Why trusting your intuition isn’t the problem

March 9, 2022 12:30 am Published by

Have you ever disregarded an intuitive hit or a psychic or spiritual experience more out of fear rather than a doubt? There’s a weight that comes with accepting spiritual experiences as truth that goes so much deeper than just trusting your intuition, and I think it deserves a deeper look. Underneath the phrase “trust your intuition” or “trust your gut” is often a very real fear that you’ll be judged, deemed crazy, or worse for honoring your intuitive and psychic experiences.   

You are not flawed if you struggle to trust your intuition. Rather, you are likely reacting to a very real threat response stored in your body from your life and your ancestors. 

Today I want to discuss why you are, by design, likely to not trust your intuition or other psychic experiences. 

Listen to this episode on my podcast Awen Guided by Spirit here.

Underneath a possible fear of being judged, there’s something else lurking in the shadows, fear of mental and physical harm, violence, being locked up or deemed as crazy, and even death. The truth is, for most of us, we’ve experienced some degree of this or know family members who have. Beyond that, there’s a history of judgment and violence that’s happened to spiritual folks from all walks of life that I believe lives within each of us to a certain degree. 

Do you think you’d be able to be more trusting of your intuitive, psychic, and spiritual experiences if you didn’t carry any fears around them? I want to make a case for giving ourselves more grace and taking a deeper look at what’s underneath the knee-jerk reaction to blame our lack of trust in our intuitive voices. I want to invite you to begin focusing on what is underneath the lack of trust at the very real fears you may have around accepting your intuitive and psychic experiences as truth. 

Before we dive in, I also want to stress that I don’t think anyone needs to stop saying, “trust your intuition,” but I would invite you to notice when you’re saying or thinking it and ask if it should be accompanied with some nuance, which we’ll discuss later. 

I’m going to start this share a little differently and begin with some personal experiences that have led me to this discussion. Then we’ll look more closely at why the phrase “trust your intuition” is not the issue and what to do about it. 

The Death of Crazy Older Woman

I often hear from folks who worry that they are going crazy or that others will think they’re crazy because they receive psychic information or have had spiritual experiences. This is something I’m quite familiar with too. As someone who grew up around an uncle and a grandfather with untreated Schizophrenia, I’ve always been very aware of my mental health. 

The fear of being labeled as “crazy” is not unfounded. The very word “lunatic” is based on a belief that different phases of the moon could cause “lunacy” or “madness,” and the term hysteria comes from the Greek word for the uterus, hystera. This is just scratching the surface. In many ways, we, especially those who identify as women, are conditioned to believe that our intuitive and spiritual experiences are madness rather than a gift. 

I will share a series of psychic and spiritual experiences I had and how they helped me see my gifts from a different viewpoint. I also want to note that I wholeheartedly honor and believe that mental illness is real. If you are concerned about mental illness, I encourage you to talk to your doctor or a therapist. This is not a black and white issue; it is an issue with a sea of grey areas. I’ve worked with a therapist at different times in my life and have mentors in my spiritual practice and run many of my spiritual experiences by both of them.

In my healing sessions with clients, I began being confronted by an angry and wild older woman. Upon the first visit, I assumed this woman was associated with the client I was working with, but nothing about this woman seemed to connect for my client. The following week, the same woman showed up again during another session. At this point, I knew she was for me, so I asked her to leave so I could connect with her later. 

I later journeyed to the north to connect with my ancestors and also this older woman who’d been intruding in my sessions. She was there along with others, again acting very erratic. From the others there, I understood the purpose of this angry crone.

She was the part of me afraid to step more fully into my power and abilities. This was my opportunity to heal this part of myself. If you would have asked me before these experiences if I was afraid to step fully into my power, I’m sure I would have told you “no.” However, this hag came through to tell me otherwise. She came through to open my eyes to the centuries of pain, so many before me have experienced for doing what I’m doing now. She wanted to bring my attention to the ancestral pain I’d been carrying that needed to be addressed and released more fully. 

During this journey, with the aid of my well ancestors and guides, I knew it was time to allow this version of myself and the hag to die. I told her it was okay to leave, that I no longer needed to carry the energy of being labeled “crazy,” and that I could accept my gifts from a place of power. She laid down with a smile on her face as we all thanked her for her protection. For the rest of the journey, my ancestors and I placed beautiful flowers all over her still body and danced as I felt her energy shift and integrate back into my body as healed. 

Upon leaving this space, I knew something powerful had happened. I knew that part of this experience was an invitation to heal wounds connected to myself through my ancestors. It was an experience bigger than me. It was a call to bring healing to those who came before me who could not express their true spiritual nature openly. I could feel it in my body and in the tears that I shed that something big had shifted. 

