This great power, intuition, is composed of lightning-fast inner seeing, inner hearing, inner sensing, and inner knowing.
Over generations, these intuitive powers became as buried streams within women, buried by disuse and unfounded charges of disrepute. . . . I think we can be confident that things lost in the psyche are all still there. So, too, this well of women’s instinctual intuition has never been lost, and whatever is covered over can be brought back out again.
~~ Clarissa Pinkola Estes, Women Who Run With the Wolves, 76
Although my focus with the HCG journey was on detoxing rather than the usually-marketed weight loss routine, I will admit that I wondered whether the experience would support me in being able to move more fully towards intuitive eating. After all, the dietary regimen has given me a chance to get out of the habit of processed food, and I also had lots of opportunity to study the ways that my hungers are sometimes more about emotional needs than actual physical sustenance.
However, having been out of my dietary/cooking routines during the four days of the retreat, I’m not sure that intuitive eating thing has really kicked in. Instead, I can recall several moments when I kept eating — taking cashew after cashew out of the bag for a snack, or going back for that extra little bit of egg salad at lunchtime — well past the point of physical hunger. Responding instead to emotional tension or anxiety.
I don’t say this out of some self-flagellating, confessional instinct. After all, as I’ve said before (and will surely say again and again): I am not striving for a perfection movement.
What instead interests me is the awareness that I don’t yet have a lot of faith in my ability to eat intuitively.
Or, quite honestly, in any level of my intuition.
The concluding movement from the weekend was a highly creative and individualized one, a movement that very much asked us to tune into our intuition. And although I have enough admiration for Clarissa Pinkola Estes that I will not choose to argue with her when she suggests that the well of intuition can always be mined and revived, I still gotta say that my intuition is feeling pretty far underwater.
I’m still too much trapped in my brain, caught up in the fear of “getting it wrong” to have the kind of surrender, the clear channel that allows my intuitive wisdom to come to the fore. And, as with my witnessing around those “extra” cashews, I am trying to name this in the spirit of honest self-examination rather than in a blaming/shaming tone. ‘Cos that sort of beat-up is the same kind of mind voice and ego eruption as the ones that kept me bottled up during the weekend.
Now I know, even in my self-imposed containment, I had some small offerings of intuition to make. And I also take some comfort in trusting that my faith and believing were contributions of their own flavor — perhaps an energetic support to those individuals who were more able to open up their creativity and intuitive insights.*
Still, it’s an area where I can keep studying, an area I can look to grow and express more fully. Which is why I started listening to the audiobook of Women Who Run With the Wolves during this morning’s commute. It’s probably well past time for me to become acquainted with this classic of feminist spirituality.
* Yeah, I know: coming up with this kind of justification to feel better about my contribution does serve also as a between-the-lines admission that, however much I’m trying to stay in witnessing rather than in self-castigation, there’s a little bit of that “mad at myself” piece going on. So, yeah: that happened.