You can’t explain it, but you just KNEW not to take that action, not to go down that road, not to marry that guy. How many troubles might we avoid by listening more to our gut instincts? This month’s edition of “O” Magazine features an article on intuition. It’s a funny coincidence that there was a special on NPR with the author of the article. Suddenly the topic of intuition is in vogue (pun intended). Women are supposed to have a stronger sixth sense than men but I think it’s because we women pay closer attention to things. There is a good reason for that, anthropologically speaking. Back in our clan/tribal days, we needed to assess whom we could count on to help us around the fire and cave and with the kids, and we needed to search body language, eye contact, voice inflection etc….in order to judge whom we could trust. (For example, “How did he say “Hello”?)
This doesn’t mean that men cannot access this gift, it just means it comes more naturally to women.
Intuition or our “gut instinct” or “gut feeling” comes from part of our energy center – or chakra – in the solar plexus, our core. This area is believed to manage our sense of control, our self-esteem and our free will. It is THE area that helps us make decisions. When we don’t have enough information, such as in the case of deciding which mutual fund to invest in, we can either procrastinate (very common and understandable) or use our intuition about the mutual fund’s representative and what s/he is saying and doing with our hard-earned money. (Note: this is very hard to do on a computer; computers don’t have very readable body language.) It’s a shame that more women aren’t involved in the family’s finances because they might be better at choosing advisors. Even if it’s something as benign and irrational as “I saw she was wearing a fake amethyst ring.” means something; that somehow the client is making a judgment call, maybe she views the representative as not being authentic, and that should be considered. (Note: I own both real and fake amethyst rings. The real one came from my hubby whereas the fake one I bought in college at a booth in the Seneca Mall for $15. It felt like I was purchasing the Hope diamond at a garage sale.)
We don’t give our intuition nearly enough credence. I always encourage clients to trust their gut because it will never steer you wrong. Maybe that’s why people overeat; they try to silence that voice (which happens to reside in the stomach area) that keeps trying to tell them something they don’t want to hear, but that’s another post entirely.
Why don’t we listen to this still small voice? Maybe we’re afraid people will think we’re whack-a-doos. Purely irrational thoughts can conjure up images of “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”. It’s a shame that all traditional economic theory is based on the assumption that humans are rational beings. Nothing could be further from the truth! But that’s okay; once we know how we really are, we can work with our natural tendencies without feeling guilty or weird. This is why the area of behavioral finance is so appealing to me; it explains why we do the things we do with money when everything we hear and read tells us to do otherwise. We don’t know who or what to trust, so….we procrastinate, we buy chochtkies instead of saving for retirement, we avoid making out our wills because we simply can’t think about death. None of this is rational yet all of it makes sense. With this in mind, I invite you all to put on your intuition caps. Sit quietly and listen to what your intuition is telling you. You must commit to setting aside the time on a fairly regular basis to devote to this relationship (like any relationship) if you ever want to feel like you’re doing the right thing, taking the right road, marrying the right person. But the rewards are great; you’ll save time and money because you won’t be doing and buying things that aren’t appropriate or beneficial for you. Get off of auto-pilot and get going in the direction of your dreams.