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Growing up, I never thought I was remotely intuitive.
The movie “The Sixth Sense“ both excited and terrified me, but I never thought I could be psychic.
Only in looking back at my life, I realize that intuition, like many natural abilities, was always there in subtle ways, only I’d been encouraged to dismiss it. I would have a “feeling” about something and later regret not doing or saying the thing I’d thought initially, in favor of something more logical and reasonable.
As someone who doesn’t “see dead people,” I figured I didn’t have the psychic gift, only later to find out that intuition is like a muscle—the more we practice using it, the stronger it gets. We’re all born with abdominal muscles, but some of us naturally have a six-pack, while the rest have to work off the “fluff” before any muscles are revealed.
Here are three ways to better listen to our intuition and develop our intuitive “abs”:
1. One-minute meditation.
This is perfect for the folks who hate to meditate. We don’t need special pillows or absolute silence; we need a timer and our breath. This technique has been shown to improve intuition in one try.
Set a timer for 60 seconds. Rate how you feel before you start from one to 10 (One being icky and 10 being excellent). Press start and begin deep breathing into your body. Imagine you’re scanning your body from the top of your head all the way down to your toes. Notice any areas that are tight or holding stress and breathe extra space into those spots. Notice how you feel afterward. Rate how you feel from one to 10 again. Not this down in your journal or phone so that you can see the improvements over time.
Typically I see a 30 to 90 percent improvement in one minute. Intuition resides in the right brain, which also has to do with our physical body. This is why it’s helpful to get into your physical body to relax, get quiet, and tune in. Sometimes the body has a lot to share with us, but we’re too busy to listen.
2. Nature walk.
Before we head outside, let’s think of a problem, issue, or something that’s been on our mind. We may find we’re trying to rush to a solution, but if we give ourselves a moment to set an intention to open up to new possibilities and positive outcomes, messages might come to us to resolve this issue. (This is also known as setting an intention).
With an issue on the top of our mind, we can then head outside to our favorite place in nature; the woods, the ocean, a nearby hike. I like to notice any wildlife that crosses my path and take notes on my phone. I have fun with this: no animal is too small or insignificant. Write them all down.
When I get back home, I do an online search of each animal using the word “animal totem” or “animal medicine” after the animal type. It’s impressive how accurate their message and presence on our walk can be. There’s truly no coincidence that a dragonfly crossed in front of us with a message from a past loved one or that angelic support is with us during a difficult time.
3. Start small.
Intuition starts off as a subtle whisper in our head in the sound of our voice. At first, intuition feels as if it is our own thoughts, until we notice how positive and encouraging intuition is versus how our ego or left brain tends to dismantle ideas and bring logic into them. So intuition will tend to speak first with an uplifting thought but mostly softly, then almost immediately, the ego will chime in to dismantle it.
The best thing we can do is begin assuming every kind of positive thought is intuition and start trusting it.
For example: if we’re about to leave for the day and we get an intuitive nudge to bring an umbrella, our intuition is saying this is a good idea, but our ego or logic says, “No, it’s not raining.”
Consider the two thoughts: what’s the harm in bringing an umbrella? Even if it never rains, we’re trusting our intuition and building that muscle. If or when it begins to rain later that day, and we’re prepared, we’ll likely get a little dopamine hit as a reward for trusting ourselves.
It doesn’t matter if we’re not as intuitively “open” as the Long Island Medium; we have intuitive abilities within us, and we’re ready to begin tuning in.