When she was about 50 years old, American actor and best-selling author Suzanne Somers had a routine mammogram and her doctor told her that she was fine. As she was getting dressed, however, her doctor, on a whim, suggested that she try the new [and expensive] ultrasound machine that he had recently acquired. Because she was on her way to a rehearsal, Somers almost said no. But then something told her that she should heed her doctor’s advice and she changed her mind. The ultrasound found a 2.4 cm tumour, which remained undetected for years because it was set far in the back of her breast.
I am sure you have had your share of trysts with intuition. May be it saved you from an impending accident, or prevented a disastrous business deal or, on the positive side, helped you choose your career, your mate or even your employees. So the idea isn’t new. We all come equipped with this built-in compass that tells us what is right and wrong, spontaneously. Yet, it is this spontaneity that leads many people to write off intuition as coincidence or happenstance. These people try to explain it away rationally, even though there are no viable explanations. But naysayers aside, intuition has had many illustrious fans—from Archimedes and Albert Einstein to Oprah Winfrey and Bill Gates.
So what makes intuition such a profound phenomenon? Ralph Waldo Emerson called it ‘primary wisdom’. The word itself comes from the Latin word ‘intueri’, which can be loosely translated as ‘to look within’. This inner voice, this hunch that we call intuition may not speak to us in words but its messages are clear—provided we listen to them. The problem is that intuition doesn’t announce its presence with drums; it’s much more subtle. In Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking, Malcolm Gladwell says, “Insight is not a light bulb that goes off inside our heads. It is a flickering candle that can easily be snuffed out.”
This cover story, Judith Orloff, a recognised authority on intuition, tells you how to befriend your own intuition so that you can harness its immense power to improve every aspect of your life—health, relationships, career, finance. That’s because once you’re tuned in to your hunches, you will be able to tap into an elementary force—a force that powers the universe.