By Amanda Eggert EBS Senior Editor
BIG SKY – Elizabeth Thorson, an emergency room nurse, learned early on in her career that she had a talent for predicting who wouldn’t live to her next shift.
“I never understood why I was always working on that precipice of life and death in my professional career,” said Thorson, who is offering a workshop in Big Sky titled “Opening to your Intuition” on March 18 and 19. “I just sort of knew as a nurse who wouldn’t be on the ICU the next day, or who wouldn’t be out of surgery the following day.”
Initially, Thorson felt the hospital was not a safe place to elaborate on her well-developed—if unasked for—skill, so she learned to shut down her intuition, just as she had when she was a young girl and sensed there would be hardship or difficulty if she shared certain things she knew without being able to explain them.
Then in her mid-30s, she began to open the door a crack—“and that was the beginning of the end for me,” said Thorson, who lives in Camden, Maine, but regularly visits family in Big Sky.
Now Thorson offers counseling to people who are seeking guidance on medical issues, as well as people going through a major transition. Although she doesn’t offer diagnoses—that’s practicing medicine without a license and illegal—she can help clients view illness through a different lens and understand possible causes.
When Thorson meets with clients who have questions about a medical issue, she works blind, meaning she doesn’t want to know their medical history or symptoms. Thorson said she works harder that way and finds that it forces her to rely more on her intuition.
Thorson said learning to operate with an intuitive understanding is more of a right-brain operation, a thinking style she associates with creativity and imagination, than a left-brain one, which is more commonly referred to as the realm of judgment and logic.
“Most people have intuitive knowing, but most of the time they don’t trust it,” Thorson said. She said meditation has served as a “stepping stone” that has helped her develop her skill.
For the past 25 years, Thorson has been working as an intuitive consultant while continuing to work in the ER. “I just keep my hand in it a little bit because that’s my laboratory,” she said. “It always has been because it’s an environment where I get immediate results: either an X-ray, a CAT scan or bloodwork.”
In addition to working with leaders in the field like Caroline Myss, Thorson has developed a community of people with similar abilities. She says this has helped her develop her skill—and cope with it too, because it can come with challenges. There are certain aspects of her ability—things she describes as “a little too left for some people’s reality”—that she insists she didn’t ask for, even though she recognizes the relief she’s brought to others’ lives.
Thorson is adamant that intuition is a skill set that can be developed with practice. “It’s a skill; it is not a gift,” she says. “Some people come [with it] hardwired. I came in hardwired. Other people just have to have their wires connected.”
There are four types of intuition Thorson has worked with, and people who’ve learned to tune into their intuition can experience one kind or a combination of them: simple knowing, seeing something in their mind’s eye, hearing it in their head, or feeling it in their physical body.
Thorson moves between all four and will work on each one during the two-day workshop.
When her students start to develop and trust their intuition, it’s like seeing a light go on, Thorson said. “A lot of people don’t really know what their radar is until they get a chance to work with it.”
Interested parties can sign up for one or both days of the “Opening to your Intuition” workshop. The Saturday, March 18 class will run from 2-5 p.m. and the Sunday, March 19 class is from 9 a.m. to noon. Thorson is also offering a free short introductory class on Wednesday, March 15.