Your intuition and how you can align with it
Some people think it’s a bit fluffy or woo woo or don’t even believe in it but I am aaaalllll about it.
I’ve ignored it way too many times and got myself in the shit.
Since opening up, listening and trusting in it, my life has elevated to level 1,000, it feels more aligned with who I am and, for the most part, I’m a walking bundle of happiness.
In my “Pursuing a life that’s yours” blog I wrote about living an aligned life and making decisions that feel right for you and are what you truly want to do.
That was the kiddies pool.
It’s time to jump into the infinity pool overlooking a sunset beach.
Let’s. Get. Deep.
Intuition is a hard thing to describe because it’s a feeling that is unique for everyone. It’s a self-knowing. An inner knowledge.
When you know, you know.
And even if you don’t think you’ve ever felt your intuition before, you can easily connect with it. I’ll take you through some steps to do this a little later.
What is intuition?
Well it has different names that all mean the same thing.
Gut instinct is something we’ve all heard before, probably in the form of advice.
“Go with your gut.”
“What’s your gut telling you to do?”
Gut instinct is a perfect starting point because it’s all about feeling.
Your gut doesn’t think. It feels.
And when we make a decision on gut instinct, it’s being made on a feeling or emotion we’re having about a certain outcome.
It’s about dropping the thinking and analysing and instead, just doing.
So gut feelings is helpful but also makes me think of being out in the bush and just KNOWING to climb up a tree because a wild pig is rounding the corner.
So let’s tune in a little more to inner voice, inner knowing and intuition.
I like these because they incorporate your uniqueness as a person. They acknowledge your knowledge.
Not the knowledge you’ve collected through education, society and experiences. These can overrule your intuition or just be a big fat block to it.
How many times have we known what we want to do, whether it be to take one job offer over another or leave a relationship, and then had the fear of what other people would think or society’s expectations turn us in knots over the decision?
This knowledge is your knowledge about yourself. About who you are as a person, what lights you up, where your strengths are and what just fits.
Why would I listen to a feeling? Surely my brain is a lot smarter!
Well is it? I wouldn’t give it too much credit.
Our brains are the most incredible assets and you should always invest in your mental health and knowledge. Without our brains we can’t do anything.
But, when we start to take a curious and open look at our thoughts and thought patterns, we realise that a lot of what’s going on up there is unhelpful chatter, untrue stories or deep-set beliefs based on conditioning from since we were born.
So why not give our brain a little rest sometimes and make some space for our intuition.
What I really want is for you to trust yourself more than anyone else. To trust that your knowledge is the best knowledge for you.
Who else knows you better? Who else knows what the child you once were was lit up by, what sparks in your heart, what creatively ignites you, what stirs up your feelings and what sits right with your morals?
As well as being your steer towards a fulfilling and aligned life, your intuition is also your red flag waver.
It gives you those bad feelings you get about someone even though on paper they’re fine. It was when your horrible ex-bf made his first mark on your self-esteem and you thought “No, he’s not right” but then your brain decided that’s not enough to leave someone.
Emotion Vs Intuition
Before we get into some steps to connecting to your intuition, let’s just touch on emotions vs intuition. I believe that our emotions and intuition are intertwined but we need to be clear that emotional and intuitive decisions are not the same thing.
An emotional decision is high energy. It’s what I like to call the “fuck it” mentality. It’s lighting a flare and watching it burn hot for a minute then die.
An intuitive decision is high vibe. It feels warm and calm and has a sense of content and assurance. There’s little impulse and instead an inner reflection. A question to yourself and the answer rising up from within.
Often it’s that decision that lifts a weight off your shoulders and just feels right.
I’m not saying that your brain isn’t going to instantly question, nit pick or overthink your decision. Because boy it is. You might not even have the chance to take a breath before it’s jumping up and down.
But the more you practice feeling and living intuitively, the more confidence you’ll have in those decisions and the easier it will be to slam dunk those thoughts straight into the bin.
Connecting with your intuition
We all have the innate ability to do this so all we need to do is uncover the skill and start intentional practice.
Here are a few tips.
1. Find it in your past
Firstly, if you aren’t sure whether you even have an intuition, read the sentence above again and come back. You got one, ok?
Now look back over things that have happened in your life that, on reflection, you knew what you needed to do way before you did it. Maybe it was ending a relationship three months after it stopped feeling right. Or changing your major at uni after years of slogging through. Or how about picking a job that paid less but felt better?
All these times you knew and could’ve acted on the decision that was right for you straight away. But maybe you talked yourself out of it or let fear and self-doubt take hold. Or maybe (like with the job) you made the right decision with a little support from your brain.
We all have confirmation bias so we seek what we believe. If you truly want to believe your intuition, your brain will find lots of ways to back you up.
