The secret to hearing your intuition is in your ability to feel your body. Once you get it, you’ll always have a powerful tool to guide your life, from making decisions about your health and wellness to your business or relationships.
I’m getting better at using my intuition to guide my decisions. While I’ve always known about intuition, I’ve not always known how to listen to it or use what I hear to my advantage. Body awareness is your ticket to making just about any decision you want to make. Career, family, relationships, love, spirituality, what to eat for breakfast — it’s all there for you, waiting for you to slow down and feel.
I’ve learned that anxious, tight, constricted, “eh,” down, damp, sad, quiet, smothered, suffocating, and desperate mean one thing. And light, free, easy, joyful, fun, excited, inspired, and hopeful mean another. I can listen to these feelings and know my body’s already telling me if something’s a yes or a no. Here are some tips to help you learn how to tap into your intuition:
1. Start a meditation practice.
Don’t know what you feel or don’t feel much of anything? It’s OK — you need to practice this. Begin a body-awareness meditation practice (don’t be scared off by the “m” word) by finding a quiet place to sit or lie down and breathe for a few minutes. Practice noticing what you feel. The more you do this, the better you’ll get at it. Then crack open your journal and fill in the blank, I feel ____.
Many of us have spent a lifetime practicing not feeling. We’ve been taught not to feel, or learned, through trauma, that it isn’t safe to feel. We learn and develop long-standing habits that numb us up. Drinking, drugs, over-work, and even over-exercising are coping mechanisms that don’t allow us to fully feel what our bodies are telling us.
2. Addressing your feelings will help you make the best choices.
If you can’t feel, if you don’t have the awareness, you won’t be able to make choices about the things that matter the most. Or you’ll be making choices based on other people’s opinions, thoughts, and feelings instead of your own. Being able to feel means you’re in charge. Nobody else gets to say how you feel.
So, that weekend trip you have planned…how do you feel about it? That call you are about to make? The exercise class you signed up for? The conversation you need to have with your spouse? What about the way your friend spoke to you? Every interaction can be guided by how you feel in that moment. You know what’s a yes and what’s a no. Your body tells you through thought, physical sensation, and emotion.
3. You must give yourself permission to feel everything again.
You must then pay attention to what you feel. And you can honor what you feel as true intuition or inner wisdom, letting it guide you.
One last note: Fear is just excitement without the breath. If you are afraid, breathe. Let your body tell you whether it’s anxious or excited. It/you know the difference. Learn to feel the difference in your body so instead of being paralyzed by what you feel, you can use that energy to act on it.
Every big decision is just a feeling away.
Here are eight ways to help you learn how to listen to what your body is telling you:
- Get still. Quiet your mind and practice feeling the sensations that are coming from your body.
- Be aware of thoughts, feelings, sensations, and emotions. Watch them and be curious.
- Step outside of yourself. Looking in at what you feel makes it easier to feel. Detach and observe.
- Write down what you feel. Move the energy of what you feel from inside to outside by writing it down.
- Feel the difference between a yes and a no in your body. When do you feel good? When do you feel bad? What do you feel when it’s good? Bad?
- Start trusting what your body tells you. If your body says, “I don’t want to go to the potluck this weekend,” then don’t go. Honor it. Do what you want to do, what your body says yes to.
- Everything other than feeling is just a story. Realize it’s the feeling you are after, not what you think about the feeling. Your inner critic will quickly talk you out of what might be good for you. That’s not the voice to listen to.
- Find other people who practice this. It really helps to chat with people who are tuning in to their intuition. You’ll get ideas and validation by practicing with others and hearing their stories.
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