At times I get stuck in a pattern of belief that my mind can derive the bottom-line truth in a given situation. Yet my brain is just a measuring device for the sensory messages it receives from my body. The body sends messages that are interpreted by the mind through the senses of sight, smell, touch, hearing and taste. The mind takes these bits of information makes a conclusion, and then asks us to do something about it. The spirit uses different points of reference to calculate the best way to move forward. Our intuitive guidance system taps into a non-physical knowledge that can also lead us safely through life experiences.
Last weekend I was climbing Mt Yale, a 14,000 foot summit in the Colorado Rocky Mountains. Hiking at altitude creates sensations in my body that are interpreted by my brain as repetitive signals to “stop, turn back.” The lack of oxygen and steep terrain challenge my lungs, muscles and circulatory system with forms of resistance that feel life threatening. I hike at high-altitude to experience a sense of mind or over matter, to somehow prove my mind wrong by overriding its interpretations with a higher truth. I know I can do it. I know I will survive.
On the ascent I can briefly distract my mind with the sight of aspen and pine trees, the sound of the gushing glacier-melt creek, the smell of wildflowers and conversations with my friend. Yet the distraction is always temporary as my mind continues to want to regain control of the situation. Hiking Mt Yale I was conscious of my spirit experiencing the hike. When my body began to feel exhausted and my vision was a bit dulled, to the point where I didn’t see every rock on the trail, instead of feeling fearful that I would stumble, I noticed my spirit was guiding me. I saw with clarity the parallel existence of how my mind interprets its experience beside how my spirit interprets the experience. Both are equally capable of providing guidance that keeps me safe. The difference is that when I’m listening to my spirit it is not concerned about reaching the summit or measuring the energy left in my physical body relative to what is required to get me to where I need to go. My spirit is present in the moment. My spirit says, “I am moving forward. I will keep moving forward. I want to move forward.”
Mind-body measurement of our experience is 100% in the physical/material realm. The challenge is that the mind does not know how to interpret intuitive information. If the message it’s receiving from the body contradicts intuitive guidance the mind goes to battle with spirit and tries to override the spiritual knowing in an act of physical self-preservation. The mind does not know how to interpret the emotional indicators beyond the physical sensations they generate, pain or pleasure.
Next time you notice that your mental and spiritual guidance are in conflict, acknowledge both the indicators from your physical body experience and what you know intuitively. Let this awareness of the source of data help break gridlock that can keep you stuck. The mind is not the final truth. It is one source of information available to you. Intuition offers insight that can help us move forward when the mind is resistant.