What is intuition?
We’ve all had those brief moments where we just know something, without knowing how or why we know it – but for many of us these moments of intuition are few and far between, and not something we can call upon whenever we want/need to.
Intuition is the way our subconscious communicates with our conscious mind. You might think of that as your inner being, your soul or some other metaphysical entity, or you might think of it as just the part of your brain you can’t consciously access on a regular basis.
We all have access to our intuition, but it can feel like something that only pops up every now and then and is mostly out of reach or off limits for us. The good news is that anyone can access their intuition if they want to.
How can I tap into my intuition?
Here are 8 ways to access and listen to your intuition:
1. Make space for your intuition to come through
These days it is entirely possible to be occupied from the moment we wake to the moment we go to sleep. With so much to hold our attention, there’s rarely a moment of silence where our intuition could be heard.
Meditation is a good way to find that silence during your day, but also just having moments of silence through the day can be helpful.
2. Listen for that inner voice
If you’re trying to make a particular decision, ask the question and then just sit and listen to what comes up. As a general rule if you hear anything fear based or negative, that’s not your intuition – it’s your mind. The intuitive voice does not come from a place of fear; it is secure and positive.
3. Practise asking your intuition
Like with any new skill, accessing and hearing your intuition is something that will get better with practice. If you’re out walking, ask whether you should turn right or left, and listen for a response. Often your intuition will guide you to walk towards a shop you had forgotten you needed to visit, or you’ll find yourself in the right place at the right time for something else to happen.
4. Pay attention to your gut instinct
The gut is often referred to as the second brain, and actually has more neurons than the spinal cord. This is why we often have a gut reaction to some people or situations. Often we’ll ignore it for whatever reason, but practice paying attention to how your gut feels about particular people or situations. Does this feel good or bad?
5. Be open to hearing things that are uncomfortable or inconvenient.
The mind in most of us is controlled by the ego, which has its own agenda and approach to situations. You may find that while your mind is telling you to do this and avoid that, your intuition is telling you to do the exact opposite. For example, your mind/ego might want you to stay in a secure job with a prestigious company because it pays well and there are benefits – but your intuition may tell you that you are an artist at heart and should leave the job that makes you feel dead inside, and pursue your dream instead.
6. Pay attention to your dreams
When I tell people this they often tell me, But I never remember my dreams! Or they tell me they don’t have dreams. The truth is that most of us dream, but we forget them when we wake up. Give yourself a few minutes in the morning to lay in bed and see if you can remember your dream. Keep a notebook and pen next to your bed, and write down as much as you can remember from each dream. Over time you will become more used to remembering your dreams, and you might find that they are providing useful information.
7. Write to your intuition
There are a couple of ways to do this. The first is to write out a specific question to which you want an answer, and then write down whatever comes into your head. The second is to practice “stream of consciousness” writing, where you begin with a blank page, and just write and write and write.
Many people say the best time to try stream of consciousness writing is first thing in the morning, but it’s one of those things you can experiment with, and see when works best for you. Whether I’m asking specific questions or just writing a stream of consciousness, I find that a good way to shut up the chatter in my head and get down to the actual intuitive words is to take a deep breath, and breathe it out through my mouth. This is like blowing away all of the nonsense the mind has to say on the matter, leaving the way clear for the intuition to come forth.
8. Practise, practise, practise
If you really want to tune into your intuition and build that connection with your subconscious/inner being/whatever you want to call it, you need to practise regularly. Many people put off trying any or all of the above suggestions because they feel like anything they “hear” will just be the usual voice in their head – and you may well find that to begin with all you get from this is the usual ego mind saying the usual things. The more you do it though, the more you will begin to hear a different voice that is altogether more calm and helpful than the chatter of the mind.