I recently came across a story, which had gone viral, about a woman who had a strong sense that her husband was in danger. Fortunately, she listened to her intuition that day and left work to go home. Once there, she found her husband pinned under their SUV, which had slipped off its jack.
Her husband suffered broken bones and internal injuries; however, because his wife had acted on her intuition, he received prompt medical attention. Authorities commented that he probably would not have survived had she not found him when she did.
That knowing feeling
This story made me reflect on the times when I have had my intuition prompt me. I clearly remember one day when I was seven years old walking home from school with my eight-year-old brother, something I regularly did at the time. This time, though, something felt different. I spotted a young man walking ahead of us, which wasn’t unusual; nevertheless, it gave me an uneasy feeling and I knew I needed to stay alert. As we turned the corner, the guy jumped me from behind a wall and began to strangle me.
Because my senses were already on high alert, I thought fast and aimed a swift pint-sized punch below his belt while my brother attempted to help free me. The young man released his grip, and my brother and I ran to a neighbor’s house for help.
I never forgot this experience and, as I grew older, I wondered what had given me that forewarning. Since then, I have had other experiences, like so many people, in which I intuitively knew a friend I hadn’t spoken to in years was going to call, and sure enough a few minutes later that friend would ring me on the phone.
Years later, I heard Doc Childre, the founder of the HeartMath Institute, a research and education organization, explain intuition and how listening more deeply to our hearts can help us develop a stronger connection to it.
The power of the heart
Dr Rollin McCraty, Director of Research at the HeartMath Institute in California, which conducts research on intuitive intelligence, shared with me the results of one particularly fascinating study on the physiological indicators of intuitive perception. The study sought to test whether the heart and brain respond to a future event before it happens. Researchers discovered that the heart responds first, and then signals the brain, which then triggers the conscious thought or feeling.
The study also identified gender differences in which women appear to have a greater sensitivity to future emotional stimuli. Female participants demonstrated a significantly greater heart rate variability (HRV) pre-stimulus response compared to male participants.
The HeartMath research team also noted that the greater emotional significance a future event held for the individual, the larger the intuitive response would be prior to the actual stimulus. The results of this study, published in two 2004 issues of the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, illustrate the physiological role of the heart in intuitive information processing.
HRV feedback technology
I have been able to train myself to better discern my heart’s intuitive guidance through HRV feedback technology, which has helped me make more effective daily choices—and that’s a most practical function of intuition we can all use to better navigate our life’s journey.