#029 Why does my gifted child have an imaginary friend? We talk intuition with Dr Alan D. Thompson.

Dr Alan D. Thompson on the Our Gifted Kids Podcast about Intuition and Imaginary Friends

In this episode, we’re talking to Dr Alan D. Thompson about intuition and giftedness. We ask what is intuition? We talk about intuition in science, the research behind intuition, imaginary friends, intuition in very high IQ children, how to foster intuition and imagination in our kids, why it’s so important and more…

Memorable Quotes

“Well, if we look at intuition as this innate process – everyone’s got it. It gives people the ability to know things without analytic reasoning. Let’s call it the opposite of science – it’s knowing without knowing how we know. I think it scares people. It maps to somewhere that we’re not comfortable going.” – Dr Alan D. Thompson

“I think one of the triggers for me writing this was noticing how many of my high ability clients from seven, eight years old had imaginary friends. And I thought that was fascinating… We’ve got the research that 34% of high ability or gifted girls have imaginary friends a little bit less for high ability or gifted boys.” – Dr Alan D. Thompson

“That can be as simple as lying in bed and talking about dreams in the morning. So, what dream did you have? What dream did the child have? Not with any sense of needing to interpret it, but what is flowing through the subconscious at night?” – Dr Alan D. Thompson



Dr Alan D. Thompson is a world expert in the fields of AI, intelligence, high performance, and personal development. He consults to families with special needs children including Bolshoi ballerinas, chess masters, abstract artists, and those with a mental age up to twice their chronological age.

Alan advises international media in the fields of exceptional ability and personal development, consulting to the award-winning series Decoding Genius for GE, Making Child Prodigies for ABC (with the Australian Prime Minister), 60 Minutes for Network Ten/CBS, and Child Genius for Warner Bros.

Alan’s dissertation was adapted into a book featuring Dr Rupert Sheldrake, Connected: Intuition and Resonance in Smart People.


[00:00:00] Sophia Elliott: Welcome everyone to the podcast today.

[00:00:01] I’m super excited to be talking to Dr. Allen D Thompson world expert in the field of child prodigies high performance and personal development. So, Alan welcome.

[00:00:15] Alan D Thompson: Thanks Sophia. Awesome to be here.

[00:00:18] Sophia Elliott: Firstly, I do want to touch on briefly. How on earth did you get started or end up coaching, highly gifted children, families and prodigies.

[00:00:29] Where did this all start for you?

More Transcript Here

[00:00:32] Alan D Thompson: That’s always a really long story to answer and you’ll probably find it in your own life that there’s twists and turns that you end up in a particular destination without really knowing the path that got you there. So I started out as a sound designer for. Well, actually my very one of my very first concerts was for a Grammy award winner here in Perth.

[00:00:56] And I was done. 1516 years old. It was back in the, in the 1990s. And it exploded from there ended up working with Sarah, Andrew Lloyd Weber, and, uh, some of the really big rock and rollers from Katie Lang to Cindy lopper, uh, to Metallica. So it was, it was all these really high performers. Some of them had been around for decades.

[00:01:16] And I just love this concept of super high-performance in the performing arts. And I wondered how that matched to any human being on the planet. I’d collected some degrees along the way. My computer science background included some psychology and then I went and did some gifted education at Flinders.

[00:01:36] And then I played around with this entire field of coaching, which is out of Harvard medical school. They’ve got their own Institute of coaching there, and it’s huge in the university of Sydney and combined it all together. And Here. I am sitting down with families that, that have some sort of high ability that they may not have translated to high-performance.

[00:01:57] But given my context of seeing what high-performance 24 7 for sometimes 60 or 70 years, looks like a, it’s a lot of fun to be able to play with them and to see how they can translate that giftedness, that capacity all the way through to applied talent.

[00:02:16] Sophia Elliott: I really get the feeling from having a look at your stuff that while, like, as you said, there it’s very much a deep interest in that high performance and it excelling a lot of your articles and work also talks about, you know, for kids in particular, the importance of play.

[00:02:36] And I get that feeling of, you know, being a kid. So I find, uh, in, in the way you talk about things is a really lovely balance between. This high potential and high performance, but also this grounded-ness would that be right?

