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Personal Agency and Intuition

Personal agency refers to an internal sense of control over one's self and life, including confidence in your own abilities, trust in your own perceptions, the ability to regulate your emotional responses, and the ability to navigate changing circumstances with a fundamental sense of self-esteem and optimism.   It is the foundation of resilience, which describes the ability to withstand or recover from adversity and successfully adapt to challenges as they arise.  


Agency and resilience both arise naturally when we know and trust ourselves. But cultural conditioning, chronic stress, or trauma often cause us to disassociate from aspects of ourselves we consider shameful or unworthy, and to dismiss the deep voice of intuitive wisdom that tries to steer and protect us through ever-changing circumstances.    

Our Intuitive Voice is Untouched by Fear, Stress or Trauma

The word intuition comes from a French root that means to guard or protect.  Intuitive 'hits' come as a sudden flash of insight, a gut feeling, or suddenly knowing something without knowing why you know it. 


Our intuition is a pilot light, a navigation system, and a personal defense system that is untouched by fear, stress, or trauma. It is the voice of your deepest You, or truest Self.  Connecting with this deepest aspect of ourselves, with its wisdom and care, can significantly strengthen our personal agency as well as our resilience to trauma. 

What Intuition Is

Lightning Fast

Intuitive hits come suddenly. Our deliberating minds are much slower in comparison.


Intuitive hits are quiet, expressed below the clamor of our mental chatter. 


Our intuitive voice is matter of fact, calm, and composed.


Even if we are distracted, excited, disturbed, upset, or afraid, our intuitive voice  - and the message it is delivering - remains steady. 

Body-Based Signals of an Intuitive "Yes"

- a sudden feeling of warmth

- a sudden ease in breathing

- a sudden sense of mental, visual or audio clarity

- a wave of goosebumps or tingles

- a sudden relaxation or sense of ease

What Intuition Isn't

Judgmental, Critical or Demanding

Our intuitive voice is sourced from a place of wisdom and love. Criticism and judgment arise from places within us that are bound in fear and shame. 

Habit, Impulse or Instinct

These are learned, culturally shaped behaviors. Instinct may sometimes feel like intuition, but it can be influenced by stress or trauma, and it does not remain steady despite our mental chatter or emotional ups and downs. 

Body-Based Signals of an Intuitive "No"

- sudden chill

- twinges or tightness in the chest or gut 

- nausea or loopy stomach

- sudden sense of being on high alert

How to know it's your intuitive voice and not your deliberating mind

- it comes in lightning quick

- the content is surprising; you can't identify how you know it, or it's counter to the opinion of your deliberating mind

- it feels right, or true, in your body (even if it runs counter to the opinion of your deliberating mind)

The Almost Acknowledged Power of Intuition

It seems as if everyone knows what it means to get a gut feeling, or an intuitive hit, and to have that intuitive wisdom validated or confirmed in some way. Every person, and every family, seems to have stories of times they suddenly knew to call a family member, or to avoid their usual route home and take a detour, or to decline an offer of help from a stranger  - only to later find out that those messages of wisdom or guidance were justified or beneficial. Yet as individuals we still tend to dismiss our intuitive voice, and as a culture we have not yet normalized using our intuitive wisdom when making complex or important decisions. 

There are indications this is changing, however.  To help you feel less alone, and less foolish, the next time you're wondering if you should listen to that gut feeling, here are some important examples of how we are beginning to realize - and acknowledge - the power of our intuition. 

Self Defense

Many leading experts in self-defense and personal security say our intuition is our single best tool for staying safe. 

National Security

The US Department of Defense continues to invest in research on the use of intuition in complex and high stress decision making processes.

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