Dr. Judith Orloff has the heart of a lioness.
The reissue of her memoir, Second Sight: An Intuitive Psychiatrist tells her Extraordinary Story and Shows you How to Tap Your Own Inner Wisdom, tells the story of how she has come to be one of the, if not the foremost intuitive psychiatrist. These words would seem oxymoronic for most, but for Dr. Orloff, tells the tale of an intrepid soul, bent on being true to herself.
All intuitive children have their own versions of her story. As one of those children, I could not put her book down. Born intuitive, she was bombarded with negative images and information which left her alienated from herself and others. Her mother didn't want to know--period. She spent her teen years trying to fit in and found that most illicit drugs kept her intuition at bay.
Fortuitously, Dr. Orloff was raised in the Los Angeles area, and a therapist she reluctantly agreed to see validated her experiences. He sent her to a lab working on intuition. Her abilities woke up and started her on the path that has put her in the forefront of pioneering work combining intuition and psychiatry.
I was captivated by the adventures that her soul pushed her toward: finding buried ships in the Bahamas as part of a scientific/intuitive team, learning remote viewing, working with Kirlian photography and plants in a lab, getting guidance to go to medical school when she wanted to be an artist, facing the cold neutrality of medical education and turning off her intuition entirely.
But intuition is a patient teacher; it waited for her. Fortunately for me, and even more fortuitously for us. This book was a reclamation of her true self--or rather, both of her true selves--the doctor/scientist and the intuitive.
For years, Dr. Orloff struggled with these two active aspects of herself. She put intuition on hold indefinitely. She saw no way to reconcile the two ways of thinking, of working, of being until a patient made a suicide attempt that blindsided the good doctor. Can you say: wake-up call?
Eventually, she began to use the remote viewing techniques she'd learned to help her patients. She also began to teach them how to remotely view. As she integrated intuition into psychiatry, a huge split in her own soul began to heal. Lifelong fears disappeared. Wholeness was on her horizon.
The thing I most appreciate about Dr. Orloff's approach is that she strongly suggests that those who are drawn to intuition begin to explore it within a spiritual context. She maintains that this helps with the ethical issues that come along with use of intuition. I completely agree with her. A spiritual basis for intuition, surprisingly, grounds its use in good intentions.
At one point, Dr. Orloff realizes that she's a healer, that she can intend love and send love through her hands. She uses this ability to help her mother die. The account is moving and eerie. Just before her mother dies, she reveals that Dr. Orloff has come from a long lineage of women healers and intuitive. I have the same experience, and the realization that I wasn't crazy was just as wonderful for me as for Dr. Orloff.
In Part 2, Dr. Orloff writes a beginner's guide to intuion. Using the stories of her patients' successes and failures, she walks the reader through meditaion, dreamwork, synchronicities, meanings, deja vu experiences. Her explanation of what it is to be an empathy is worth its weight in gold.
I thoroughly respect Dr. Orloff and am grateful that she's chosen to reveal how she's gotten where's she's gotten. Toward the end of her book, she writes, "...the more peaceful we are, the better chance we have of bringing out the peace is those around us." This is the true purpose of intuition.
To intuitive and the intuitive-curious worldwide, I heartily recommend this book.