Sunday, February 24, 2013

Intuition, Uncertainty, and Donuts

Have you ever had a magical fluffy donut? You know those donuts that are filled with air and lovely doughy goodness? Donuts are a tricky little sort to actually make. They are a little bit of science, but mostly they are made of keen observation and intuition. Turns out intuition is really just all the information you’ve gathered from previous situations and your brain processing that information to give you a good idea of what may happen. 

When I was in my early twenties I worked for a short time as a baker. The baking process is incredible. It’s a magical blend of chemistry, intuition, and time. You have to measure things correctly, most ingredients are actually weighed to the gram and that process should not be left to fate. You simply follow the directions and go. However, the rest of baking is a little more tricky. The final steps of baking require a lot of faith in the process and your intuition. I’ll come back to the baking part in a minute, but first lets talk more about intuition.

I’ve been learning a lot about intuition lately. How to listen to mine. How to trust it. I’ve had many events that give me confirmation to trust my intuition. However, when it comes to love it gets a bit more tricky. We can’t be good at everything. And this is an area I struggle in multiple ways. However, trusting my intuition isn’t a place where I usually falter, so it can be a bit confusing for me.

Real quick, lets define intuition according to Brene Brown.

“intuition is not a single way of knowing- it's our ability to hold space for uncertainty and our willingness to trust the many ways we've developed knowledge and insight, including instinct, experience, faith
and reason.”

My friend J and I were talking about how we just want to KNOW what’s going to happen with our love lives. We both feel like really good things are around the corner, our intuition is speaking loads to us. However, we have no confirmation of what is to come. After all, these are situations where another person is involved.This is where we both get hung up. 

We get hung up on certainty. 

Brene Brown, when writing about intuition says “In my research, I found that what silences our intuitive voice is our need for certainty. Most of us are not very good at not knowing. We like sure things and guarantees so much that we don't pay attention of the outcomes of brain's matching process.” 

The very thing that we want, to trust our intuition, is also the thing that silences it? Our need to know exactly when, where or how can ruin the whole intuitive process. 

J and I were talking about talking about our intuition and the future. I told her how sometimes I feel like my intuition is telling me one thing, but I don’t want to act on it. And I don’t know why I don’t want to act on it, except sometimes we just need more information. 

Sometimes we need to wait for a few other things to come together. We find out information that can cause you to change direction. Changing directions is completely okay, because that’s what your intuition has lead you to.

...Another example of how our need for certainty sabotages our
intuition is when we ignore our gut's warnings to slow down, gather
more information, or reality-check our expectations.”

Let’s get back to baking. When you work in a professional bakery you learn about this nifty little contraption called a proofer. The proofer is basically a big, warm humidified box. The proofer is the last step before baking. The trick of the proofer is this. 

There is not a set time. 

There’s an idea, but it’s all about looking at your dough and knowing when it’s ready, it’s all about your intuition. It's about remember what it looked like the last time you took it out of the proofer and baked it, how it worked out. Your brain does this same thing in life and love. It remembers the situation from last time and tries to tell you.

That time in the proofer is weird, if you take your stuff out too early, it won’t be as fluffy, too late and it gets all mushy. You can also sometimes skip the proofer, but let me tell you, it won’t taste as good. It’s a little bit of what I like to call baking voodoo.

So when J I were talking about all this waiting we feel like we have to do and how impatient we are. I told her about the proofer. I told her about how I see this waiting time just like that dough. We can’t be certain, we just have to wait for that magical moment when we know. 

Even if it forces us to swallow big gulps of fear pouring in from the unknown. 

We could try and make it happen earlier, but it wouldn’t be right. When we relinquish our need for certainty and trust and honor our intuition we can relax in knowing that our time for true love will come. 

Cheers to uncertainty. 

~ x ~