Fear or Intuition?

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“No man is great enough or wise enough for any of us to surrender our destiny to. The only way in which anyone can lead us is to restore to us the belief in our own guidance.”
Henry Miller


How do we know how to distinguish between fear of the unknown or guided intuition? 

For me it’s been a daily practice to know the difference and what I have found is that when I am being led by fear it feels urgent, confusing and difficult, whereas when I am being led by intuition it feels like a slow pull into uncertainty, but feels patient and clear.

Intuition develops like a muscle in our body and so to make it strong, I have to practice stillness and deep listening.  Over time, I have learned to trust the universe is programmed with a supreme intelligence and knows exactly where I need to be guided, but I still have to be willing to take action from that guidance, even when it feels scary!

Call it a gut feeling or just something that feels off or feels amazing, I have learned to trust in it and act on it.

Jim Carrey said that “So many of us choose our path as fear, disguised as practicality” and he is right; life is not meant to be a safe, secure, familiar, mundane experience.  We are here to expand, explore and step out into our fears with courage.

Of course knowing myself and the guidance of the universe takes deep listening, trial and error, but when I remember I am only here for a short time, I want to make sure I take every opportunity to be guided into the fullness of each and every moment.

“LIke all explorers, we are drawn to discover what’s out there, without knowing yet if we have the courage to face it.”  Pema Chodron

30 thoughts on “Fear or Intuition?

  1. Such an important part of our evolution…and acting upon our intuition when action is called for is a signal to the universal energy that we do, indeed, trust it’s guidance. I’m also reminded that Neale Donald Walsh says, “…the tummy knows,” – a physical distinction between fear and intuition that we can trust in our bodies. Great post, Karen! Thank you. 🙏🏻💕

  2. Thank you, Karen. The distinction you make between being guided by fear or intuition when faced with uncertainty is succinct and very helpful. When we’re caught in our culture’s spell of speed, it is hard to distinguish between what is urgent and what just feels urgent. Cultivating a practice of deep listening is essential and requires commitment , patience, and self-compassion.

  3. Another fantastic and useful post Karen. Fear vs. Intuition. Good to follow the one, and best not to live by the seat of fear. Knowing so many that do live by fear, it is amazing to me how small their lives have become. May we all embrace our intuition!

    1. I agree Heather! It takes courage to live intuitively and authentically, but to keep small is to contract the butterfly within, and that never leads to happiness or freedom. ✨

      1. You are in my head!

        To grow in love and service, you — I, all of us — must value ignorance as much as knowledge and failure as much as success… Clinging to what you already know and do well is the path to an unlived life. So, cultivate beginner’s mind, walk straight into your not-knowing, and take the risk of failing and falling again and again, then getting up again and again to learn — that’s the path to a life lived large, in service of love, truth, and justice.

        Parker Palmer, The Six Pillars of the Wholehearted Life, Commencement Address, Naropa University

  4. Oh, this is a good one. Took me many moons to decipher between the two. Now I know that intuition is solid and calm–fear is reactionary and it feels that way. You’ve reminded me how far I’ve come in this regard–thank you:). That’s a happy feeling.

  5. Love this post, Karen, it speaks directly to the way I feel about life and the intuition we awake with every day. There is nothing to fear with change, although it is so difficult at time…but those are the times perhaps when it is most important to take a step into the unknown. Great post, and I think our minds are on the same wavelength 🙂 Cheers to a great spring ahead.

    1. Stepping into the unknown does require courage, but I have never been disappointed I did! Thank you Randall and Have a wonderful week ahead. 🌈

  6. I stayed in my last job out of practicality. Fear-based practicality. I wanted to build enough retirement. There were other jobs, but I’d have had to take a big cut in pay (and I was already not earning a lot). So I stayed.
    The last few years were rough. I ended up leaving one year early.
    Looking back, I’m glad I stayed. I can afford my life now. I can’t live fancy, and I can’t travel as I wish I could, but I can pay my bills, eat out sometimes, take a few quick trips into Mexico, and fly cross country yearly to visit family. Overall, life is good.
    My intuition combined with my desire to explore took me to many jobs in four states over my life. None paid well. Some paid flat-out poorly. I never built retirement funds. This all led me to the last job, where I stayed.
    Fear? Practicality? I don’t know.

    1. Sometimes it’s a mixture of both and of what we have learned to accept in life. If you feel happy and content that is wonderful. It sounds like you have experienced an interesting life Emilie! 💕💚

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