A brief recap on intuition… For the past 2 parts of this series we have been discussing intuition.
Intuition goes by many names: inner wisdom, gut feeling, little voice, inner GPS just to name a few. Intuition is often instinctual. You just seem to know something without actually knowing it from reasoning or experience. It often appears as a feeling and it generally comes out of nowhere.
Today the finale we will be discussing ways to listen to our intuition
Learning to trust your intuition takes practice. We are born with the capability but lose it as we grow up. We are trained and encouraged to trust our rational mind rather than our gut feelings. But you can build up your trust and your intuition just like a muscle.
How can you? I have listed 9 ways…..
(1) Create the intention to begin noticing your intuition. Set out to stop ignoring or dismissing this aspect of yourself. Shut off your inner critic that needs to rationalize everything, and just listen – without judgment. You must first be willing to hear the truth in your heart. That’s what the intuition speaks for.
(2) Meditate: Quiet Your Mind Whether you call it an inner knowing, your higher self or something godlike, that wise inner voice inside is always communicating with you. The problem is that it can be hard to hear until you learn how to quiet your mental chatter. Most people have an overactive mind and over-identify with their thoughts, which they mistakenly believe define – or are – them. We are so much more than our thoughts. Once you can learn to quiet the mental chatter, you can access your intuitive intelligence. Walk in nature if you can… Take a few quiet moments to tune in and mentally set aside your to-do list. Close the door. Turn off the phone. Shut down or move away from your computer. Then take a few deep, slow breaths to relax your body. Focus your attention only on inhaling and exhaling. When thoughts come, picture them as clouds floating by in the sky. Then refocus on your breath. You can call this meditation if you want to, but it’s ultimately just a wonderful way of stilling your mind.
(3) Pay attention to your dreams… Intuition is the language of dreams. Every 90 minutes, during the REM stage of sleep, we dream. Dreams can provide answers about health, relationships, finances or any area where the solution isn’t always obvious to our rational waking mind. While dream recall can be elusive for some people, one trick to remembering them is to keep a dream journal by your bed.
(4)Listen to Your Gut/hunches: Pay attention to what your gut says, especially during situations like initial meetings, when this visceral reaction occurs before you’ve had a chance to think. Among other things, it conveys whether you’re at ease with others or not… Before your thinking mind kicks in, start to train yourself to check in with your gut. How is it reacting to other people? Is it in knots?
(5) Pay Attention to Your Body’s Signals/Cues….Your body provides powerful information about your health, decisions and other people. On a basic level, when you’re tired, rest. If you’re sad, cry. Stressed-out: Take a break and have some fun. On a deeper level, it’s also instructive to notice which people give you energy and which sap it. Use this information to create a positive circle of support around you and work to avoid or limit contact with “toxic” people.
(6)Ask for Inner Guidance… This creative way to consult your intuition can help you solve problems, especially seeming paradoxes. Set aside five to 10 minutes to be quiet and still your mind. Inwardly pose a question to yourself, like “Is this financial direction a good one for me right now?” ,”is this guy or woman the right one for me?” And so on… Stay open to any flashes, sensations or impressions you receive. If your gut feels good about it, go forward. If you get a sense of “beware,” either don’t take action or proceed with caution
(7) BE ever present: Stay open; remember what it’s like to be a child and to see things for the very first time even if you have had the experience before… Try new things, ask questions, and practice saying, “I don’t have all the answers”. The ability to stay curious will give your inner voice a place to go. When we close off and act like we know the answers like prejudging or putting labels on things we close the door for our intuition to work.., that voice gets trapped, nowhere to go and no way for you to hear it! When you are open about the “process” of things (the journey), rather than looking ahead to the final outcome (the destination), this will help you cultivate present-moment awareness. Living in the present moment will allow you to hear that inner voice more clearly.
(8)DO NOT BE SCARED OF CHANGE: When you do things out of your normal routine and step out of your comfort zone, you will surprise yourself! The more healthy risk you take, the more you learn, the more practice you get and you’ll build more confidence to try more. Taking risk by making changes gives you strength and helps you trust the inner wisdom that’s guiding you to take the risk in the first place! So call that new friend, join that new group, sign-up for a class, try something you’ve never done before…do something that scares you and let your intuition soar.
(9)Distinguishing between Intuition and Fearful or Wishful Thinking: As you become proficient at interpreting your intuitions, you need to be able to distinguish authentic ones from fear-based or hopeful thinking. Reliable intuitions convey information neutrally or unemotionally, though they may have a compassionate, affirming tone. They often come through as exceptionally clear and crisp. Or you may have a detached sensation, as if you’re in a theatre watching a movie. In contrast, fearful or wishful thinking can feel highly emotionally charged, be accompanied by no sense of rightness in the gut, be cruel or demeaning, or reflect some old issues or psychological wounds, like fear of intimacy, insecurities, superstitious beliefs etc.
As you practice these techniques to develop your intuition, remember to have fun. Look at it as an adventure to learn how to be smarter and more discerning in your life. The best way to know if intuition is accurate is to test it out, then observe the results. As I’ve observed time and again in my own life and the people I mentor, working with your intuition is like having your own secret weapon.