Knowing who you are and being grounded in what makes you unique is a radical act of self-acceptance, especially in a world that breeds conformity. Many people struggle with feeling unintelligent or not worthy enough, which makes sense in a society that only promotes a few types of intelligence.

I used to be adamant that I wasn’t smart. It was part of why I only went to university in my 30s; I believed that logical and linguistic-based intelligence was all that was important. Since broadening my perspective, I hold pride in my aptitude for bodily-kinaesthetic, interpersonal, intrapersonal, and naturalistic intelligence.

Types of Intelligence

In 1983, Harvard Psychologist Howard Gardner started promoting intelligence beyond just logic/mathematical; he named six others – linguistic, musical, bodily-kinaesthetic, spatial, interpersonal, and intrapersonal. Additionally, naturalistic intelligence is finally prioritized as an essential component of living compassionately within our environments.  

Naturalistic – attraction to plants, animals, and outdoor activities. Ability to care responsibly for the natural world.

Logical – adept at problem-solving skills and mathematical equations.

Linguistic – adept at communicating verbally and written. Ability to learn other languages.

Musical – identification of tone, pitch, and rhythm. Ability to compose and perform musically.

Bodily-kinaesthetic – ability to coordinate and move the body with skill. Ability to express emotions somatically.

Spatial – ability to use space in novel ways and recognize patterns. Common in artists.

Interpersonal – ability to understand another’s motivations, desires, and intentions.

Intrapersonal – ability to understand your motivations, desires, and intentions.

*Emotional – is a combination of interpersonal, intrapersonal, and bodily-kinesthetic.


What is your unique brand of intelligence? How would leaning into what you are already good at support you in being more compassionate with yourself? The next time you doubt yourself or your abilities, recall your unique brand of intelligence with pride.

*Originally written for my 31-day course that help you with the art and skill of Embodied Compassion.