Over the last few months, reading and learning new things has helped me cope with the uncertainty and changes in our daily routine. Today I’d like to share a book I enjoyed called Intuition: How to Develop it and Use it in Everyday Life.
The author, Dr. Cate Howell is a GP, therapist, and educator, and has kindly agreed to share a bit more about her book. Cate currently works as a General Practitioner with Defence, and also has a private practice focusing on mental health and various teaching activities.
Tell us a bit about the book and why you wrote it.
‘Intuition’ explores all you might want to know about your inner knowing. Everyone has experience of their intuition, but they may not realize how useful it is. For example, intuition is used all over the world in the fields of teaching, health and business, and its use is supported by research. And it can be invaluable for parents!
So what is intuition? Some people refer to intuition as a gut feeling, a sixth sense or knowing without knowing how they know! It has been described as being like a ‘compass’, as it is there to keep us safe and help us navigate through life.
We receive intuitive information through our senses (e.g. vision or hearing) and bodily feelings, or we may have intuitive thoughts or hunches. Have you ever had a hunch that someone you know will be in touch with you, or that someone is unwell? And then you find out that you were right?
Intuition is active in our sleep, which is why sometimes we go to bed thinking over a problem and wake up with the answer in mind. And when making decisions in our day-to-day lives, we often move between our more logical thinking and our intuitive thinking.
I wrote ‘Intuition’ as I have worked for many years in the field of medicine, psychotherapy and education, and I believe that, to live our most fulfilling life, we need to make use of all of the information available to us, and all of our abilities.
I am also a very curious person, and have had many experiences in which my intuition proved to be surprising (such as with premonitions) and inevitably valuable, so I wanted to find out more about it.
In particular I was curious about whether we could learn to be more intuitive, and make more use of it in our lives. I found out that we can!
Why is this book so important for parents today?
We live in complex and busy times, and parents in particular can experience many pressures. In 2020 we have been going through challenging and unsettling times, with natural disasters and a pandemic. Many people have felt overwhelmed or anxious at times, and perhaps less confident in their decision-making as a result.
There are many examples of how your intuition may come into play as a parent. In recent months, for example there may have been be recommendations for you to remain at work or to keep your children at school, but your intuition let you know that these were not the best way forward for you or your family. So you might have chosen to work at home or home-school your children.
Maybe in the past you remember a time when you have had a sense that your child is not well, despite reassurances, or that something is worrying them at school but they are not saying what it is. It is important not to ignore these hunches but to look further.
One approach is to listen to both expert advice and to our inner knowing, and find a balance. Trusting in your intuition makes for more confident decisions during uncertain times, and this in turn can give us a greater sense of control and inner calmness.
Given that currently we are all probably a bit less busy with less commuting or work, this is a perfect time to work through the seven steps outlined in the book and grow your intuition!
The steps involve:
- Making space for intuition in our lives; for example, through decluttering our schedules, our minds and old thinking patterns, and practising self-care.
- Connecting with ourselves and others, including enjoying social connections (whether online, by phone or in person).
- Practising meditation and mindfulness; as inner stillness is important to connecting with intuition.
- Enhancing our creativity, with activities such as journaling, art and craft or playing music.
- Accessing our unconscious mind (for example, through meditation).
- Developing more positivity, such as through compassion, kindness and gratitude. These are especially important right now!
- Applying intuition in our everyday and working life; for example, through greater self-awareness or allowing our intuition to be a guide.
What is one of your favourite passages from the book?
There are quite a few favourite passages, but this passage is relevant right now with COVID-19, perhaps more time at home, and an opportunity re re-examine what is important to us.
My mother died not that long ago. She instilled in me the message of finding joy and experiencing beauty in the simple things in life. As I write this section, it is Christmas and I know that she wanted to be mentioned in this book. To honour this wish, and in honour of her philosophy, I am writing about her right now!
In fact, I was reminded (was this synchronicity?) of her philosophy when I came across a little book recently by lifestyle writer Leigh Crandall called A Book of Simple Pleasures. It speaks of there being a lot going on in our lives at present and suggests that we return to elementary pleasures. Both my mother and father found enormous pleasure in their garden and its many roses and they created a haven. Mum loved baking, sewing and reading and could always amuse herself. This is an art.
Hence this book had to go into my Christmas stocking from Mum, as a reminder of her message to fill your life with little pleasures, focus on the moment and enjoy those pleasures!
If there’s one message you want readers to get from the book, what is it?
We need to learn to take notice of the intuitive information coming to us and accept that the mind has a range of abilities. In other words, we need to TRUST our intuition. This might involve taking a ‘leap of faith’ at times, but it can prove very worthwhile.
Right now with COVID-19 in our community, along with trusted guidance from government and health experts, our intuition can assist us greatly. It can be a guide and help us do what is best for ourselves and our families, and also enrich our lives.
As I wrote in the book:
When you act from your heart, intuitively, you feel interconnected with others and ‘in the now’ and your action will be right for you. You will focus on what you are passionate about and find a greater sense of purpose.
And as COVID-19 passes, there is an opportunity to review what is important and meaningful in life, and to reset our lives accordingly. Remember that intuition can play an important role in this, and be an invaluable guide for the future.
Would connecting with your intuition help you in your everyday life? If so, check out the book Intuition by Dr Cate Howell.
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I received a copy of the book “Intuition” for review purposes. All opinions are my own. To read more about sponsorship on my website, visit this page.