Note down any times you’ve had experiences like this and know that it was your inner voice wanting your attention.
2. Meditate and get quiet.
How can you expect to hear yourself when the noise of the world and the chatter in your head is overpowering?
Imagine your intuition like a cat, guiding you through the dark along a narrow walkway. It’s just in front of you, slow enough for you to keep up with. But you must listen very carefully for it has very soft steps.
To be able to hear these steps and connect with your inner being, you must create peace, stillness and quiet within yourself.
The best way I do this is through meditation.
Within us all is a calm, bright, blue sky and all the thoughts, emotions and things that happen in our life are just the weather.
Meditation allows us to discover and then come back to that blue sky whenever we need to.
When we are there, the world has fallen away. No expectations, no past regrets, no future worries. Just us, as we are, right in that moment.
When we clear the weather from our minds, we open up space for our inner voice to speak. We open up space for answers to our questions. We open up to ourselves.
Just meditating for five minutes a day allows you that peaceful time your body and mind needs so much.
3. Ask yourself and listen.
This ties into the meditation because this is a great thing to do while you are in that space of stillness.
Ask yourself a question and just let the answer rise up to you.
When you do this, you’ll notice straight away that your cheeky brain will fire out all the reasons why your answer isn’t possible or why you in particular can’t do it or basically why you’re stupid for thinking of it.
As I said earlier, we need to actively change our thought patterns to overcome this which is some dedicated self-work.
But for now, just notice the answer that immediately comes to you and let your inner knowing plant that little seed inside you. I find that once that one thought has bubbled up, it gently starts to grow. If it’s an idea, I’ll start seeing things in the world that are connected to it. If it’s a hard decision to make, it’s a sense of discomfort and uncertainty that sits in my stomach.
Start small by asking yourself silly questions.
Do I feel like pasta or stir fry tonight? Read my book or watch Netflix?
Then get more serious. Do I feel like going to that party tomorrow? Do I want to stay in my job for the next year?
Every question you ask yourself with the space to listen is building your connection to your inner voice and encouraging it to speak up more.
4. Tune into your body
Remember earlier how I said that gut feeling is a good description because of the emphasis on feeling?
Well our intuition doesn’t just communicate with us through feeling a particular sensation when something feels right or wrong. It’s also connected to our health.
Have you ever had one of those big breakdowns, your immune system collapses and the dam bursts so you end up crying in a public place? I totally have.
All the time leading up to that you felt low energy, couldn’t shake a cold, your back was aching, you weren’t sleeping properly and had skin breakouts (or cold sores for me).
That was your body trying to tell you that you were misaligned and whatever you were doing in your personal or work life was literally sucking the life out of you!
Blame that brain again for making us solider on.
Next time you don’t feel 100 percent, you have pain you can’t relieve, your energy is sapped and you’re picking up every sickness around the office, take a pause and ask yourself what your body is trying to tell you.
Is there something you absolute hate doing happening daily? Is there a toxic person? Are other people’s opinions ruling? Is your essential self being crushed?
Listen and ask yourself what you need to feel better. You’ll be amazed at the improvement in your health when your heart and body aren’t resisting in the only way they know how.
5. Find what brings you joy. Do it.
I like to call the things in your life that light you up sparks.
Sparks give you energy.
They align to your gifts, abilities, passions and personality.
Some of my sparks are sharing meals with friends and family, travel and exploring new places, playing hockey, visiting food markets, charity shopping, and meditation.
Write a list of all your sparks and incorporate at least one into every day.
It could be as simple as listening to your favourite song on your way to work.
Those feelings you get as you spark. That’s your alignment. That’s your inner being dancing.
The more you get to know this feeling, the more it will be able to guide you in your life.
Martha Beck has a fab life motto:
If it brings you joy, do it.
If it doesn’t, don’t.
Simple? Yes. Hard to practice? Also yes.
But if you want it bad enough you’ll make it happen. Slowly and surely by courageously listening to and trusting your intuition.
My last tip? Practice, practice, practice.
Practice meditating, practice getting quiet, practice asking yourself and letting an answer come to you, and practice saying yes to joy and no to everything else.
A word quick word of warning. You will not be right all of the time. You will mess this up lots and you’ll think it’s your intuition but it might just be your brain convincing you it is.
And making decisions based on your inner voice is very hard to explain and justify to others.
But just know, the stronger your connection, the easier it gets to know you are doing what’s right for you.
This is for you
You owe it to yourself to live a life that brings you the most joy and happiness. A life that is aligned to the unique person that you are. You deserve it.
So start now.
Start realigning your life.
Start listening to what your heart is pulling you towards and what it’s resisting.
Start filling your life with sparks.
Start opening to your intuition.
You can do it. You deserve it.