Intuition is defined as the ability to understand something immediately, without the need for conscious reasoning. One of the most popular posts I've written on Grow Forward & Flourish has been The Power of Intuitive Hunches.
I am a HUGE believer in the power of our intuition and our ability to develop and trust in it's ability to provide us with discernment that helps us to successfully navigate situations and experiences beyond our knowledge and experience.
Those of you who have been reading Grow Forward & Flourish for some time, already know how I believe that in addition to my faith in God and in myself, I am convinced that the intuitive thoughts I had during my corporate career played a huge part in my ability to display the street smarts necessary to achieve sustainable success for 20 years in the hospitality industry.
What I learned from these experiences is that I was practicing mindfulness without actually calling it that. Which is why once I became aware of the practice of mindfulness, I became a raving fan of the practice and the benefits it has in our lives; I shared a simple guide to the practice in my article, A 4-Week Guide to Developing Mindfulness.
The practice of mindfulness helps us to get out our head and tune into the reservoir of wisdom that dwells within us, it increases our self-awareness and our ability to tune into sensory details which often gets lost in the shuffle of our modern lives. Mindfulness and intuition don't always seem to be logical and this is why many people experience resistance to the practices.
In this article, I'm sharing what I believe to be eight effective exercises that can help you develop your intuition.
Some of these exercises will probably be more effective and joyful for you than others. Experimentation is part of developing your intuition. Use those exercises that you enjoy and feel free to change others to fit your needs.
If you want to enhance your learning, keep an Intuition Journal. A Journal will help you keep a record of what has happened, evaluate your intuition, and learn what exercises work well for you.
Exercise 1. Work with direct (literal) intuition.
- Find a place to sit comfortably.
- Follow your breath by counting '1' on the inhale and '2' on the exhale.
- When you are relaxed and quiet, identify an event or situation that you'd like more insight about.
- Focus on the event or situation intently for a few minutes.
- Ask for a direct intuitive experience about it in the near future.
- Let it go.
Exercise 2. Work with indirect (symbolic) intuition.
- Get a piece of paper and a pen or pencil.
- Ask yourself, "What does my life need right now?" three times in row, pausing between each question. Imagine you are going toward a more meaningful answer each time you ask.
- When you've finished with the 3 rd question, pick up your pen and draw one symbol on your paper.
- Interpret this symbol. What does it suggest you add, subtract, or enjoy from your life?
Exercise 3. Learn to look for and pay attention to intuition's subtle messages.
- Invest in your sixth sense. Imagine that your eyes, ears, hands, skin, emotions, and intellect could stretch out into the invisible world and capture sensations, information, inspiration, knowledge, and wisdom like a cable or a cell phone captures invisible waves of sounds and images.
- Let yourself 'walk' through your day sensitive to other dimensions.
Exercise 4. Choose a sense to work with. (Intuition uses the senses to describe or receive information and or knowledge. Choose one and practice with others as you see fit.)
Your Intuitive Body
- Make a date with yourself on your calendar and allow 2 -3 hours.
- When the time comes, get in your car (or if you are without a car, you can walk) and begin to drive without knowing where you are going.
- Resist the first few 'ideas' you have about where you are going. Wait for the idea that makes your body very relaxed. Your body is your best barometer of what is right-if your choice arises from intuition, you will experience inner stillness, silence, and 'knowing' it is right.
- When the barometer is correct, go visit the person, place, or event that is suggested.
Your Intuitive Eye
- Sit quietly anywhere, anytime.
- Relax your eyebrows and forehead.
- Let the muscles of your face 'melt' into ease.
- Inhale and exhale rhythmically.
- With your inner eyes, create a vision of you radiating health and happiness to every part of your body and to all those around you.
Your Intuitive Ear
- Pretend that you have an inner DJ and invite your DJ to play a song which is relevant for you.
- Listen to what you hear-it may be only a few words-and ask why your intuition chose that song at this moment.
Exercise 5. Work with dreams and altered states.
- Before you go to bed at night or lay down to rest during the day, put a pen and paper next to you.
- After you lay down, mentally ask your intuition for a dream or daydream image that will benefit your life and the lives of those around you.
- Repeat your request as often as possible before you drift off.
- When you wake up, even if you don't remember anything specific, write or draw whatever comes into your mind.
- Look over and evaluate what you receive. Act on the advice where appropriate.
- Repeat as needed.
Exercise 6. Ask a question.
- Ask yourself: If I knew I would receive help from my intuition, what is it I am most concerned about or most interested in growing now-relationship skills, rewarding career, personal evolution, financial stability, etc.
- Formulate a question and ask it internally as often as you can.
Exercise 7. Focus your love.
- Find a spot to sit comfortably.
- Identify something you really love to do or a place that you love.
- Using your imagination, allow what you identified to 'fall into' your heart area and nest there for the duration of the exercise.
- Inhale on the count of '1' and exhale on the count of '2' however imagine that it is your heart that is breathing.
- Allow your 'heart breath' to caress your thoughts as it moves in, through, and around the nest.
- After 5 minutes of caressing the thing or place your love, invite your thoughts to return to your head area.
- Focus on your breathing heart.
- Use your intuitive senses to know what gift of understanding has been left or been born in the nest.
- If nothing is there, let it go for the moment.
Exercise 8. Practice with real situations.
- On a clear day, the light of the sun comes long before the sun itself rises. Imagine a question which is like the first rays of light; it is a good question, but the real question has not yet risen.
- Observe the first question while you patiently wait for a more valuable and real question to emerge.
- Record the real question and begin to work with it.
Intuition is not something that only women have. Each of us are divinely designed with the capacity to develop this skill. Just like with any other skill, it has to be practiced and developed to reap its full benefits.
I highly recommend keeping an Intuition Journal. As you begin to take baby steps toward developing your intuition, your results documented in a journal will increase your trust in your intuition which is essential to tapping into the fullness of this powerful skill.
What have been your experience with using your intuition? Share your comments below.
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Much love and gratitude,
Source: Author Sharon Franquemont © 2006 Life Science Foundation, used with permission.