Do You Know Why and How to Trust Your Intuition?
“The more we follow our intuition, the more we’ll find that the right doors open to assist us in fulfilling our life’s purpose.”
~ Cheryl Richardson
Sounds fabulous! I am all about my life’s purpose.
But follow my intuition? That thing that guides me without the need for conscious reasoning? Really?
That does not seem like a responsible way to go through life.
I mean, will I really make sensible, conscientious, and rational choices if I am being directed by my intuition?
And even if I do want to follow my intuition once in a while, how do I know I can trust it?
I used to have similar conversations with myself quite often.
At first they involved the concept of intuition itself: “So what exactly is this thing called ‘intuition’, and do I really believe in it?”
Then they turned towards recognizing intuition” “Is THIS my intuition telling me something? Or is THAT it?”
Next, they focused on practicing and trusting intuition: “Let me try setting my intention and attention for this…”
And finally, the conversations became more about taking action and integrating intuition into my daily life: “Okay, let me see what happens when I…”
These days I find that integrating intuition is my daily life. It is natural, just like it is meant to be! I do not need to ‘work’ at it so hard.
So how did I get to this point, you ask?
Well, take a quick break from your busy schedule and let me share some ‘how’s’ and ‘why’s’ of trusting your intuition.
Pretty soon it will be natural for you too. Sound good?
Let us take a moment to explore what intuition is.
You have heard of it, and may have even experienced it before. Like the time you were feeling a need to connect with your sibling, and before you could grab your phone, what happened? In popped a message and it was them on the other end! Voila!
Reflecting on examples of intuition, it has been found that intuition is:
- inclusive of feelings, experiences and knowledge
- understanding something immediately without the need for conscious reasoning
- knowing something, but not always knowing how or why you know it
- tapping into your own higher consciousness
Alright, but how can you be sure you are not just making these ‘hunches’ up; that they are not just your imagination?
Our imagination is the gateway to all that we experience in our physical world and beyond. Everything you do and everything you create has been imagined. Without imagining an action, your body cannot actually fulfill that action. In order for you to do something you must first imagine being able to do it.
Take buying a gift, for example. You must imagine what type of gift is appropriate for the person and the occasion, then imagine where to find that gift, how to obtain it, how to present it, and when to present it. Whew! You do all of this without thinking twice about “Is this just my imagination?”, right?
When it comes to ‘everyday’ actions that stem from imagining, you do not label them suspect. Yet when it comes to other actions, ones that are more intuitive, your imagination becomes suspect. Hmmm, should this be any different? Is there a break in trusting your imagination for some things and not for others?
Your beliefs play a role in this trust. They dictate your thoughts and actions. When you believe that intuition is not natural, or scary, or accessible to only some people, you limit yourself. When you believe that it is natural, or you have grown up with such experiences, you open yourself to the flow. Shifting your beliefs shifts your experiences, and you realize how intertwined your imagination and intuition really are.
Recognizing your intuition.
Intuition communicates differently with each person, so it is tricky to give a blanket statement of what to expect. That being said, here are some examples of how intuition may communicate with you:
- stomach feeling like it is tightening, warming, shrinking, or getting heavy
- tingling or sensations in head, shoulders, throat or heart
- flashes of images
- perception of smells or sounds
This is a great time to connect with your body! What is your body telling you?
Try it out!
Think of a choice you have to make. Start as simply as you’d like, maybe something like, “Shall I have cereal or oatmeal for breakfast?” As you consider the choices, your body reacts. Pay attention to its reactions. Continue learning and strengthening your communication by asking more questions and noticing how your body responds. Your personalized communication system is ready and waiting for you!
Practicing and trusting your intuition.
There are two main components when collaborating with your intuition: setting your intention, and setting your attention.
- Set your intention: be purposeful - what choice are you seeking help with? Put your question out there to the Universe, inviting in guidance. Once you set your intention, simply go forward with your day, staying alert to communication as it emerges.
- Set your attention: intuition may be in the background at first, but the more you pay attention to it, no matter how subtle it may be, the more you bring it to the foreground. Be attentive. The more attention you give to it, the more powerful and accurate it will be. Start noticing and integrating your intuition.
You have set both your intention and your attention, so now what?
Well, you might like to prepare yourself for communicating with your intuition, kind of like doing little warm-ups. A few ideas for doing this are:
- Try meditation: meditation quiets your mind, relaxes your thoughts and calms your body, enabling you to access intuition more easily.
- Visit nature: get outside! Visit an indoor garden. Spend time with animals. Many of the benefits of meditation are derived from nature also.
- Pay attention to dreams: dreams provide insights and opportunities to see situations in a different light.
- Create!: when you create, you are opening your mind and following your instincts. Take the opportunity to engage with music, dance, drama, arts, engineering, writing - anything to get your creative juices flowing!
When you are all warmed up, go a step further toward recognizing your intuition by:
- Writing in a journal: reflecting on the day and writing about your experiences with intuition helps you to learn your intuition’s preferred mode of communication. Check for accuracy, assess the value of the responses and ask for further insights.
- Keeping a list: make a list of each time you have followed your intuition. Describe the situation, how your intuition communicated with you, the choice you made and whether it was favorable or not.
- Pairing up with a buddy: partner up with someone you can talk freely with, whether in person, by phone, online, etc. Discussing and sharing experiences benefits both of you.
No matter what, do not be afraid! You always have another chance. Keep tuning in throughout the day to develop, discern and trust your ‘gut feeling’.
Time for integration!
Why listen to your intuition? Why not!
Being in tune with your intuition is natural. Yes, it takes some practice and getting used to, but it really is natural!
Plus, being in tune with your intuition bestows huge benefits, such as:
- Your intuition has all the experiences and knowledge you need to make a choice that is right for you. Remember, your intuition is inclusive of YOUR feelings, experiences and knowledge.
- Your intuition alerts you of whom to trust and situations to avoid.
- Your intuition connects you with your brain and your body. Those butterflies in your stomach are signals the brain has sent to the stomach’s nerves.
- Your intuition keeps you healthy. Pay attention to your body’s signals. Often your body will tell you when things are off. If something does not seem quite right, have it checked out.
- Your intuition supports your compassion. You are able to sense when others need your help and act upon that.
Once you understand intuition, you will find that it really does become your daily life. You learn to recognize how your intuition communicates with you. You make time to communicate with it. You learn to trust it and begin to integrate it into your daily life.
Enjoy the connection!
“You already know the answer. Trust and follow your intuitive feelings.”
~ Doreen Virtue
If the sun is shining, my Crosstrek is calling me to fill up her tank, throw open her sunroof, and head for the back-roads. With wind in my hair, I smile at everyone I see. Grace smiles back at me (even through the trees).