Tap in to your inner guidance and wisdom and life will flow with abundance
Do you trust your own intuition? In a world that’s at times chaotic and frightening, do you find yourself confused about how to move forward, and fearing doing something deemed ‘wrong’ by others? Or do you look within and trust your inner voice to guide you? We are all born with an innate ability to find our own way through life, but many of us have stopped listening to it, or simply forgotten how to.
So what exactly is intuition? Can it even be quantified? “Intuition is the ability to understand something instinctively, without the need for conscious reasoning,” explains life coach Iona Russel (ionarussell.com), whose impressive therapy repertoire includes neuro-linguistic programming, hypnotherapy, kinetic chain release and Pilates, amongst others. “What that means is, if you want to make a decision, you can decide through ‘feeling it’ and without using analytical thought, something that science has had trouble quantifying.”
Take, for example, how we observe beauty in nature – this harnesses our intuition rather than analytical brain: “We can see beauty in an abstract flower, not by comparing it to the original, but by a willingness to feel something, which is connecting with our intuition,” says artist and intuitive Vicky Paul (vickypaul.com).
It’s that gut feeling you have about a situation that you just can’t explain using logic: “Have you ever had that feeling when you walk into a room and just know instantly whether the vibe is friendly or unfriendly?” says Iona. “It’s part of our ‘humanness’ that, if we allow it to, can make instinctive decisions for us. This is how we used to live, before our analytical brains took over.”
So what has happened to this ability, and why have we lost touch with it? “We live in a busy world that demands high performance, multi-tasking, following the process and playing by the rules,” says Vicky. “We are left overwhelmed and confused with not much room for creativity in our everyday lives. As a result, we have lost our connection to our deep, inner, true, creative and intuitive selves. Our ‘soul self’. “When we lose touch with our intuition, we start to compare ourselves to others in an attempt to understand ourselves better. This is a slippery slope to mental ill health,” she says.
Tuning in to this inner guidance is, thankfully, something we can all re-learn to do and, in fact, many of us probably are already doing. When life is going well, and we feel in the ‘flow’, we are being guided by and complying with our intuition. It’s only when we go against it that we really notice it. “That bad gut feeling we have will often come with other sensations,” says Iona. “We might feel sick or have a bad feeling when it’s a tough decision we don’t want to make. This is us going against our intuition. Some people might feel a flattening feeling, or just a restrictive feeling when we are told not to do something. Other times we’ll feel open and expansive. As we learn to trust that intuition and follow it rather then override it, it’ll just become clearer and easier for us.
“By learning to listen to our intuition, we’re learning to follow and live in our dharma (our universal truth in Buddhism). When we ignore it and override this feeling, you might find life harder and more of a hassle. It might feel wrong. Everything just feels a bit more of a struggle,” says Iona.
“Paying attention to what’s going on around you is key. Notice what you’re picking up on. See how you think about it and how you feel. You’ll start to see how you’re intuitively just realising things that you may not have picked up on before.
“The more you start to pay attention to not just your internal world, but your external one, too, and how you are reacting in it and what you’re observing, you’ll start to notice more and more, and it’ll be like tuning in your radio to pick up on the vibes.
“Because so many of us are obsessed with our phones, computers and TVs, we don’t take time to just sit and be still, even if we’re on the bus or taking a walk. Instead, we’re focused on what we have to do next. So just come back to the present moment and be present as well every now and then.
“You can use your intuition for pretty much anything, from big decisions to the small. Just stop, pay attention and ask yourself the question – and you may be surprised with the answer. As you learn to trust that feeling it becomes the norm.”
Try this exercise from Iona to tap in to your intuition and make a decision Find time for yourself, sit quietly, calmly and comfortably. You can lie down, too, and just be, breathing in and out calmly.
If you have a question you want to ask, write it down, speak it out loud, visualise it or ask it in your head – whatever works and feels comfortable for you. Then, use the ‘ha’ sound when you breath and out – this will help to release any tension you’re holding. So, on the inhale, breath in, on the exhale, ‘HA!’ Do this three times and then just sit quietly, focusing on your breathing: inhale, exhale, ‘HA.’
Now, thoughts are going to come, and thoughts are going to go. The secret is to not get attached to them, but just watch them float away. You can meditate like this for as long as you like – five minutes, 10, 20 – as much as you need. Then, when you come out of your meditation, ask yourself the question again and you might find you just know the answer. If you’re finding that you’re not quite getting there just with this simple technique, you can add free flowing journaling after your meditation. So, after you finish your meditation, write free-flow and let whatever comes up come though. Most importantly, don’t think, just write. Allow your intuition to control the pen, then go back to see what you have written.
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