Intuition Insights – by Dr. Francesca McCartney

I met Dr. Francesca McCartney early in the making of my film on intuition: PGS – Intuition is your Personal Guidance System.
Francesca is the Founder of the Academy of Intuition Medicine – perhaps the world’s foremost teaching institution of intuition. Francesca was not only interviewed in the film, she also assisted me greatly behind the scenes in connecting me with other key intuition practitioners.
Francesca was recently interviewed for a new book – Developing Informed Intuition for Decision Making, edited by Jay Leibowitz. Here is an excerpt from that book, featuring Francesca. It’s all about hunches!
Introduction
The idea of intuition is increasingly used in discussions about business management and decision-making, sometimes as if it were a new concept. But it is hardly so. A manager in the days before the Internet had little choice but to use intuition-the raw data simply was not accessible. Often, “a hunch” was all there was. Today, so much data is available that the inverse is true-in mere seconds, we can sum­mon enough data to support any decision we want to make-good or bad. Sorting through this flood of data makes the use of intuition more crucial than ever. Are we back to the idea of a hunch?
What is a hunch? Where does it come from, and how can we tell if a hunch is coming from intuition or false beliefs? Let’s ask an expert.
For the past 40 years, Francesca McCartney, PhD, has been researching and teaching the use of intuition in daily life and as a modality for medical healing. She has published several books, is a featured lecturer on the topic of intuition, and is the founder of three schools: the Academy of Intuition Medicine® founded in 1984; Energy Medicine University, founded 2006; and the Academy of Intuition Medicine® Online, founded in 2017.  
[Kirk Hurford] Dr. McCartney, I know this sounds simple, but to begin with, what is intuition?  
[Francesca McCartney]
That was exactly the question I asked in 1976, and I am continuing to explore and expand upon that topic. Recent research shows that humans have more than 21 senses. Most people assume that we operate with only the five common senses. That belief was given to us by Aristotle and is long overdue for a revision. Those over the five senses are accessed via intuition.
The Oxford Dictionary defines intuition as “the faculty of knowing as if by instinct, without conscious reasoning.” But what does that mean? It is the sense of knowing or perceiving something without knowing exactly how you know. How does this work? Can we develop this ability in ourselves for decision-making and more? Yes!
Humans are wired from birth to receive inner- and outer-world information signals, but too often we ignore or don’t trust our subtle intuitive perceptions. The world is constantly communicating with us and the secret is learning to pay attention.
We are so much more than our five common senses, and learning to listen to, trust, and act upon your intuition develops super-consciousness, and with practice, becomes the normal way you live in your body and operate in the world.
We experience intuition in many perfectly ordinary, everyday ways. Intuition is the sudden “Aha!” that seemingly comes from nowhere after wracking your brain for an analytical solution that refuses to come-the light bulb over your head. Intuition is the flash of insight that reveals where your lost keys are. Intuition is the picture of someone in your head just before they call on the phone or walk into your office. Intuition is that feeling in your gut when something is not right, or someone is lying. Intuition is that inner knowing, so often drowned out by other, more insistent noises, that warns or advises us, and to which we often say (after the fact), “If only I had listened …”  
[KH] Listened to what?  
[FM] Intuition has location signal points within your body. Intuition is a learned language of interpreting those signals-just as a child learns how to decipher signal language from sight, smell, sound, touch, and taste. Each of the five com­mon senses has a receptor location that delivers signals to the nervous system and the brain for decoding and informing. The language of intuition operates in the same way.
In business, and in life, operating with a wide perspective of information yields the best outcome in the decision-making process. Five points of perception is a lim­ited range of information and often is filtered through bias from conditioned data entry. An excellent starting place to stimulate stronger intuitive language signals is to listen to your first hit, go with your hunch, trust your gut feeling. The more you listen, trust, and follow through with your hits and hunches the stronger the sig­nal wiring in the nervous system becomes, whereupon your decisions are memory imprinted in your brain, which develops a cognitive intuitive language.  
