By Sonia Choquette
Issue 105 March-April 2001
One of my psychic mentors, Charlie Goodman, taught me something extremely important about awakening intuition. He said that the decision not only to feel an intuition but actually to express that intuition makes all the difference in the world.
"Being aware of an intuition is only part of the process," he would say. "Putting that feeling into expression in the world is the other part. When you do that you put value on it, and when you put value on your intuition it can then begin to help you in life."
Probably the best phrases for expressing intuitive feelings are those that are organically based--"I have a gut feeling," "a tight chest," "a lump in my throat," "butterflies in my stomach." These expressions focus on where the intuitive energy being picked up is felt in the body. But they, too, often fall short of being taken seriously.
In our family intuition was so fundamental to our way of life that we actually had code words for the very purpose of acknowledging and expressing our intuition, words that were quite specific and yet conveyed complex feelings. This language made it easy for us to share what we felt, bypassing the intellectual and emotional barriers explanations set up. The very fact that there were words we could use for various intuitive flashes was justification in itself that those feelings were valid and worth noticing.
The first of our code words was "vibes," meaning the initial energy sensation of intuition in the body. Vibes were broken down into categories. We had "good vibes," meaning all of the people, places, ideas, and possibilities that evoked positive, safe, happy sensations. Good vibes indicated a "green light, go for it" type of decision and described synchronicities, beneficial encounters, and sensations of protection and grace.
We also had "bad vibes," meaning all uncomfortable, uneasy, unsafe feelings. Bad vibes were those cautious "stay away, don't do it, don't trust it, watch out, be careful, keep on your toes" instincts that alerted us that something was not okay.
We also had some other words to describe intuitive states, like "grounded" to describe the sensation of being present, solid, and secure and feeling strong and committed. Then there was "ungrounded," a word to describe a state of being rushed, overwhelmed, overloaded, disconnected, out of harmony with our surroundings, uncomfortable, ill at ease, nervous, defensive, irritable, and vulnerable.
Simple Words, Protective Measures
I've continued this tradition of "speaking the language of intuition" with my husband and our children. I have introduced them to these terms that are so familiar to me, and together we have invented others.
My daughter Sonia made up the term "woolies" to express the feeling of someone or something that disrupts her inner harmony or equilibrium. It describes conditions or people who have an irritating effect on her, like wool on bare skin. When Sonia says someone "gives her the woolies" I know that she feels uncomfortable around them.
Another term we use in our home is "wide open." This means that we are taking in more stimulation than feels comfortable, and it is causing us to become "ungrounded." In an adult world, being wide open can be felt when you're unexpectedly called into the boss's office only to be criticized or, worse yet, let go. Or you pick up the phone only to have someone "let you have it." You know the feeling. It's the feeling of being overwhelmed, caught off guard, and taken by surprise.
Another term we share is "shut down." Shutting down is similar to closing the windows in a house, a protective measure to push out unwanted influences. I was with Sonia at the airport one day, checking bags, when the man in front of us was throwing a fit at the counter. He was causing such a scene over his reservation mix-up that he'd succeeded in getting three ticket agents involved, and now they were beginning to argue among themselves. Their agitation was spilling over the crowd of waiting passengers, and comments were beginning to fly out for him to "shut up" and "move on." It was an ugly situation and getting worse.
Without a second thought Sonia turned to me and said, "Uh-oh, trouble. Better shut down and ignore it." And she was right. Otherwise we, like the other people around us, would have absorbed the tension.
Another expression that my kids appreciate and that we use to describe unpleasant energy is an "ick attack," a phrase that is instantly recognizable. It's the feeling you get when you are around someone or something that leaves you feeling very disgusted or "icky."
The last code word that I have been introduced to and have shared with my children is "psychic attack." A psychic attack is stronger than an ick attack, because an ick attack means something or someone is unpleasant or unhealthy, whereas a psychic attack is when someone or something actually wants to hurt you. Psychic attacks occur all the time. It is the ambush from the co-worker who wants your job, or the flaky friend who blames you for his mistake. It's the malicious neighbor who competes with you, or the alcoholic in a rage. Psychic attack is a term to describe the mean-spirited, negative behavior of someone directed against you. A psychic attack is very hurtful, and it's important to arm your children with the ability to recognize the attack for what it is and to move away from it when it occurs.
Your Words Are the Right Words
Because of my work as a professional intuitive, my children have learned from the beginning about the subtle levels of psychic and intuitive energy and ways to talk about them. It is not at all unusual to talk with them about not only vibes, ick attacks, and so forth, but also about energy fields, auras, chakras, and other very sophisticated concepts. Though this works well for my family, it is not at all essential to use this vocabulary in order to tap into this wonderful inner voice of spirit. You may prefer religious words such as "my angel" or even just "spirit" when talking about vibes. Or you may want to use easy and obvious phrases such as "my gut," "my hunch," or "my feeling." One family I know calls a psychic attack "a stink bomb." Another calls an "ick attack" a "yucky feeling." Yet another calls vibes radar. The point is that you can invent your own language of spirit. Whatever words feel right to you are right for you.
Giving children a way to identify and express their intuitive experiences will help them integrate these experiences more comfortably into their lives. It is just so much easier for children to pay attention and respond to intuition if they don't have to explain what they feel or, worse, why. If they learn to just feel it, report it, and have their feelings respected, they will communicate.
Sonia Choquette , PhD, is the author of The Psychic Pathway and Your Heart's Desire . She lives in Chicago with her husband and two children.
From The Wise Child by Sonia Choquette, Copyright © 1999 by Sonia Choquette. Reprinted in Mothering magazine Issue 105 with permission of Three Rivers Press, a division of Randome House, Inc.