In essence, intuition requires being open and listening for what you know is true for you.

Intuitive knowing is the essential ingredient to expanding your awareness and consciousness on the road to a life that will satisfy you.

Laura Berman Fortgang

 

What if you had access to a reliable advisor who always has your best interest at heart? You have: your intuition is an underappreciated and underused human competence, a subtle yet supportive guide that will not lead you astray.

Too much emphasis has been placed on the importance of left-brain proficiencies such as logic and rationality. These are desirable, but so too are right-brain skills, such as intuition, imagination and creativity, which are required to ensure that we don’t lose touch with our humanity and possibly even our sanity.

Reading through old journal entries as I write a memoir, I realise how integral intuition was to my recovery from trauma. Emotionally devastated, faced with almost daily demands for repayment of debt I had been coerced into, and with no means of meeting those demands, I paid attention to my body’s (and mind’s) need for peace and quiet. I balanced communication with my creditors with frequent trips to the nearby coast. A journal entry from 3rd August, 2003, contains the sentence: I’m relieved that my head is still in one piece and it’s all down to sun, sea, sand and sea-breezes. It wasn’t until years later that I discovered how research has proved the healing benefit of spending time in nature; somehow I just knew what I needed.

Over the years I have learned to trust what can be described as ‘gut reactions’ or ‘hunches’, and the more I do so, the more reliable they become. Going with the certainty that I need to act in a particular way, or go to a particular place, have led to meaningful coincidences – what Jung called ‘synchronicities’ – occurring in my life. One example I can think of is a time when I had an unmistakable urge to go a local second-hand book shop; scrutinising the shelves there I discovered an out-of-print book I had wanted for some time. On another occasion I went with an impulse to take a particular route through the town centre and bumped into an old friend I’d lost touch with.

There is so much information available at the touch of a keypad nowadays; we can often become swamped by data. Learning to tune into and trust your own inner knowledge can be the difference between making an informed, empowered decision that is in your own best interest or being pulled off course by external influences.

Developing your intuition takes practice but it is worth the effort. The first step to tuning in to your inner knowing is to unplug yourself from your laptop, smartphone, iPad etc. Technology is a wonderful thing as long as it doesn’t rule your life; when you are constantly connected to a gadget, you are disconnected from your inner self and your focus is in the wrong place. Intuition needs you to pay attention to what you’re feeling so that the answers you seek can make themselves known to you. Writing questions and intending to receive intuitive answers can help you keep track of your intuitions. As you find yourself trusting the insights you receive, your intuition becomes stronger.

Intuition will not suggest that you put yourself, or anyone else, in harm’s way. Inner prompts you receive that elicit anything other than a ‘yes’ response in you are more likely to be subconscious fears than intuition. Acting on intuitive intelligence relieves rather than increases pressure; it engenders a sense of being in the flow of life. To-do lists are helpful, even necessary, although I find my days are more productive and satisfying when I choose items from mine that I’m feeling an inner compulsion to complete. This strategy, strangely, also seems to stretch time for me. Having said that, there are times, like it or not, when you have to attend to the more mundane tasks on your list.

Maintain openness to the ideas and inspirations that your intuition wants to share with you and act on those that you sense are leading you in the direction you want to go; you’ll find it a revelatory, fulfilling and liberating exercise. It comes back to the essential principle of you knowing what’s best for you. I believe that we all have an inner drive to achieve our potential; if we practice being still and listening, our internal compass is primed and ready to show us opportunities that can only enhance our lives. But don’t just take my word for it – try it for yourself and see.

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