[00:02:54] Alan D Thompson: Definitely. Definitely. And I think that comes out of the field. You know, if you’re going to a counselor or a therapist, you’re looking for problem solving, you’re looking at looking at all the challenges you’re looking at, what’s going wrong and how to solve it.

[00:03:08] Whereas coaching is also almost the absolute opposite end of the spectrum. We’re asking, instead of following the trail of tears, as one of my colleagues calls it, we’re following the trail of dreams. So there is this focus on opportunities on strengths, on values. Why is the child doing things that they’re doing?

[00:03:28] What’s important to them? What are their priorities? And then we tie that into the parents as well. Uh, so that we can see that full loop and the child can see, this is how mom and dad solves this, or this is how they applied their talent and they get that 24 7 modeling in the house.

[00:03:47] Sophia Elliott: Yeah, modeling. That’s a huge one.

[00:03:49] Isn’t it? So throughout your career so far, you’ve done a lot of really interesting things. Numerous TV shows people might recognize decoding genius or making child prodigies or child genius in the U S lots of travel and meeting some really, I mean, you’ve already rattled them off really interesting kind of people off the top of your heads.

[00:04:10] Do you have a couple of favorite moments?

[00:04:12] Alan D Thompson: Uh, yeah, you’re right. There’s been a lot. I was reading a quote from Isaac Asimov yesterday. He was actually the vice president of Mensa. I did not know that. Well, minster international. Yeah. He’s one of the most famous members and on his death bed, he said something like I’ve done more than I deserve to have done.

[00:04:31] Like I’ve accomplished more than really any person should I’ve had a lot of fun. You’re right. I think the moments where I get to see incredible high-performance that, that blows my mind, I think, would be similar to any person in the world’s experience in that it’s it crosses boundaries. That’s why this concept of high-ability is so interesting to people.

[00:04:55] So even though it sounds a bit cliche, I love seeing my very young clients. Grabbing a Rubik’s cube and mixing it up and then blindfolding themselves and solving it. I love knowing that there’s a colleague out there in Sydney who can read the Sydney, yellow pages, memorize the whole thing in 24 days and then recite it.

[00:05:15] I love knowing that there are, you know, I don’t like name dropping, but I’d like knowing that there are people like John Cleese out there, who’s been going for seven decades and hasn’t stopped in terms of his passion and inspiration. So yeah. All of those things remain exciting for me. I know you’re supposed to be border to a particular field after seven years, but it’s still very, very interesting to me every day.

[00:05:39] Yeah.

[00:05:40] Sophia Elliott: I hear you there. It’s those little moments, isn’t it? I think what excites me and certainly provides some passion to doing this is it’s just those quirky little moments where the kids just keep surprising you, and yeah, they’re incredibly precious. So we were going to talk to T today about your book connected, which is all about the intuition of smart people.

[00:06:04] And when we caught up recently I was a bit surprised that you have done a book about intuition, right? One could see that as a little bit wound left of field. So I have to kind of ask, how did you end up doing all of this research about intuition?

[00:06:24] Alan D Thompson: Yeah, you’re right.

[00:06:25] It seems almost like a different universe that certainly academics. Don’t talk about. I know in my overview, before I jumped in, it was sometime. Things that people would say, don’t even do this. There was a counselor told me, Alan, don’t look at that. Don’t write anything about that because you get burned at the stake.

[00:06:49] And I think there’s, there must be some sort of intergenerational trauma going a long way back with how we demonize this, this separate half of ourselves that really must be integrated. But the more I started looking, the more I found massive academics declaring there. Absolute belief and experience in this, this different hemisphere of ourselves.

[00:07:14] One of the big ones was Dr. Linda Silverman. Who’s a huge researcher in the field of high-ability and giftedness. And she has this almost poetic view of intuition, writes about it quite a lot, has published in journals about intuition down to, you know, Almost telepathy and mind reading or receiving sentences and receiving intuition and insights from people that are long gone.

