By Kirsten Harrell
You are driving home from work and you suddenly get the urge to go a different route. You follow the urge only later to hear on the radio that there was a major accident on your usual route. You think to yourself, “what good luck!”
You wake up in the morning and remember that you dreamed that a family member was ill. You call the person and find out that she is not well. You think, “what a coincidence!”
Was it really luck or a coincidence? Or is there something more going on? Absolutely…it was your intuition at work!
The dictionary definition of intuition is an immediate insight or understanding without conscious reasoning. Intuition or hunches are the whispers from your soul, offering you guidance and direction. Intuition is a powerful source of information, creativity, and inspiration. When you follow your intuitive voice life flows more easily, things seem to fall into place, and you will experience less stress.
Inventors, business people, law enforcement officers, healers, and many others use their intuition regularly to make decisions and to achieve success. Intuition can help you make decisions at work and in your personal life - especially when you don't have time to gather all the pertinent information. It can help you avert difficulties and tune into potential problems on a project. Your intuitive voice can help you with simple choices (like which route to take home) and big decisions (like which job to take).
Everyone has intuitive potential - men and women. It is a natural talent that everyone possesses. It is not something special limited to only a few gifted individuals. As a child, you freely accessed your intuition. Unfortunately, over time you likely received negative feedback from your peers, teachers, or family. You likely began to doubt your intuitive voice and shut down this channel of information. The good news is that with a little patience and practice you can strengthen and hone your intuition to create a valuable guidance system.
The first and most important thing that you can do to develop your intuition is to acknowledge and honor the intuitive messages that you are currently getting. Your intuitive voice is still there, you just need to tune into it. Start paying attention to and trusting those little hunches or gut feelings that you have. If you did nothing more than start honoring your intuitive impulses, you would find a dramatic improvement in your intuitive abilities.
Intuitive messages can come as a sudden "knowing," gut feelings, thoughts, images, emotions, or bodily sensations. It is important to pay attention to the way your intuitive messages generally show up for you. Think back to what it felt like when you got the sudden urge to take a different route home (or some other intuitive event). What did that feel like? Was it a feeling? A thought? An image? It is important to pay attention to the details of an event like this, because it will help you understand the way you receive intuitive messages. Once you know what your intuition feels like, it makes it easier to discern between intuition and other messages like fear or wishful thinking.
In addition, you can begin some specific exercises and practices to further enhance your intuitive abilities.
6 ways to strengthen your intuition:
Clearing your mind - It is easier to hear the whispers from the soul when your mind is quiet and open. Much of the time your mind is wandering and "going a mile a minute." You likely have lots of thoughts running through your mind at any given moment. You probably spend much of your day multi-tasking. All of this "noise" makes it difficult to hear your intuitive voice. It is important to find some ways to quiet your mind. You can't shut off your thoughts completely, but you can learn to slow them down. Let all the distracting thoughts flow out of your mind. Let them go. Picture your thoughts floating away on a cloud. Focus on your breathing and allow your mind and body to relax more with each breath. You might even try counting down from 10 to 1 and allow yourself to relax more with each count. Once your mind is clearer, you can then access your intuition.
Meditation - There are many forms of meditation and all are excellent ways to get centered and quiet the mind. Even a few minutes of meditation daily can increase your ability to hear your intuitive voice. Meditation is like priming the pump. As you get used to being in a meditative state, you will find that it is easier to hear the whispers from your soul and to distinguish these messages from other mental chatter. If you are new to meditation you might try sitting quietly and focusing your attention on a candle flame. When your awareness drifts (and it will), simply bring your attention gently back to the flame. You can also try focusing your attention on a short phrase or word (mantra) that you repeat over and over to yourself. Remember that the key is to gently bring your mind back to your focus point. Getting frustrated will only interfere with the process.
Imagery - You can use imagery to help you access intuitive answers to your questions. Imagine yourself in a quiet place in nature, surrounded by beauty and wonder. Make this image as vivid as possible by using all of your senses. Spend a few moments simply enjoying this place in your mind’s eye. Then, imagine a treasure chest nearby. You feel excited as you approach the chest because you know that the answer to your question is inside. Take a deep breath and imagine yourself opening the treasure chest. Don't try to control this, let your intuitive mind guide you. Trust that whatever is inside the chest is your answer. You might receive a very clear answer or you might get a symbol that doesn't make logical sense to you. Either way, it is exactly what you need. Trust that if the answer is not clear right away, it will become clear over time. Over the next few days, be open to feelings, songs, conversations, or any synchronistic events. Be patient! If you become frustrated or try to force an answer, you will block the flow of intuition.
Dreams – While you are sleeping and your conscious mind is at rest, your soul has the opportunity to bring intuitive information to you through your dreams. When you are working on a problem and looking for your intuitive guidance, take some time before you fall asleep to ask for an answer to come to you through your dreams. Be sure to keep a journal by your bed so that you can record your dreams the moment you wake up. Your answers may come symbolically and may need some interpretation.
Affirmations - You can use affirmations to focus your mind. It is best to use affirmations with some form of relaxation (such as deep breathing) in order to get the combined effects of a relaxed body and focused or centered mind. Affirmations are a terrific way to tap into the power of your subconscious mind to help you reach your conscious desires. Affirmations should be concise sentences stated in a positive way. When creating an affirmation remember to state what it is that you want, not what you don’t want. Another important guideline is to always use the present tense when creating your affirmations. The following are a few examples of affirmations to increase your intuitive abilities. I trust my intuition. My intuitive voice is consistently accurate. I access my intuition easily.
Practice - It is important to practice using your intuition. When you first start practicing you may want to begin with small issues that do not have a significant impact on your life. For example, try to guess who is calling before you pick up your phone. Guess which elevator will show up first when you are standing in front of a bank of elevators. Practicing with these simple issues will allow you to stay relaxed and focused without too much distraction from fear or other mental chatter. As you practice, you will get better at recognizing your intuitive impulses and you will gain confidence in using this skill. The more confident you feel about identifying your intuitive voice, the more you will trust it and be able to act on it.
As you practice using your intuition and build your skill, you will find that your intuitive voice is a precious resource – an indispensable gift. You can use this inner wisdom to guide you in all of your decisions at work, at home, and at play. The more you use and trust your intuition, the stronger it will get and the more confident you will feel about it. The whispers from your soul will always guide you to the path that is for your highest good.