When I first became interested in spirituality I found myself researching into its many facets and a sudden feeling of overwhelm swamped me.
If there are so many perspectives, religions and ways to engage with spirit, then how is someone to know which is their path and which is not?
I had been brought up as an Atheist so the idea of getting into deep waters with spirituality was scary anyway but I also wanted to prove to myself that I wasn’t crazy—that there really was more to the world. In order to do that I thought that I had to tread carefully.
It wasn’t just with spirituality that I had felt this way. In fact, whenever I came across any new interest or subject matter to be explored, I often felt this strange mixed emotion of excitement and dread. I didn’t want to do anything wrong, miss a step or turn a blind eye to something of importance. Logically I knew that synchronicity would always take care of me, that I couldn’t get lost—but my fears kept me spinning in circles not knowing where to focus my attention.
Now I know, that thinking that I had to focus my attention outwardly to absorb information in order to know something was the only real mistake I was making.
I had heard certain phrases bandied about the self-development and spiritual worlds: “Go within,” “Listen to your heart,” “Trust the Universe.” But when it came to actually listening to myself I found it hard. Even as an intuitive person with a high emotional intelligence, I found that self-doubt kept me second guessing everything that I instinctively knew.
Years later, intuition is what I live by, even if some days irrational fear wins out. Since those early days of dipping my toe into the bottomless depths of spirituality I have learned a great deal about how to engage with my soul and follow its guidance. And having worked with many people teaching them how to do the same I have come to rely on these five steps that I use to embrace and follow my intuition:
1) Listen to your emotions.
My first rule of thumb when making a decision and wanting to use my intuition to do so, is to ask myself, “How do I feel about this?” Emotions are one of the most powerful tools that humanity has and if you aren’t feeling comfortable or happy with something then that is an indication that something needs to change.
When I started to take responsibility for my own emotions by keeping a journal and constantly asking the above question, my life changed dramatically. I stopped blaming other people and situations for the way I felt and instead realized that yes, I am feeling this way because of this situation but I know that I can do something to change that feeling or I can remove myself from the energy of this person or situation. I felt such empowerment at this realization and started to use this technique as a way to notice when I needed to make changes in my life.
Another incredibly powerful question to ask when using your emotions to connect to your intuition is, “Why do I feel this way?” Often a simple change in perspective or being able to see more than one perspective can cause a big shift in your reality.
2) Be in your body.
At times I still forget to tune in to how I am feeling and this can result in my negative emotions transferring into more physical symptoms. It has been widely recognized that emotional distress can cause disease (or dis-ease) within the body and this can manifest as something as simple as a common cold or a sore back.
My two biggest trigger points are sudden nasal congestion (which for me always means I’m not taking enough time for introspection and balance) and a sore neck and shoulders that eventually turn into a pressure headache (feeling burdened). When I get these symptoms I acknowledge that something is out of alignment for me and think about what I can do to alleviate the stress points.
When you start to notice these changes in your physiology you will then be able to ascertain what your body and soul want and need of you. Once your actions are aligned to your intuition you’ll notice that you have an abundance of energy and feel less of those usual aches and pains.
3) Trust and see.
Sometimes the only real way to trust yourself is to test out using your intuition. When people would tell me that I needed to go with the flow and trust that the Universe would sort things out for me, I would snort with derision and think “Yeah, right.” But when I started to take moments out of my day to play with this idea, it changed my view on their advice.
I wouldn’t recommend trying this out on a big life changing decision that has a lot at stake because your emotions might affect the outcome, so start small with simple things and work your way up. For example, whilst looking for a place to stop and have lunch you could trust your intuition to guide you to the perfect place, at each crossroad or turn, let it choose which direction to take and see where you end up. Your feet might lead you to a park with a cafe because your soul wants to be in nature, or you might find yourself outside a pop-up posh pizza place because last night you were craving pizza.
Playing with my intuition wasn’t something that came (or comes) naturally but when I take a bit of time to try out silly games, like guessing people’s names before they introduce themselves, it’s really interesting to see what comes up. And you can be as creative as you want with this! In time, you will build up more and more trust that you can intuit things simply and easily.
4) Get logical.
This point might seem counterproductive. If we are learning how to be intuitive then why would we start messing around with logic? Isn’t that doing the opposite?
Well I would disagree. A lot of the time when we make a “logical” decision it’s not as logical or rational as we think. Growing up in a first world country in a working-to-middle class household, I was brought up to be well versed in the way the our world worked. There were certain ways that things worked, systems and structures in place that meant you had to follow a set of rules in order to get anywhere in life.
As I started to work from a place of intuition I realized that much of this conditioning was actually more limiting than helpful. If you watch a child who has no way of knowing how to do something try to figure it out, it is likely that you yourself will learn something new—another way of approaching the situation. Humanity has this skill of making things harder than they need to be and without the limitations of how things “should” be done we can find alternative logic that supports our intuition.
Next time you find yourself being logical or rational see if you can dissemble your logic. See if there is another perspective you can take, another way to look at things and then choose the one that is more beneficial to your growth.
5) Look in the mirror.
This point flows on quite naturally from dissembling your logic and taking a fresh perspective on things (and I’m not talking literally about looking into a mirror).
As I deepened my spirituality and became excited about becoming more self-aware and conscious I discovered a simple truth about our lives in relation to attraction. Everything in our reality is our own creation. When seemingly bad things happened, or my bank account wasn’t showing the figures that I wanted it to, instead of tuning into victim-mode I would think about how this was a reflection of myself.
Either this problem was a pointer, a road sign if you like, towards what I did want, or it was a cycle that I was stuck in, shown to me in various ways (most likely getting bigger and worse the longer I ignored them!).
When I worked off of contracts in the corporate world I had this uncanny ability to attract a certain type of overbearing woman into each project I worked on. I was micro-managed or emotionally bullied by these women and I couldn’t understand why this was happening to me (notice my victim mentality here). Years later, when I had somehow shifted the problem and I was working for myself, a friend pointed out to me that these women had been manifesting in my reality to push me away from doing something that my heart wasn’t in. I had been subconsciously manifesting them as an excuse for me to move from job to job and discover what my true passion was.
When we become more aware that our outer world is a reflection of our inner world we can grow at a far greater rate and see how our intuition is kicking in to help us move past situations that aren’t in alignment with our soul’s path.
If you want to learn to trust yourself, tuning in to your inner world and getting creative with the ways that you do so is a real game changer. Once you have built up you intuitive muscle you will not look back—your new found belief in yourself will propel you to truly embrace your life, move towards all the things you’ve always wanted to do and feel safe in trusting yourself to guide you every step of the way!
Author: Fifi Scarlett Mills
Apprentice Editor: Carlene Kurdziel / Editor: Catherine Monkman
Photo: Flickr/Hartwig HKD