Learning to follow our intuition is perhaps one of the most persistent lessons we have to learn in life. We often hear that we should follow our intuition or listen to our gut, but it can be difficult to know what exactly that means.
Intuition is described as: the ability to know something without the need for conscious reasoning. Intuition can come in the form of subtle sensations in the body, thoughts, random emotions, or a gut feeling.
In this post I want to clear up what intuition is, how we can strengthen it, and how to actually follow through on it. With a simple exercize to tune into your intuition on a daily basis.
What Is Intuition?
So what exactly is intuition and why is it important? From a scientific perspective, intuition is the accumulated knowledge of your unconscious mind. It’s all the warning signs, correlations and information you have picked up on without realizing.
From a spiritual perspective, intuition is the ability to pick up on the invisible field of energy that is all around us. We can pick up on other people’s energy through their aura, or pull information from the Akashic Records.
Tuning into our intuition allows us to gain clarity on our soul’s purpose for this lifetime, align with our higher self and bein embodying it here. It allows us to gently swift our sails in accordance with our internal GPS so we arrive on the right path.
When we aren’t tuned into our intuition our lives are ruled by external influence and opinion. We hand the power over someone else to guide our lives for us. Months and years can go by where we feel nothing is progressing, because we aren’t tuned into our inner guidance.
1. Trust Yourself
Yes, even before meditating, learning to trust yourself is the most important aspect to strengthening intuition. For many of us trusting our intuition not hearing it, is the hardest part. We become so accustomed to giving our power away, that we ignore what we know in our heart.
Some of the most intuitive people I know grew up in environments that were perfect for training their ‘spidey sense’ but awful for validating and nurturing it. You’ll find that if you grew up in a unsafe or anxious household, you became skilled at reading energy but likely didn’t feel safe enough to express it.
You have to consciously shift from needing external validation, to validating what you are feeling for yourself. Create a space within where your intuitive insights can be examined and amplified, rather than dismissed and silenced.
The most confusing part about following our intuition is figuring out if we are hearing our actual intuition or something else. We have tens of thousands of thoughts a day, and most of the time we aren’t even aware of them. This is where meditation comes in.
Meditation will help you in all areas of your life, but especially with learning how to hear your intuition. When you meditate you become the observer of our thoughts, rather than being swept up in them.
Contrary to popular belief, meditation doesn’t have to be difficult. Meditation can be as simple as getting into a comfortable position and focusing on our breath. Watch thoughts pass by and avoid labeling them.
Through this practice of observation, we learn how to identify when a thought is simply mind chatter and when it is something deeper. You’ll quickly begin to notice that our inner dialogue has many different qualities.
Some thoughts arise from a space of loud chaos, unconscious and fleeting. While others arise from a space of calm knowing. These are your intuitive insights. You will notice intuition by how it stands out amongst the chatter, it has an unmistakably clarity.
3. Observe Your Body
I would argue that intuition can be felt most strongly through the body. We often see intuition as a mind thing, when most our guidance actually comes from the sensations in our physical body.
During meditation sit with your body and simply observe the breath. Notice the length and depth of each one, feel it work its way through your body. Then bring your attention to any tension, heaviness or knots that arise as a result.
Tune into how different emotions feel in your body. Give them a detailed description: Are they heavy or light? Are they isolated to one area or spread out? What texture or color can you compare them to?
Observe your reactions
As you practice this you’ll begin to notice how your body reacts to people and situations outside of meditation. You’ll be able to catch the heaviness, tension, and different types of sensations that you receive. This is all information which points to deeper messages from your intuition.
When you are around other people pay attention to how your body responds. Do you feel restricted, heavy, anxious? Or do you feel expanded, safe and uplifted? Then examine why you might be feeling this way.
Be careful not to take all bodily responses as truth, but instead ask yourself why they are happening. Is the anxiety a sign you are unsafe, or it is unfounded fear? The more you practice examining your bodily reactions in this way, the easier it is to separate programmed responses from intuition.
Self-inquiry is one of my favorite exercizes for tuning into my intuition daily. This involves asking a question and then patiently waiting for a response. You can do this mentally or write it down so you have something to reference.
Open a page in your journal or the notes app in your phone and write a question you have in mind. You could ask an open or close-ended question, it really doesn’t matter. Meditate for a few minutes on the question and then go about your day.
Notice any relevant signs or synchronicities that come up later relating to that question. The key is to wait for a response that feels just right – that doesn’t come from overanalyzing or overthinking.
Daily self-inquiry questions:
- What do I need/want from today?
- What is the message for today?
- What do I need to face today?
- What do I need to let go of today?
- What did I learn today?
This can take mere moments, hours, or even days. Come back to this page and write the answer once it comes to you. The more you practice this the quicker your intuition will surface, and the clearer the answers you receive will become.
Don’t be afraid to ask for clarification when you receive an answer. You can go as deep with this as you like, using the initial answers you receive to dig deeper. This is what allows you to tune into more subtle intuitive messages that are easier to miss.
Gratitude is an important final step that we often leave out. When you receive an intuitive message, practice gratitude as soon as possible. Sometimes you will receive an intuitive insight but only realize when you come to reflect at the end of the day, it’s still worth showing gratitude at this point.
Self-gratitude helps the conscious and unconscious minds get into synch, and signals to the unconscious that you want more of the same. When I switched from kicking myself every time I missed an intuitive hit to showing gratitude, my intuition strengthened exponentially.
Our intuition is always speaking to us, whether we realize it or not! It’s simply a case of learning how to tune in, and transform the whispers of inner guidance into a loud roar.