Intuition stems from that nonlinear dimension of our minds, that part where unconscious connections and associations are made and arise within our conscious minds seemingly out of nowhere.
As Joseph Murphy, author of The Power of Your Unconscious Mind notes:
Within your subconscious depths lie infinite wisdom, infinite power, and an infinite supply of all that is necessary, which is waiting for development and expression.
Intuition is an amazingly powerful tool – a natural gift of our biology that is ready and available to us. However, it’s often ignored or forgotten by us humans. Yet there are so many exhilarating benefits from learning how to tap into it. We’ll explore some benefits next.
Why Intuition is Powerful (and a Little Intimidating!)
Don’t try to comprehend with your mind. Your minds are very limited. Use your intuition.
– M. L’Engle
All throughout history people have listened closely to the whispers of their intuition.
From Dr. Loewi’s intuitive discovery of the chemical transmission of nerve impulses, and Elias Howe’s invention of the sewing machine, to Isaac Newton’s theory of gravity, many great strides in existence have been attributed to spontaneous sparks of intuition.
But why should we pay attention to our intuition? I mean … it’s not like we’re planning on becoming world-famous physicists or inventors, right? Wrong. You don’t need to strive for either. Intuition is very down-to-earth and can help us in any area of life. Here’s why it’s so powerful:
1. Intuition reveals deep truths in our lives
Either about ourselves, other people, or life at large, intuition helps us to develop a deeper understanding and insight. The result is that we feel more intelligently guided in our thoughts, feelings, and decisions.
2. Intuition helps us identify negative omens in our lives
Failure, financial collapse, death, emotional threat – trust your intuition, as it puts us in touch with our instinctive defense systems, helping us to avoid harm. (How eerie but cool is that!)
3. Intuition opens new paths to us
By helping us to identify positive signs in our lives, intuition opens new doors to us when we least expect it.
4. Intuition guides us and helps us to make wise decisions
By allowing us to know what decisions to make and when, intuition helps us to achieve a measure of confidence and peace of mind, assisting us in following paths that are true to ourselves: paths with heart.
5. Intuition helps us to live fulfilling lives
Truth hurts, but truth also helps us to wake up to the false, corrupted, and delusional lives that we sometimes lead and choices we occasionally make. Trust your Intuition! Because it is a bringer of truth, and thus a bringer of change and transformation. When we listen to it, we make decisions that ultimately help our lives to be genuine and fulfilling.
How to Distinguish Fearful Thoughts From Intuition
I sometimes FEEL that I am right. I do not KNOW that I am.
– Albert Einstein
Unfortunately, it’s very common for us to confuse the voice of intuition with the voice of fear. In order for us to make the most intelligent, successful, wise, loving, and meaningful decisions in our lives, we need to learn how to make a clear distinction between the two.
As a person who has a very strong “inner skeptic,” it has been difficult for me to loosen my rational brain in favor of my intuition. As a thinker, my mental voice has always been quite strong and persistent. I’m sure you have struggled with this to some extent too.
What helped me to distinguish fearful thoughts from intuitive guidance was to pay attention to how each inner voice felt in my body. Here are some main differences between fear and intuition.
- Feels heavy and dark
- Emotionally-charged (e.g., “I need to do this or else ____ will happen!!”)
- Makes you feel frustrated, overwhelmed, confused or anxious
- Causes you to ruminate and get lost in cycles of thought
- Feels light
- Crystal clear
- Makes you feel calm, inspired, and a sense of resolution
- Spontaneously arises and immediately feels “right” without further rational thought
By paying attention to these signs, you will slowly be able to distinguish paranoid thinking from neutral and intuitive knowing.
How to Trust Your Intuition to Make Big Life Decisions
Intuition means exactly what it sounds like, in-tuition! An inner tutor or teaching and learning mechanism that takes us forward daily. It is a resource that, where recognized, has infinite potential.
– Sylvia Clare
Intuition is an essential life skill that we must all learn to refine and develop, preferably sooner rather than later. Without intuition, we get stranded in labyrinths of rigid, agitated, or obsessive thoughts that limit our capacity to see clearly. The less clear we can see, the more likely we will make bad decisions.
When we trust our intuition, we experience a clarity that helps us to make the most beneficial choices for our lives.
We can learn how to trust our intuition in nine main ways:
- Silence your mind
- Ask yourself, “How do I feel about this decision?”
- Focus on the sensations in your body
- Explore whether fear is fuelling you
- Formulate your conclusion, and live both scenarios
- Don’t allow pressure to bias you
- Ask for guidance
- Develop more self-awareness
- Clear your third eye chakra
Below I will explore each of these points more in-depth and help you learn how to trust your intuition to make big life decisions:
1. Silence your mind
Often the mind tends to hijack our decision making processes. While it is important that you use rational thought, your usual thinking is often subject to prejudice, past beliefs, external influences (“peer pressure”), and fear.
To access your intuition, you need to clear your mind of thought. In order to clear your mind, I recommend that you meditate, listen to some relaxing music, or focus on mindful breathing. It is very difficult to listen to your intuition when you’re in a stressed-out state of mind.
For example, you might like to try breathing deeply for a few minutes. Breathe in through your nose and allow your belly to gently expand. You may like to slow your breath to the count of four and breathe in slowly for four seconds, hold for four seconds, and breathe out for four seconds.
Try doing any practice that relaxes and stills your mind. Only once you are calm and centered can you accurately access your intuitive power.
2. Ask yourself, “How do I feel about this decision?”
Once you have relaxed your mind and body, inwardly ask yourself, “How do I feel about this decision?” Notice the first feeling, sensation, word, or image that arises within you. You might like to write down whatever appears and reflect on it some more.
3. Focus on the sensations in your body
We can never be deceived by our bodies because our bodies can never lie. No matter what elaborate stories or theories we concoct, our body will always reveal the truth of the matter.
In order to connect with your intuition, try listening to your body. Think about the decision you have to make, and focus on your body’s response. For example, if you want to quit your job, you might notice a sensation of relief flood your entire body (which is a sign that you should quit your job!). Alternatively, if you are thinking of moving to a certain town, you might feel your shoulders and neck tense up (which is most likely a sign that you shouldn’t move there).
By using mindful body awareness, you will be able to connect more freely with your intuition.