Excerpt from Awakening the Brain

by Dr. Charlotte Tomaino

When making big decisions for myself, or listening for the signs that a client is ready for change, I often consider intuitive information: the early signs that point in the direction of the next step before the rational facts come forth. But what is intuition? Most think of it as a means of acquiring awareness without logic or reason. It is information located in the inner world of your experience, which you can find when you look within, read the thoughts and sensations that emerge, and then contemplate and construct their meaning. Intuitive information powerfully influences beliefs—that “felt inner KNOWING”—which are the outcome of the meaning you have created from your life experience.

Generally, intuition is understood to be a right hemisphere function that must then be deciphered and put into spoken language by the left hemisphere. Intuition is just another language the brain can learn to read. It is a source of information that requires confidence and trust in the guidance of the inner world. Intuition is often pointed to in the stories of great scientific discoveries and is a primary skill of mystics, prophets, poets, saints, and healers. Intuition is an irrational function in the brain that takes many forms of sensory perception.

We are beginning to develop an understanding about how intuition manifests in the brain and a perspective on the different sensory modalities that can offer intuitive information. We all have different brain styles, and intuition has a style too. Some people tell us they are clairaudient. That means that their auditory system perceives sounds that others do not hear. In personal communications, I have been told of people hearing information in spoken language in their mind about events that are going on around them at the time or a topic that they are contemplating within. In the case of clairaudience, people hear information coming from within and are guided by it.

Another sensory modality for intuition is clairvoyance. Here people report seeing a visual image that is not physically in front of them. It is an image that comes to mind in response to their circumstance, thoughts, or emotions, and is a source of information they must learn to read and interpret. Although people have been labeled as crazy for reporting such experiences, there are lots of intuitives using these skills in the military and in police work. It is also known as remote viewing and extrasensory perception (ESP). For a discussion of this research, see The Synchronized Universe by Claude Swanson.

Finally, there is a source of intuitive information that you can read with the Brain-Body Compass by paying attention to the sensations in your body. This is another language to learn to read called clairsentience. The sensations in your body—like goose bumps, chills down your spine, or hair standing up on your neck—are all clairsentient information to decipher.

I do not personally see or hear clairvoyant or clairaudient information as guidance. I do feel a lot of sensations, which is why I developed the concept of the Brain-Body Compass. This is one of my guides to KNOWING. When the needle of my compass is moving and getting my attention with chills down my spine, I stop and consider what is going on and what that sensation is telling me. These are moments when people report inspired insights, which often come without much reflection or reasoning. These aha moments appear to be a source of creativity, wisdom, insights, associations, ideas, applications, solutions, and possibilities. Some people call these “a gift of Grace.”

This is the richness of the felt sense identified in the method of Focusing (discussed in chapter 3). The method of Focusing teaches you to read the information registering on your Brain-Body Compass and works with it to access the information and achieve the felt shift you desire. This information source does not have the logical, sequential facts of the left hemisphere. These are bodily sensations and emotions now thought to enter consciousness in the right hemisphere. As Jill Bolte Taylor described, the right hemi - sphere focuses on the present moment and the whole of what is happening—not the details. These are felt concepts and beliefs that must be interpreted and spoken by the left hemisphere, where language resides. If you think about it, it is not unusual to notice that something is amiss with someone you know well. You feel the change in them or in a group, but your brain doesn’t quite know what has changed. You know something is different, but in order to know how to proceed, the left hemisphere has to use language to either inquire or consider how to interpret the new felt sense.

Learning to read the Brain-Body Compass has to do with paying attention to types of sensations, their level and quality of intensity, emotions related to them, the context in which they happen, and the thoughts they trigger. Sometimes they are like a bolt of lightning and sometimes they are as soft as a feather tickling your nose. They create a gut feeling that says yes or no. My awareness of physical intuition, along with an awareness of synchronistic events, has long been a trusted guiding light in my life. I grew up with the concept of Grace being available to me and active in my life.

My mind is often boggled by the experience when it first happens but is then engaged to follow the thread of events that allow my left hemisphere to be able to make sense of the sensations and events. The feeling is hard to describe, but it is always the same inspired pull in a certain direction. When have you been aware of this experience in your own life? Take the time to consider when you have noticed this, how you felt, and how you comprehended the meaning of the feeling.

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