Focusing Tip #792 – Felt sensing versus intuition

Focusing Tip #792 – Felt sensing versus intuition
April 6, 2022 Ann Weiser Cornell

Focusing Tip #792 – Felt sensing versus intuition

Do you wonder if Focusing is a kind of intuition? Read on…

Jenna writes:

What’s the difference between a felt sense and intuition? Or are they the same thing?

Dear Jenna:

What is intuition? Let’s say we define it as a kind of knowing that comes to us by non-logical means.

“How did you know your friend needed a phone call?” we might ask. “I don’t know, I just did.”

Often “intuition” refers to what we know implicitly, without having to think through all the steps. Like how a teacher with thirty years of experience knows how to quiet down a rebellious class of students. Or how a person who’s been cooking a favorite dish knows how much flour to add.

Intuition is a kind of knowing that we find ourselves acting on, without thinking or pausing.

If that’s what intuition is, then I would say that a felt sense is the opposite of intuition.

Felt sensing happens when you pause and deliberately ask, “What’s the feel of this?” In intuition, you don’t pause.

Imagine an artist painting a picture. The creative juices are flowing. The artist can feel just where and how to put the next stroke of paint. Skill, experience, and intuition.

But then the artist pauses. She isn’t sure what comes next. Perhaps the painting is finished, perhaps it is not. She pauses to get a sense of the painting that includes her vision and what is already here. That is a felt sense.

Felt sensing and intuition share that non-logical source. But in my opinion they are not the same. And we need both!


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