[KH]
When we say cognitive bias, we’re referring to a personal perspective, right? How is this different from intuition?  
[FM]
Cognitive bias is a language of personal perspective that for the five-sense person is developed from a limited perspective of the five senses. Western-minded people lean toward using analysis and rote educational sources for deductive decision-making. This system of analytical decision-making does not recognize the larger menu of possible choices available with the expanded human sense of intuition, and therein is a limited decision-making process. Decisions made in a box rather than inspirational choices streaming from outside of the box-where intuition, inspira­tion, and invention operate.
Limited perception developed as a survival mechanism as our body is bom­barded by two million bits of information every minute. The common senses and analytical mind act as a filter. If we were unable to filter out most of these bits, we would go mad in one second. We use our filters-the purpose of which was to weed out information irrelevant to our species-for the task: to lock into those objectifi­cations alone which are in tune with cultural, informational, and survival purposes.  
To survive with a semblance of sanity, we need some sort of filters to pick out those events, interactions, or relationships that we want or need to focus on. This doesn’t mean that we should always keep filters in place or use them for purposes other than they were originally intended. Filters require intentional management. If properly handled, filters can both isolate the objects that we need to focus on and reveal their relationship with other objects and the whole. They can be both-like two sides of a coin.  
Intuitively sourced information does not pass through the same perceptual fil­ters that process analytical information. The sense of sight, for example, gathers five points of data through the rods and cones in the eyes, travels through a decoding filter in the optic nerve that chooses three of the five data points based on the most common memory-that is the memory pattern that has the most charge stored in the brain and delivers a composite image to the brain built on that three of five choice of repeated experience.
This creates visual image perception based on repeated data and most likely probabilities and excludes new data/new perception as a primary choice for decision-making. These filters become so internalized and automated that alternative perspectives, such as intuitive sensing, are not even rec­ognized. This mostly unconscious control mechanism obstructs the ability to think outside of the box, thus limiting new knowledge, inspiration, and the “quick hit.”
Historical and cultural contexts also influence perception and create bias. A Coke bottle dropped from an airplane into a society of bushmen in South Africa’s Kalahari Desert in the movie The Gods Must Be Crazy is seen as many things, but never as a container for carbonated beverages. It has been reported that some pre-Columbian Native Americans could not see the large sailing vessels of the first European explorers to approach their shores because they had no cultural prec­edent for such an event or object, and no appropriate words in their vocabulary to describe it. Thus, in their reality, such things simply did not exist. Even the “objec­tive” cognitive act of seeing in the material world requires a synergy of senses.
Genius is often described as highly creative, clever, and brilliant-characteris­tics of a person who has access to knowledge and data beyond the norm-which is a definition that also applies to intuition.  
[KH]
So, you’re saying intuitive information is from outside the box, and cognitive bias is an attempt to restrict information from inside the box?  
[FM]
In the broadest sense, yes. Information is more than just facts. Facts also have context. Context is a powerful influence on how we perceive facts. Context is what gives facts meaning. For example, you might be reading a story about animals on a farm and, at some point in events, you realize that there is a bigger story being told (Orwell, 1945). As the context changes, so does your perception of the facts. The pig is no longer a pig. Intuition allows for a richer context. Cognitive bias comes from a failure to perceive and appreciate the contextual information that comes from our extra-normal senses.

