The Art of Intuition: Interview with Sophy Burnham, Part Two

Here is the second part of the magical interview with, Sophy Burnham author of, The Art of Intuition.

Check out the review of, The Art of Intuition!

Shaheen: We are receiving conflicting messages. We are being told to be independent, self-reliant, and separated. Yet we want comfort from all the things happening in the world. Some people think they are being brave by disconnecting, but really they are cutting off source. But people are beginning to ask questions. They are wanting more. Spirituality is rising.

Sophy: I want to say one more thing about the fear, Shaheen. I think that fear is a part of the human condition, anxiety is a part of us and the way to conquer it, if I can use that term, is to not resist it, but to go very deeply into it. What does it feel like in my body? Go physically into the fear. And try to feel it more and more deeply. And the more you do that, the more it disappears.

That’s another aspect of how we are not taught to trust the language of our hearts. Here comes fear, it is a gift that is being given to us. What is it about? Can I look at this gift, or do I want to run away? Or do I want to get out my Glock pistol and shoot the fear dead. But if we can just face it, it vanishes. And it will tell us something very important if we allow it to. And that’s a little piece of what intuition does. Intuition tells us things that are really important.

Shaheen: So where do you feel like that comes from? How do you know what is a creative hit, what is imagination, what is intuition? Are they the same thing? Are they different things?

Sophy: Well, first let’s make some definitions. Creativity is the basic nature of the healthy person. And there are many, many forms of creativity. You could be building a garden or playing the piano or drawing a picture or writing a book or doing a flower arrangement or raising your children or cooking a wonderful meal. All of those things are aspects of creativity. And they come out of the central life force. And when we’re healthy, you cannot help but be creative. Now when you’re recovering from surgery, when you’re in chronic pain, number ten pain, you cannot be creative, because you don’t have the resources. And this is why I add this caveat of health. But even there someone like Proust, who was very, very ill most of his life, was intensively creative.

So now going to the other two things, imagination and intuition. I think they’re slightly different, and I’d be interested in what you think. I can go into daydreams and in my imagination I can have the most wonderful life. I can make things happen. I can have lovers adore me who actually in real life don’t. And I can have tons of money and spend it the way I want in my imagination. But it’s not the same as having an intuitive gut feeling, a hunch, the hair rising on my arm with information that is coming to me not through the senses necessarily, but through some mysterious heart. I keep going back to the idea that we know this with our spiritual eye or we know it with our emotional eye. We don’t know it with our logical and analytical mind. And so you see someone enter the door and you think, boy, I don’t want anything to do with him. This is not your imagination. This is information that has come to you.

And creativity uses both intuition and imagination. They’re wonderful gifts and all three of these qualities that you name, all three are enhanced and increased by meditation, by just sitting quietly and breathing. And allow a thought to rise up in your mind and fall away. If we first, before meditating, send out a request, ask for the solution to a problem, we will get it in the meditation. Just as if you ask for the solution, go to sleep on a problem, you say, and in the morning you’ll know the solution, because the subconscious mind knows everything. And it will present it to us. And many, many of the things that I write I find the solutions in…to the creative process, if I’m blocked, I find it more in meditation than by sleeping on it. Give it to the subconscious mind. Turn it over and walk away and let the divine center of my being bring it up out of the deep depths of this ocean of information. And it will present itself to me.

Shaheen: I’m fascinated by the concept of creativity being something that you do as a healthy human. It seems like intuition and imagination are the channels that bring creativity to life.

Sophy: I am so struck by the quotations in my chapter on creativity in The Art of Institution that I’m sure of even what page they’re on, but Mozart being quoted and Tchaikovsky and yes, it’s on page 59 of the hardcover of the book. And Tchaikovsky and then the playwright, Neil Simon, “I dip into a state, I don’t write consciously. It’s as if the muse sits on my shoulder.” And we all have this idea of being guided by something greater than ourselves. How did I ever write that? Or you look back at something that you wrote 20 years ago and you think, my God, I don’t even know that now, this is just amazing.

