The Uncomplicated Insight And Psychic Enlightenment Of Children


This morning I woke up looking terrible.

Not that unusual but today was particularly bad.

So bad, in fact, that one of my ten year-olds noticed. I told him I hadn’t slept well and that I’d had a dream about a boy in his class.

Was it Nicholas, he asked? I just about fell off my chair.

It was about Nicholas.

How did he know? We barely know the boy, he isn’t part of our conversations or my awareness generally.

Yet my son had some kind of intuition, some kind of laser beam into my brain. Scary.

Many years ago, another child in my then world had a similar insight. He just knew that something bad was going to happen. He told his mom. And it did. It wasn’t good.

My mom tells a story about how I, when I was about eleven, broke the habit of a lifetime and became extremely and excessively helpful one morning, on a day she was feeling particularly awful.

She asked me how I knew that she needed help that day and I just told her I knew. I didn’t know how I knew; I just knew.

And I just knew what I had to do. And I did it.

No questions, no resistance, no major emotion good or bad. I just did.

In the main, I’ve lost that ability to just know. I think backwards and forwards, right and left, up and down. I work out all the permutations of a course of action and hopefully come up with the right decision.

And yet, that seems an awful lot of energy to expend to get to the same point as my eleven year-old self.

I wonder what we’d all do if we just suspended thought and just did.

Seems a lot less complicated and burdensome.

It begs the question – is life intrinsically complicated or do we make it so with our thoughts? How practical and possible is it to just do? Have you or your child had experiences when you just ‘knew?’ Let me know in the comments!

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Lisa Liguori May 8, 2010 at 8:04 am

Wow! Right on Alison. I believe if we really searched in our personal histories we would all find similar stories. I believe we all have the intuitions but our busyness gets in the way. I read a book in my earlier parenting days called “Wise Child’ by Sonja Choquette. Insightful book. After having read the book, one travel day when my son was about 5 years old, we were sitting in the airport waiting for our plane. When it was time to board, my little guy refused to get on the plane. Now, he had traveled before and was a good little traveler, so it was a bit out of the ordinary. We did not get on that plane. We felt it important to listen to his intuition. FYI, nothing happened (that we know about) to the plane, but we did learn it was a terrible flight! Thanks for reminding me of this, I want to pay attention to it more often…seems I had forgotten.


Alison Golden May 9, 2010 at 9:00 pm

Lisa, that was brave, listening to a child and meeting what I’m sure was the disapproval of the crew head-on.


El Edwards December 18, 2010 at 2:24 pm

Beautiful story Alison. It reminds me of how the children are on the rare occasions I’m ill. You know what its like, you just have to keep going. But they do seem to just know when I need them to be gentle with me.

I really appreciated the reminder that we really do need to stop over thinking stuff and just trust our instincts. Thank you for that. 🙂
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Alison Golden December 20, 2010 at 3:48 pm

Hey El,

Hope you’re feeling better now. They know it, we know it. It’s just that we are too bsy talking and doing to listen a lot of the time.


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