In my favorite scene from Peter’s Jackson’s “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” (2012), the elf queen Galadriel (played by Cate Blanchette) uses her intuition to communicate silently with Gandolf (played by Ian Mckellen) while they are attending a meeting of Middle Earth elders. Their silent, intuitive hearing—or clairaudience—reminds me of what some of my grief coaching clients have described to me about communication with their relatives and friends who have died.
Intuition has been defined as the experience of “knowing without knowing what you know,” by psychologist Bruce Schneider, the founder of my coaching institute, the Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching (iPEC). Experiences of intuitive communication with ones deceased beloved are common, vary cross-culturally, and are explicitly learned. Here are several types of intuition reported in the ethnographic literature (what anthropologists write about the cultures they study). Some of these types of intuition have been shared with me by my own grief coaching clients who feel an on-going sense of connection with their deceased loved ones:
Clairvoyance-clear vision or seeing
Clairsentience- gut feeling
Claircognizance- inner sense
Albert Einstein had this to say about intuition: “The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind its faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.” Nonetheless, many of us who have lost loved ones do experience the gift of our intuitive minds through communication with our departed beloveds. According to my clients, and the ethnographic literature, intuitive communication with the deceased has been experienced through words, advice, humorous remarks, direction for locating a lost item, lyrics, scent, a sense of presence, and vivid dreams, to name only a few examples.
To be most receptive to your natural intuition, sit alone quietly and center or meditate for 15-20 minutes, 1-2 times a day. No matter how many thoughts you have flitting through your mind during this quiet time, the practice will serve to reduce your anxiety and the chatter in your head, also known as “monkey mind,” that will block your intuitive processes.
1) Beliefs that intuitive communication can occur with deceased relatives and loved ones are common around the world, vary cross-culturally, and are explicitly learned.
2) A certified grief and loss life coach can guide you with centering techniques that can quiet your thoughts and reduce anxiety.
1997 Day, Laura. Practical Intuition. New York: Broadway Books.
2011 Lenkeit, Roberta. Introducing Cultural Anthropology. New York:
2001 Robinson, Lyn. Divine Intuition. New York: Dorling-Kindersly
1979 Vaughn, Francis E. Awakening Intuition. New York: Doubleday.