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  • Maura McCarley Torkildson

Being Clairsentient


I want to write about clairsentience today because I wish to send a shout out to the other clairsentients in the world: Begin to understand your gift so you can learn how to work with it! Clairsentience is my primary intuitive sense. In other words, I pick up feelings of those around me and I experience them in my body. It’s taken me a long time to figure it out, and to be honest, it took another clairsentient to point it out to me. “You are clairsentient,” she said. “And it can be the hardest intuitive sense to understand.” That was my opening to learn how to work with it. One of the difficulties of clairsentience is an existence filled with a constant swirl of feeling. We feel intensely all the time. Often others are overwhelmed by the intensity of our feeling too and want to shut us down. Some of us choose to shut down to cope. Our own feelings can be hard enough to handle if we don’t understand how to work with them. Imagine what it is like when you throw everyone else’s feelings into the mix. Oh how confusing that can be. And, add to it that we live in a feeling adverse culture, where the answer for feelings is stuffing them. No wonder life can be so difficult for the clairsentient among us. I have found it is helpful to understand the physical experience of my emotions. I start there. For instance, I experience shame as a burning brand of heat across my solar plexus. Understanding the physicality helps me discern the emotion I am experiencing. Next, I stick with it and feel the physical sensation while working to stay out of my story around it (I can’t bear this, this is bad, etc, etc). When I stick with the experience, the emotion moves through, as it was meant to. With this practice, I built emotional discernment and resilience which helps me sort out whether an emotion is mine or someone else’s. I can ask myself, “is there any reason I should be feeling this right now? Did something happen to bring on this emotion?” If the answer is no, my next question is, “is there someone in my vicinity that has a reason to experience this emotion?” The truth is, I may or may not be aware if someone has a reason, but it is still a good question to ask (and of course you can always ask them if it feels appropriate). By way of example, one day I suddenly started to feel the churning and sinking mix of fear and grief. In fact, I was consumed with it for a moment. I felt very confused because it didn’t make any sense and so I asked myself “what happened, why am I feeling this way?” At the time, there was another family member who had good reason to be experiencing those emotions. It suddenly dawned on me “oh, these are not my feelings; they are coming from ______(my family member).” Once I recognized what was going on, I was able to shift those feelings and re-direct into compassion for my family member and support them. One of the other difficulties of clairsentience (and emotions in general) is translation. I think this is true of any intuitive sense, but some are easier to translate than others. We get information coming in. To help make sense of it, we translate it into language (our story telling mind). I say this with caution, however, because the drive to understand can destroy some tender seeds that need cover to grow and language does limit experience. But if we want to share, we need to be able to convey information in a way that others can understand. For example, here, I am writing about my experience to help others find clarity and I do that through language. We can break the translation process down into three steps.

  • First you have to be aware of the information coming in (in this case emotional information), which includes discerning what the emotion is.

  • The next step is to understand where it is coming from - is it mine or does it belong to someone else?.

  • Finally, is it worth sharing and if so, how can I best share it (be descriptive and ask questions)

Keep in mind, forcing understanding generally works out poorly. It pays to be patient. Also, not all things need to be acted upon. We often get ourselves into more difficulty when we act too soon. When it comes to the realm of emotions and feeling, this is doubly true because we often act to relieve discomfort (of the emotion even when it is not ours), rather than through clarity of purpose. Don't seek to fix, seek to promote learning. I could write volumes here. What I will say for right now is that my clairsentience (now that I have learned to work with it) is a gift. Mining and understanding my feelings and the feelings of others has made me more resilient, a better writer and it serves my work with clients very well. With clients, I can hone in on the emotion through my own body and ask them about it. If it lands (I don’t get caught up in being right or wrong). I just share what I am feeling and ask if it is true for them. I then support their movement through it and enhance their learning. Clients have often told me, I didn’t understand what I was feeling until you named it. I love the power of that because it empowers my clients towards the transformation they seek. If you suspect that you are clairsentient, send me a note and let’s see if there is a way I can help you. May your roots grow strong and your branches wide!


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