Intuition… everyone has it, but what the heck is it? For many it may seem like this new-agey concept that only spiritual people or hippies use. Being a spiritual person and a wanna-be hippie myself, I don’t take offense to this idea, however, sadly I think most people miss out on our greatest tool and ally in life simply because it’s such an abstract and foreign concept. But is it really that foreign or abstract?
Intuition is simply our instinct or “inner knowing” if you will. It’s the “little voice inside your head” that talks to you on a regular basis offering advice and guiding you in the right direction in life as well as keeping you from harm’s way. Intuition can show up in all shapes, colors and places in life when you least expect it and especially when we are making major life decisions. For example, have you ever just met someone and you immediately disliked them for some unknown reason? Or maybe the opposite is true where you immediately trusted someone because you “just had a feeling” about them? This was actually your intuition talking to you. Intuition relies on all of our senses to guide us and to quickly assess if someone or something is “right” for us. Sometimes it communicates with words telling us, “don’t do that,” “be careful this isn’t good for you,” or “go for it!” But more often, it communicates through our senses so that we just have a “feeling” that something isn’t right for us, or rather, is exactly what our soul is looking for.
So how do I know if my intuition is talking to me?
You know your intuition is communicating whenever you have a strong physical reaction to someone or something. This reaction can be positive or negative, but when it happens, you often feel it right away. For example, you might feel tense in your stomach, your heart may start to beat fast and you feel anxious, you might feel confused or scared all of a sudden or as if you just want to leave a situation right away. On the positive side, you might feel your body and mind completely relaxing and enjoying the situation, you might feel excited and full of energy for the first time in awhile or you might start to feel a deep sense of peace and joy in your life. All of this information is from your intuition and it is always with you as a way to guide you towards what your soul or spirit is truly wanting.
Be aware that you may not always understand your intuition or why you are being guided towards or away from something, but heed its advice because it is always right. This is probably the most difficult challenge in people connecting to their intuition because we so often ignore and disregard its advice as simply being “silly” or “crazy.” So we may perhaps hear our intuition or feel it telling us to run away fast and far from a particular situation, but because leaving the situation may cause us some form of embarrassment, guilt or anger from someone else, or we might have to face making some real changes in our life, we ignore our intuition once again and minimize it by telling ourselves that we are just “overreacting.” Sound familiar? You’re not alone with this.
Still thinking this all sounds a bit strange? If so, I ask you to think about the last time you made a decision to do something that some part of you knew wasn’t right for you or what you really wanted. What happened? Then think about all the major decisions that you’ve made during your life and whether or not you listened to your intuition about the decision or not. If not, what happened? Did it turn out good? Are you glad you disregarded your intuition? Or do you look back wishing you would have listened to it? For sure we can make decisions against our intuition and things can still turn out ok, but in the long-term this doesn’t work. Our intuition is our tool to knowing what our soul’s purpose is and what we need on a deep level. When we ignore this on an ongoing basis, and particularly for major life decisions, we are completely ignoring who we are and what we need in life. Over time, the body begins to break down physically or emotionally and life can feel like a constant struggle. Or, you might feel good in one aspect of your life, but in another you are completely unsatisfied and unhappy. If you find yourself feeling this way, I encourage you to start reconnecting with your instinct and to start making decisions with its guidance.
How do I reconnect with my instinct?
If you’re not sure where to start, a simple way to reconnect with your instinct is to set aside a few minutes per day by yourself in a quiet and relaxing place preferably. Just close your eyes, take a few deep breaths and begin to notice the physical sensations in your body at the moment. Do a mental scan of your body from head to toe. What do you notice? Are your shoulders tense? Do you have a headache? Is your stomach tight or in knots? Does your heart feel open and happy? Does joy immerge naturally or are you filled with worry, anger, frustration or some other heavy emotion? If you notice any of these “negative” feelings or sensations, do a scan of your day-to-day life and notice when you feel the most tension or negative sensations. Is it when you think about your job, your partner, your family, a decision you need to make, or something you feel you “have to do.” Of course there are difficulties in life we all face that cause stress and heavy emotions such as the illness of a family member, financial worries, relationship struggles, etc., but if your negative emotions and sensations are something you feel on a regular basis, take notice of them and ask your intuition what it’s trying to tell you. Be aware it might take a few days or weeks to reconnect with your intuition depending on how disconnected you are from it, but if you continue this simple exercise on a daily basis, it will happen.
Once you feel you have started to reconnect with your intuition, you can then begin to strengthen and develop it further by checking-in with it and noticing how you feel or what advice comes to you when you make small day-to-day decisions. For example, imagine a colleague asks you to go out for a drink after work but you immediately notice your intuition telling you, “oh no, I don’t want to do that. I just want go home and relax,” or “I don’t want to go to a bar, I would rather go to a coffee house or go for a walk after work.” Listening to this information, you would then either decline the offer all together, or if you want to go but prefer a different venue, you would suggest something else. This might seem overly simple, but over time you will not only be strengthening your intuition and thereby have faster access to its guidance, but you will also be honoring your own inner truth and consequently, honoring yourself.
Ultimately, when we connect with our intuition on a consistent basis over time, our mind, body and spirit are happier and our lives are more balanced and in tune with who we really are. For this reason, our intuition is both our best friend and ally and a source of ongoing wisdom.
Tania Manczarek is a licensed psychotherapist, intuitive energy healer and massage therapist. She is co-founder of Lotus Village, a healing community dedicated to mind, body and spiritual wellness, environmental awareness and responsible living. She currently lives in France where she offers individual services and wellness retreats. You can find more information about her and her projects at www.lotusvillage.org.