I loved what Mozart said about how, if he can’t sleep, or if he’s traveling in a carriage, his ideas start to flow abundantly. Where they come from, he has no idea and he can’t force them. “Nor do I hear in my imagination a part successively, but I hear them as it were all at once. What a delight this is I cannot tell.” I have often found that, for me, creativity is enhanced if I am rocking in a train or on an airplane and if I can give myself a pad of paper at that time I can write brilliantly, there’s something about the rocking motion that is very encouraging to the creativity. Anyway it’s something we all want. And when the muse goes away, it’s terrible. And sometimes, the muse goes away and then you’re left on your own.

Shaheen: That leads me to my next question, is there ever a time when you think that people should tap out of their creative channels or their imaginative channel or their intuition? Is there every a time when you almost should disconnect from that? And I know that there are experiences as someone who is very intuitive, who is very psychic, there are psychic experiences that people have, whether it be seeing things or picking up on too much.

Sophy: I don’t know about should. I can really only speak for myself and I find that I go through long periods sometimes of lying fallow in which nothing is engaging me. I do not want to be creative. I may at that time go and do other things. Things that I can’t do when I throw myself into writing a book and when I’m writing a book I don’t see my friends, you know, I’m completely absorbed in this creative project and not a good friend at all. And then there will come a period where I finish it and it’s like I’m woken up and I don’t want to be writing right then. I can’t just continue it that way, like Dumas, who, when he had finished writing The Three Musketeers, he drew a line midway across the page and he wrote The Count of Monte Cristo and continued writing on a new book. I can’t do that. I can’t do that. Now, he did have a whole host of researchers working for him and plotting and laying out the book so he knew what he was going to say next and he was writing on deadline and for money, and needed the money desperately for his addictive elements. So what I have discovered is in these periods when I’m lying fallow, I never know if I am lying fallow or if I will never write again. My kids…my kids tease me that I always say this, “Oh, I’m never going to write again.” “Oh, we’re heard that before, they say.” And in another few months, or in a year, there I am doing something again. But it always feels as if you never will.

You need to unplug. You need to go live. And get out of the state of readings and intuitives, of right-brained hemisphere; it’s too great…it’s too much for you. And then I start doing chess puzzles or writing or doing crossword puzzles and playing Scrabble and doing things that feed the left hemisphere, the logical, analytical part, because I’ve just gone too far along the other side.

And I think that’s helpful, I think that’s good. We’re supposed to use all of our gifts.

Shaheen: I think that’s a great point though, because some people go to one extreme or the other.

Sophy: And it’s all about balance, it’s all about balance. If you’re too intuitive, you’re going to start imagining things. And then…

Shaheen: That’s interesting. That’s a really great way to understand the difference between intuition and imagination.

Sophy: And yet, on the other hand, I’m not knocking intuition at all. Whether it comes with the external voice or whether it comes with the hair rising on your arm or your gut roiling or your heart beating faster, this is information that is being given to you. And it’s very meaningful; you have to pay attention to it. I know some people who are so unintuitive that they have to practice being intuitive. They are so smart; they are such Mensa scholar, scientific, mathematical types that they have almost no intuition. And they’re very hard to be around because they’re not sensing anything. They can come into a room and not have any idea the energy field. They’ll go out of a party and not have any idea that the host and hostess are having a quarrel at that moment and splitting up and you think, how could you not have picked up this information energetically. But they’re so closed, or narcissistic, that they can’t get it.

But it’s all balance. Because the other person who is so intuitive has trouble, the trouble with that is they can’t separate their feelings from the feelings that they’re picking up from other people. And therefore the boundaries become so merged and permeable that they don’t know what is there’s and what belongs to someone else. And they’re constantly being depressed or elated or dismayed or fearful without knowing that they’re just picking it up from people around them.

Shaheen: Yeah, that is really a good point; I think that speaks to the idea of fear.

Sophy: It really comes back to that fear doesn’t it. I was talking about how we pick the fear from the television or the newspapers or whatever. But it’s all around us and if you’re intuitive, you’re picking it up from them. And enhancing it, because if you pick it up and they are picking it up, you’ve just exponentially increased the fear level in that room by not being able to say, oh, this is their fear, well, I can counter balance it with my trust, with my calmer energy. It’s all about energy, isn’t it, Shaheen?

