life helping others.  It was definitely intuition and I felt it off and on my whole life after that moment and it has never left me.  I often felt it during my teenage years, too. But it all started in the emergency room. Betsy Henry www.ZenMama.com
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If you thought that today’s examples all depict various forms of intuitive insight – you were right!
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What intuitive experiences have you had? Please share with us. I might include your comment in a upcoming post.
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If you enjoyed this post please share it on Twitter, Facebook and G+. Thank you!
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28 Comments

  1. Angela, I have been experiencing stronger and stronger intuitive experiences about the fairytale/allegorical narrative poetry series I am working on. Everytime some “chatter” enters my head about “being more practical and earning more money in the short-term: forget the long-term!”, my Inner Voice steers back onto the path to continue my quest towards my true goal. Praise be!
    Rose Byrd recently posted..“……and you say we will share the mind of The One?”

    Reply
    • Rose,
      That’s wonderful! When you listen to your intuition you end up somewhere better than you could ever have planned on your own.
      Keep going!

      Reply
  2. Love this topic!

    I feel guided by my intuition, what I call my “inner compass”. I try to honor it as best as I can, but sometimes I still feel lost or confused! I know it is a process.

    When I ended my 5yr long term relationship of my early 20s, I wondered what I should do next. I was crying and an idea/message popped up in my head to move back to the Philippines. I was born there but grew up most my life in the US… From the age of 3.. It was such a radical (to me) idea and I had NO idea how I was going to pull it off. But a year later, I stepped on a plane.. I had gotten myself into a voluntour program in India. Partly because I really wanted to visit India but partly because I knew going through that process would seal the deal for me and help me get to that “point of no return” where It would make it easier to get that one way ticket to Philippines. I had no plans. Just faith. I wrote a list of things (i.e bucket list) I wanted to accomplish when I got there.. Things like learn Filipino martial arts, join a Zen Buddhist monastery retreat to practice meditation.. Start a location independent business.. All of these things happened and more without even proactively going for them. They just came to me! I met an expert martial artist and we walked 660 km of Palawan island.. He ended up being my next partner when I had asked to find a spiritual partner. We are still together after almost 2 years and during that time I was single and in between relationships, I gave myself 2 years exactly to be on my own and discover myself.. I find dating counterproductive so I spent those 2 years working on ME and journeying. When we got together was exactly two years to the date. It’s amazing how much I can call and will into my life.
    Janet recently posted..Why I Quit the Gym and You Should Too

    Reply
    • Janet,
      This is an amazing story and completely supports the idea behind the book I just wrote and published, “The Intuition Principle: How to Attract the Life You Dream Of.” Wow! I might want to use your story in an upcoming post.

      Reply
  3. How do you distinguish between intuition and personal desire?
    Jack@TheJackB recently posted..Use Your Time Wisely

    Reply
    • Hi Jack,
      This is a long and complicated question.
      It is also the most asked question I receive from readers.
      When your intuition comes through it feels like a “revelation.”
      It’s a new idea that stirs you – not something you’ve been thinking about over and over.
      Your desire is something you’ve been thinking about over and over.
      Does this help you?

      Reply
      • Hi Angela,

        Yes, that does help. Ok here is a follow up. Let’s say that I have been thinking about calling an old friend because I haven’t heard from him in a while and want to catch up.

        I am really busy so I don’t get to the call for a while and then all of a sudden I have a “feeling” that I need to call him because something is going on with him.

        Would we then describe that as desire meeting intuition?

        Reply
  4. Hi Angela,

    These are amazing stories of how intuition works in someone’s life. There is that moment when you begin to listen to that inner voice. It comes when you believe and trust yourself. Your blog and books have helped in the understanding and use my intuition.
    Cathy | Treatment Talk recently posted..How to Overcome Addictions

    Reply
    • HI Cathy,
      I’m so glad these examples are helpful to you.
      I think we can learn so much from everyone’s experiences.
      I’m so happy that reading PbI has helped you too!

      Reply
  5. Angela, I’m honoured that you included my story and loved reading how Betsy and Fran listened to their intuition.

    Since being aware of your new series on intuition it’s at the forefront of my mind how super important it is for us all to just…pay attention. Thank you for this gift Angela. :-)

    Encourage one another.
    Elle
    Elle recently posted..To Be Or Not To Be…

    Reply
    • HI Elle,
      Thanks so much for sending me this powerful example to use in the post.
      It so perfectly illustrates how our intuition works.
      That little nagging voice that won’t quit- it has your best interests in mind.
      Following it brings you the greatest kind of benefits that we mere mortals could never have orchestrated in a million years!

      Reply
  6. Hi Angela,

    It was heartwarming to read Betsy’s and Elle’s stories. Thanks so much for including mine.

    When I was a child, I so programmed to be happy and ebullient that I only allowed my intuition to reveal itself when I was in solitude.

