“Like all explorers, we are drawn to discover what’s out there without knowing yet if we have the courage to face it.” Pema Chödrön
Ajna is our 3rd eye Chakra and based on Tantric law is the centre of intuition. It is the energy centre where you can access your inner self and the knowledge of past lives and has a close link with the moon. It is said that “Intuition offers more reliable data in a second than the rational mind does after hours of research”. Yoga acknowledges that our own truth lives within all of us, so one interpretation is that our intuition, is our soul.
Tuning into our intuition, observing those ‘gut feelings’ and random thoughts and interpreting these signs helps us to recognise our own truth or at least glimpse a path towards it. This self-awareness nudges us to not blindly drift through life, providing balance and an open mind. Your inner-self speaks to you via your intuition and I do find around the time of a full moon, particular large moons, that my inner self is the most active and I slump into a mild depression where all my innermost dreams and regrets come to the surface, I am however the most imaginative and creative at this time too, but also the most negative and self critical and find it difficult to trust myself.
If you are someone who is dominated by your rational mind; you seek insight and logic externally to make decisions, accepting and acting on a nudge or guidance from your intuition is difficult. Depending on the strength of your intuition it may or may not break through and be heard. It will take time to be in tune with these instinctive thoughts, as your rational mind keeps silencing them. The intuition, however, like garden weeds, grows back stronger and stronger over time convincing. You start doubting the logic, you may stop seeing contentment in your day to day, in what is expected of you. The external data may start to feel like its dragging you away from yourself.
For intuition to get stronger, I believe you have to acknowledge its side of the story each time it interjects and genuinely consider it’s merit. Eventually, you get to a tipping point, when you side with your intuition. It is scary to trust something or someone new but as you start to favour it, it is interesting how things then start to change for the better, even if short-term life seems to become a lot harder.
Since my tipping point, deciding I was going to resign after 5 years at the same employer; my only ‘proper job’, and go travelling again for a few months its been a constant tug of war between my persistent but self-doubtful intuition and my strong and stubborn logic centres. The logic, in defence mode, could just not accept defeat and kept fighting. You do always need the counter-argument to solidify a choice so its good to keep it alive, but it took a year for it to finally accept being second place in the hierarchy of my self.
I was asking myself questions like, ‘Do you stay on living a lifestyle that has no balance, grounding or contentment? My quality of life had not improved in 3 years, I live in cheap damp flats, my temper was on duty at least 80% of the time, accepting change was difficult, and my tolerance and patience with people were at the bare minimum. All I wanted to do was sleep. Life has become a compromise. External insight and society expectations put you on a path of least resistance towards security, building a conventional life, and I may come back to wanting this. But there was a battle going on and I was finding myself being pushed towards a cliff edge into the unknown. My intuition said jump!
I believe so much of my stress, anxiety, and mild depression growing up and as an adult has been because of fighting and ignoring my intuition. Second-guessing everything, caring about what others think of me, rather than being happy and confident with who I am. Kids, are mean though, unknowingly devastatingly mean, and if you are insecure and do not trust your inner self… this will create anxiety. No wonder in a world of Instagram and unrealistic expectations & role models, anxiety is a millennial epidemic! And now, we don’t even need mean kids to bully us, by ‘scrolling’ we do it to ourselves.
I’ve learned that I have found myself in a world driven by logic and process as that is how I have lived my life, with a few side trips here and there when intuition has won. This goes against the person I am in my head, which I now believe was and is my true self-being squashed and contained. Past friends even encouraged this squashing, squashing of all ‘me’ down into a containable manageable socially acceptable package that everyone else was more comfortable with… be less emotional… be less opinionated… be less driven and passionate…think less… be less me.
From a chakra (energy centre) theoretical understanding you start living your life using your lower chakras and we slowly work our way up the ladder to live our lives via our higher chakras. As we struggle, in relationships, in work, with family, with dreams, with ideas, with plans, with stress, with mental health, with physical health, these get ‘blocked’ and our intuition and self-awareness says “just remove the block, let it go.” But your rational mind says “solve the problem to remove the block”. The block, however, is unsolvable. It’s about identifying the block, how it came into being, and accepting it as part of your past life experience that has made you, you: you grew, you learned, for negative or positive, and moving on from it. Unfortunately, most of the time, we dwell on past experiences, reliving over and over, how we could have been better, acted differently and we constantly live in the past rather than being our best self in the present.
This constant mental battle is hard. I have cried far too much about the past. I have cried far too much when I’ve reached a point of indecision. Therapy helped process somethings and gave me some new tools to continue doing so. Till now I have repeatedly stuffed my gut feelings and intuition into a box to deal with later, so maybe I wasn’t ready before, maybe I had to learn more about myself first.
Sticking around trying to solve the block problem, is like trying to find the answer to the universe in The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. You can dedicate your whole life and more to it, wait and wait for the answer to come, and when it does, it’s a disappointment that only creates more questions. So you go back and start again with a new question and never move forward.
Do you keep hacking away at the tree that has fallen in your path, or do you climb over it? You may cut your knee climbing over it at best, fall down many times at worst, but you are moving forward. You can hack and hack and hack at the forefront of your mind but a path will never be carved through that tree. Climb over the tree, or round it, look back at your achievement, look back occasionally if you must to see how far you have come, but you will find soon after that the block has vanished like it was never there. The block was you. You created the block in your mind, and just as easily you can remove it.
Each time you do, there is less climbing, and eventually, it’s just a simple decision to remove the block or not. It was caused by looking down the path you are on thinking it was the only option… like a remote control car controlled by someone else, repeatedly driving you into the same wall over and over slowly breaking you.
Unhappiness is a state of mind, where you are in a constant feeling of unfulfilled expectation. Happiness is therefore also a state of mind for you to choose to master.
Today I resigned. I was terrified. When it was over, even my boss commented on how calm and content I suddenly became. Following my intuition this time took 1.5 years of hacking and 9 months of climbing and it was hard. Goodness knows where I could be if my whole life had been intuition led. If I hadn’t hacked, well? I am also trying not to dwell on the past. I may end up back in a town or city doing a related job, but whatever I do it will be on my terms, and hopefully with sight of a greater purpose and a much healthier perspective.
The next few months are the final leg of the current obstacle course of life. Sometimes you need to just get through one more mud crawl, but sometimes you need to just change the event you want to compete in. I am grateful for the learning and opportunities given to me over the last 5 years, and for that, I feel thankful and privileged. I was committing to reading the wrong book out of loyalty, obligation and fear to jump, sticking with it all the way through despite being disengaged from the plotline. That metaphorical cliff?…it is never as high as it seems. Trust your intuition.
I am now off to spend time with my two loves, Yoga & Hiking! Off to India to do a 200hr Yoga Teacher Training Qualification, which I am very excited about and incredibly grateful I am able to do this and develop my self-practice and understanding. I am then going to Nepal to hike in the most amazing mountains in the world up to Everest Base Camp and Gokyo. Can not wait!