If we take an attitude of curiosity and open-mindedness towards our feelings rather than being self-critical, a whole new world can open up, including greater access to our intuition.
We all have intuition, but in many cases our gifts of insight have been stifled by our getting caught up in our thoughts, belief systems, judgments, and worries about external circumstances.
Strengthening our intuition can bring us:
- A clearer sense of who we really are. When we let go of self-censoring (yet try our best to remain mindful of acting in constructive rather than damaging ways), we’re better able to see our unique gifts, strengths, and desires.
- By observing our emotions and thoughts rather like watching a movie, allowing ourselves to be touched but not thrown off-center by our sensations, we’re in a better position to gauge the next indicated step to take.
- We become more in touch with what’s really going on with other people. We’re less likely to regard people at face value. Whether we consciously register such hunches or not, we take in the bigger picture about someone, beyond their physical appearance, voice, words, and gestures. We register these qualities, but we also clue into our responses, some of which may not make logical sense. Maybe we notice that our shoulders become tense when a particular person walks in a room one day. Or that we smile when we hear their voice, possibly indicating that we can trust them or are fond of them, even if they’re saying something “neutral”. Simple stuff, but unless we’re in the moment and conscious, we can miss these clues.
- We’re aware of what’s going on with people even at a distance. I don’t mean to get all hocus-pocus on you here, but I’ve received too many phone calls or letters from people who I’d just been thinking about to dismiss this as coincidence. Maybe there was no connection between the events, but … Let’s call it synchronicity.
- Sometimes our inexplicable emotions, physical sensations, or apparently out-of-the-blue thoughts have to do with someone else’s life. Have you ever woken up one day, felt an inexplicable sense of foreboding, a bizarre bodily pain, or had a powerful dream which seemed random, then found out later in the day that someone close to you was in trouble, had just been injured, or been through an experience akin to the contents of your dream?
Tips to deepen your connection to your intuition:
- Relax. Right, easier said than done. All the same, try to take it easy and an intuitive thought or hunch is more likely to arise than if you attempt to “force” an intuition.
- Make it your intention to remember your dreams.
- Pay particular attention to what drifts through your mind as you’re falling asleep at night and waking up in the morning. These are particularly precious moments, as you’re lowering your guard and opening yourself up.
- Keep a journal by your bedside and write down what you recall about your dreams when you wake up in the morning. Those details can slip away quickly.
- Set an intention to honor your hunches during your day.
- Keep a journal in general, and try to write in it daily, if only a couple of sentences. Let yourself write honestly and openly about what you’re experiencing. In time, when you glance back over your journal, you may notice connections between your thoughts, feelings, actions, and broader themes in your life.
- Ask yourself centering questions such as “What is going on right now? What am I feeling? What is my gut instinct telling me?”
- Listen to your body. Tune in from time to time throughout your day. Do a body scan. Notice where you’re holding tension. Your shoulders? Neck? Back? Legs? Does this get worse at particular times or in specific situations?
- Appreciate your sensitivity. Some of us may be exceptionally sensitive, which at times may feel uncomfortable or inconvenient, such as when loud music, bright lights, crowds of people, or strong scents affect us in disconcerting ways. However, if you count yourself among the group of “highly sensitive people”, chances are that you’re also unusually intuitive and can use this to both your own advantage and the advantage of other people. Honor your gift.
- Practice beginner’s mind. Pretend that you’re seeing something for the first time. Listen to a song as if you’d never heard it before. Read a letter from someone as if you’d never seen it before. Take a walk and notice the foliage and surroundings as if you were new in town. As much as possible, drop your preconceptions. Broaden your mind. Become like a child again. Try going beyond using words, which label and categorize your experience, and just be in the moment.
Life is full of miracles, and we truly are all connected. The more you can connect with yourself and your intuition, the more you become aware of your connections with other people and can be in a position to help, perhaps directly through your presence or phone call, or indirectly (but still powerfully) through your thoughts and prayers.