How do I differentiate between overthinking and intuition?
Thank you for a good question.
I used to wonder about this too. But I’ve come to a conclusion after meditating for a long time. Below I share my insights. I hope it can be helpful to you.
What is intuition and why should we aspire towards it?
Intuition is something that comes from our true mind, the source. It’s felt as a direction, a nudge, or a “flow of wisdom” from inside. Sometimes it’s clear, sometimes vague, and sometimes it’s against everything we know, been told or what is logical. A life lived from a place of intuition is a true life, which is why we should all aspire to lead an intuitive life.
The mechanism of intuition
Since intuition comes from the true mind, the source, it is always there and cannot be lost.
However, if we have a lot of fear, inferiority, and greed in our mind, it’s difficult to follow our intuition. You could say that the intuition has become hidden, or cluttered, by our mind just like the blue sky gets hidden by clouds on a rainy day. Even though we might sense the intuition from time to time, the fear/greed-based thoughts will soon take over, and we will find ourselves lost. This is something that happens to everyone.
Some people make a big deal out of this. They constantly try to find ways doing the ‘right’ thing, and worry a lot whether their thoughts and actions were ‘right’ or not. However, worrying and trying like this only adds to the burden and makes life even more difficult.
Pursuing intuition in a productive way
Once you know the mechanisms behind intuition, it becomes evident how futile it is to worry about whether you can follow your intuition or not.
The answer will always be: it depends on the state of your mind. If you have a cluttered mind, it is natural that you only get glimpses of your intuition. Sometimes you may be able to ‘follow’ the intuition, sometimes not. That’s just how it is. Unless you do something in order to fundamentally improve the state of your mind, trying to differentiate between your thoughts and intuition will be a game that you will play for the rest of your life.
Instead, we need to be productive in our pursuit of intuition. Since intuition is our true mind, we need to take effective steps towards living a true life, which is a life free from doubts and 100 percent intuition.
When we realize this, we have a brand new platform to work from. Now, we can drop all meaningless desires to figure out what is thought and what is intuition. Instead, we make the best out of every moment by using it to clear our mind.
In order to do so we need to meditate. By practicing meditation, we clear our mind and free it from thoughts. The more you clear your mind, the more of your true mind/intuitive mind will ‘shine through’ in your consciousness: intuition will reveal itself to the degree you have cleansed your mind.
Meditation reveals intuition from within
The process is very simple. Just look back on your life and let go of everything that clutters your mind: all the stories, thoughts, concepts, inferiority, frames, etc. A good start is to sit quietly and go through life and reflect on yourself. Reflect on your actions and thoughts in every moment. Let them come up in your mind and let them go. Eventually however, I recommend that you find a guide to help you with this process.
What I find particularly appealing is that meditation is a chance to be completely honest with ourselves, and that we don’t need to live life in any particular way. There is no dogma of right or wrong. We don’t need to control our thoughts or feel guilty for thinking bad thoughts. Heck, we don’t even need to feel guilty for not following our intuition. Life becomes easy.
As we deepen our meditation practice, our mind changes. It becomes spacious and free, and we begin to see things from a bigger perspective. Gradually, our lives become truly intuitive. When our mind resides in this intuitive space, we never wonder whether our thoughts are intuitive or not. Such questions simply do not exist in this space. All our thoughts and actions are naturally those of truth, and the flow of nature.
Check out the video below. It beautifully describes what I try to say.