We’re saddened by the passing of Steve Jobs on Wednesday. Whether or not you liked his leadership style or how he got things done, you’ll agree that he’ll go down history as a phenomenal innovator. Yet, from what I can tell, what has gone viral on social media since his passing wasn’t how to build great technologies. Instead, they are:
- His 2005 commencement speech at Stanford University urging all to do what we love and never settle for anything less. (A previous article was inspired by this speech.)
- A quote from him that urges us all to listen to our intuition and our hearts.
Source: Thomas Skavhellen from Facebook
Love, intuition and heart? All heart-based and right-brain stuff that defies logic and rational reasoning of the left brain, the backbone of the corporate world and western society. Yet, because these recommendations come from a venerable titan of the fast-paced technology world, they make even the toughest skeptic among us pause and ponder. More importantly, the fact that these words of Jobs’ went viral means that apparently they really struck a deep cord within many of us–even those who’d normally roll their eyes over mentions of such touchy-feeling things as intuition and heart.
Assuming you’re on board Jobs’ urging to listen to your intuition, let’s talk about that. Our intuition speaks to us in a number of different ways. There are two simple practices you can develop to access your intuition.
Meditation — Quieting your rational mind is the best way to access your intuitive wisdom. Don’t believe me? Jobs meditated regularly. Choose a style that works for you, whether it’s focusing on your breath, a word or a mantra, or any other style that resonates with you for quieting your mind. You don’t have to meditate for hours and hours. Even 10 to 15 minutes a day will do wonders in strengthening your connection to your intuition.
Hot-penning — That’s basically a form of journaling which is more a “heart-dump” or “gut-dump” than a “brain-dump.” Set a timer for 5 to 10 minutes, preferably first thing in the morning before your get-things-done rational mind kicks into full gear or when you can find the time and space to relax and be receptive to insights. Until the timer goes off, just write whatever stream of consciousness surfaces. Don’t think or worry about grammar, spelling, etc.
Whether or not we choose to tap into our intuition, the wisdom, knowing and unbounded creativity is always there within us waiting for us to pay attention. Dreams are one means through which our intuition sends messages to us. When we’re in deep sleep, our rational mind is shut down, but our intuition remains awake and active. Its wisdom regarding any situation we happen to be facing comes through dreams. I’ll write a separate article on dreams another time.
Besides dreams, there are also the four types of “Clair,” the French root for clarity. That is, our intuition often offers us clarity for whatever we’re facing in our lives. When Jobs recommended that we listen to our intuition, he basically urged us to get clarity on what we love from our inner wisdom, to listen to our inner voice. The four types of “Clair” are:
- Clairvoyance — clarity through seeing images and pictures
- Clairaudience — clarity through hearing messages, often soundless
- Clairsentience — clarity through feelings and sensations
- Claircognizance — clarity through knowing without reason
If you’ve ever seen pictures in your mind’s eye, heard a voiceless message, felt an unexplainable sensation in your body, and/or known something out of the blue without understanding why, it was your intuition messaging to you. We’re all “Clair” in some way, but it requires us to drop our skepticism and allow the messages to come through.
Don’t worry if you aren’t yet ready to pay attention to dreams or any of the “Clair”s. Develop a regular meditation and/or hot-penning practice. The key is to allow your inner voice — your intuition, your heart, your gut — some regular airtime, so that it doesn’t get drowned out by others’ expectations and prescriptions of how you should live.
Live the life you’re born to live. Listen to Steve Jobs.
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