Shaheen: It is, it truly is about energy.

About Sophy:

Sophy Burnham is the author of twelve books, eight plays, and numerous essays, articles, profiles, and pieces of investigative journalism. Her books have appeared on the New York Times, Washington Post, and Publishers Weekly bestseller lists, and she has appeared on such esteemed television shows as Oprah, Larry King Live, The Today Show, and Good Morning America. Burnham currently divides her time between Washington, D.C. and Taos, New Mexico.

© Shaheen Miro 2013

 

The Art of Intuition: Interview with Sophy Burnham, Part One

Last year I happened upon a book that really struck a chord with me. I reached out to the author wanting to know more! Luckily she agreed! So I had the pleasure of speaking to author, Sophy Burnham about her book, The Art of Intuition. What a fascinating interview it was! Sophy is such a delightful and generous person and I believe we can all benefit from her timely information.

This is part one of the interview. I hope you enjoy her wisdom and candor. Check out the review of, The Art of Intuition!

 

The Interview: 

SB:        

Okay. I’m ready for you.

SM:        

Perfect. So when I read your book, I thought it was such an amazing piece. I found, The Art of Intuition by accident. I was in the library and I was actually working on another writing project. One of the striking was that you approached it in a way that had a lot of scientific studies that explained and supported intuition but you weren’t trying to convince anyone that that was all that intuition is. And I thought that was so brilliant.

SB:   

Actually, we don’t have any idea what it is.

SM:    

Exactly. But some people want to explain it in a scientific sense and let it be purely that. And other people think of it in this very mystical, magical sort of way. I thought you took the middle ground and you gave bits and pieces to both groups. The other thing that resonated with me is the idea of intuition and creativity are connected to each other.

SB:      

Oh, because they’re intimately linked, yeah.

SM:   

I want to begin with, why do you feel that people have forgotten how to tap into their intuitive selves?

SB:    

You mentioned this in your first question to me. Is it more a matter of remembering was the way you put it. And in my experience, it’s not always remembering because a lot of the time I get information I didn’t know about at all. So I couldn’t possibly be remembering something. It’s a totally new moment, as it were.

Now, I did have an experience the other day that was just remembering. But I had it so precisely that I think, there it is, there’s my higher teacher, my guide, giving me information. And it was very simple. I’ve had some surgery and when I came back from the hospital, I was very, very, very ill. And I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t know if vomiting was just part of what happens at this phase and I couldn’t reach anybody and I didn’t want go rushing back to the hospital. And I remembered that about nine months earlier, I had gotten in the mail a little card which gave me the name of a nurse…practicing nurse on duty 24 hours a day, seven days a week, call this number. I remembered that out of the blue when I had just sent up this little prayer, what do I do. And then, even more remarkable, I went in my office and I put my hands on it immediately. Which is not the way my filing system works. And she was fantastic. I got this woman in Ohio who listened to my symptoms and said get an ambulance and get to an emergency room immediately. And eventually that’s exactly what I did do.

Now, that was a remembering in a way, but it came with such suddenness on the part after having sent up this little heart message, help, what do I do. Maybe the intuition was merely remembering. For me, it has the sense of an angel, or my higher self, or that spark of the divine that we all have, coming to the fore and saying, get that piece of paper, call that person.

SM:        

I have learned that there are symbolic things sort of looming and floating and presenting themselves to us in everyday life and we have to learn to see that string, that thread, that kind of pulls them all together.

SB:

Absolutely. And then you can enhance this ability. Meditation is the most obvious. Turn off the television, turn off the iPad, stop playing with your Smart Phone and go take a walk in the woods and you will know things that you will never get on the internet. And you’ll know how to solve your problems. But we have to be alone to do it. You have to take the dare of being in solitude at least for a little while and be comfortable with yourself.

