How to Recognize an Intuitive Impression

From The Psychic Workshop: A Complete Program for Fulfilling Your Spiritual Potential
By Kim Chestney, Adams Media/Random House
Available at Amazon Barnes & Noble | i-books

CHAPTER 9: The Three-Step Process of Intuitive Awareness

Trust your instinct to the end, though you can render no reason. —Ralph Waldo Emerson

The first impression is the purest impression. It is our instantaneous reaction to a person or situation—a reaction that is usually unfettered by our expectations, fears, or responsibilities. We are provided with a stimulus, and we have an immediate response or feeling; this is our intuition at work. The next response is to integrate that impression into our understanding; this is our rational mind at work. In this way, our intuitive mind (right brain) works together with our rational mind (left brain) to form a synthesis of understanding.

Our higher self endows us with the flash of insight we commonly call a first impression. Though we may know very little about a person or situation, we may get a very distinct “vibe” about the nature of things. For example, we may get a bad feeling about a certain venture, for no apparent reason. Or we may meet someone for the first time, and feel that we have known them before. At that point, we attempt to understand the meaning of our impression, to determine if that “vibe” fits our reality. So begins the reign of the rational mind. If we trust our first impressions, we try to understand how they fit into the scheme of things. If we doubt those impressions, we often find out later that we chose to deceive ourselves.

When it comes to our intuition, we must trust our higher selves as much as possible. When we become aware of intuitive information, we immediately find ourselves asking, Is this real? Does this make sense? Is this just my imagination? To understand the answer to these questions, we should understand what an intuitive impression feels like, and what it is like to receive information from the spirit world.

Intuitive impressions feel like thoughts that just come to mind. We all have them, every day of our lives. They occur as passing ideas or images, often as reminders or suggestions about situations in our lives. To better recognize them, we should pay attention to any ideas that spring to mind, often out of the blue. We may suddenly think about someone, only to have that person walk through our door just moments later; we may have the impulse to stop for groceries, only to have an unexpected dinner guest show up that night.

These are examples of how our intuition works with us naturally in our daily activities. Once we are tuned in to them on this level, we can take our awareness to the higher levels. We may begin to sense when a person has done something wrong, before anything is said. We may find ourselves serendipitously being in the right places at the right times. We may foresee trends in our life, or the lives of others, before they manifest. We may instinctively know what is good for us and what is detrimental for us, without justifiable reason. Our intuition omnipotently links us with the objective state of the world, allowing us to transcend our own subjective reality. It provides us with higher awareness, if we choose to acknowledge it. It is the line of communication to our higher selves and to other souls who are living, but not in physical form. We can communicate with them mind to mind, thought to thought.

It is not surprising, then, that intuitive impressions may often feel like our own thoughts, because they are thoughts, just like our own. The primary difference is that intuitive thoughts originate externally, from the higher sources, instead of being born within our own conscious minds. We actively create our own conscious thoughts; we passively receive intuitive thoughts.

Intuition Workshop

Becoming Aware of Intuition
When we understand how the intuitive process works, we may begin to solicit inner guidance at will. By allowing our intuition a voice in our decision-making and reactions to everyday situations, we can create a more balanced perspective on life.

Tips for Recognizing Intuition
When you begin working with your intuition, keep some of the following ideas in mind:
• Be as objective as possible. If you are attached to a specific outcome, or if you have your own hopes or fears regarding the information you receive, your own mind will get in the way of any objective guidance.
• Don’t force it. If you listen too hard or focus on your expectations, you will generate a mental static that prevents you from recognizing anything at all.
• Pay attention. Responses from Heaven often come instantaneously. Sometimes they come so quickly that you may miss them altogether. If you do miss a response, you should relax and try to let it come to you again.

The Three-Step Process of Intuition
The process of intuitive understanding is essentially a process of communication. Heaven responds to us, and we respond to Heaven, though not necessarily in that order.
1. Stimulus: An intuitive stimulus is anything, any thought, action, event, or person, that causes a psychic impression. We can initiate this process consciously, by asking for guidance or for spiritual information, or we can take part in it passively, in those cases when Heaven gives us impressions spontaneously.
2. Response: This is Heaven’s response to the earthly thought, event, or query that prompts our intuition. This is the process by which we receive inner guidance or psychic information. The response generally will come as our first impression after the stimulus.
3. Synthesis: These are many thoughts that follow our first impression. These are generally products of our rational mind integrating the response with our reality. These thoughts can also be intuitively guided, and may assist us with understanding the higher meaning of the impression. The synthesis is a process of balancing and integrating our rational and intuitive understanding of the information we received. 

It is important to remember that pure intuition is given in a spirit of quiet knowing and acceptance.

When we understand a situation with our higher selves, we are more inclined to allow ourselves to accept the divine order, even if the subject matter is distressing or goes against our personal objectives.

Frequently Asked Questions
Question: “I sometimes get impressions in the form of a statement or command that refers to me personally. For example, if I react poorly to a situation, thoughts like ‘You should know better, my friend’ often spring to mind. What does that mean?”
Explanation: When we begin to register these kinds of impressions, we have most likely initiated a dialogue with one of the souls who guide us.
Suggestion: Try talking back!

Question: “Sometimes I get silly or strange impressions. Is that normal?”
Explanation: We should not be surprised if we occasionally receive colorful or humorous impressions. Heaven does have a sense of humor. Our guardians and friends on the other side all have their unique personalities and may enjoy expressing themselves with jokes, irony, sarcasm, or even a general sense of playfulness. Regardless of the tone of their individual personalities, our guides will only assist us on our path in a nurturing, life-affirming spirit.
Suggestion: Lighten up and enjoy the humor.

Question: “I received an impression that really upset me. What should I do?”
Explanation: Chances are that if you received an impression that caused you significant emotional distress, you did not receive a genuine impression at all. Emotionally charged impressions are generally manifestations of your own thought processes based on your fears. You may be too close to the situation to be able to approach it objectively. Emotional attachment is like intuitive kryptonite. Our unbalanced emotions create a static energy around us that interferes with the intuitive process.
Suggestion: Reapproach the situation selflessly, with a clear mind. Release any personal attachment to the outcome of the situation. If this is not possible, do not attempt further intuitive work at this time.

After reading and understanding this three-step process, learn to recognize it in your own life. Ask specific questions of yourself and notice Heaven’s response. Become more aware of the impressions you get from day-to-day situations. Our intuition serves us like a weather vane, pointing us in the right direction. It does not make our decisions for us.

A policy of noninterference, a kind of spiritual prime directive, is at work in the ethers: We are to live our lives for ourselves. Our choices are ours to make. Our connections in the metaphysical world may only assist us in this process, much as a friend in this world would. They can affirm our thoughts on certain matters, reinforce our aspirations, provide encouragement, offer understanding or hope, and, of course, help us to enjoy our lives.

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Kim Chestney