Instinct Differs From Intuition

By Aleece: You have both instinct and intuition. Do you know the difference and the value of each? It can be helpful to know this especially as we emerge from the world shutting down. Everyone also has sympathetic and parasympathetic systems in their body. Do you know the difference and the value of these? Both enable you to be alert and equipped for living. You are designed to be and have enough. Let me give you an example from a recent experience.

Yoga outside at the park with a community of others, on a Saturday morning, next to my partner, under the shade of a lovely tree. Time for nurturing myself in the beauty of nature,  often makes space for new or deeper insight, and clarity of ideas. This particular day as I was in a yoga pose, I noticed the limbs of the tree formed a clear heart shape. Finding hearts in my day always give me a smile. It is fair to say that those hearts are around for everyone to see, whether in a heart shaped scratch in the paint on the floor of the store or in the jam drop on your toast, or in the limbs of a tree! While everyone has access to these little love notes, not everyone is sensitized to being aware. This is like intuition. Intuition is available to everyone, and it gives guidance to your heart.


It gives a nudge, an inner smile, and grounds you for opening to what is going on. There is a sense of calm and courage. Intuition is rather similar to the parasympathetic system our body has; both allow us to rest and receive nourishment. The parasympathetic system is often called the rest and digest side; the little pinky finger on our hand.

Now back under the tree doing yoga, laying on the mat, I see a very pointed broken limb dangling directly above me. I observe the limb is stuck so I am probably okay at the moment. But if a strong gust came, I knew I would need to roll out of the way to be safe.

Instinct is within us, like intuition, and present to protect ourselves. Instinct makes one on the alert, aware of danger, like a dangling limb. It is able to trigger chemicals of adrenaline for flight or fight. 

Both intuition and instinct have served to keep us humans alive through the ages. We have the luxury in some ways to live in less daily dangers now. Most of us don’t sleep outside or even lay under trees on a regular basis for example. But we can allow the modern stresses to trigger alerts. Like being continually connected to electromagnetic frequencies, via sleeping with cell phones by bed, can cause our body’s system to stay on alert, overworking the sympathetic system. This can make a person be driven more by instinct, on alert for danger. It is rather easy to get less aware of intuition in that environment. Simple fix for this is to leave your phone at least 6 feet from you while sleeping. I am in favor of not having it in the bedroom so you are not interrupted by notifications coming in. 

If you desire to develop awareness of your intuition, then I suggest tuning into your feelings and be aware that the pandemic environment, we are emerging from does require that we boost our coping skills as much as possible and tone down the instinct impulse when possible. Both of these are not operating from the logic of mind. It is from our senses. If you feel supported and connected, you are able to access intuition. If you feel anxious, and on edge, determine if you need to be alert. If you are in a safe place, allow yourself to unplug, decompress, and perhaps even ground in nature.

We all benefit when we support each other with understanding and kindness. I am here to do my part. I offer my thoughts and gleanings to spark more of that in the world, and would love to chat with you and have you tell me how you are doing. You are never alone.


Love and Light,


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A Healer, Wellness Advocate, and long-time Spiritual Mentor

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