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The Intuitive Power of Flow:
Living in Tune with the Creation Cycle

by Penney Peirce

"And if the earthly has forgotten you, say to the still earth: I flow.
To the rushing water speak: I am."
Rainer Maria Rilke

Intuition occurs naturally when you’re living in a fluid way, unattached to worries, shoulds and strong opinions. If you can shift directions easily, adapt to new situations as they arise, adjust your speed and forcefulness to meet the needs of the moment, initiate new movement and detach from outworn behaviors, your intuition can have a chance to become a permanent part of your life. Your soul and the creative force of life itself are so intertwined and blended, that at the deepest levels it’s hard to find a difference. Both you and the flow of life follow a simple, inherent pattern of movement, repeating certain basic rhythms consistently. Like your heartbeat, or your breath, or the rising and setting of the sun––your innate consciousness progresses through the phases of a wondrous cycle, creating then dissolving the myriad forms of your life, again and again. When you learn to identify this cycle and its phases, to feel it as it moves you, to join it fully and know when it’s shifting and where it’s likely to go next––your intuition will never be blocked. Yet, when you forget to align yourself with this current of consciousness, you may try to move across the flow or even backwards, forcing your way upstream. Every time you do, you’ll lose your intuitive connection.

The Intuitive Way


If you pay close attention, you’ll notice that you oscillate constantly back and forth between two worlds, or two points of view. One minute you’ll be aware of solid objects, the next, of empty space. Your attention will be absorbed entirely with a physical task, then by a period of absent-mindedness and distraction. You’ll feel clear, loving and superconscious one moment, and the next you’ll be preoccupied with anxiety and the "yes, but’s" of the subconscious mind. We constantly descend into the physical world, then ascend back into the "heavens." We materialize and dematerialize, manifest and dissolve, incarnate and become discarnate, involve and evolve, get fascinated and get bored.

When your soul’s consciousness comes in and "lands," you’ll suddenly become aware of your body and individuality. When it lets go and moves back up and out again, you’ll remember how interconnected you are with all of life and the universe. We travel out into the higher reaches of our soul’s superconscious awareness every night when we go to sleep. We "materialize" again each morning. Have you ever "spaced out" while you were driving on the freeway and suddenly "come to" just as your exit appeared?

Your soul descends, or drops down in vibration constantly, giving you the experience of being "down to earth" or "grounding an idea." Have you ever had the experience of "showing up" in the midst of a situation that felt like a surrealistic dream, and thought "How did I get here?" Or perhaps you’ve been "seized with an idea" that you felt you had to take immediate action on, or maybe you had an aha! where an abstract idea suddenly made sense. If so, you’ve experienced a mini-cycle of your soul’s descent.

On the other hand, you don’t have to wait for the day of your death or enlightenment to ascend to the heavens. Your soul also ascends, or moves upward in vibration, constantly. Every time you relax or lose concentration, every time you get bored with an activity or daydream, your soul is expanding into the superconscious realms to reconnect with the big picture, to get new energy and new information. Every time you stretch your attention to sense the possibilities in something, or to feel the future or the past, your awareness increases its scope. Do you pause before you speak? Take catnaps? Meditate? Each pause is a mini-ascension.

So, your basic awareness is continually moving. In and out, up and down, appearing and disappearing––your soul rocks itself the same way we rock our babies. Moving back and forth between the superconscious realm of spirit and the subconscious realm of the body, checking first one perspective, then the other. We rock into clarity, then confusion; into motivation, then apathy; into specific goal-orientation, then expansive overviews. We wake, we sleep; we inhale and exhale. Through this ongoing rhythm, we’re remembering the two extremes of our nature, alternatingly, constantly. And through this cyclical oscillation, eventually, we integrate our spirit with our personality. Think of your consciousness as rocking out into the superconscious realm to obtain higher perspective and a vision for your next period of self expression, to set up the far-reaching blueprints for events that will manifest in the near future. Then it rocks back into the physical and subconscious realm to take action and manifest the vision, one task at a time. At the end of each task, it rocks back out to check with the collective consciousness to see if there are any minor revisions to the "plan."

