by Thomas Pedroli
Intuition - a special gift – or something you can learn?
Most of us have experienced moments in our lives of intense creativity, intelligence, and happiness. Usually, such moments have come unexpectedly and were not influenced by the will. When we train our intuition, those moments still may not come from an impulse of will, but they will certainly occur more frequently. There are conditions that can block our intuition. Mentally, such a condition can arise from continuous thinking that leaves no gap at all. If there is no gap, nothing really new can occur. In certain instances, emotionally painful experiences (often, but not necessarily, from early childhood) can generate a present fear that is more or less similar to the original one. Such re-stimulated fear can result in patterns of behavior that we would normally wish to eliminate, but we seem unable to do so. As we engage in routine actions, we create habits or behaviors that we repeat again and again in the same way, eventually performing them without awareness. Habits can make us believe that change is not possible.
In everyday life, deep relaxation and a clear awareness are generally considered to be mutually exclusive. When we relax, we tend to be dreamy, and when we focus, we can easily become too tense in our bodies. When we train our intuition, we do something that se ems very challenging at first - we attempt to both relax and focus simultaneously. In the many exercises and play that we experience during an Intuitive Pedagogy training, we are given at least two instructions that may seem to contradict each other. For instance, “Focus on your feet, and do something else with your hands.”, or “Be in a natural flow and also consciously avoid meeting another person.”, or “Throw a stick precisely by releasing it, but without any effort.” Through following such seemingly contradictory instructions, we create space for something new and unexpected; we develop intuition.
In Intuitive Pedagogy, we start by working with the body, and by intuitive playing, the body overcomes old reflexes through intensive practice of bilateral exercises which integrate the left and right sides of the body, the hands and feet, and both left and right brain, as well as experiences of loud and soft, fast and slow, etc. At first, such polarities seem impossible to integrate, but after playing in this way for a while, the apparently impossible becomes possible. One of the wonderful characteristics of this kind of learning is the intense joy that is often generated. This joy makes it possible to move through and overcome hindrances and blocks that under other circumstances are just too frightening or difficult to encounter. But the playing is done within the community. It can be helpful to know that sometimes when we are working on ourselves, we need others. Joyfully practicing in a community opens many doors for development.