[00:07:43] It was really fascinating. And that expanded all the way up to Nobel laureates, who were saying that they had experienced intuition and they really acknowledged intuition as the provider of their discovery rather than logic and intellect. So even though it might seem on the surface to be something that’s hidden away, it’s becoming more and more back in the zeitgeists and back in the fact that people can talk more about it finally, uh, where it may not have been something that was even allowed in the 18 hundreds and 19 hundreds.

[00:08:15] Sophia Elliott: That’s right. It’s always been a bit taboo. Why, why do you think it’s been taboo? What do you think that comes from?

[00:08:22] Alan D Thompson: Well, if we look at intuition as this. Innate process. So everyone’s got it that gives people the ability to know things without analytic reasoning. So let’s call it the opposite of science it’s knowing without knowing how we know. I think it scares people. It, it maps to somewhere that we’re not comfortable going.

[00:08:50] Certainly in the American culture, which has translated across to the Australian culture. It’s a little bit anti-science or has been viewed as anti-science where that’s just not the case. If you look at places that are not American centric or Eurocentric places like India, some of the Asian cultures.

[00:09:10] Intuition is a part of everyday conversation, belief in ghosts and belief in of much deepest spirituality is very natural there. I think with the advent of science, with the advent of criticism and arguments that the Americans in particular love to do, it’s really become something that hasn’t been discussed very much.

[00:09:31] And it’s been downplayed and said, well, that’s not factual. And we only do factual here.

[00:09:36] Sophia Elliott: Yeah, that’s right. I almost feel like there’s a sense of it’s something we can’t control and therefore we’ll squash it because we don’t understand it. We can’t control it. You know, back in the day would have been considered magic because we just didn’t even have research.

[00:09:50] And I was surprised you talk about how much research there is on this. And there is this buckets isn’t there. Like this is a heavily researched area. So we really do understand it, or at least. We’ve got the outcomes from that research, even if we don’t understand where it comes from, then we might been led to believe or think about, so Bravo for touchy topic that you wander off.

[00:10:13] I think they’re always the interesting ones. Absolutely. And you’ve got some wonderful case studies and stories in the book. Do you have a couple of favorites?

[00:10:26] Alan D Thompson: Well, the book is basically a literature review of some of the really big case studies. So I don’t think there’s even any big explorations of my direct clients or my direct experiences they’re collected from peer reviewed papers or published books that have kind of never been collected before.

[00:10:50] And they might’ve been from authors that are. Branded as psychics, but have a, an academic degree or they’re psychologists. And they’ve never, they’re kind of so far out there that I went and collected them and brought them back into the fold, so to speak and put them next to the Nobel Laureate some next to Dr.

[00:11:08] Silverman’s research. So, yeah, there’s absolutely a lot of fun. I think one of the triggers for me writing this was noticing how many of my high ability clients from seven, eight years old had imaginary friends. And I thought that was fascinating. And that mapped back to a lot of the big research into giftedness back to Hollingsworth’s research in the 1920s of, of children with IQs over 180 and two Louis Turmans research.

[00:11:39] Also back in the twenties, thirties, that looked at a collection of 1500. Very high ability, children follow them all, all the way through to adulthood. Hollingworth found some wonderful children, and these are the kinds of children that you just wouldn’t see that miracle only found 30th done in the whole of Australia.

[00:11:58] Hollingworth found one child of an IQ over 180, who had an imaginary friend that she would play with and talk to and kill, and then bring back to life. And it was all this playful conversation that the children were enjoying, obviously as a play element, but they were also learning from so one of my extreme, and it’s a very extreme stories in there is about an imaginary friend that showed up for a young boy in England.

[00:12:34] And his parents were not around very much. And so the imaginary friend helped him. With life basics helped him learn about nature and took him out, walking and helped him learn about which plants and very secret H and which helped him learn how to write letters and how to start a fire. Really outrageous stuff like unbelievable stuff.

[00:12:59] He got lost in the snow one day and this imaginary friend helped him walk back home. As, as in left footprints for him to follow. His parents recognized this imaginary friend. They would hear a knock at the door and they would answer it. And of course, there’d be no one standing there, but his mum would say, come on in this imaginary friend’s name was hi, when, and he looked like a lion or a dragon with a, with a lone tail.