    As much as I think I’ve improved over the years in hearing and listening to my intuition, I still see big gaps. I had an instance a few weeks ago where I didn’t follow my intuition. The end result was not pretty…for me and the other person involved. Although unsettling, and apologies said, I know that it exposed a dimension of myself that needs to be diligently worked on.

    I loved this post Angela…thank you. xxoo-Fran
    Fran recently posted..How To Attract 8100 Adoring Fans and A Book Deal In Just Over A Year: Q and A With Jeff Goins

    Reply
    • Hi Fran,
      I’m so glad you enjoyed the stories from Betsy and Elle.
      I loved yours too!
      We learn from our mistakes as I’m sure I don’t have to tell you.
      Now you have a great example to remember why you should always rely on your intuition.
      A mistake is really success if we use it to learn and grow – which I’m sure you know.
      Congratulations on the success of your mistake!~

      Reply
  7. Hi Angela,
    I love these stories. It’s fun getting to know everyone better and of course interesting. Your new book The Intuition Principle has helped me understand how important my intuition really is.
    Tess The Bold Life recently posted..75 Bold Tips for When Fear Grips Your Mind

    Reply
    • Tess,
      I know me too. I am loving getting to know everyone better through their stories too!
      Thank you – thank you! And, thank you for the wonderful testimonial too!
      I’ve learned so much about “fear” from you.
      xoxo,
      Angela

      Reply
  8. Hi Angela,
    I love Fran’s and Elle’s story of their intuition. Thanks for including mine as well! I have to add that after reading your blog for more than a year now, I’m finding myself paying more and more attention to my intuition. Thanks for your great posts!
    Betsy

    Reply
    • Hi Betsy,
      All three stories were great!’
      I’m most grateful to you Betsy for yours.
      It really illustrates well how our intuition guides us.
      xoxo,
      Angela

      Reply
  9. Sometimes, I just know something. It might come to me as a fleeting thought. I used to disregard these “knowings,” but now I stop and pay attention. People are sometimes amazed. “How did you know that?!”

    Apart from that, sometimes I just have a “feeling” about something, in the sense that it is a bad or good idea. Again, not related to anything rational.

    Trained as a lawyer, I used to rely solely on my analytic abilities. Listening to my intuition made me not only a smarter person, but also a better lawyer!

    Reply
    • Galen,
      I’ve no doubt that listening to your intuition made you a better person and lawyer!
      I’m so glad you stop and listen to those little impulses.

      Reply
  10. Rosemarie

    You know the story of the car accident…when something told me not to go shopping with V but I went to satisfy his need. A 17-car pile-up from black ice.

    But my best was propably following the voice that keep telling me to go online–to get out and start dating agian after V and I had ended. I knew I needed something to separate me from him…I needed liberation. Bill’s profile was not one I would normally have responded to but something told me to. I did and you know the rest. He is the most wonderful thing that has ever happended to me.

    You know I have a 100 such stories. Problem always is too often we ignore those voices and make “rational” decisions.

    Reply
    • Hi Rosemarie,
      Yes, I know this story.
      I’m so glad you listened to your intuition here!
      Great foundation for listening more in the future!

      Reply
  11. Growing up, I was labelled as “weird” by my family as I followed my intuition. My father worked very hard at having me be “normal” which entailed stifling my inner voice. Silently, I was proud of being weird as I knew I was being myself. Unfortunately, I let the controlling voices of my past guide me along the path of what I thought I should do until my late 20′s. Your last post tells the rest of my story. Thank you!

    I can’t stress enough how important it is to learn to quiet our minds so that we can hear our inner voices. The speak our highest wisdom and should always be listened to.
    Paige | simple mindfulness recently posted..Your Attitude Determines Your Outcome

    Reply
    • Paige,
      Thank you. I can relate! I was the psychic girl in high school.
      Some people thought it was cool and others weird. I was fine with it until I got into a “serious career.”
      It’s so wonderful to have your support of using our intuition Paige!

      Reply
  12. Hi Angela:
    I am enjoying all the personal stories from other bloggers in your last two posts. Even though I read several of their blogs, I haven’t gotten to know their personal journeys.

    - Wendy
    Wendy recently posted..How to be an Unconventional Blogger

    Reply
    • Hi Wendy,
      I’m so glad to hear this.
      It’s really interesting to hear their personal stories, isn’t it?

      Reply
  13. Recognizing the little voice is the crucial thing. I am lucky my Mom always encouraged me to go by my gut feeling. It would be funny you know – my logical mind would tell us 50 reasons why plan A is perfect – and at the last moment I would just go by the last minute plan B because my intuition recommended it. And I would be glad – because it would turn out that it is the right thing to do. I’ve been blessed by several such instances – personally and professionally. Now even my friends ask me what my “gut” tells me.

    Loved this post and the examples, Angela. You are just amazing!
    Vidya Sury recently posted..A Sight For My Sore Eyes

    Reply
    • Vidya,
      Wow, you are very intuitive!
      I’m so glad you had a parent that encouraged you to go by your gut.
      That shows that your Mom had a lot of faith in life and the Universe/God.
      You are very fortunate!

      Reply

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