What is intuition?
Your intuition, sometimes referred to as your inner guidance, is a mechanism of inner or instinctive knowing which neither requires, nor employs logical thought processes.
It is an alternative source of knowledge, level of awareness, or as some refer to it, an inner voice. We all possess this mechanism to varying degrees, as well as the capacity to develop it further.
Why is developing your intuition important?
Many great thinkers, from Immanuel Kant to Carl Jung, have emphasized the importance of intuition and the great impact it had on their personal and professional lives. They defined it as ‘a priori’ knowledge, and as being an essential and indispensable tool for us as humans.
According to Jung, intuition is one of four major functions of the human mind along with sensation, thinking, and feeling. By balancing all of these functions within ourselves, we have the ability to maximize our potential. He wrote:
“I regard intuition as a basic psychological function that mediates perception in an unconscious way. Intuition enables us to divine the possibilities of a situation……”
Intuition is also a means of creative self-expression, especially in the worlds of art, music and literature. Nor, is it restricted to the creative arts. Many have achieved remarkable success in the fields of science, business and entrepreneurship, often amassing great fortune and fame due to their abilities to make important decisions by following ‘hunches’, or intuitive, ‘gut feelings’.
Intuition is ultimately your connection to the subconscious mind. It is how the subconscious mind communicates with the conscious mind. This is why it’s such an amazing source of creative power, wisdom and understanding. It transcends the realms of experience or reasoning.
How to Develop Your Intuition Skills
Quiet your mind and listen. Take time each day to experience silence. Practice calming your mind by using whatever breathing or meditative technique you prefer. Let go of the inclination to think, or analyze, and try to know everything. Be open and listen. Let your thoughts roam and be open to the ideas and solutions that come to you. When you listen to your intuition it connects you with a greater knowledge. It usually communicates through symbols, feelings and emotions.
Learn to trust your hunches and gut feelings. If something doesn’t feel right, chances are it isn’t. What may be right for one person could be totally wrong for you. How many times have you had that feeling in your stomach compelling you to do, or not do, something for no apparent reason? Listening to it probably helped you avoid a traffic accident or led you to be at the right place and time for getting that great job, or meeting that special person. Your intuition is your inner guide, so learn to trust it. At first, trusting it may be a bit scary, but allow it the opportunity to develop.
Pay attention and be aware. In order to increase your intuitive abilities you must pay attention to what is going on around you. The more data and information you absorb from your environment, the more your subconscious mind has to work with when you have to make an important decision. Since your intuition uses the information gathered by the conscious mind, the more you have available, the better the solution. Likewise, knowledge and understanding gleaned from experience contribute to the quality of insight provided your intuition by your intuition. Remember, the subconscious mind communicates information to the conscious mind through your intuition.
Other types of intuition reveal themselves in thought flashes or inspiration. The key is to take notice. The more you pay attention, the more of them you will experience. If you’ve ever ignored your intuition and then had to deal with unpleasant ensuing circumstances, you know what it feels like. To prevent such mishaps, make sure to pay attention to the tiny hints and clues you receive.
Employ your subconscious while you sleep. Before you go to bed at night, reflect upon questions and issues for which you couldn’t find solutions during the day. Think about and explore different possibilities. This will trigger your imagination and put your subconscious to work at furnishing you with creative solutions while you sleep. Be sure to have a pen and paper handy, so when you wake up during the night with some great ideas, you can write them down.
Journal. When you take time to write or journal, you tap into thoughts, feelings and ideas you’re not typically conscious of. This is an excellent way to release inner messages, insights or hidden knowledge about a situation or problem that requires attention.
The Benefits of Developing Your Intuition
- Helps you reduce stress by identifying and dealing with problems more effectively
- Unleashes your creativity and imagination
- Puts you in touch with your subconscious, and therefore helps you uncover hidden truths about yourself and situations in your life
- By being in touch with your intuition, you prevent the buildup of negative emotions and thinking
- Integrates left and right brain functions giving you a more complete perspective on issues
- Helps you make better, more integrative decisions
- Improves physical, mental and emotional health
Developing your intuition is like learning any new skill. The more you practice, the better you get at it. As with any new exercise or routine you’re not used to, start off slowly and gradually build your “intuitive muscles.” Enjoy and let me know how it goes!
P.S. Coming soon- A course on intuition. Watch out for it in your email and subscribe if you are not already!