I’m a big believer in the divine nature of human beings and I have to say, Shaheen, that after this latest Colorado massacre, it shakes me to the core. But I know that we have within us the spark of the divine. And that we have all of the God-given abilities to know everything and to be able to solve the problems if we can just trust ourselves enough to do it. Now it might take a little while to get there, and some people are better at it than others. Not everyone is a medium. Not everyone is able to give someone a reading. But I have certainly trained many people to do it, or trained is the wrong word. Opened them up to discover, one, I can do this, look at that. How did I know all of this about this total stranger? Because it’s part of our innate nature to know this information.

SM:        

That’s a powerful thing to be aware of. In an interview you said people are more afraid now than they have been in the past twenty years. Do you feel this is because people are not connected to their intuition? Or for instance, this massacre, do you think people are serving a higher purpose?

SB:        

You know, it’s such an interesting question. It’s a really important question. I don’t know if people are more afraid now than they ever were. I know that we are blasted with information. We are a very dysfunctional society at the moment, in part because everything is slamming us with terrifying information. If you read the newspapers, if you turn on the radio, if you turn on the television, it’s all bad news and it’s all being delivered at high scream velocity. And everything has the same quality as everything else, so they’ll say, there are more car crashes than ever before because more people are driving cars. This is a terrible thing and we have to… The next moment they’re saying, just in the same breathless way, the next horrible thing you have to be afraid of.

Everything has high-pitched terror in it and it is a deliberate function of the media to make the reader or that listener uncomfortable enough so that they want something of comfort. And they will rush to buy something or eat something or make a phone call or pay some money to this particular non-profit. Everything is about grabbing our attention and the way they do it is through fear. And then I think, you know what? People were afraid from the beginning of time. You have only to look at the Bible to realize how frightened people were in 3000 B.C. There would not be the need for the Twenty-third Psalm if people were not frightened.

So maybe we just recognize somehow when we come down into this plane of existence, on this pretty little, and very strange, planet, we’ve lost our connection to the divine and we’re aware of being alone and frightened. Maybe that’s part of the human condition unless you connect with your own inner heart, or with God, or with the divine in whatever way you reach it. This is why I say a walk in the woods is so good for you. There you are in God’s world instead of the human, man-made world. And you unhook for a few moments and you realize, you know what? Everything’s okay. And things work out for the okay. They don’t always work out the way I want, but they often work out better than I had imagined. And when I examine my life and I listen to the stories that other people are telling me, I can see in hindsight, always, how I’m being helped at every stage of the game.

In front of me everything is black. I am walking blindfolded and barefoot down a dirt road and I can only see my way by feeling the stones and dirt under my bare feet. So when I go off onto the gravel on the shoulder of the road, if I’m sensitive I move off the side way and get back into the center. If I’m not sensitive, I wander into the briars on the far shoulder and then I need a spiritual cattle prod to force me back into the road and I probably lunge too far over and throw myself into the briars on the far left-hand side, until I learn that I am being guided by silken reins and I don’t need the cattle prod anymore.

About Sophy:

Sophy Burnham is the author of twelve books, eight plays, and numerous essays, articles, profiles, and pieces of investigative journalism. Her books have appeared on the New York Times, Washington Post, and Publishers Weekly bestseller lists, and she has appeared on such esteemed television shows as Oprah, Larry King Live, The Today Show, and Good Morning America. Burnham currently divides her time between Washington, D.C. and Taos, New Mexico.

© Shaheen Miro 2013

Book Review: The Art of Intuition

I AM NOT A SCIENTIST, but I am convinced that the greater your empathy and the higher your spiritual development, the more intuitive experiences you will have, until such things become so ordinary that you hardly notice them anymore. No longer rare and dramatic, they fall like soft rain into your lives, brushing aside all logical consciousness.

-The Art of Intuition, by Sophy Burnham

I just finished a great book, The Art of Intuition, by Sophy Burnham, the best selling author of, A book of Angels. What a phenomenal book. I loved every second of it. I have never heard of Burnham before, but after reading this book I will have to read her others.