Dr. Francesca McCartney in PGS – Intuition is your Personal Guidance System

 

Some of the questions I’m asked ~

With the opening of my film now in the US to sell-out screenings, I’ve been doing Q&As after the movie, but also lots of media interviews. And I thought I would share with you some of the more interesting questions I’ve been asked, and how I’ve responded.

INTERVIEWER: Are intuition and common sense the same thing?

MY RESPONSE: Actually, they are the opposite thing. Common-sense comes from the rational self, not the intuitive self, and it’s based on past experience, logic, and often times tried and true accepted beliefs. Intuition isn’t based on past experience – it works outside of time and space, and it doesn’t draw from logic or the intellect. Common sense works to keep you safe, keep you contained, it has you doing what you’ve done in the past, or what others have done in the past. It’s limited to what’s gone before. Intuition is limitless. It asks that you follow paths you’ve never followed before. It leads to true discovery, to originality, to adventure. Common sense contracts you. Intuition expands you.

INTERVIEWER: Can intuition be used to harm someone, or can it harm yourself?

MY RESPONSE: Intuition can never be harmful, to you or to others. It comes from Source, from Spirit, and it can’t be used for anything other than love. It can’t be corrupted or manipulated into any kind of injurious act. If someone gets “messages” that ask you to harm someone else, or even think harmful thoughts, then that’s not intuition. It’s an aspect of your being that it rooted in the “I,” or the ego. Intuition exists outside of ego, and only ever works in the Light. 

INTERVIEWER: How do you know that the “voice” that you hear is your intuition, and not just some random thought/voice that you’ve made up yourself?

MY RESPONSE: Intuition leaves you with no doubt. It is immediate, and it’s messaging is unambiguous. And it’s accompanied by a sense of calm, and knowing. Your ego-voice leaves you in doubt, in confusion, and it’s often wrapped in fear. Your intuition voice is the antithesis of fear. The purpose of fear is to create more fear, as Paul Selig’s Guides say. The purpose of intuition is to keep you healthy and safe, so that you can fulfil your true purpose in life.

INTERVIEWER: Isn’t intuition just another word for instinct?

MY RESPONSE: No, they are totally different. The two words are not interchangeable. Instinct is primitive, it’s animalistic, it’s a survival mechanism that is body based. It’s a function of the body. Intuition is timeless, limitless, it’s a divine messaging service and it’s a function of the soul.

INTERVIEWER: In your film you never talk about meditation as being a way to access your intuition. Why not?

MY RESPONSE: Because I didn’t want to scare people off. You don’t need to meditate to access your intuition. You can access your intuition standing in the shower or having a bath, or walking along a beach or swimming, or hiking in the woods. You don’t need to sit crossed legged in a cave for hours chanting Om and clutching a crystal to become intuitive. The concept of meditation is terrifying for many people – particularly men – and I want the film to encourage men to become more intuitive. 

These are just some of the questions I get asked. I don’t set myself up as an expert on this stuff by any means, but after 18 years reading and researching and trying to figure out what that voice was that saved my life, I have come to certain conclusions that make sense to me. And my job, as I see it, is to communicate that as wide as possible.

 

Announcing release of PGS the Movie – 4:44!

I’m thrilled to announce the release date of my movie PGS – Intuition is your Personal Guidance System.

It will be at 4:44pm on the 4th of April next year – 4:44 @ 4/4.

We’re calling it our 444 release!

For those of you familiar with this blog, 444 has been a very powerful number for this film. I had a prophetic dream nearly three years ago now which prompted me to make the film – and I woke up out of that dream at 4:44am.

I thought at the time that this seemed strange, to wake up from such a powerful dream at 4:44, so I Googled: What does 444 mean? Here is what I read:

444 asks that you pay attention to your intuition and inner-wisdom as your connection with your angels and the angelic realm is very strong at this time. You are encouraged to continue on your current path as your drive and determination will lead to success and fulfilment.

Angel Number 444 is a message that the angels and Archangels are with you, encouraging and guiding you. They are offering you positive energies, inner-strength and support to enable you to get the work done that you need to. They know and understand that you have been toiling diligently towards your goals, and encourage you to continue on your current path to achieve the success and results you desire. Use your strong connection with the angelic realm to your benefit and be open to their promptings and messages. Listen to your intuition and follow its guidance.

Basically, at that moment I had to make a decision as to whether I believed this stuff or not – and I decided to believe it, and act. And so that morning I booked flights to go to India to start filming.

In other words, 444 prompted me to make the film.

Here is the original blog that I wrote at the time:
https://pgstheway.com/2014/07/07/today-i-woke-up-at-444/

So we’ll be releasing off our own platform on Video on Demand – and we’ll probably have an “event” red carpet theatrical premiere in San Francisco to coincide with the release.

We’ll follow up with Cinema on Demand screenings in the US, Canada, UK, Australia, and New Zealand. Other territories will follow.

Soon we’ll be launching our marketing campaign – we’re giving ourselves nearly 12 months to market the film.