[00:13:28] One of my coaching clients actually drew a picture of, of highway and. But that’s not the craziest part of the story. Right? So he would leave in dense on the couch and he would knock on the door and he would, they would know that he was around and the parents could sense him as well. When this guy grew up, he went back home as he was the age of 24.

[00:13:49] He went back home and his mum had a new child. She was two or three years old and she started telling him about her newest or who knew imaginary friend align with the Dragon’s tail was yellow. And she had a bit of a motor speech disorder, but she said his name was hi hideaway.

[00:14:15] Sophia Elliott: So

[00:14:16] Alan D Thompson: yeah.

[00:14:17] How do you explain that kind of thing? We’ve got the research that 34% of. High ability or gifted girls have imaginary friends a little bit less for high ability or gifted boys. We’ve got a Hollingworth as identified in her massively, exceptionally gifted cohort. What does this mean? Are there benefits to it?

[00:14:42] What world are they connecting to? What is that intuition that they’re tapping into?

[00:14:47] Sophia Elliott: Yeah, there’s something going on there isn’t there very magical. And what fascinates me is this idea that these imaginary friends are tapping into some other knowledge that they’re sharing with the kids. Do you know, it’s not, the kids don’t know these things already, so that’s really quite incredible.

[00:15:07] And there was another example in the book of where there were a bunch of highly gifted. Students working with someone about creating a story together. And there was always, almost like a bog hive, mind thing going on, where they didn’t need to verbalize it, but they all kind of tapped into the same storyline that totally freaked the teacher out.

[00:15:34] Alan D Thompson: Exactly. And that’s another example of super high. We’re talking about 200 IQ, exceptionally gifted children. That teacher was Stephanie Tolan, who is the author of, is it a cheetah, one of the best gifted writers around, she did the foreword for the book. And that story is just incredible. Again, there’s no such thing as owning a group of 200 IQ children.

[00:16:02] Exactly. It’s only one or two that I know of. Terrance towel out of Adelaide had a measured IQ of 200, 230 in one of the SBLs that America gave him, I believe. And there’s William James siddhis, who was up towards 300, they reckon, but without any proven tests. So they don’t, they don’t exist. They’re in, that would be the 99.9 9 9 9 9 9 percentile.

[00:16:29] And they showed up to this writing festival. So she really had an opportunity to play around with them. And you’re right. They were essentially reading each other’s minds in that room with her. And she documented that. And I’ve talked about that in her. Yeah, that

[00:16:43] Sophia Elliott: that’s really fascinating. There’s a lot of examples in the book of similarly.

[00:16:52] Like other worldly, almost, you know, experiences. Again, I think worth the note was the example that you provided from Julliard where they did the the test of sending and receiving. Can you tell us a little bit about that one?

[00:17:09] Alan D Thompson: Yeah. This was another case study that I brought into the fold of high-ability.

[00:17:13] Even though it was probably overlooked. So the Julliard academy in New York or the Julliard school in New York is a school for the very highest musical and drama performers. You certainly would have heard of it. It’s the, the musicians in the top 0.1%. You’ve got it. Chuck and all those kind of guys that went there back in the early nineties, this was around 92, 93.

[00:17:41] Some researchers sent in the best of the best scientists into Julliard to grab the musicians and the drama students who are high ability in this creative realm. So they’re a bit different to your high ability, mathematicians or physicists. Although we could draw a map between those two things. They took that to a research facility, which was divided into a few big rooms.

[00:18:12] They set them down, oh, let’s set them down. One at a time in a lazy boy in a room, the whole room was magnetic shielded, electrically shielded, soundproofed, completely laid this musician back in the lazy boy, put a blindfold over their eyes, put some, uh, put some headphones over their ears and played pink noise so that they could not hear anything.

[00:18:39] They then took the researcher down the hole to a completely separate room far away. No, no way that you could hear what was going on. And they had a, an observer as well. So there’s a researcher called them the observer. And then there was the sender, the intuitive center. This was someone that was quite good at taking an image and intuitively sending it to someone else without words.

[00:19:10] So the sender sat down at a computer screen. They were given a random image or video that would play on loop. So they might be looking at, say a picture of Santa Claus, and I would use their mental powers to send that to the high-performing musician or actor in the soundproofed room. Who’s laying back there in their La-Z-Boy chair.

