The Inner Critic Versus Intuition

November 7, 2008

Recently a friend asked if I had written a perspective on the inner critic and intuition. I replied that I hadn’t but it could make an interesting blog. I put it out of my mind but in that amazing way that the universe encourages us I was almost immediately confronted with a parallel question in a client session.
We begin the session with a body/mind/feelings scan and during the debrief he described two issues that emerged. One concerned whether he should call his uncle who was sick and waiting some test results. At first he felt this was just his ever-nagging critic as he has realized that “should” is not a word to which he should give too much power. However when we explored how he was feeling about his uncle he noticed some ambivalence. He confessed that he was challenged by how to be around people who were sick and was this avoidance? This led us into a conversation about whether on occasions the voice of the critic can actually contain a gift from our deeper selves.
I smiled as my friend’s inquiry popped into my mind. “How do we discern whether this is just the critic or in fact there is an intuitive insight trying to get our attention?” My client’s confusion came from trying to resolve whether he was avoiding having to face his own discomfort or was it in fact important to give his uncle some space and privacy. We talked about ways we can access our deeper sense of knowing, that I describe as the intuitive tool kit, and resolve the impasse. In this situation we could use silence and contemplation to access the “still small voice” or perhaps use body sense to assess the body’s reaction to the two choices. Another possibility would be to consult an oracle like the runes. He was enthusiastic about this so we did a reading.
Based on the Runic alphabet, used by early Norse peoples including the Vikings, the runes have no clear origin as an oracle although the word “rune” derives from the Gothic word “runa,” meaning “mystery.” Their popularity today stems significantly from the work done by Ralph Blum, who dedicated himself to the re-introduction of this “sacred oracle.” The most common form of runes is symbols painted or inscribed on stones. I suggested my client sit quietly and form the intention of seeking guidance on his question and pull one stone from the bag. He pulled Sowelu or Wholeness. I read the interpretation to him and his dilemma resolved. The words “For by our own power we do nothing even in loving, it is love that loves through us.” resonated with him and gave him his answer.  This is the key in working with an oracle it is the passage that creates that sense of knowing that is the one that matters.
Recently I felt that I was being guided to expand beyond my Decision-Clarity work into something I am calling Spiritual Coaching, which combined Spiritual Guidance with Life Coaching. I felt comfortable with this move that had evolved through a long inner process however it was not long before my critic emerged. “What do you think you are doing calling yourself a spiritual coach?” I drew a rune to help quiet the voice. I pulled Raido and read the words “Journey – the ultimate union that comes at the end of the journey” How amazing, the union of spiritual guidance and life coaching, just the affirmation I needed.