There will be a book of the film available on release as well.

We’re all very excited. The film is still in post production but looking fantastic. Very powerful, very engaging – the first film to really show you how intuition works, and how you can use it to lead a more fulfilling life.

 

Intuition – 10 things intuitive people do…

I don’t usually reprint stuff from other media. The only thing I reblog is Steve McCurry’s photographs.

But I read this article in Huffington Post just now, and I felt I should put it up here because it’s exactly what PGS is about.

PGS stands for Personal Guidance System. Later this year I will be making a film about how intuition is your Personal Guidance System. What’s said in this article is consistent with my beliefs on PGS.

Take a read… and thank you to the Huffington Post.

10 Things Highly Intuitive People Do Differently

Main Entry Image

Intuition is challenging to define, despite the huge role it plays in our everyday lives. Steve Jobs called it, for instance, “more powerful than intellect.” But however we put it into words, we all, well, intuitively know just what it is.

Pretty much everyone has experienced a gut feeling — that unconscious reasoning that propels us to do something without telling us why or how. But the nature of intuition has long eluded us, and has inspired centuries’ worth of research and inquiry in the fields of philosophy and psychology.

“I define intuition as the subtle knowing without ever having any idea why you know it,” Sophy Burnham, bestselling author of The Art of Intuition, tells The Huffington Post. “It’s different from thinking, it’s different from logic or analysis … It’s a knowing without knowing.”

Our intuition is always there, whether we’re aware of it or not. As HuffPost President and Editor-in-Chief Arianna Huffington puts it in her upcoming book Thrive:

Even when we’re not at a fork in the road, wondering what to do and trying to hear that inner voice, our intuition is always there, always reading the situation, always trying to steer us the right way. But can we hear it? Are we paying attention? Are we living a life that keeps the pathway to our intuition unblocked? Feeding and nurturing our intuition, and living a life in which we can make use of its wisdom, is one key way to thrive, at work and in life.

Cognitive science is beginning to demystify the strong but sometimes inexplicable presence of unconscious reasoning in our lives and thought. Often dismissed as unscientific because of its connections to the psychic and paranormal, intuition isn’t just a bunch of hoo-ha about our “Spidey senses” — the U.S. military is even investigating the power of intuition, which has helped troops to make quick judgments during combat that ended up saving lives.

“There is a growing body of anecdotal evidence, combined with solid research efforts, that suggests intuition is a critical aspect of how we humans interact with our environment and how, ultimately, we make many of our decisions,” Ivy Estabrooke, a program manager at the Office of Naval Research, told the New York Times in 2012.

Here are 10 things that people in touch with their intuition do differently.

They listen to that inner voice.

introspection“It’s very easy to dismiss intuition,” says Burnham. “But it’s a great gift that needs to be noticed.”

The No. 1 thing that distinguishes intuitive people is that they listen to, rather than ignore, the guidance of their intuitions and gut feelings.

“Everybody is connected to their intuition, but some people don’t pay attention to it as intuition,” Burnham say. “I have yet to meet a successful businessman that didn’t say, ‘I don’t know why I did that, it was just a hunch.'”

In order to make our best decisions, we need a balance of intuition — which serves to bridge the gap between instinct and reasoning — and rational thinking, according to Francis Cholle, author of The Intuitive Compass. But the cultural bias against following one’s instinct or intuition often leads to disregarding our hunches — to our own detriment.

“We don’t have to reject scientific logic in order to benefit from instinct,” says Cholle. “We can honor and call upon all of these tools, and we can seek balance. And by seeking this balance we will finally bring all of the resources of our brain into action.”

They take time for solitude.

intuitionIf you want to get in touch with your intuition, a little time alone may be the most effective way. Just as solitude can help give rise to creative thinking, it can also help us connect to our deepest inner wisdom.

Intuitive people are often introverted, according to Burnham. But whether you’re an introvert or not, taking time for solitude can help you engage in deeper thought and reconnect with yourself.

“You have to be able to have a little bit of solitude; a little bit of silence,” she says. “In the middle of craziness … you can’t recognize [intuition] above all of the noise of everyday life.”