Do you ever have a problem with stress and overwhelm, or have you suffered from panic attacks, manic/depression or chronic fatigue syndrome? Do you sometimes feel you don’t have enough time, or space, to accomplish the inordinate amount of work you need to do? If so, your subconscious mind is probably in survival mode, trying to please other people, trying not to fail, trying to just hold its ground. One of my clients, Rita, was a stock broker specializing in the high-stress world of options trading. She came to me at a point of physical and mental breakdown, needing desperately to know "how to keep up." Rita’s awareness was so focused on succeeding in the outrageously complex and challenging physical world she had created for herself, that she had unconsciously become a very talented "psychic." She had all her feelers out, constantly scanning for pertinent information and checking for what might potentially go wrong, while her body was going ninety miles an hour achieving goals. Unwittingly, she was using her intuition to zoom out and get a bird’s eye view of her environment and the near future so she could answer questions like: What are the potential outcomes on this path of action? Where might the logjams be? How many variables have to be kept aloft while I juggle the process of accomplishing the ten million things I "have to" do?

Rita was constantly getting intuitive input about the big picture, but because of her internalized sense of urgency, her poor body sensed it was somehow supposed to manifest the entire vision, immediately! Her body was in a panic, because there’s no way it could accomplish so much in so short a time. Its circuits were getting jammed. Your soul can know everything at once, but bodies are designed to do one task at a time. So the debilitating stress Rita was living with was actually caused by her not understanding how to flow gracefully back and forth between the tight focus of the physical world (action and results) and the expansive focus of the spiritual world (purpose and visions). She was unconsciously trying to cram her entire superconscious vision into one moment in her physical life.

Here’s how it could work . . . Rita realizes she has many overall goals and specific deadlines to meet. She gets motivated to do the work. Instead of rushing off immediately, scattering herself in pursuit of ten tasks at once, she gets quiet, opens her awareness and senses the overview. She reminds herself that at some higher level everything is coordinated perfectly and there’s a way for it all to happen harmoniously. While she meditates on these thoughts, she keeps her body relaxed and receptive, knowing that when the time comes to act, some higher part of her own self will let her know what to do. She sits like this until she feels full and happy. Then she becomes aware of her body. It’s definitely ready to do something now! She asks that the overview start to filter gradually into her present moment, into her real-time personality, so she can take the right action. She knows her intuition will tell her what sequence of tasks needs to be attended to today.

Suddenly she gets a strong sense that she should start the day’s activity by writing some promotional copy for a brochure, then do an errand––not the other way around as she had previously planned. While she’s writing, the phone rings and it’s an important contact she needed to make, someone who’s very hard to reach. If she’d been at the bank, she’d have missed him. Later, while driving to the printer and daydreaming a bit, she gets a great insight about how to solve a complex problem. The first step can be accomplished on her way back to the office!

After every action, Rita lets herself stop for a moment and regroup. What feels like it wants to happen now? Once again she checks her intuitive sense of the overall picture, while letting her body have a well-deserved rest. Then, when she feels happy and full again, a new urge percolates up into her conscious mind and she intuitively knows just what she wants to do next. By having fun doing each physical task––even if it’s just sending a buy order or locking her car door––then letting her body rest while she checks the overview again, Rita maximizes her day, and through synchronicity and natural efficiency she accomplishes more than she ever could through will power and worry alone. She also finds, serendipitously, that the people she deals with are more cooperative, and new people are showing up to take on more of the workload.

So, learn to make smooth transitions between the two phases of your awareness. At the end of the descent phase, embrace silence and the pause. At the end of the ascent phase, embrace curiosity and courage. Try flowing in and out without getting stuck in attachment, fascination, fear or resistance.