Have you ever wanted to know what it’s like to be Intuitive or to give a reading or to have any extrasensory experience? Then this book is for you. Story after story, the author gives us an up close and personal view of Intuition. She explains that she was once a skeptic, until there was too much evidence to disprove Intuition.

The Art of Intuition, isn’t just another collection of the run-of-the-mill stories and exercise you find in similar books. This book is a cohesive collection of stories, about the author’s personal experiences and the experiences of others who she has encountered. Along with exercises and techniques that have worked for her. She teaches you through recounting her own journey… which makes for a much more interesting read.

This book covers many areas of Intuition, Psychic Abilities, and Extrasensory Awareness. There is a chapter dedicated to Animal Communication. Burns talks extensively about energy and energy healing, chakras and the power of thoughts, saying, “It is one of the laws of the Universe that you don’t really have to do anything. Just notice what you want and watch it rush into your arms.” She even gives some fascinating information about Remote Viewing and PSI in chapter twelve.

Burnham does a great job of giving proof for what she believes.  She gave numerous scientific, psychological, metaphysical and health related studies to prove her points. And the most fascinating was in chapter three, Studies and Skeptics, in which she explained that studies show most human beings experience some physical sensation or change, a few seconds before an event takes place. The implication being that, even if we aren’t conscious of precognitive awareness, our bodies are.

The Art of Intuition, is a book for beginners and the seasoned alike. This book really instills the fact that, Intuition isn’t really something you learn, but something you remember. And Burnham gives many opportunities and angles for you to learn your own unique language to speak to the Universe. She explains, in order to develop Intuition, “You need the simplicity of the child-mind”. Stressing that the goal of developing Intuition, should really be the goal to become more spiritual because as you become more spiritual your Intuition can do nothing but grow and expand.

The number of authors and authorities in the field that she referenced was amazing, though at times it was a bit laborious to read all the research she collected, but it added to my list of books to read! I think this is a great plus for people who are healthy skeptics or who really want a well rounded view of the subject.

My favorite portion of the book has to be chapter sixteen and seventeen, Perceiving and Receiving, in which Burnham talks about giving readings for others, her own personal experience with it and some things to be mindful of when giving or getting a reading. Even as an Intuitive Reader, I love hearing other Readers talk about exactly how they do what they do and why. It’s a great walk-in-your-shoes sort of feeling and I find it extremely insightful.

Chapter sixteen and seventeen is a must read for anyone who is interested in a reading, but doesn’t really practice the metaphysical arts or Intuition. It gives a clear picture about the ethics and intricacies of readings. Her condor and honesty are brilliant about the process, saying, “Sometimes I feel I am merely dipping into the client’s history in some mysterious fashion that I don’t understand myself…giving a reading is an imprecise skill. You see through the glass darkly, snatching moments of illumination before the mist roll in and boundaries close.”

In Chapter seventeen, she shared some wonderful information hat every client should know, some of it is the stuff that you don’t know how to say to your clients and other bits of it you may have never thought of. Burnham stresses the need to be respectful as a client, to your reader. She also makes it clear that, “the trust or skepticism of a client also affects a psychic who is giving a reading”.

There was one paragraph that really bothered me and sort of un-did some of the good that I thought she had done. Burnham said, “Spirits, ghost, devas, pookas, and poltergeists–the superstition of it all! On one level I find these things revolting. Soon we’ll be back in pagan times, when every tree and stump and spring and rocky cliff was thought to harbor its own god.” Why would this revolt someone who wrote a book on Angels? I almost felt like she was trying to establish more credibility with the more skeptical readers. Do you feel that everything has a life force?

As an artist, student, reader and creative person, I crave new energy and new experiences and I love to get a first hand look at people’s lives and how they do what they do best. This book really gave me that. Burnham made Intuition seem easy, natural and second nature, all of which it is… and to see it through her eyes was very refreshing.

I would highly recommend this book. You will absolutely find many shining diamonds of wisdom and information. The Art of Intuition has wonderful rhythm and balance and pulls you straight through to the end. It gives you a great behind the scenes look at Intuition and I would even recommend it as a reference.

© Shaheen Miro 7/11/2012