This is part one of a two-part series on Intuition. Written by Emily Curtis for Parimukti

Part 1: Addicted to wanting to know

When learning a trade, a language, or perhaps when we’re next in line to carry the torch of a lineage such as yoga, or other spiritual tradition, it makes sense to have a teacher. A mentor. A guru. Someone who is in a position of knowing more than us, and we can trust to shine a light on the path in pursuit.

Yet, so often in life, when uncertainty arises we wish to make our peers, parents, search engines, or media pundits the crystal ball to steer us along our path. Vulnerability researcher Brené Brown has said: “when I start polling people, I know I’m in trouble.” She is referring to the inner pollster (a person who conducts or analyses opinion polls) that loathes uncertainty. This inner pollster often emerges at the faintest scent of uncertainty, and rushes to find solutions in order to avoid it. It’s the same one who casts projections of unknowable futures, or predicts outcomes hedged on experiences from an unrepeatable past.


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Wisdom tells us that we can’t predict, because each moment is new and unique. Yet how our diligent mind tries, how it rushes to fix, solve, and know, and all because it shutters in the face of not knowing. Clearly there are times when not knowing is a positive feeling. We tend to call that wonderment. Being uncertain can be exciting, but also uncertainty can lead to incessant ruminations, feeling the pressure of time, worry, or fear. Understandably, it can be very uncomfortable to not know. What am I going to do? What do I want to do? Are my loved ones OK? Do my loved ones love me the same?

I’m a recovering pollster. I always want to know! There’s ease, and an air of necessary acceptance associated with certainty. But now I know uncertainty isn’t going to go away though, and I’ve found that when I poll, I usually regret it. I may even end up feeling yucky, like I’ve given up my power. Thisis not to say that help does not come from the outside. There’s a difference however, between sharing, being open, and receiving the help and support that that can provide, and outwardly looking for someone to save me. Looking outside for someone (or something) to hitch myself up to in order to get me out of the uncertainty I’m in.

So, that’s the rub. Am I able to let the unbridled potential of what might occur, what might be true, be the feeling of the moment… for as long as it stays?

Long enough perhaps for the clouds of emotion to part, and for the sun of Intuition to shine…

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