3 Actionable Ways To Find Moments Of Stillness In Jam-Packed Days
Many of us struggle to hear our intuition, our inner voice. If that's the case, you might just label yourself "not intuitive" or assume your intuition is unreliable. I disagree. Everyone is intuitive to some degree, but many of us find it difficult to access this inner knowing because we live in a society that glorifies being busy. We are taught to juggle several devices at once, treat a packed schedule like a badge of honor, and feel the fear of missing out, which can make free time and space feel like a rarity.
Intuition shows up in not-so-obvious ways, like body sensations, little hunches, and aha's. But studies show that Americans, in particular, are now working more, sleeping less, and processing more information than ever before. When we're moving too fast, reading and watching #allthethings, and constantly on the go, it's easy to skip over this more discreet intuitive information.
So what's the solution? For starters, we can make more space for intuition to come through.
Have you ever been in the shower and suddenly had a huge aha about a problem you've been trying to solve while washing your hair? Somehow the solution seems to come out of...nowhere. Have you had a breakthrough insight while brushing your teeth that suddenly brought confusion into clarity even though you hadn't been thinking about the issue at the time? This is our intuition peeking through in moments of space.
During seemingly menial tasks on a daily basis, we get glimpses into what is possible when our mind stops running through our to-do list and becomes a little more spacious. Here are three simple strategies to start creating more space in your life for intuition to come in:
1. Take five-minute breaks. Often.
Finishing a task at work and getting ready to start the next one? Set a timer for five minutes and sit or stand at your desk and do nothing for five minutes. I mean...nothing. Think of this as space to allow your mind to shift from one task to the other and any insight to come in-between. Arriving home from work and getting ready to start your evening routine? Take five minutes to sit on your couch and again do nothing. If doing nothing is hard, give yourself something simple in the present moment to keep your mind preoccupied while still cultivating space like focusing on your breath or body sensations. Incorporating more spaciousness in the transition times between tasks and areas of our lives can be an easy way for us to give intuition a wink to come in.
2. Create phoneless moments to start and end your day.
The early moments of our day after we wake up from sleep and before we head to bed are wonderful times for us to access our intuition. For many of us, the first thing we do when we wake up or before heading to bed is to reach for our phones. We do one last scroll through social media or check in with our text messages. Instead, turn your phone on airplane mode or do not disturb overnight and place it away from your bedside. When you wake up in the morning, give yourself some space free from the internet stream of information and other people's ideas, opinions, and priorities. This space can give you the opportunity to sense your own ideas, opinions, and priorities. You can allow this phoneless space to become a daily meditation practice or opportunity to drink your favorite coffee or tea at the kitchen table in silence. Avoid filling this space with other tasks and multitasking like drinking your orange juice while reading the newspaper. Give yourself at least a small bubble of time at the beginning and end of your day simply to connect with yourself.
3. Leave the empty spaces in your schedule.
For one week, experiment with just letting your schedule be. Don't fill the empty spaces with more social engagements, and if you get asked to go to one more event, for just this week, say no. When you have moments of space in your schedule, notice the urge to fill them by checking your phone or turning on Netflix. Instead of turning toward your normal go-to, delay the choice by 10, 15, maybe 20 minutes, and give yourself space to simply be on the couch, sit on your balcony, or daydream while staring out the window. When you are in line waiting to finish a task like going to the bank, decide to leave your smart device in your pocket and enjoy the space of the wait. Or, if you're feeling inspired, imagine what it might be like to "block off" 5 to 10% of the empty spaces in your schedule and keep them as a normal block in your schedule. In other words, transform these empty spaces into a practice of keeping empty space in your schedule on purpose moving forward.
The best way to cultivate a connection with our intuition that is sustainable is through small, micro-level changes to slow down and create space. These doable new choices done consistently over time can cultivate a daily schedule where moments of spaciousness go from a rare opportunity to a consistent priority. As we create spaciousness in our lives, we naturally slow down and notice more of what is happening in our inner experience and the environment around us. Rather than accidental encounters with our intuition in the shower, we can experience a more consistent stream of aha's, insights, and moments of clarity on a daily basis.
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