They create.

solitude“Creativity does its best work when it functions intuitively,” writes researcher and author Carla Woolf.

In fact, creative people are highly intuitive, explains Burnham, and just as you can increase your creativity through practice, you can boost your intuition. In fact, practicing one may build up the other.

They practice mindfulness.

Meditation and other mindfulness practices can be an excellent way to tap into your intuition. As the Search Inside Yourself Leadership Institute explains, “Mindfulness can help you filter out mental chatter, weigh your options objectively, tune into your intuition and ultimately make a decision that you can stand behind completely.”

Mindfulness can also connect you to your intuition by boosting self-knowledge. A 2013 study published in the journal Perspectives on Psychological Science showed that mindfulness — defined as “paying attention to one’s current experience in a non-judgmental way” — may help us to better understand our own personalities. And as Arianna Huffington notes in Thrive, increased intuition, compassion, creativity and peace are all wonderful side effects of meditating.

They observe everything.

look out window“The first thing to do is notice — keep a little journal, and notice when odd things happen,” Burnham says. You’ll gain a keen sense for how often coincidences, surprising connections and on-the-dot intuitions occur in your daily life — in other words, you’ll start to tap into your intuition.

They listen to their bodies.

Intuitive people learn to tune into their bodies and heed their “gut feelings.”

If you’ve ever started feeling sick to your stomach when you knew something was wrong but couldn’t put your finger on what, you understand that intuitions can cause a physical sensation in the body. Our gut feelings are called gut feelings for a reason — research suggests that emotion and intuition are very much rooted in the “second brain” in the gut.

They connect deeply with others.

empathyMind reading may seem like the stuff of fantasy and pseudo-science, but it’s actually something we do everyday. It’s called empathic accuracy, a term in psychology that refers to the “seemingly magical ability to map someone’s mental terrain from their words, emotions and body language,” according to Psychology Today.

“When you see a spider crawling up someone’s leg, you feel a creepy sensation,”Marcia Reynolds writes in Psychology Today. “Similarly, when you observe someone reach out to a friend and they are pushed away, your brain registers the sensation of rejection. When you watch your team win or a couple embrace on television, you feel their emotions as if you are there. Social emotions like guilt, shame, pride, embarrassment, disgust and lust can all be experienced by watching others.”

Tuning into your own emotions, and spending time both observing and listening to others face-to-face can help boost your powers of empathy, says Reynolds.

They pay attention to their dreams.

dreamingBurnham recommends paying attention to your dreams as a way to get in touch with your mind’s unconscious thinking processes. Both dreams and intuition spring from the unconscious, so you can begin to tap into this part of your mind by paying attention to your dreams.

“At night, when you’re dreaming, you’re receiving information from the unconscious or intuitive part of your brain,” says Burnham. “If you’re attuned to your dreams, you can get a lot of information about how to live your life.”

They enjoy plenty of down time.

dream studiesFew things stifle intuition as easily as constant busyness, multitasking, connectivity to digital devices and stress and burnout. According to Huffington, we always have an intuitive sense about the people in our lives — on a deep level, we know the good ones from the “flatterers and dissemblers” — but we’re not always awake enough to our intuition to acknowledge the difference to ourselves. The problem is that we’re simply too busy.

“We always get warnings from our heart and our intuition when they appear,” she writes in Thrive. “But we are often too busy to notice.”

They mindfully let go of negative emotions.

Strong emotions — particularly negative ones — can cloud our intuition. Many of us know that we feel out of sorts or “not ourselves” when we’re upset, and it may be because we’re disconnected from our intuition.

“When you are very depressed, you may find your intuition fails,” says Burnham. “When you’re angry or in a heightened emotional state … your intuition [can] fail you completely.”

The evidence isn’t just anecdotal: A 2013 study published in the journal Psychological Science showed that being in a positive mood boosted the ability to make intuitive judgements in a word game.

That’s not to say that intuitive people never get upset — but your intuition will fare better if you’re able to mindfully accept and let go of negative emotions for the most part, rather than suppressing or dwelling on them.