We are born as sensitive, self-attuned beings. Sadly, however, too many of us are feeling anxiety, overwhelm and depression right now. It doesn’t have to be this way. A powerful cure is to develop your intuition so you can get back into your natural state of flow and self-attunement. The more conscious we become of our inner guidance and trusting of our body’s wisdom rather than other people’s guidance and demands, the more we can fine-tune our own intuition. The results can be swift and remarkable.
What is Intuition?
Intuition is often confused with instinct or impulse. However, instinct and impulse are lower brain functions, while intuition is a higher function. Intuition is defined as knowing, without knowing how we know. I like to say that intuition contains our individual wisdom. This incredible inner resource has been with you, me, and everyone else, all along and can provide us with excellent counsel when we learn how to listen to it. Whenever we are lost, anxious, down, or confused, it is a reliable source for guidance. Our job, of course, is to learn how to listen to what it is saying.
It is relatively easy to develop your intuition with more body awareness. You can also practice various exercises to become more attuned to your environment and others. Whatever you choose to do, expect to give it time to develop. Practice activities like meditation, journaling, dream journaling, and becoming curious about whatever captures your attention. I have an effective journaling tool that is a companion for my latest book, The Curious Voyage: A Rule-Breaking Guidebook to Authenticity. Using this with its exercise prompts can be a powerful tool for developing your own intuition. www.cynthasis.teachable.com
Intuition can start small, like whispered thoughts that nudge you toward your next action. That little voice is worth listening to. Over time you can begin to rely more and more on it. I encourage you to see where it leads.
We can all struggle to trust our intuition at first. I have been there myself. Many times, I did not listen to my intuition. I certainly heard my whispering inner voice, but I reasoned it away. Sometimes my attempts to dismiss it felt like an inner rebel saying, “Yes, I know but…”
Those situations left me with more problems than successes, which is a great awareness to have as you are learning to develop your intuition. Pay attention to when you feel intuition’s gentle nudge and then ignore it. What happens? Also, note those times you feel it and do follow its guidance. How does this turn out? Begin to notice the different sensations in your body and the difference in the voices that are leading you forward, compared to those that are stopping you from following through.
Personally, I have become much better able to hear my own intuition with practice of the tools I am suggesting, which gives me confidence that intuition is a skill we all can develop. Open up to your own willingness. Today, I am better able to become still and listen for intuition’s whispers from a place of trust. My intuitive voice has become stronger than my ego voice (which trusts logic and forgets that I am connected to a wiser voice within.) Even today I was going to shred a paper the ego voice said, “That is stupid,” yet since practicing more and more a new voice arose and said, “Maybe so, but I will listen and not figure out the why, it is merely shredding a paper.” A relief came over me. That relief and peace happen more and more as we listen.
In what ways has your intuition been showing up lately?
The Body as a Portal for Intuitive Guidance
Part of tuning into our intuition is tuning into our body; its senses and gentle nudges—or electrical impulses. We can develop this body insight with some of the exercises found in my book, The Curious Voyage: A Rule-Breaking Guidebook to Authenticity. Each exercise is designed to charge up our bodies and support our connectedness to everyone and everything—especially our intuition.
Most of us are familiar with the “gut feeling” that signals intuition is steering us toward (or away from) something we are considering. However, that is not the only way our body conveys messages from our intuition. We can feel tension in our shoulders, develop a headache, feel high or low energy, and many other sensations that develop just as we are considering a particular situation or relationship.
One of my favorite exercises for clients who lack clarity about what choice is right for them is for them to consider a particular option, then sense where they feel that choice in their body. It is important to visualize the option actually happening, as they tune into their body’s response. I ask them:
Where do you feel it?
How does it feel?
Then, to take it one step further, they (and now you) can imagine you are in the woods (or at the beach) and you come across a fork on the path, there is a sign on a tree pointing in different directions with the words of your choices. Notice yet another sign labeled with a choice you did not think of before. Imagine going down each path and see how it feels. It is as if your intuition is showing you what feels easier, harder, full of things in the way, or clear. I have an exercise you can try yourself for guidance.
Getting Into the Flow
If you wonder whether developing your intuition is worth it, be aware that it is the way we enter into the state called “flow.” Athletes achieve this flow state for peak performance. They already know what the rest of us would benefit from learning: Finding flow makes the most challenging effort easier. When we aren’t in flow, we tend to try to force solutions, ignoring the guidance of our intuition, and the results are mixed. Additionally, when we force solutions, we often create compounded problems, including injury to ourselves or others, both physical and otherwise. We can get to know the body sensation of flow vs. force.
Another benefit to flow is that it is a state where we are our most creative because creativity comes from achieving balance in ourselves. When we are stressed, overwhelmed, confused or depressed, then we are out of flow. We also have effectively unplugged our creative inspiration since those weighty emotions consume almost all of our personal energy, with none to spare. I have developed a Self-spotting exercise you can do to reconnect to your creativity.
As we develop our intuition, we become more receptive to its wisdom, voice and energy. This is the attribute of receptivity, which happens during flow, and I invite you to read more about it in The Curious Voyage: A Rule-Breaking Guidebook to Authenticity.