Increasing One’s Intuition
How do we begin to tune into our own inner knowing and wisdom? How do we block out outside opinions and perceptions? How do we discover our own unique values that allow us to be true to our authentic self? We naturally operate out of conditioned knee-jerk responses due to feelings of obligation, duty, or a sense of loyalty and friendship. This blurs our choices and prevents us from listening to ourselves.
Do you make the wrong choices?
Has someone ever asked you to do something for them and although you did not really want to do it, you said yes? How did you feel? You probably got a sick feeling in the deep recesses of your stomach that created irritation and self-judgment. As well, when we are indecisive when an important choice needs to be made, we feel we wish we could just “know” what the right choice is and be done with it. We always get subtle signals from our bodies, but we often we are not aware of them. For example, we feel ease when we make the right choice, and anxiousness when we make the wrong choice. So why is it we don’t listen to our body’s signals?
The reason we resist listening to our bodies is due to our ever-controlling “mind.” Our mind has to compare current situations with past experiences in order to make the best choice to either prevent further pain and discomfort, or on the other hand, to experience more pleasure and joy. However, it is the past comparisons that prevent us from truly living life in the present. We know deep down inside what it is that we want, but we choose to either get too busy or allow ourselves to become distracted. “Tuning in” can be very uncomfortable at times, since by doing so we would need to say “no” to someone and face the prospect of disappointing them.
Connecting with ourselves
The first step in connecting with ourselves is to pay attention to subtle cues and notice our bodies’ response to stress, fear, and irritation. Some common signs are nausea, body pains, heat, comfort food cravings, and lapses in memory. The more that we can stay conscious of our moment to moment thoughts and experiences, the more we can correlate certain symptoms with a “no” response of the body.
Once we gain this awareness, the next step is to apply this knowledge. It may take several attempts (or more) before we succeed in truly listening to our intuition versus overriding it with our minds. So be gentle and patient with this process, and like learning how to ride a bike, remember that it takes more than one time to learn how to gain balance and be at ease.
One way to help identify the signs of our bodies, is to take time to be more conscious of how you breathe. Is your breathing shallower, more labored or is it full, deep and expansive? By taking brief moments throughout your day to notice your breathing, and better yet, taking the time to breathe helps to facilitate this process. Also, notice how you feel during a conversation with another person – are you relaxed or do you feel tense? The more you pay attention to how your breathing as well as how your body responds to certain situations will further increase your intuition and establish a more intimate connection with your body.