Last month we discussed intuition as the language of the soul, and the soul as the rightful captain of our lives. But what is intuition in more practical terms? How can we recognize and develop it? We focused on this topic during this month’s webinar, and I wanted to share with you some key points that came out of that discussion.
First, intuition is a non-rational mode of perception that can take various forms:
- Body-based: The body expresses intuition through a myriad of sensations such as tingling and tightening, feeling warmer or colder, having a funny feeling in your gut, sweating, or experiencing changes in your breathing pattern.
- Flash of Insight: Sometimes intuition appears out of nowhere, like an instant flash – a vision, an idea, or hearing an inner voice.
- Deep Knowing: On the other end of the spectrum is a sense of deep knowing – we don’t know why or how, but we just know something at the core of our being. While flash insights seem to come out of nowhere, with deep knowing we feel like we’ve known something forever, without any clear sense of when or how we learned it.
Whichever form it takes, intuition requires “inner” space, which is created by turning down the volume of our mental noise – our seemingly unending stream of thoughts. Therefore, to develop intuition, we must first quiet the mind. But how?
- Meditation: There a many forms of meditation that involve different techniques and goals. However, all forms of meditation will lead you to a greater awareness of your mental processes, and give you practical tools for managing your thoughts.
- Minimally Focused Activities: The intuitive space exists somewhere between total focus and being spaced out. Activities that engage the mind without overtaxing it include showering, exercising, gardening, knitting, walking in nature, etc.. These minimally focused activities make space for your intuition to arise.
- Being Present: There’s a knowing that comes from simple presence – when our attention is fully rooted in the present moment. Being fully and completely present allows our intuition to act like an inborn computer: it inputs and processes each moment of reality, then outputs a solution or set of next steps.
- Practicing Intuition: Practice, practice, practice! Start using intuition to make daily, non-essential decisions such as choosing a menu item at a restaurant, finding a parking spot, locating an item in a store, etc. Simply take a deep breath, bring your attention to the present moment, and try to “sense” what to do. Then, without any analysis, do what comes to mind first and see what happens.
Life is an unending sequence of decisions, so you will have innumerable opportunities to develop and practice using your intuition. Our fear of uncertainty and need for control generally compel our minds to take the lead in our lives. Instead, try letting intuition sit at the head of your inner table and see what happens – for a day, a week, a month, or even a lifetime. Face your fears and have some fun – you have nothing to lose but fear itself!