4 Tips to Develop Your IntuitionThe only real valuable thing is intuition. ~Albert Einstein
When I was a child I would hear a soft slow voice inside me, whispering dreams and ideas, telling me possible problems I could encounter and solutions to issues I was facing.
The problem was that it scared the daylights out of me. I would shake my head, trying to get the voice to stop. I’d wonder what on earth was wrong with me. I didn’t tell a soul, for fear that I’d be seen as crazy, or worse, possessed by some demon I could not control.
I successfully suppressed this voice, but as I got older, I began to reap what I had sown. I didn’t realize that years of ignoring and shaming the voice inside me would lead to unhappiness: divorce, alcohol abuse and all the meaningless relationships that come with that sort of lifestyle.
It wasn’t until I felt completely alone, depressed and untouchable that I started to pay attention to that voice again. It came back to me in little ways. I noticed it was much easier to hear when I did certain things, like exercise or write. So I started to do those things more often.
After more than seven years of intentional work to be more in tune with my intuition, I trust myself. I feel like I am able to make choices that best suit my life. I even can hear when I need to make an unpopular choice, bring up an uncomfortable topic or just walk away from a situation, regardless of how weird it might seem.
If you’re looking to make better choices and feel more in harmony with yourself, accessing your intuition is an unbelievably easy shortcut to those feelings.
Think of it as the quick way up the mountain — you can walk that way instead of the switchbacks. It might be harder at first, but once you get the hang of it, you can make strides in your personal and spiritual life you never thought possible. Here’s how:
1. Get In Tune With Your Body
One of the quickest ways to hear the little voice in your heart that knows more than you could ever hope for is to exist fully in your body.
This might sound weird, but if you believe that we’re all one and that all knowledge is at our fingertips (which isn’t a far stretch if you’re at all familiar with the Internet) then you theoretically can access all of the knowledge of the universe simply by being your whole self.
This means different things to different people. I am always fully in my body when I am working out really hard. Some people don’t like that as much as they enjoy body awareness exercises.
This is a great excuse to get a massage, as long as you stay in your body! I used to float off, letting the massage therapist really push hard on my back; now that I stay in it, I’m much more interested in lighter pressure.
Yoga can also help you become more aware of your body as you identify with your breathing and really feel yourself wholly in the poses. Anything that helps you feel your body in a visceral way will help you be more in tune with your intuition.
2. Get Into Nature
There’s something very special about being outside. It can help you understand that we’re all one in a way that nothing else seems to touch.
I love my house, but when I spend too much time inside it, I notice I start to lose touch with my inner voice — the one that answers my questions when I’m looking for guidance. Just a quick jaunt into the woods helps reset me.
Of course, not everyone has the forest right outside their door, but even just getting to a park, sitting next to some water or putting your bare feet in the grass is enough to connect you to the bigger picture and therefore, your own guidance.
3. Be Quiet
There are plenty of things that can distract us, keep us busy and drown out our intuition. I know that when I wake up and immediately check my email or Facebook, I’m telling my body and mind that this is how my day will go — pinging from one thing to the next. I never feel like I have a choice in the matter.
The reality is our days are filled with choices, and when you are quiet enough, you can hear your intuition, that little voice, giving you direction one way or the other. There’s no need to take a vow of silence.
There are plenty of ways you can do this. Spend 20 minutes doing some yoga, walk along your favorite path or go to the gym without your headphones. Meditate if that’s your thing.
There’s no right way to be quiet; the idea is simply to give your intuition space to feel safe and heard. Then it will start to speak up even on those days you’re pinging around. I know mine does and it helps put me back on track.
4. Find your Expression
The emotions and feelings you have are directly linked to your intuition. In order to access it, you need to find safe ways to express these things.
For me, I am a huge fan of journaling. It soothes me; if I skip a day now I notice how much more anxious and out of sorts I am.
It also provides my intuition an outlet to tell me things. I’ll often read something later and surprise myself: Wow, that’s really wise. Ha!
But it’s true. If we don’t allow our intuition a place to play, whether it’s painting, writing, cooking, drawing, playing an instrument or singing in the shower, there is less of a chance it will feel like it can speak up anywhere. So find a way to express yourself, your emotions and your feelings, and your intuition will flourish.
Parting Words: Follow Your Intuition
All of these tips will only take you so far. The biggest piece of the intuition puzzle is following through on what you hear. For years as a young adult I would ignore my gut feelings, shush the voice in my heart and continuing living a life that was counter to everything I really wanted.
When we do something like that, over and over, our intuition starts to lose its voice, doesn’t feel wanted and quiets down. The only things that can wake us up at that point are crises, and even then sometimes we don’t hear our own inner voice.
The best thing you can do to access your intuition is follow the little things that tug at your heart or sit in your gut. The more you listen and follow through, giving your intuition reason to feel it’s trusted, the louder and more certain it will become, creating an irreplaceable relationship between you and it.
Because that’s what it really is — a relationship. So yes, use the tips above, but if you do only one thing, it’s follow through. Trust your intuition, and it will never steer you wrong.