By looking at the movement of your awareness in terms of the metaphysical trinity of body, mind and spirit, you will be able to understand more about the way your perception actually creates your reality. The creative process is an identical twin to the intuitive process––so being well-acquainted with, and able to move smoothly through the three phases of any cycle of creation will also keep your intuition flowing. To create anything, your consciousness must pass through three phases, 1) moving down from spirit as inspiration and occurring in your mind as concepts and plans, then 2) moving from your mind as motivation and occurring in your body as results and form, then 3) moving back up from your body as completion and being experienced at spirit again as renewal. This movement through spirit, mind, body, to spirit again, correlates with three simple actions: Be, Do, Have, and back to Be. The three arcs on the circle below depict the three phases in any cycle of creation. Your soul’s "descent" is represented by the first two arcs, from Be through Do to Have, while the "ascent" is shown by the third arc, from Have back to Be .

The Three Phases of the Creation Cycle: BE-DO; DO-HAVE; HAVE-BE

Creation begins with the spirit, or Being. It’s here, in the superconscious realm, where purpose resides, here where we are in tune with the collective wisdom of humanity and the planet, here where we know the most about love and are aware of the big picture. It’s the part of us that funds our physical existence.

The mind, or conscious mind, correlates with action, or Doing. It’s the function of awareness that focuses, compartmentalizes, chooses, registers impressions, makes associations, determines meaning, implements, catalyzes. Mind is the personal will, combining thought with desire to create action. The body correlates with the experience of manifested form, or Having. It’s at this stage that action precipitates results, where there’s an outcome to ideas. Until this point, nothing is concrete, tangible or stable. The body is part of the subconscious realm. Be-Do-Have. For anything to manifest, consciousness must follow these three simple steps, in order.


Let’s trace the process of how we create our personal reality. The first phase in the process, the downward swoop of spirit-be into mind-do, is the aha!, the spontaneous, impulsive influx of inspiration.


1. List five new ideas that excite you.

2. List five first impressions about people or situations.

3. List five sense-oriented experiences you crave.

4. List five hunches you followed today.

As the first phase of the cycle occurs we’re full of superconscious guidance, enthusiasm, purpose and the desire to expand. We’re motivated, curious and imbued with a childlike innocence that knows no doubt. For example, an artist sitting in a café may suddenly notice a reclining woman in a romantic dress and be inspired to pick up a pen and sketch her. Your mind at this point clarifies, focuses and defines its ideas, then uses will power to initiate action.

In the second phase in the process, the swing from mind-do to body-have, the goal is clear. You’re still coming from superconscious guidance as you launch into action and become industrious. You hardly know if it’s work or play. You’re in the groove, going the distance and applying yourself in a cause-and-effect process. The artist asks his friend for a pen and grabs a napkin to make his sketch. He scribbles furiously and loses all sense of time until he realizes the drawing is complete. We experience a buildup of intensity and focus during this phase, a threshold is reached and physical results manifest.

So the mind receives an inspiration, registers that bundle of energy conceptually as an idea and drops it down in frequency by imaging it with the senses. It drops the energy down further by defining it verbally and focusing it through will power. The energy then flows toward your goal. Action slows the original flow a step further, by using up some of the energy. Finally, when the energy becomes slow enough, it coalesces into a physical form and you have results! The entire process from Be through Do to Have is the concretizing part of the creation cycle. It represents the dynamic, expressive, manifesting power we all exercise daily.


1. List five activities in your life where you took action without hesitating.

2. List five times you lost yourself totally in what you were doing.

3. List five results that surprised you.

4. List five things you want to accomplish very much.


Be-Do-Have. So far our intuition has been alive and well the whole way. If we would just follow the current in the direction it’s going and finish the cycle––but we complicate things. One of my clients, Chuck, is a good example of this whole process. He got a brainstorm for a new software application, developed, tested, manufactured and sold it, made quite a bit of money, and got a new car and house. It felt tremendously satisfying. But then he needed to maintain that good feeling, his ongoing venture with all its new employees and his material possessions.

Chuck’s awareness, at this point, was focused entirely on methods, results and security, on the task-oriented world. He worked hard and eventually forgot what it felt like to do anything else but manufacture software. "Being? What’s that? How could being be important? Sitting around on my duff sure won’t pay the bills." At this stage Chuck recognized only what was tangible. Completing the creation cycle by returning to being was out of the question––because he associated leaving the world of doing and having with loss, even annihilation. His mind looked out at the realm of being and could only see: the Void! "Choose emptiness and lose the security of my job, marriage, house, savings? Give up the attachment I have to the identity I’m getting from my successful business? Question whether I want to keep manufacturing software? Open to the possibility of becoming a playwright or a race car driver next? No way!"

