Understanding how to live aware and inspired is my passion, not just for myself but for sharing what I know in order to guide others towards living their life in the best way possible. So it seems appropriate that for my first blogs I will be writing about the word INSPIRED.
The word itself, INSPIRED, can be looked at as an acronym whose letters make up everything you need to live an inspired life. This acronym is I for Intuition, N for Neurology, S for Spiritual, P for Physical, I for Insight, R for Resolution of E for Emotions, and finally D for Discovery, Divine, Destiny. In the coming posts, we will be going into the details of each of these.
I love etymology, the study of where words come from. From the time I was young, my Dad would never use a “big” word without explaining the Latin or Greek origin of that word. Words would take on a deeper meaning, something I have carried with me through all my explorations of metaphors, symbols, and how we communicate with one another. I hope by looking at the word “inspired” in this way it will enrich your understanding of how this word can teach us through its meaning. Inspire comes from Latin and means to breathe into, to excite, inflame, animate, and enliven. - to fill the mind, heart, and body with breath, with grace, with life. How perfect is that if you are striving to live in an inspired way? But what does it even mean to live an INSPIRED life? That’s where our acronym comes in. So lets get started.
The first letter in the word INSPIRED is I for Intuition. I have come to see intuition as the skill we need to hear the subtle language of the mind and the higher consciousness. When I have taught classes on expanded awareness and in my book I begin by teaching about intuition, how to recognize it, how to develop it, trust it, and use it. Let me ask you, are you intuitive? Some of you may not think you are. Some of you may know you are intuitive, but do you trust your intuition? And if you trust your intuition do you trust your intuition enough to actually follow it most, if not all, of the time? Well guess what? You are intuitive whether you realize it or not. (I feel a little like Oprah when she gave away cars because I want to point at you and shout, “you get intuition, and you get intuition and you get intuition, you ALL get intuition!!!) Intuition is a sensory perception that we all have- just like your seeing, hearing, smelling, touching, tasting, and feeling. And if you are not using your intuition it is like ignoring a valuable sense that is available to you to navigate your way through life and in the world. It is like ignoring your vision if you see a fire, or your sense of smell if you smell smoke, or your hearing if you hear an alarm, or taste if you don’t savor a perfect, velvety, morsel of chocolate. All our senses are there to guide, inform, and enhance the wide range of experiences we encounter in life.
But in addition, intuition is important because it is the language you need to hear the subtle information you hold about the truth of who you are. It may seem complicated, but follow along with me. We are energetic beings, we have an energy field, the mind has an energy field, the field holds information. the information is about the sum total of who you are, what you have experienced, learned, and felt. It is this rich vault of information that can guide you to find out where you are stuck, what your patterns are, what enhances and strengthens you and what causes you to hold back, and finally how and what you take in from the world around you. How do you access all this valuable information? That’s where intuition comes in. When you meditate, are mindful, are in silence; when you create art, have meaningful dreams and reveries; when you have “aha” moments, insights, gut feelings, goosebumps -those are all ways that your intuition tries to speak to you. Learning to pay attention, to trust that voice is easier for some that others. But it is a skill that can be developed and the more you strengthen and refine that skill, the more you are validated, and the more you will come to trust it.
There is so much to learn about intuition. It is something that I will continue to write about because I think it is that important. but for now let me share some exercises to help you get started in developing your skills.
1) Breathe: First I’m going to teach you about breathing. Of course you know how to breathe! But there is an optimal way of breathing that will maximize the amount of oxygen coming into your lungs. It is called diaphragmatic breathing. When you breathe this way you are telling your brain that you are safe. Think about it. When we are in danger our breath is short and shallow. This allows for more oxygen to go to our legs- where we will need it the most in order to run and get away from that danger. If you are taking full deep breaths, you are doing the opposite and reassuring the brain that the oxygen can be used in the way you want- to relax. To know that you are breathing diaphragmatically, pretend you have a balloon in your tummy. Your job is to inflate that balloon when you inhale and deflate it when you exhale. Put you hands on your belly when you practice so that you will feel it moving up and down. Your shoulders should not be moving at all. Now breathe in slowly, hold it for just a fraction of a second and then exhale slowly. Try this when you want to calm down. It will work. It is how you need to begin any exercise and the best way to get clear when you want to tune in to intuitive information.
2) Red light/green light: Try this if you have a question that you need guidance for. Relax, breathe, and focus on your question. Visualize a traffic light and notice what lights up. Green is a yes or positive response, red is a no or negative response and yellow is wait or proceed with caution. You may get other input in the form of images, sounds, smells, words. Pay attention, that too is part of your answer. A variation of this is checkboxes: visualize “yes” with a check box next to it and “no” with a check box next to it. Notice which box gets checked.
3) Hand Energy: with both palms up, decide which will be the yes and which will be the no. Then relax, breathe, and focus on your question. Put all your attention on your palms. Notice which side feels heavier, warmer, or tingles. It is a clue to the answer you are seeking. You may get other input in the form of images, sounds, smells, words. Pay attention, that too is part of your answer.
4) Finally just “play”. Try to “see” what a person you are on your way to meet will look like, be wearing, etc. Try to “guess” an outcome of a game or other experience.
These are just simple beginning exercises. The second and third are variations of kinesiology or muscle testing that I will cover in a future post. Keep in mind this is only an introduction and there is much more to discover about how you can trust and use intuition to guide you. I go into much more detail in my book, Living Aware and Inspired. In addition I highly recommend that you read the writings of other intuitives like Tina Zion, Judith Orloff, Mona Lisa Schultz, Christine Page, and Carolyn Myss, among others.
I hope you will stay check in with me as I share more of what I have learned and what I know about living aware and inspired. Please contact me with questions, comments, and anything else you want to share!
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Blog of Helen Pankowsky MD, a psychiatrist who has been using cutting edge modalities, integrating traditional medicine with holistic and alternative methods.