Make 2016 The Year You Honor Your Intuition. Here's How

Physician and New York Times bestselling author By Lissa Rankin, M.D.
Physician and New York Times bestselling author
Lissa Rankin, M.D., is the New York Times bestselling author of "Mind Over Medicine," "The Fear Cure," and "The Anatomy of a Calling." She is a physician, speaker, founder of the Whole Health Medicine Institute, and mystic. Lissa has starred in two National Public Television specials and also leads workshops, both online and at retreat centers like Esalen and Kripalu.

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I was a 35-year-old doctor who was 28 weeks pregnant when I started thinking about how I would kill myself. But just as I was weighing the pros and cons of pills versus a lethal injection I could steal from work, my baby kicked me, and I burst into tears.

Oh my God. I couldn’t even manage to kill myself without killing my unborn daughter.

I’ve come to think of intuition as the disguise the spirit world lovingly uses to speak to the human world.

I felt a tornado of fury funnel up inside me. I looked around for something to break — a plate or a vase maybe. But just as I was spinning in circles, finding nothing, I heard a voice. A gentle, loving whisper said, “Darling, they’re about to break you. You have to quit your job.”

The moments that followed bathed me in what I can only describe as a flood of unconditional love — a waterfall of grace filling my body and mind with hope and peace. I felt my whole nervous system relax. My mind became silent until I was no longer Lissa. I was a separate consciousness watching Lissa with unbridled love, compassion, and tenderness.

In that moment, the very idea that life could be painful felt almost absurd. I felt weightless, at home in the vast expanse of emptiness that felt strangely full. The idea of suicide suddenly felt ludicrous.

It was that intuitive voice that helped me gather the courage to find and fulfill my true calling. Along my hero's journey, I learned how to trust my inner voice that spoke the truth before my mind could quite grasp it.

I’ve come to think of intuition as the disguise the spirit world lovingly uses to speak to the human world in a way that protects us and makes our lives easier. So how do you tap into this voice? Here are a few tips:

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1. Know that intuition smacks you with truth.

Even if the voice of intuition scares you with what it whispers, it always lands with a thud of truth. Intuition smashes though layers of denial and cuts to the core to show you what’s true.

2. Recognize that intuition tastes like freedom.

Martha Beck suggests that we ask ourselves, “Shackles on or shackles off?” When the voice of intuition speaks, it always feels like shackles off.

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3. Listen to your body.

Start by noticing how your body feels when you’re faced with a decision. Your body’s “Hell no” will feel like a tight gripping sensation. A “Hell yeah” often feels like openness, especially in the chest. Sometimes a choice will feel scary, so you might be confused by butterflies. But are they the butterflies of excitement or the flutterings of dread? Tune in.

4. Interpret your dreams.

When the cognitive mind asleep, intuition has a heyday. Dreams can be filled with intuitive messaging that needs to be decoded. Read up on the various techniques to interpret your dreams.

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5. Learn to read energy.

Sometimes, you instinctually read someone's energy without even realizing you're doing it. You'll look at someone you’ve never met and pick up on cues about their emotional state, health, and well-being. But when we make it a conscious practice to read the energy of a person, business opportunity, or personal choice, we bench-press with our energy-reading muscles and strengthen our intuition.

6. Ask for guidance.

Your cognitive mind will try to convince you that it’s possible to control life. But your soul giggles when your mind thinks like this. The sooner you realize that the Universe doesn’t need you to be in control, the more peace and ease you’ll experience. Since you’re not in charge, why not enlist the help of forces of consciousness larger than your Small Self? Whether you call it God, Goddess, Buddha, Allah, or Captain Crunch, surrender to this force of love that can show you the way of greatest flow for your unique soul.

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7. Cultivate presence.

Be here now. When your mind is churning over what happened in the past or worrying about what hasn’t yet happened, you’re less available to all the intuitive knowing that only exists in the present moment. To cultivate presence, start a meditation practice, spend time in nature, and practice mindfulness in your daily activities.

8. Tune in to signs.

The world is alive, everything is conscious, and Consciousness itself is always trying to communicate with us. But most of the time, we’re so busy, distracted, and caught up in our minds that we miss the signs showing us how to find and fulfill our calling, how to align with the right people, and how to live in accordance with our souls. Learn how to interpret the signs.

The sooner you realize that the Universe doesn’t need you to be in control, the more peace and ease you’ll experience.

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9. Play with your intuition.

As I detail in my book, The Fear Cure, your intuition is never more spot-on than when your life or the life of a loved one is at stake. If your intuition screams, “Don’t trust the babysitter!” you’ll want to take note.

But don’t wait for life-and-death situations to start learning to discern between intuition and paranoia. Instead, cultivate a playful relationship with your intuition. Make it a game. Is the phone ringing? See if you can intuit who it is. Going to a Super Bowl party? Can you intuit who will win? Heading out for a first date? Can you sense whether the date will fly or flop? Get playful and see what happens.

10. Put your intuition to the test.

Got a hunch? Write it down in an intuition journal and check back on it later. Sometimes it will take a year or two to assess how things went when you followed your intuition or ignored it. In the beginning, following your hunches can feel risky. But over time, you’ll develop what I like to call “evidence-based faith.” When you see how effortlessly things can flow when you follow your hunches, you’ll be less inclined to let your mind dismiss your intuition.

To learn more about how trusting your intuition can make miracles happen in your life, check out my new book, The Anatomy of a Calling, available where books are sold. Each copy comes with a livestream of my upcoming Miracles & Sacred Activism workshop.

Lissa Rankin, M.D.
Lissa Rankin, M.D.
Lissa Rankin, M.D., is the New York Times bestselling author of Mind Over Medicine, The Fear Cure,...
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Lissa Rankin, M.D.
Lissa Rankin, M.D.
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