[00:19:35] Super comfortable, no sight, no hearing. Cause I’ve had all that blocked off. And in that room with the student was a microphone where as they verbalized what was coming into their head, they could speak it out into the world. And it would be heard by the sender and the researcher down the hall in the other room.

[00:19:59] So while the sender is looking at Santa Claus on a monitor in the research room, the musician laying back on the La-Z-Boy is just verbalizing, whatever the, whatever they’re thinking of. Uh, and they’ve really got no context. They’re like the spy in cotton wool, right? They’re completely wrapped up and they’ve got, uh, all their senses turned off, just yelling out whatever words come into their head.

[00:20:27] And there were examples with Santa Claus. There were examples of the students saying white beard, uh, red. Father Christmas, just outrageous, outrageous results in the same thing for an airplane. I, the sender would be looking at an airplane as the student is verbalizing an airplane and looking down on people and clouds and, uh, the same thing for a clip from a movie called altered states where there’s this massive lizard opening its mouth on a red background.

[00:21:01] And one of the research has actually documented it quite recently, her experience of this, she was sending this clip as she was watching it. And she heard the students saying back to her from the other room, a really, really big lizard with a huge head. And I see red, red, red, and it’s opening its mouth. So look, that’s peer reviewed.

[00:21:25] That’s published, that’s in a journal that is high performers that we may not call gifted, even though they are a perfect example of gifted. I don’t have an explanation for what’s going on, but that is a study that has been repeated with results similar to that high above chance. And I find that fascinating.

[00:21:47] Sophia Elliott: That is fascinating. Isn’t it? And it’s like, you sail, right. We don’t know how that’s working, but we can’t deny that there’s something going on there. And I think the book is really wonderful, the way that you’ve, laid it out. You get to the end, it’s like, well, we can’t deny there’s something going on here.

[00:22:03] And if we’re all more open about talking about that, when, where might this lead us in terms of I don’t know into the future. And there’s some diff really interesting concepts that come up as well. One of the folk you talk about talks about what was it? Morphic, resonance. And Dr. Rupert Sheldrake and there’s a whole bunch of examples of the research that he did.

[00:22:31] Can you tell us a little bit about that?

[00:22:35] Alan D Thompson: Yeah. Dr. Is one of my favorites. He was so kind in in granting me an interview at his home in London. And he’s got his own chapter in the book because I thought it was just so important. He’s a, an eminent doctor. An academic is a Cambridge biologist is he’s got his PhD and is very well recognized.

[00:23:00] Of course he’s got detractors has got people that don’t like the fact that he’s a scientist and he’s talking about these things that are scary to them, but he’s also got such a broad range of research right now. He’s studying how sports players care. No what’s going on that ahead of time, because we can’t really predict, you know, that tennis player can’t really predict what’s going on at 150 K’s an hour is also done some research on how some people are very good at predicting particular movements of particular stocks in the stock market is most famous for his studies on people who know that they’re being watched all humans.

[00:23:47] Of course, you know, we’ve got this biological, this inherent genetic view, like from the tribal days, we know what our target is watching us, but he’s done research with CCTV cameras. And when the watcher looks at the CCTV monitor, it’s the same, the person being watched. No. W that someone is watching them and it’s not even human eyes.

[00:24:15] It’s just having this sense that it’s happening is done. Experiments are knowing who’s calling you on the telephone and I’m sure your listeners all have an experience of that before it actually happens or thinking of a friend and they call you, he’s got some great experiments that, well, if you’re in London or if you’re in the UK, you can try that yourself.

[00:24:36] He’s got some automated systems set up so you can type in for friends and then it will randomly assign one of those friends and dial each of you. And you get to guess which one it’s going to be. He’s, he’s just covered so much ground in this intuition with this really heavy academic background.

[00:24:56] So it’s fascinating to me that the work that he’s done and him as a person, because consider. Like my high-performance back in the performing arts, how persistent you have to be, how many conditions you have to go through and how, how rough you’ve got it for some of them for seven decades, Dr. Rupert’s been like that his entire life.