In the coming months, I later journeyed to the Annwn, the lower world, and was greeted again by an old hag. But this time, she was calm, still, and had a palpable sense of power. I’ve had some of the most intense spiritual and psychic experiences of my life since working with her. I won’t go into detail here as I’m still processing and integrating these new experiences into my being and practice. I do not doubt that these new experiences result from beginning to heal and release these older wounds and fears. 

The problem with “trust your intuition”

So much has come up and been revealed to me after these experiences. One thing that I’ve been more mindful of is my use of the phrase “trust your intuition.” It leaves out the nuance of why so many of us have difficulty trusting our intuition. 

Now, as I said, I’m not saying you shouldn’t say this phrase. I mean, I have oracle cards and books that say “trust your intuition.” What I am saying is that trusting your intuition is complex. I want to encourage more folks to spend time honoring and exploring why it can be so challenging to trust our intuition rather than accepting it as an innate flaw. 

I’ve already started catching myself in situations where I’ve wanted to say, “trust your intuition!” and thought about if there’s a better question to ask. I think in many cases, there are. For example, “What is your intuition telling you about the situation?”, “What would it feel like for you to honor this intuitive experience?”, “What fears do you have around trusting this intuition?” or “What kind of support do you need to feel able to trust this experience?”

Let’s try something right now to explore some of the nuances of the phrase “trust your intuition.” If you’re in a space where you can go within, I invite you to close your eyes if that feels safe and begin imagining what a world might look and feel like with some shifts. 

Imagine you live in a world without organized religion where you could decide for yourself what a connection to spirit looks and feels like. Imagine that the burning times did not happen in Europe. If your lineage is from Africa, what would your world look and feel like if your ancestors were not taken from your land and you had a deeper connection with the spiritual practices that your ancestors practiced? If you’re native to the so-called United States, Canada, or Australia, how would you feel if your land and practices were not taken from you if your ancestors weren’t killed for their spiritual practices? How would you feel if it was a common and accepted practice and express your spiritual beliefs openly without the weight of these past harms that continue today in many ways? 

How does it feel in your body to imagine a world without these past and present experiences? Now, in this space, ask yourself how it would feel to trust your intuition or to claim your spiritual gifts? Does it feel easier or less scary? Notice how your relationship to your spirituality shifts when you imagine a world like this. 

I hope that whatever your ancestral lineage is, you can take a few minutes to sit in the energy and feeling of what it would be like to have full agency over your spiritual path and experiences and not carry the weight of the pain from those who were harmed before you. 

Though it may seem extreme to tie things that happened to our ancestors to your ability to trust your intuition as truth, I believe it’s worth exploring. Not only have I found great benefit in understanding and working with these blocks, but we’re starting to see some scientific evidence that backs this up. The study of epigenetics has begun to show a connection between our lived experiences and how they relate to the experiences of our ancestors. 

I am not an expert in epigenetics by any stretch of the imagination, so I’m not going to dive into that here. This share is based solely on my personal experiences around this topic. However, it’s always exciting to hear how the scientific community can name things that many have already known to be true. I certainly encourage anyone interested in learning more about epigenetics to further research the topic. 

It’s important for me to point out, as a white woman, the extreme need for nuance and to be right-sized about the ancestral wounds that other European-Americans and I have. Today, in this body, I am the colonizer, living on stolen land, with a line of ancestors who no doubt had their hand in murdering and stripping away spiritual practices of the indigenous people of this land. 

Here’s the thing, the harms that have been inflicted upon me and my ancestors and the pain that myself and my ancestors have inflicted on others can exist both exist. I can have my wounds while also acknowledging my participation in causing harm. I can work to heal and honor my wounds while also actively dismantling white supremacy and the patriarchy. Both can and need to exist in the same space. We’ll continue to cause harm based on our unhealed trauma if they don’t. 

Healing the wounds that keep you from honoring your intuitive gifts

Let’s dive into some ways to bring more nuance to the topic of trusting your intuition and explore possibilities for you to encourage healing wounds connected to your intuitive or psychic abilities. 

These offerings can be helpful if you’ve experienced uncertainty or fear around your intuitive or psychic abilities. I think some of these suggestions are also powerful ways to bring healing to your ancestral lineage as well.  

The suggestions I share here are ones that I’ve personally explored in my spiritual practice. As always, take what you like and leave the rest. Each of our experiences and paths is unique, and I do not believe that there’s a single “correct” pathway to honor and heal the wounds that keep so many of us from honoring our gifts more fully. 

1. Connect with your ancestry and spiritual roots. 

Connecting more deeply with spiritual practices in line with your heritage, if available, can offer potent medicine to healing wounds around honoring and accepting your spiritual gifts. I realize this isn’t possible for everyone. Some of us do not know our heritage for various reasons, including being adopted or that your ancestors were forcibly taken from their native land. 

