Thursday, 16 January 2014

How to find and listen to your intuition

When giving advice, people often say “listen to your gut” or “follow your instinct."

It's a pretty common saying and I’m sure I’ve said it to a lot of people before, but it’s just now, at the age of almost-30, that I’m starting to figure out what it means.

I believe that your intuition is a part of you. It’s a part of your heart, soul and mind. It’s an extension of your body, like your fingers or toes. It’s not something that you’ve ever had a choice of, it's just something that you were born with.

Your intuition is supposed to help guide you and make decisions in life.

Its intention is to help you live your best life and connect with yourself on an intimate level. It develops with you as you grow as a person, and never leaves. It can, I believe, grow and change over time with you.

Recently I’ve been connecting with mine more than ever before and I love it. I can’t believe I lived so far apart from it for so long.

If you feel out of touch with yours, here is a little bit more about what I think intuition is, and how you can find it.

What it is:

It's you

Your intuition is connected to your body, heart, soul and mind. It’s in your temperament. It's what makes you tick, and what you like to do or don’t do. Everyone’s intuition is going to be different based on who they are. Something that sends off alarm bells in your head and may seem like a “bad sign” to you, may not send off the same alarm bells to someone else because everyone is different and likes or dislikes different things. That’s ok. This is about you. You are your own person with your own private thoughts.

It's not always about the bad stuff

Your gut instinct recognizes both good and bad things. It doesn’t just pipe up when something is negative, alarming, or dangerous. It shares positive thoughts, too. Don’t confuse this with hopes and dreams and what you want (or what you think you want), but remember that your intuition is nice to you. If something is good and great, and it feels good and great, then it is. This goes for everything,
including how you take care of your health, make career moves, and meet a new friend. If it feels really great for you, then it probably is.

It’s different than common sense

Your intuition is not obvious, nor is it about the obvious stuff.

“I just know to lock my doors every night because my intuition tells me to.”

No, it’s because you’re aware of the risks that are associated with leaving your doors unlocked over night.

“I didn’t look both ways before I crossed the street because I had a gut feeling that there were no cars coming.”

No, that’s being stupid. Look both ways before you cross the street. Use your common sense.

Ok, so you know you have intuition...somewhere. The trick is tracking it down.

Here are some ways to help you find it:

Feel it

Your intuition is a physical sensation. I once described it as something I could feel coming from behind me and through the back of my spine until I finally felt a nudge deep in my stomach. 

You might first feel a little nudge in your abdomen area, shoulders or chest. It’s a bit different for everyone. For me, the heavy instincts feel like they are somewhere deep in my belly.

They are subtle, but they're there. 

Hear it

It didn't speak to me necessarily in a quiet whisper, but it wasn't a slap in the face, either. It was just something that was there.

Your mind will start processing thoughts without you even realizing it. And maybe you don't know why you are thinking or worrying about certain things. You can't really pin it down, but some things are just not adding up in your head. You’re not sure where these thoughts or ideas are coming from. It may feel like a sub-conscious effort. But listen to these thoughts! They are a part of you. Hear them without judgement or intention - just listen.

Wait for it

Your intuition will speak to you when you’re ready for it.

Sometimes it may be instant, other times it may take a while for you to realize what it’s saying or doing.

Your intuition doesn’t punch you in the stomach and start yelling at you. It’s always there, but it may take a while for a person to notice it. Especially if you are, for example, occupied with every-day life stuff at the moment, or in denial about something.

Often, it slowly creeps up on me until the day that I finally check in and notice it. It’s like something just clicks.

Sometimes I may have had to process some information, admit some things to myself, or maybe sleep on it, but the answer always comes. Sometime it will come to me at the most random time. For example, I had been struggling with something for about a week or so, and one morning on my regular commute to work, I finally confirmed with myself what I had been struggling with all along, and just like that, and the answer was obvious to me. My intuition had been there the entire time, but I wasn’t ready to listen to it or make a decision until that morning.

Do Yoga

Yoga connects all of you – body, soul, mind and heart. It takes you to your edge while feeling still and balanced. Yoga has been a great calming activity of me, while helping me keep physically healthy. There are many different varieties and styles of yoga that a person can do. Try several different classes and teachers to find the one that you like the most, and keep it up.

Once you learn to trust yourself and your intuition, confidence will build and you will get to know yourself more and more each day. It's one of the best things you could do for yourself. 

Take it slow, practise patience, and trust yourself.

Thanks for reading,