Even though Chuck was beginning to feel a little bored by doing the same thing, the idea of giving it up or changing it looked like sheer insanity. Yet he was starting to have doubts, and his intuition wasn’t as reliable as it used to be. As the pressure built, he experienced an array of reactionary behaviors in himself based on "a-voidance," anxiety, distrust, frustration and hoarding. Chuck was getting bogged down in his fear-based subconscious world view. Like most people, when confronted with this kind of discomfort, Chuck took the least objectionable route––he turned around and went back to what worked before. Backward, against the natural flow; back to the mind, back to doing and thinking, back to familiar beliefs, thought patterns and habitual behaviors. "Manufacturing software got me a new house and a feeling of success, so doing more of it should solve my problem." So he expanded his production facility and hired more people. Chuck was stuck now, going back and forth between Do-Have, Do-Have, Do-Have. He was no longer expressing his soul’s true desires.

To continue with more doing and having at the end of the descending phase of the creation cycle is actually unnatural, and it takes its toll. Eventually, since we’re using more will and less energy to manifest the results we’re accustomed to, the results reduce proportionately. Chuck continued to resist the inherent pressure to complete the cycle, to return to his being so he could be reoriented and renewed, and he experienced a depletion of his remaining energy, motivation and conviction. Repeating his original action was taking a tremendous effort now. What to do? Go backward again! But this time, to get the same results, he had to alter his original plan by doing things better and differently. "The business isn’t doing well and I’m not motivated, but my success has been in software, so I’ll just make them more efficiently, or repackage them with new graphics." He cranked his will power up to high, applied more effort and glossed over the growing unease in his body.

As Chuck’s success rate continued to drop, panic built. He denied his desperation and started getting depressed; he was still afraid to face the unknown. He started having a few drinks after work and became embedded in the addictive process. Do-Have, Do-Have, Do-Have. Going against the flow had eventually resulted in a total lack of vitality and loss of connection to his true self. His intuition was totally blocked.


What we see is what we are. As we begin the descending phase of the creation cycle, we are spirit; we are whole, wise and confident. The world therefore looks ripe with possibilities; we are confident and eager. We like ourselves. But as we manifest end results, most of our load of intention and fuel has been translated successfully into form and used up.

At this point, at body-have, looking ahead to the third phase of the process, we see through the filter of emptiness, because by then we are empty. Our personal reserves are gone and we’re not yet aware again of the universal supply. It seems nothing is ahead. We have a tendency then, more than at any other time, to think in terms of emptiness, to talk about what isn’t, to tell ourselves we are nothing or nobody and to project negative thoughts into the future. We seem to have no self-esteem.

This is actually the part of the creation cycle where we get to rest peacefully and recharge ourselves. It’s just that after so much habituated Do-Have, Do-Have, Do-Have, where life has become so totally concrete, not many people remember how to recognize the intangible, let alone how pleasurable emptiness, or spaciousness, is. Buddhists see emptiness as divine and actively seek it. But our Western culture places a negative value on emptiness, equating it with deficiency––and some ultraconservative groups go so far as to associate the unknown with evil. We need a new life skill: how to consciously recognize, welcome and use the second half of the creation cycle.


When results have manifested and you feel the telltale signs of dissolution beginning to stir––confusion, boredom, loss of direction and motivation, loss of interest, desire for sleep, fuzzy focus, anxiety attacks, the "heebie jeebies," the desire for your addiction of choice; when you feel the desire to turn around and backtrack into what’s familiar but energetically dead, what should you do? It’s really quite simple: STOP!!!