If you can learn more about the spiritual practices that were honored by your ancestors through a family tree or a DNA test, I’ve found that it can offer a lot of healing. I know, for me, these pathways did not open up until I became more fully absorbed in a path connected to my heritage. I also think learning more about your ancestry gives each of us more context about what our ancestors have gone through, especially regarding spiritual practices. 

I want to honor that doing this can be easier for some than others. For most of us, the spiritual practices honored by our ancestors have gone through various stages of erasure. I encourage you to be gentle with yourself as you navigate through this kind of discovery and to do what you can with what you have. 

2. Journeying to the north or ancestral meditations

If journeying is a part of your practice, the north is the home of your ancestors and can certainly open up pathways to this work as well. If you’re unfamiliar with journeying, you can also explore meditations to connect with your ancestors. Learning about your ancestry is one thing but experiencing it within the realm of non-ordinary reality is an entirely different thing that can offer deeper wisdom and healing on a more physical level.

This is something I offered earlier this year, so if you do feel like you’d like some more support doing some guided journeys to the north, you can begin the process of this work. Learn more about “Journey to your Ancestors” or get it here.

I often tell those I serve not to be discouraged if you don’t have a powerful experience right away with a journey or a meditation. The experience I shared earlier in this post resulted from several journeys to the north. If you are struggling with connecting and want to start opening the doors to a deeper connection with your ancestors, I encourage you to start an altar dedicated to your well ancestors to help you engage with their energy. 

3. Journal prompts and contemplations

I think there are a lot of questions we can start asking ourselves to become more aware of why we may be struggling to trust our intuitive and psychic experiences as truth. Here are some questions to think or journal about to explore this topic more deeply. 

– When I experience an intuitive hit or experience, what are my initial thoughts about it? 

– What fears, concerns or worries arise within me when I think about sharing intuitive or psychic experiences with others? 

– If I experience an aversion to an intuitive or psychic experience, where does it manifest in my body? Where do I feel it, and what does it feel like? 

– What have I learned throughout my life about trusting my intuitive and psychic experiences as truth? 

– Do I have fears of losing friends family members, of being judged, or of being harmed by honoring or expressing my intuitive or psychic experiences? 

– What kind of support do I feel like I need to feel safe when I honor and explore my intuitive or psychic abilities. 

The next time you receive an intuitive nudge or have a spiritual experience, I invite you to notice what comes up for you immediately following it and consider applying some of these questions to any reactions you have. These questions could also be used for some powerful card spreads. 

4. Breathwork, somatics, and energy healing

Sometimes deeper healing like this may require time to step out of the thinking mind. Breathwork, somatic healing, and energy healing are three powerful ways to do this. Our thinking minds can get in the way sometimes and quite literally block us from the wounds that need healing. 

If you feel like you want support in uncovering wounds that may be blocking you from honoring your intuitive abilities more fully, breathwork, somatic healing, and energy healing can all be powerful ways to tune into these parts of yourself. I already shared a much longer episode that dives into many of these techniques, called “What is energy work and do you need it?” click here to read it.

I come across blocks of this nature in my clients often. If this speaks to you or you feel you’d like support in this area, you can book an energy healing session with me here

I also want to mention Tori Feldman’s work with her business Sacred Ancestry. I’ve not taken any of her courses, but it seems like she offers some very specific one-to-one and group programs for healing ancestral wounds. 

A call for more grace and nuance around trusting intuition

Most humans do not spend a lot of time exploring non-ordinary reality. A beautiful lesson I’ve learned from my mentor, Robin Afinowich, is to give myself a lot of grace as I navigate through new spiritual experiences. She often reminds me that our human brains, especially in this society, are not accustomed to making sense of nonsensical things, which is often how we experience intuitive and psychic experiences.  

The spiritual world does not follow the same rules as the physical world. It’s non-ordinary and even nonsensical at times. It makes perfect sense that it will often require more time and patience to wrap our minds around intuitive and psychic experiences, especially if you have trauma, past and present, around expressing spiritual experiences. 

I offer all of this as a gentle reminder to be kind to yourself and others. Each of us has a different past that brought us to where we are today. Those past experiences, both in this lifetime and beyond, have affected our abilities to honor our spiritual abilities. What works for you to learn how to trust your intuition will undoubtedly look different for others.

So yes, please trust your intuition, but if you’re struggling to do so, it is not a flaw. It may be an opportunity to heal. 

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About Cassie

Cassie Uhl is the author of five books and two card decks, an artist, intuitive energy healer, and death doula. Her lineage and practices are rooted in pagan earth-based spiritual practices of Northern Europe. She approaches her work and clients with trauma-informed support through all phases of life. She currently resides on the land of the Myaamia people in so-called Indiana of the US.