Gut feelings, sixth sense, intuition, are only a few of many different ways to describe this form of knowledge that just comes to us, without any form of conscious reasoning, a deep inner knowing, that arises holistically and swift.
Some people have no problem admitting that they live by it, yet in our fear-based culture, obsessed over controlling life in every way possible most still struggle to tap into this 'super power' that, in fact, positively influences our decision making, helps us navigate change, life decisions, and other people's intentions. Our intuition, if truly recognised, is our true north, guiding us to heal, grow, evolve, and transcend our personal conditioning.
Like Einstein said, "The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant." We all possess a deep inner wisdom, we only have forgotten to listen to it because we moved away from the connection to our body and gave away too much power to our rational mind.
You might be wondering, "How do I know when my intuition is speaking to me?" As much as I wished I could give you a very clear unambiguous answer, I can only offer you a certain framework, which will guide you back to your inner wisdom. Everybody experiences intuition differently, but it can be trained and accessed through small, everyday decisions. There are four primary pathways that intuition communicates through: the body, the heart, the mind and the spirit.
Strengthening your intuition muscle, like any other muscle in your body, requires dedication and retraining your brain, but isn't it worth it all, knowing that it will help you feel more aligned and start to be at the steering wheel of your life?!
To do so, you'll set your own intention, and shift from looking outside-in to inside-out. Here I'll share some small habits that you can incorporate into your daily routine to turn up the volume on that trustworthy inner voice, your 'higher self':
1. Slow Down
With the fast pace of every-day life, and non-stop information coming in from everywhere, you might feel like you are always - and always have to be - ON. Reminding you to slow down and breathe allows you to be more in touch with yourself and your needs. Whether you take a few minutes to consciously breathe, meditate, go for a walk or a bike ride, take a long shower, it is in these moments where you loosen up, and your intuition is able to speak louder.
Remember, you don’t always have to be busy or productive to be valuable — it’s okay to do absolutely nothing. Slowing down allows you to be present so you can hear and process your thoughts and emotions, an important step for accessing your intuitive side.
2. Listen to your Body
Intuition is referred to as a “gut feeling” for a reason. The body holds a ton of wisdom that is often subconscious, and can reflect your deeper feelings, wants, and wishes. Case in point: Ever feel a pit in your stomach when approaching something you don’t think is a good idea, even though your mind is telling you everything is fine? It might be time to start listening to those hunches after all.
When exercising your intuition, cue into how your body feels. Is there a heaviness or sinking feeling when you think about something, or is there an energy that makes you feel expansive, warm, and open?
Of course, learning to experience the difference between anxiety and intuition is key, since they can often feel similar. Typically, anxiety has an emotion attached to it, whereas intuition is emotion-free and relies on inner knowing.
3. Quiet your Mind
Maybe you’ve heard of the 'monkey mind', or 'inner critic' — a term that refers to restless or unsettling mental chatter. It tends to cast an extensive amount of self-doubt which can block your real feelings or true desires from coming forth. Being able to recognize and quiet these thought patterns so you can separate your thoughts and feelings from facts allows your intuition to talk to you.
There are several things you can try to calm your mind, including dancing, journaling and taking walks in nature. These practices help you better observe your thoughts and get into a space that opens you up to higher, more self-aware thinking. When we quiet our minds, the intuitive flow grows stronger.
4. Cut out the Noise
Be careful, not only of what you feed your body, but also of what you feed your mind i.e. what you watch, who you listen to, what you read etc. What you choose to engage with or who you choose to listen to can have a big impact on your wellbeing. Ultimately, you know yourself best; outside opinions or viewpoints that distract you from doing you can often be unwanted noise.
This is where it becomes important to establish boundaries with people who offer unsolicited advice on what they think is best for you. Boundaries don’t have to be harsh or rigid, but can simply be establishing what you will and won’t talk about with certain people. By distancing yourself from these unwanted opinions, there’s more room for your intuition to speak up.
5. Get outside your Comfort Zone
It is a fact that your brain wants to keep you safe by resisting change. However, your intuition pushes you to break out of old habits and patterns, it wants you to expand, grow and evolve into your best version. When you realise this and learn how to trust your intuition, even though you don't see the outcome, you'll begin to live in harmony with life itself.
Leaving your comfort zone is often associated with fear, as unfamiliar things can seem scary. However, you don’t have to go all out with a big decision like quitting your job on a whim, especially if you don’t have a plan B. Instead, you can follow the nudge of your intuition by exploring the deeper messages your intuition is giving you by doing things outside your normal routine and taking steps in a different direction. Very often, it’s the smallest of actions that lead to the bigger things to unfold as they’re meant to.
As mentioned above, do not expect miracles to happen from one day to another. Tapping into your intuition is like learning any other skill and training every other muscle that you've never worked out before. Practice using it every day, listening, even when you don't know why or where it will lead you.
Become mindful, slow down, move into peace of mind and become insightful :-)