Are you thinking, "I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to create anything ever again!"? Or "I don’t know why I’m still doing this"? Are you trying too hard? Pushing or pulling something or someone? Ahead of yourself or chronically late? Experiencing too much or too little? Compulsive or procrastinating? Things aren’t connecting? Life full of snags and bad timing? It’s time to change your tactics! You need to try something else besides thinking and doing. If you’re using will, "keeping your head above water," you’ve already returned to doing. If you’re depressed, you’re resisting letting go of old thoughts or self-concepts, trying to force them to fit a reality that’s outgrown them. Cultivate this thought: "It’s OK to not know or not do right now." Recognize and let go of the should’s and shouldn’t’s. Get your thoughts out of the past and future and enter the present. Let things be as they are.

As soon as you can allow yourself to not-know, not-think and not-do, you’re on your way to entering the third, ascending phase of the creation cycle, which takes you back to the superconscious mind, to purpose, love and wisdom. Your intuition faucet turns on again.


1. List five times you’ve gotten bored and let go of something.

2. List five ways you could "pause" or open up more consciously each day.

3. List five ways you could "waste time" positively.

4. List five things that feel like they’re "more trouble than they’re worth." Could you let go of each one or let it turn into something slightly different? What might happen?

Being is the stuff of which thought, action and form are made. Whenever we cease thinking, cease doing, cease forming––being is immediately present. It takes no time, we cross no distance to get there. It’s always with us. So the journey back to spirit at the top of the trinity is instantaneous and can happen wherever you are, whenever you think of it. It’s a hair’s breadth away. Just stop. Let an opening occur. Suspend your thoughts and will power and don’t try to replace what you just released. Let go of the need to have things turn out the way you want. Pray or ask for help. Laugh. Shrug your shoulders. Notice the little things. Take small, non-goal-oriented actions that come from the body’s instinct. Be insignificant and simple for a while.

When You Can't Remember How to Let Go

1. Catch yourself in the middle of a fear response or addictive behavior. When you notice yourself wanting to fight or going into avoidance, stay with the process one moment longer. Say out loud to yourself, "Whoops, there I go again! and I don't have to know or do anything about this right now. It's OK to feel what I feel." Don't punish yourself. Take a deep breath and relax.

2. Stay in the present moment and be with what is. Let life do what it's doing. Don't vote on it. Just notice what is. HINT: When you be with what is, you're instantly back to the top of the triangle!

3. Let yourself feel complete and receive the benefit of your current involvements. Draw conclusions, create a completion ceremony or let yourself become bored or uninterested in the old form.

4. Let your body release pent-up energy through emotional catharsis, sports, dance, spontaneous movement or sound, shaking or vibration.

5. Cultivate an appreciation of the "pause that refreshes." Learn to actively enjoy suspending your mind until the new creative urge emerges spontaneously. Fill the space of waiting with a small Buddha smile.

When you’ve finally entered the unknown, you’ll hardly notice it, because it’s really not there. The panic you were feeling was just the resistance to the idea of the void. Once you enter being, by opening to what is, you’ll immediately feel your soul again. The unknown miraculously transforms into the known. You’ll feel lit up, refilled, resourced, renewed, refocused, with fresh, burning insights and motivations. You’ll be unselfconscious, brilliant and appropriately aligned with others and your environment. Soon you’ll find yourself drawn to an idea that’s just right, naturally wanting to move in a new direction, and it will be characterized by fluidity, not effort. Your intuition will be in high gear. Without realizing it, you’ve reemerged from being and are once again in the first phase, starting life anew.

In contrast to the emptiness you feel at the end of the descending phase of the creation cycle, when you’re at the end of the ascending phase, you’re 100 percent full and pregnant with energy, ideas and new life. You naturally know everything, all at once––and at this point you identify both yourself and life through this perceptual filter. All you want to do is give birth to creations and be dynamic. As you look out, life looks full, active and positive.

When Chuck finally stopped and asked himself, "Do I still like manufacturing software?" and let it be OK for the answer to be no, he realized he wasn’t using his creativity, and that he had quite a bit of sadness about that. He didn’t know what could replace his current business, but at a barbeque that summer he met a man who needed someone to head up the production end of his up-and-coming multimedia company. It was the perfect evolution of Chuck’s career path, yet he would never have thought of it, so immersed had he been in his company.


