Making decisions is really tough sometimes. My head has been known to go on for days debating with itself the path forward. Now, I’m a smart gal, so I figure that if I just think a little harder, I’ll find a solution I can live with. That works, like, never and yet I continue doing this silly dance when it comes to adulting.
Sometimes I question whether my brain is truly equipped to make these decisions. I mean, my brain is an awesome learning machine but its intellectual perspective is kinda limited. Consider this: Our minds can only rely on past experiences to predict the path forward. This isn’t helpful when you’re trying to break new ground for yourself or go someplace you’ve never been before. That’s where intuition comes in handy.
My super logical brain is loud, dominant, kinda pushy and hyperactive. Intuition, on the other hand, is a quieter and far more subtle form of intelligence — like a spidey sense.
But, alas, intuition can elude us when we need it most. It’s a tricky thing. Sometimes it’s a matter of getting the brain to quiet down enough that you can hear the soft whisper of intuition. Sometimes it’s a matter of learning to stop letting your brain dismiss the stuff you “just know” and allowing yourself to feel all the feels. Either way, hope is not lost. Like many things, it just takes a little practice to get back in touch.
3 Steps to Living More Intuitively
1. Make yourself available. First, you’ve got to give yourself the best chance of receiving something. Intuition only comes when you’re open to it. In other words, intuition isn’t something you have to go searching for — it’s something that pops up when the conditions are right. There are many ways you can be more receptive. Try:
- Practicing proper self-care. Don’t eat or drink to excess. Get some rest. Do things that inspire you and make you feel loved. If you’re uncomfortable, exhausted or feeling neglected, odds are that those sensations will be screaming for attention and drowning out the soft whisper of your intuition.
- Shutting it down. It’s hard to hear the sound of our own inner voice when we’re multitasking, being overstimulated and continuously plugged into the happenings of the world. Sometimes you just need to step away from “out there” to hear the wisdom that comes from within.
- Taking it to your mat. Yoga — the poses, breath and concentration — is intended to create stillness in your headspace so you can feel the intelligence of your soul. A regular practice teaches us to notice the subtle sensations of the body and (sometimes quite literally) pay attention to your gut.
- Sitting in meditation. Yoga not your thing? No worries. Find a quiet place to sit in meditation and simply tune into the rhythm of your breath. Or, better yet, go outside and meditate surrounded by nature. Once the noise in your head quiets down, it’s easier to connect to your intuition.
2. Let it flow. Once your intuition starts coming through, stay with it and let it unfold. At this point, you may notice that your mind wants to get involved or talk you out of listening to your gut. Practice staying with your intuition no matter where it leads you. Exhale your thoughts away. Then let the inner voice rise up and expand by:
- Creating a vision board. Grab some old magazines and cut out any words or images that speak to you. Or create a Pinterest board of pins that make your soul light up. Let your intuition come through visually.
- Journaling. Grab some paper and start writing down everything that comes to you. Don’t stop to edit — just scribble down the pure stream of consciousness. Don’t even stop to read it. Just let it pour out of you and don’t stop until you get it all out on paper.
3. Follow where it leads. Sometimes your intuition will tell you to do stuff that you won’t want to do. Maybe you’re afraid of saying “no” and being rude, maybe the path ahead seems like it’ll be messy — it doesn’t matter why you want to ignore it, just don’t. This is the tough part, probably because we’re not taught to trust our feelings the way that we trust our brains. Just because your thoughts are loud doesn’t mean you should always listen to them and take their advice. Sometimes the gentle voice offers the most beneficial guidance.
How do you get back in touch with your inner voice? —Alison