by Jasmine Bilali: Get tips on how to strengthen your intuition, the critical tool you use to listen to that inner voice that often knows the best way forward…
I’d been sheltering-in-place in my Manhattan apartment since March and had no plans to leave town. But my oldest friend and partner-in-crime texted me with a proposal, “Want to spend a few days in Amagansett?” A silent voice inside me replied, “Why not?”
I’ve learned to listen to my silent voices and follow my feelings. So today I’m sitting on a gray and empty stretch of beach. I’m mesmerized by the crashing waves and the feeling of sea spray on my skin. A rainstorm begins, and I’m reminded of how much I adore the smell of rain. The stress of self-isolating is being washed out of my body by the raindrops that now drip down my face. I’ll soon be soaked to the skin.
As my inner warrior melts down, I’m finally embracing the fear, grief, and loneliness that I suppressed while being locked down for so many months. I’m also made aware that there has been a silver lining to this predicament. The restrictions caused by COVID-19 have caused me to approach my life more intuitively.
I’ve reduced my addiction to needing to know things ahead of time and I’ve become more comfortable allowing things to unfold.
In order to proceed in this way, it’s critical that we reconnect with and cultivate our intuition. Easier said than done you say. What exactly is intuition?
Intuition is a process that gives us the ability to know something without analytic reasoning. It bridges the gap between our conscious and unconscious mind and also between instinct and reason. As a source of personal power that many of us overlook, it helps us to make better decisions by allowing us to access information that we wouldn’t normally have. Intuition is our most important compass, especially now when so much information is coming at us.
How do we begin to develop our intuition? Here are some tips.
Nothing beats meditation and yoga when it comes to helping us go inward. Both are powerful tools for personal growth. In addition to supporting our intuitive ability, these practices benefit us mentally, physically, and emotionally. Don’t be daunted by the dedication it requires. Practicing for even five minutes daily can produce benefits over time.
We each have an inner voice guiding us, if we choose to listen. This voice speaks silently when we connect with our feelings rather than thoughts. Hearing it isn’t easy to do. Modern life overstimulates us with sounds. Many of us have become so uncomfortable with silence that we even go to sleep with the television on. Periods of quiet are necessary in order to tap into our feelings. When we are still for long enough, we can begin to hear that inner voice, even if it is just a whisper.
Recognize Social Conditioning
Intuition has always been our best guide, but we haven’t been taught to value it. Contemporary life has deferred, instead, to the brain, and made intuition appear primitive. Our familial influences, formal and religious educations, and professional training all condition us to prioritize practicality over pleasure. A bias towards safety requires us to suppress the voice within. We dismiss our feelings because they seem impractical (or even crazy). However, it’s undeniable that proceeding in a linear, brain-based fashion has often left us feeling empty. Current events are now forcing us to explore our feeling realm.
When we play, we are in flow. Colloquially, this is known as “being in the zone.” Flow is the mental state in which a person performing an activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and maximum enjoyment in the activity. Because we live in a society that admires talent and achievement, much of our playtime has become corrupted by measuring and competing. Rather than flow, we tend to look sideways to see how we stack up. It’s time to relearn how to truly play. Flow produces no desire to evaluate how we are doing. Unexpected revelations often arise from this state.
Capture Aha! Moments
An insight usually hits us very quickly and disappears just as quickly. I refer to these revelations as “aha! moments.” Don’t let them get away. Consider keeping a pad near you at all times, especially next to your bed, or use your smartphone to record notes.
Once you connect with your inner guidance, there remains more work to be done: You need to be able to trust.
To trust your inner voice, you can no longer be afraid of not knowing what is next.
Collectively, we are all being asked to release our fear of the unknown. As such, we’re building new neurocircuits. Our current situation is calling on us to live more creatively. This will allow us to manifest the lives we want rather than limit ourselves to a prescribed box that is safe but can never allow us to thrive.
Each of us must find our own way. We have a built-in compass in the form of our intuition. Do you know how to access yours?