If you’re feeling a bit out of step with the world, misaligned or uncomfortable, or you feel that your life just isn’t where you want it to be, it might be time to turn your attention to your intuition. Your intuition is an endlessly wise, compassionate, and gentle guide that everyone already has within themselves. Yes, everyone.
Intuition isn’t magic, or even a psychic ability. It’s that nagging, creeping feeling you get about an acquaintance who just rubs you the wrong way. It’s that spark you feel when you meet someone at a party who you just know will be important in your life. It’s that nauseous feeling on Monday morning when you go into a job that sucks all of your energy and self-esteem right out of you. It’s when a mother can sense that her child is in danger. It’s when a friend just knows that something is bothering you, no matter how brightly you smile.
Intuition is knowing without knowing. It’s a knowledge that isn’t drawn from logic or the mind, but from your body and your emotions.
In order for society to be able to function the way it’s been built, you’ve been trained not to listen to yourself, but to place your trust in your elders, teachers, bosses, and religious and political leaders. Trusting the voice of our intuition is completely discouraged in favor of being taught to fit in, to do what we’re told, and to follow the rules.
As a result, our emotions are often seen as things to be hidden, controlled, and suppressed, things that are unreliable. Often, especially for those of us who are deeply emotional, this can lead to feelings of not belonging, of insecurity, and most profoundly, a deep distrust of our intuitive abilities.
Relearning how to listen to your intuition can bring you back in tune with a more instinctual, honest way of being, can help you think and feel for yourself, and can lead you to create your best life.
“When the mind is free of cravings, aversions and distortions, then it settles and becomes sharper. That is when intuition develops.”
– Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
Here are five ways to tap into your intuition and begin to trust yourself again.
- Listen to your gut. This one seems really obvious, but it’s truly the beginning of honing your intuition. When you’re in a situation where you have to make a decision, go with the first option that springs to your mind, without overthinking or obsessing. This isn’t easy, and takes lots of practice, but once you give yourself the confidence and power to make decisions this way, you’ll find it easier and easier to tap into your intuition as time goes on. Your intuition is a quiet voice, not something that forces its way in, and the more often you listen, the better you’ll be able to hear it.
- Tune in to the world. Really pay attention to the world around you. What do you hear? What do you see? What do you smell? And most importantly, how are your body and mind reacting to these things? Pay attention to other people, too—their body language, their tone of voice, etc. The physical world actually carries a lot of information that the animal of your body knows how to interpret independent of your rational mind. This is why people who spend a lot of time together begin to really pick up on habits and how the other person is feeling. For instance, did you know that when you get “weird vibes” from someone, it could actually be your body reacting to pheromones?
- Nourish your creativity. Creativity is simply the process of bringing what’s going on in your inner world to the outside world. It doesn’t matter how you do it—dance, painting, poetry, what you wear—all that matters is that you do. Creativity helps you recognize things that you instinctively know, helps you dive deep into what your subconscious mind is doing. Seeing the fruits of your inner labor also helps you realize that you’ve known what’s going on all along.
- Meditate. Mediation helps you quiet down and listen to what your body and mind are trying to tell you. It’s a skill that helps you brush away all of the dust and rubble that’s collected in the everyday slog of life, and get to the bottom of things that you might not even know are affecting you. Your intuition thrives on attention and quiet, both of which are strengths that blossom with a regular meditation practice.
- Explore your spirituality. What spiritual practices resonate with you? Whether it’s working to open your third eye chakra, listening to the messages of Spirit, or putting your trust in God, spirituality is an important part of any intuitive journey. Spend time in prayer, contemplation, and communing with nature, and let yourself go deeply inside to touch the place where divinity lives within you.
Intuition is a skill, not a talent. It’s a birthright that we all can claim, and by honoring it and nurturing it, we can transform our lives. So how will you begin to tap into your intuition today?