[00:25:15] He’s got people who are saying you’re wrong. Demonizing him writing about how wrong he is and he’s still going, like he’s still pushing through it and saying, well, I’ve got the proof here. How can you argue with this? Yeah,

[00:25:28] Sophia Elliott: absolutely. So really fascinating proof. And I want to read out actually a quote that I thought it was pretty fabulous.

[00:25:37] And it was from Nobel Laureate, Dr. Barbara McClintock because there is a chapter way. Talk about Nobel prize winners. And I think was at 86%. Actually acknowledged our belief in like a scientific intuition and talked about how, like you said earlier, a lot of their nudges in their research actually came from somewhere else in, in their own words and the quote in there, which I really love.

[00:26:08] And I’ll just read it quickly is she says basically everything is one, there’s no way in which he drew a line between things. What we normally do is make these subdivisions, but they’re not real. I wasn’t outside. I was down there with them and everything got big. I even was able to see the internal parts of the chromosome, actually, everything was there.

[00:26:30] It surprised me because I actually felt as if I was right down there. And these were my friends. And she’s talking about this experience where she was, she felt like she was actually, she was looking at microscope. Sells, but she felt like she was down there in it. And what I love about that quote is you can feel the enthusiasm in the quote.

[00:26:50] She was like, I was down there. It’s like I was down there. We have a connected, you know, that kind of you know, this is real, I’m trying to convince you within the quote itself. And so I think that’s really kind of beautiful. And I guess you don’t tend to see that side of the scientific world, which is what I find really interesting.

[00:27:07] Did that come as a surprise to you?

[00:27:10] Alan D Thompson: Absolutely. Yeah, it did because we don’t get shown that if you go and read a particular blog post, or you look at the mainstream media or you go and read the on sit in a post-graduate course, this stuff doesn’t show up, but it’s there. Like it’s right under our noses Barbra’s book is on my bookshelf there where she’s she is talking like that.

[00:27:31] And she’s a Nobel Laureate and a, and a professor. So. How can we collect it all together? How can we find this and put it all together? And that’s, yeah, that’s really what connected is all about finding these super high performers and bring them together. I love the way that she has this sense of excitement bound with that huge academic context.

[00:27:51] She’s very well recognized in the field for her discoveries. And she’s very similar to Einstein in that way as well. She’s got a lot of logic behind her, but she knows that there’s this other half of us that has been disregarded for awhile.

[00:28:06] Sophia Elliott: Yeah. Yeah. And it’s great to hear a talk about that. So openly and in reading connected, there’s this numerous, quotes from scientists talking about like this other side of themselves, which is really fabulous.

[00:28:18] And you’ve mentioned Dr. Linda Silverman already, and there was a really great quote from her as well. Which I’ll just read briefly if that’s okay from the book. And it says there is in each of us, a source of wisdom, some of us are more aware that than others and rely on its guidance.

[00:28:37] Others deny its existence. I believe that we are all partly multiple and poly immortal. Now there’s a part of the self that transcends the human experience. It is the witness, the observer, the spirit of the human being. And it’s very hard to understand how we can be both human selves and infinite spiritual selves.

[00:28:56] This seems to make no logical sense.

[00:28:59] So

[00:29:01] I think what is exciting and when I was thinking about today’s podcast, I was I, and I, in all of the podcasts, I’m always kind of like what, what might be a takeaway for a parent of a gifted child out of this conversation. And I think for me, and what I hope for listeners as well is I think there’s a number of levels here.

[00:29:27] First of all, I think as a parent, we’re always saying, trust your instincts, trust your gut, but now we can kind of go, no, no really trust your instincts. As you’re tapping into some that you know that about your child go without believe in that. But also when it comes to parenting your child, I feel like this is the permission to indulge.

[00:29:53] Developing and supporting those conversations around intuition and following I think your own truth and that sense of truth that you have.

[00:30:04] Alan D Thompson: Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. And it’s really important for parents to consider the fact that we are in a very strange modern culture where this can get pushed down, but there are enormous benefits to to harnessing intuition there.

