What Is Intuition and How Do You Cultivate It?
Intuition is hard to define. Think about it and it seems elusive. That’s because intuition doesn’t reside in the mind. Defined, intuition is: "the ability to understand something immediately, without the need for conscious reasoning.”
Despite the inability to define intuition, most everyone has experienced a "gut feeling” and would attribute that sensation to closely defining intuition. However, intuition can be experienced in many other ways than just a gut feeling. How have you experienced your intuition? Was it a “knowing” or a sensation? Quite possibly you just felt it and acted on it. See how many different sensations of intuition you have experienced:
- You had a feeling or a sense of a situation or person or job.
You knew in advance who was calling on the phone or what someone was going to say.
You felt “in the zone” or heard “an inner voice?
You had a hunch about something and it turned out the way you expected.
Your intuition guides you. It is like having your own personal GPS system to help navigate you through life. Unlike a GPS system, intuition can be experienced in a variety of ways without using your intellect or rational processes. If you spend more time practicing or trusting those inner feelings, your intuition can give you an edge - an advantage in life. Specifically, your life. That is because your intuition guides you based on your highest good. Whether that is making day to day decisions about your job, resolving a conflict with your spouse, or making a pitch to your boss or client.
Sounds good, right? So, how do you cultivate intuition? The great thing about learning to hear and trust your intuition is that you have all day, every day as a one, big practice time! There’s no loss of opportunity to begin or recommitting to trusting your intuition.
- First, listen! Be aware! Become familiar with the most frequent ways in which you, personally, experience your intuition. Pay attention to that experience and consciously make note of it. This builds trust within yourself.
Commit to meditation and other mindfulness practices. Even the shortest amount of time meditating or breathing can be an excellent way to tap into your intuition.
Consider keeping a journal to note your thoughts, physical sensations, or personal observations and the meaning or message you received. Take note whether you acted upon that guidance or not - and why! This information can be helpful to see patterns that support or distract you in building a deeper intuitive knowing about yourself and the world around you.
Keep a dream journal. Both dreams and intuition spring from the unconscious mind, so you can begin to tap into this part of your mind by paying attention to your dreams.
Create time in your day to just be - to imagine - to let your thoughts float about, undirected and unstructured. Explore the freedom that experience gives you and be present to the information, thoughts, feelings, and physical sensations you may have.
The wonderful surprise about developing your intuition is that it is a never-ending journey. Consider your intuition as a muscle to strengthen. With purposeful practice and frequent use, it will become more powerful and better align you with your highest good.