What is Intuition?

THE ONLY REAL VALUABLE THING IS INTUITION.

— Albert Einsten

The word intuition comes from the Latin word intueri, “to be taught from within.” We talk about intuition in a lot of different ways, as a “gut feeling,” an “instinct,” or something we “just know.” But we have all experienced it, because we are all born with it. Our intuition is our most comprehensive intelligence.

Unfortunately, for most of Western history, intuition has been disparaged. Even vilified. And yet, recent brain research has confirmed what the poets always knew. Intuition is, in fact, a more sophisticated form of knowledge. It’s also incredibly fast.

As steadily as our hearts beat and our lungs respire, our intuition keeps intuiting, automatically and without effort. At any given moment, our intuition is busy synthesizing a vast amount of data, all the complex details and subtle nuances we could never have consciously organized. The results appear to us the instant we have need of them, as if “out of nowhere,” in the form of sudden insight or understanding. (Ah-ha!)

When we are connected to our intuition, we are connected to our “wise self,” the part of us that knows what is right and just and true. But, like any muscle, our intuition needs exercise. Because intuitive information is processed by the right brain and language is stored in the left brain, a creative activity like writing is empowers us to engage the whole brain, to put feelings into words, intuitions into poetry.

At The Intuitive Writing Project, our job is not to teach intuition but to encourage and affirm it, to support young people in trusting their own inner guidance. In the words of Goethe, "as soon as you trust yourself, you will know how to live."