[00:30:23] You know, we, we say that this disappears say at the age of five or six years old, and before that. Particularly in Dr. Rupert’s experience, the children are able to know, when someone’s looking at them, they’re able to ensure that what’s going on with the parent. And that kind of gets closed down by combination of school and parenting almost at the same time that we say, right.

[00:30:47] Okay. Tooth fairy, that’s out and father Christmas that’s out. But if we can acknowledge it and then if we can embrace it, it’s the other half of humanity, similar to what Dr. Linder is saying that this is our university universality and the other half of us being able to embrace it is not just, Hey, here’s, here’s me being complete, but there are, there are some fun things you can do with it as well, in terms of going beyond empathy.

[00:31:15] Dr. Rupert had a wonderful example of even, yeah. A very material example of doing better in tests. So he talked about this concept of applying intuition in group settings when there’s this massive. Yes. The morphic resonance term that you used floating around. So everyone’s thinking about the same thing.

[00:31:40] If you just, if you’re in an exam situation and you start at the end, so that you’re. Giving yourself a one or two or three minute delay, start with the last question. And then come back to question one, as people are complaining or there they’ve moved ahead, you’ve got this something floating around. You can take advantage of the pre-work that people have done, and that the answers that are floating around in that room, I thought that was a fascinating, very, very specific application of intuition.

[00:32:14] And that would be, yeah, one of millions, you know, his research into how his high-performing adults have been able to very accurately and with, with great success, pick different stocks and different shares. I thought that was fascinating, but yes, you’re right. In being able to allow children to be more of themselves, this is important.

[00:32:38] Ever talk about hot housing or pushing children. I don’t see that with my clients. They’re just looking at understanding more of themselves, whether it’s their intelligences or their needs, that their ideal growth environment and intuition is one of these facets. How can we harness it? How can we play with it a little bit more?

[00:32:57] Yeah,

[00:32:57] Sophia Elliott: absolutely. Yeah, I can. And, and when you were talking about that exam situation, it made me think of, I’ve heard about when musicians play together, particularly jazz, where there’s a lot of improvisation, a similar concept of tapping into that resonance kind of thing. So for anyone who thought that exam situation was a bit out there, it’s like, no, you know, this is a thing, this is a thing.

[00:33:21] Give it a go.

[00:33:23] Alan D Thompson: Yeah.

[00:33:25] Sophia Elliott: We’ve talked a lot today about intuition so I think it’d be kind of nice to end the end, the podcast on, I think, encouraging parents to. Tap into their own sense of intuition and be open to that idea of flow in their lives and in their parenting.

[00:33:47] And I think play with the idea, , we’ve talked today about the idea of playing around with intuition and, and tapping back into something that maybe was squished a bit as a child because I know, and I felt very strongly when I read connection that intuition and synchronicities have been a huge part of my life and those threads through my life and decisions I’ve made at various points and leaps that I’ve made that didn’t necessarily make a whole lot of sense, kind of like the whole podcast idea.

[00:34:20] And sometimes like I have made decisions and I didn’t really have a full idea of the outcome or, or where it might head, but it’s following that nudge. And so I think what advice might you have for parents or anyone who. Just to help nudge them in the direction of maybe tapping into their, their intuition a little bit more, or if you got anything for us.

[00:34:48] Alan D Thompson: Yeah. I like your concept of just being more playful when it feels right. And that can be most of the time. Of course the parent has to have a guiding hand, but at the end of the day we’re not here to force or to criticize. If you can spend more time with this other half of our being humanness or a human beingness, it’s really valuable.

[00:35:14] That can be as simple as laying in bed and talking about dreams in the morning. So what dream did you have? What dream did the child have? Not with any sense of needing to interpret it, but what is flowing through the subconscious at night? Imaginary friends having a conversation about them and yeah.

[00:35:35] Dismissing them immediately because the researchers that they exist for gifted children or for high ability children more frequently than they do for the general population,

[00:35:46] Sophia Elliott: I was going to mention this earlier. There was a story in your book about someone who actually would just create like an imaginary friend. And I actually thought I’m going to do with this with the kids. Right. Let’s let you know. They’d been asking me for more pets. My daughter wants a rabbit and fish and it’s, I just can’t go there.

