12 Practical Tools To Help You Access Your Intuition

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.
12 Practical Tools To Help You Access Your Intuition
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Whether we’re talking about healing your body of illness, finding and fulfilling your calling, participating in loving, open-hearted relationships, aligning yourself with financial abundance, or parenting your children, allowing your intuition to help you make decisions leads to conscious choices.

Surely, you know this already. You’ve probably had the direct experience of ignoring a hunch and regretting it later. You’ve probably also had the awe-inspiring feeling of getting out of the way so synchronicity can guide you towards something beautiful that wants to be born through you. Intuition arises from the heart, and when you start to let your heart inform your decisions, mystical magical flow states tend to bubble forth.

But what if you're having a hard time accessing intuition? While some people are very tuned in, regularly receiving clairvoyant visions, prescient dreams, direct knowing, and messages from spirit guides and animal totems, some people feel frustrated, out of touch, and tuned way out. Is this because only special people have access to intuitive guidance? No way. While some people may be more skilled at accessing intuition, it's a natural human gift of guidance that belongs to us all, if only we know how to play with it.

I like to imagine that the invisible world is always trying to communicate with you, directing you toward the path of greatest alignment and flow, and intuition is the spirit world's vehicle for talking to you, like the information superhighway between Spirit and You. Imagine that you are so loved by these invisible forces that they're always planting clues to help you live in accordance with your soul's blueprint, and the game of life is about following the clues. Life then becomes a kind of scavenger hunt.

When you approach life in this playful, curious way, always staying present and watching for clues, life gets really interesting. Some of my own real-life examples of how intuition guided me toward a whole lot of magic are shared in my book The Anatomy of a Calling. But here are a few playful CliffsNotes to help you navigate your own unique scavenger hunt:

1. Meditate.

Intuition tends to be quiet, so it's hard to listen to that meek voice when your mind is full of chatter. Meditation is a great technique for calming that inner dialogue enough to let your intuition shine through.


2. Use your body compass.

Your body is always talking to you, reflecting your energetic vibration like a tuning fork. Are you having physical symptoms? Why are they here? What is the message from your body? Where might you be out of alignment with your truth? When you're making a decision, tune into your body.

3. Experiment with oracular tools.

Try playing with oracular tools, such as a tarot card deck, the Chinese I Ching, or runes.


4. Convene with nature.

Imagine that everything in nature is talking to you. Sit by a waterfall and ask it a question. What is it telling you? Ask a rose. Receive a message from a mountain. Listen to the wisdom of a tree. Consult a vegetable in your garden. Receive guidance from a star.

5. Analyze your dreams.

Pay attention to your dreams and glean intuitive information from your unconscious knowing.


6. Invoking synchronicity.

Try this prayer with great sincerity in your heart: "May I merge with synchronicity and become One with synchronicity. May synchronicity show me how to serve love in the world."

You can even ask synchronicity to participate with you around a certain question. Then, keep your eyes peeled for what happens in your world. Be very present. Pay attention to street signs, people you meet, emails in your inbox, bumper stickers, meaningful numbers, objects that appear in your path. Be on the lookout for clues on the scavenger hunt of life.

7. Use books as oracles.

Go to a bookshelf or library. Let yourself be intuitively drawn to a book. (Don't think! Just pick.) Then, open intuitively to a random page and see if there's a relevant message there for you. You can be directive and ask the book a question if you want to get specific.


8. Pay attention to animals.

If an animal crosses your path or shows up in a dream, be curious. Why is this animal here? What message does it have for you? If you can't get the answer on your own, try Google searching the name of the animal and "spirit totem."

9. Access visionary states.

For millennia, shamans and medicine women have been accessing visionary states. While some people naturally find themselves in altered states of consciousness where visionary states emerge, you can be proactive about getting there through breathwork, plant medicine ceremonies, or shamanic drumming.

Just be careful. Use your discernment and let your intuition help you pick the right guide to this realm. If you're new to accessing visionary states, you are playing with fire and you need someone trustworthy with pure motives to keep you safe.


10. Get an intuitive reading.

A good intuitive reading can do wonders for confirming what you already sensed but maybe didn't trust. Again, be careful. The internet is full of quacks who call themselves psychics, intuitives, astrologers, or energy healers. But ethical, skilled, powerful, pure-hearted intuitives exist.

Ask those you trust for referrals. And keep your eyes open for anyone who expects you to trust their intuition more than your own. Any intuitive worth trusting will always warn you to filter what they tell you through your own intuition filter.

11. Text a spirit guide.

Try this little tool, which acclaimed author and speaker Martha Beck and I taught in a class together: Imagine that we live in a universe where there's the seen world and the unseen world and an increasingly thin veil between the two. Imagine that the unseen world is full of unemployed spirit guides with iPhones, who really want to help you but can only help when you text them. Close your eyes and type into your imaginary iPhone the question you want to ask the spirit guide. Then BOOM. Don't think. Look at your imaginary phone and see if you get an immediate text in response.

Play with this if you don't get an answer right away. Don't overthink it and don't take it too seriously. The cognitive mind kills intuition while playfulness opens you to the mystery. Be curious. Stay open. Listen.

12. Go on a vision quest.

While the traditional vision quest might require venturing into the desert with no food, water, or tent, and while this kind of quest is sure to change your life, you can experiment with vision questing in a more low-key way. Take a day off, get in your car, and follow the guidance that shows you where to go for the day. Pay attention to your body. Watch for signs. Notice your feelings. Look for unusual occurrences. Pay attention to animals, plants, bumper stickers, and synchronicities. If in doubt, text a spirit guide and ask where to go!

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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