I can't tell you how many times a week I hear from clients, "I had a feeling" or "I knew better," and yet something stands in the way of them listening to their intuition when making important decisions.
To contextualize the phenomena, I want to say first that I believe we are all conditioned in varying degrees to discount our intuition because our patriarchal culture values more 'logical' or 'rational' ways of decision-making. With this in mind, using your intuition and trusting your inner-knowing is actually form of social rebellion. And who doesn't want to be a rebel!?
The first step in using your intuition is to access it more intentionally. Here are 3 simple (but not always easy) exercises to try:
1. First, and this is important, calming your mind is key. To access that steady wisdom (aka the 'gut feeling'), we have to quiet the chatter of our minds which is often fueled by worry, scarcity thinking, 'shoulds' and so on. How you choose to practice it is up to you - meditation, exercise, sitting in nature - do what works for you. I know this is easier said than done, but remember if you are able to settle your mind for just a few moments, you are on your way.
2. Try writing your question down and engaging in automatic writing (writing without censoring yourself or picking your pen up off the page). You can also try this same technique with art-making to access your unconscious.
3. Pay attention to your dreams. While dreams often stray from the linear, they often contain symbols or clues that are helpful to us in navigating decision making. What did you notice in your dreams? How did you wake up feeling? Was there an overt or subtle message?
Ultimately, the practice of accessing and following our intuition is about building healthy relationship with ourselves - and that can take time. Patience is key, as is knowing that our intuition may not lead us exactly where we thought we should be. There are no guarantees with any form of decision-making, but the more we trust the process the more ease we find.
To learn more about tapping your intuition, I recommend the work of Dr. Judith Orloff. You can learn more about her work and writings here.
Till Next Time,