Developing Your "Spidey Sense"

Intuition (from Merriam-Webster): "Quick and ready insight; immediate apprehension or cognition; the power or faculty of attaining to direct knowledge or cognition without evident rational thought and inference."

When something bad(1) is happening, the best place to be is no where near whatever it is that's happening(2).

As obvious as the above maxim may be, so few of us live according to it. Many of us constantly break what I like to call The Rules of Stupid, which I've written about before(3), and end up placing ourselves regularly in the cross-hairs of situations that could prove disastrous, even deadly.

When things go sideways, to "not be there" requires you to have a bit of a sixth sense about you—sort of like Spider-man's "spidey sense."

But not exactly.

For regular human beings, such a sense doesn't come completely naturally; in a sense (pun intended), it must be be developed intentionally. Unlike the comic hero Spider-man, who experienced a psychic tingling sensation prior to something bad happening, the human sixth sense I'm referring to is not psychic. It's a pre-cognitive, bottom-up enlisting of one's educated(4) intuition as it tells you things about a particular situation that's just beginning to manifest itself. In life, nothing just comes out of nowhere; there's a reason for everything that happens. If something happened to you "all of the sudden," that just means you were not attuned to the context and momentum of occasions, occurrences, and energies that led up to whatever it is that "suddenly" came upon you. Again, there's a reason for everything. Nothing is random; everything that happens has some rationale behind it—even if that rationale is, well, irrational.

If you want to develop a sixth sense about a wide variety of potentially harmful or dangerous situations, you'll need to learn how to release, listen to, and follow your intuition so it will work for you in such situations. The education process is more about educating you to pay attention (be mindful) of your surroundings and circumstances, to invite (or welcome) your intuition to arise and speak to you, and then to follow whatever it is it's trying to say to you. Because those three things are sooo important, I'm going to write them out again (for a third time), only more expansively.

To release your intuition, you must engage in the following intentional actions:

  1. Pay attention to your surroundings. Look at what's going on in your midst. Be present and mindful of the people, things, and conditions around you.

  2. Invite (and welcome) your intuition to express itself. Your intuition works cognitively from the bottom up. By that, I mean, the "intuitive noise" of your intuition arrises out of your instinctual, subconscious/unconscious self and may not be something you can articulate easily in the moment. Often, the voice (or noise) of one's intuition is experienced as a feeling (or conglomerate of feelings and physical sensations). Unfortunately, the greatest hindrances to our receiving our intuition in a way that spurs us to action is (A) Our overdeveloped judging functions ("That's just crazy, Dave!) and (B) Our almost overwhelming social desire to not offend anyone ("Sure he seems a little creepy, but I don't want to hurt his feelings. Even though I'm perfectly capable of carrying in my own groceries, I'll let him help me anyway." [Note: Many women have been raped by the men they allowed to "help" them.])

  3. Obey whatever your intuition tells you to do. Even if doing so feels a little crazy, rude, or insensitive. A good mantric slogan to tell yourself is this: "If something doesn't feel right, that's probably because it isn't." Your intuition exists to help and protect you. Let it do it's job! If what you do or say is offensive, you can always apologize later. If your dead, you won't be able to do anything later, let alone apologize.

Repeatedly engaging in the above three actions will stimulate and release your intuition to work for you. Perhaps it won't be as quick or strong as Spider-man's spidey sense, but I guarantee this: It's real (unlike SM's spidey sense), and it will serve you well if you let it.


  1. By bad, I mean something dangerous, violent, or violating.

  2. To not be there could mean you're a half a mile away from the incident or 6" below the haymaker punch that was just thrown at you. In the "haymaker" scenario, to not be there means your face didn't connect with your assailant's fist. While it's not as far from the epicenter as the "half-mile" scenario, it's still a "not there" result/effect.

  3. To read the post, Breaking the Rules of Stupid, go to the following link:

  4. One's intuition is inherently educated, as it's in an almost continuous state of learning. In each moment and through each experience you move through, your intuition goes to school. The in-the-moment instructions it receives are intended to build-up a storehouse of practical knowledge and wisdom to guide you through difficult, and sometimes dangerous, situations.


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