If you can achieve a state of awareness where you literally become the motion you’re in, where you become the question, the medium and the answer all at the same time, you’ll be highly intuitive and extremely enthusiastic. It’s just a new habit of awareness. You can learn to consciously add back into your life the pleasure of release, of waiting as you gestate a new creation. You can learn that going backward and living via willfulness and denial is downright uncomfortable. It’s your right to take time and space to pause, meditate, contemplate, take your mind off things and be aimless, to not be answerable to the forms you’ve made but to pay homage to the greater wisdom that guides and constantly renavigates your course.

To open yourself to the flow of life and to experience the fullness of your identity as a physical and spiritual being, you must consciously complete three phases of activity: 1) inspiration to choice, 2) action to manifestation and 3) dissolution to resourcing. Be-do-have-be. Each phase of the cycle is an opportunity to use your intuition and be directly connected to higher awareness.

In the first phase, inspiration to choice, practice innocence and humility. Be quiet, receptive, fertile. Let the next urge or idea arise spontaneously from inside your body, percolating to the surface and registering on your "beginner’s mind." Trust the seed that has been planted there. The revelatory function of awareness is working with you, connecting you appropriately to your optimal path of thought and action. Next, let the idea that comes to you take on more reality by using your senses to flesh it out. See it, smell it, feel it happening in your imagination. Get clear about what you want. Let yourself keep receiving energy from spirit, filling up and growing fat and juicy like a ripe fruit. Don’t act prematurely. There’s lots of time. Wait for the moment when the fruit naturally drops off the tree.

In the second phase of the process, action to manifestation, practice staying present and alert in your body. Be aware of the flow, step into the action stream and become one with the motion, like a kayaker going down a whitewater river. Start your motion when it starts you. No force is required. No should’s are necessary. Pay attention to your instinct; it will tell you when to steer a little to the left or when to slow down. Don’t get ahead of yourself by jumping into the future. The immediate process contains all the information you need about what the result is supposed to be; the formula for the outcome is encoded in the flow. When the payoff comes, when the product is in your hands, notice what it is. It’s not good or bad, just the final crystallization of a pattern you’ve been living. Love it, appreciate it, use it.

In the third phase of the process, dissolution to resourcing, practice innocence and humility again. Notice your tension. Don’t run away from the way you feel. Is something ending? Should you try to keep this action path going? Should you hold tightly to what you just manifested? Can you figure out what to do through cleverness? Probably not. Your mind alone is too small to grasp the bigger plan right now. You don’t see all the variables. Remember that the process itself has all the wisdom. The revelatory function of awareness is close now, comforting and guiding you. It’s a feeling of relief to know you have help and don’t have to do things alone. Cooperate with the unseen. Soften your edges. Surrender into the wonderful feeling of spaciousness. Feel your heart. Change your posture or pacing. Get up from your desk and pull weeds. Notice what’s authentic for you. Amuse yourself!

So, by going in the direction of the flow, taking actions that are appropriate at each step, and letting go of each previous phase, you’ll easily maintain contact with your soul’s wisdom and promote "good luck" in your life.

©Copyright 2001 Penney Peirce. Adapted from The Intuitive Way: A Guide to Living from Inner Wisdom (Beyond Words Publishing 1997).

Penney's Newest Book:
The Present Moment Day Book
The Present Moment: A Daybook of Clarity and Intuition

Penney Peirce is a gifted intuitive and a popular lecturer, counselor, and trainer specializing in intuition development, "skillful perception," and dream work. She has worked throughout the US, Japan, and Europe since 1977 as a coach to business executives, psychologists, scientists, other trainers, and those on a spiritutal path. She is the author of Dreams for Dummies (Hungry Minds 2000), The Present Moment: A Daybook of Clarity and Intuition (Contemporary Books 2000), and The Intuitive Way: A Guide to Living from Inner Wisdom (Beyond Words Publishing 1997) and is featured in five books: The Purpose of Your Life by Carol Adrienne, The Celestine Prophecy and Tenth Insight Experiential Guides, by Adrienne and James Redfield, and Intuiting the Future and Channeling: The Intuitive Connection by Dr. William Kautz. Penney's website is:


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