[00:36:04] Let’s create some imaginary ones. So what a great creative opportunity. Although we obviously went In the book, you talk about how the fellow who made the imaginary friend, other people could actually sense that friend as well. So that was a bit next level, but hopefully if we create a rabbit, it’ll just be, won’t be leaving anything behind.

[00:36:23] Alan D Thompson: Awesome. I love that idea. Yeah. I don’t know enough about that. It’s got the keyword topper there, if you want it to research on the figures that they were creating. And of course in connected, we go deep into that particular story where he creates, oh, I don’t even know what it is. I picture it as a kind of a stick figure walking around that he created by concentrating on this concept of a tulpa for one hour, but then his, while he was away at work, his wife was scared by this figure and could recognize it.

[00:36:58] And it sat down on the bed and scared I, yeah. People want to play with that. That’s great. And creating a rabbit. Sounds fantastic. I think the, you know, there are some more, more basic things we can play around with. I’ve been messing around or playing around with a PhD or quite a high profile PhD. I won’t, I won’t mention her name.

[00:37:16] With this concept of sending images and being able to see what the other person comes up with. You can do your own online version of this. It chooses a random image and you concentrate on what you think it might be sending you. And then at the end of the time, it pops up that image. So you can see how close you were.

[00:37:34] We’ve been doing something similar and choosing a random image from Google images and sending it to each other and see, seeing what happens. You might like to play around with that with, with your children. I know that when I presented the very early research on connected and the research on this started back in 2016 at a conference in Thailand, there were people coming up to me afterwards, some academics coming up to me afterwards telling me about their experiences.

[00:38:03] One woman mentioned that. She went to school and it must’ve been in the fifties or sixties. She was quite old. And the nuns would sit the class down, hold up an image that only the nun could see. So like a photo that only the nuns could see the children would close their eyes and they would speak out what ever came into their mind.

[00:38:26] So very similar to the Gainesville experimented at Julliard. So I thought that was interesting. And that was quite a while ago that that was happening. You might be able to try that with your child as well. It just having these playful discussions and not being deliberate about it, not being forced about it.

[00:38:41] There’s really no reason to go crazy with this as much as to be it’s the feel, this freedom of being able to be connected. I want us to mention that in my Interactions with coaching clients. I’ve had a number of families tell me that they came to me because they insured from my photo on my website or from my writing that I was the right person for them to work with.

[00:39:05] And I thought that was, that has been really fascinating to hear from some mothers in particular and even some young clients. I’ve got one client that I’m thinking of at the moment in Queensland. And this young boy has autism. He has a similar reaction when he sees my videos or looks at the photos on the site, he says, I want to talk to Allen.

[00:39:28] So like we talked about before children have their own drive, they have their own passion. They don’t need to be pushed as, as much as they’re going to be pulling to be going where they want to go with their particular field or interest or hobby or whatever their passion is at that moment might be astronomy.

[00:39:46] It might be geology. It might be a particular computer game. And just to be able to follow along with that, I wouldn’t put any kind of heavy weight on this or try to force it, but just to be playful with it.

[00:39:56] Sophia Elliott: Beautiful. So thank you. There’s some great ideas in there that people can play around with. And it’s actually nice that we’re talking about play today because conversations around giftedness and parenting gifted kids can. Feel like a lot of hard work, it can be very intense.

[00:40:18] And so I really appreciate the fact that we’ve had a conversation just about listening to our intuition today and having a play. And that’s kind of the note that we’re ending on. It’s been wonderful to talk to you. I really appreciated the time today. So thank you so much

[00:40:35] Alan D Thompson: because thank you. Fair, awesome conversation and great questions.

[00:40:38] And like you say, it’s really fun to have this freedom to play around with raising high-ability children can feel like a burden for the entire family, not just financially, but mentally, emotionally. I know that it can be quite draining, but there are resources out there and there’s a lot of fun and playing around with who they are and what they’re capable of.

[00:40:58] But not just for achievement also, just for this sense of being in this sense of sharing. Yeah,

[00:41:04] Sophia Elliott: absolutely. I think wise words to end on. Thank you.

[00:41:09] Alan D Thompson: Awesome. Thanks.

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