Intuition is really a sudden immersion of the soul into the universal current of life, where the histories of all people are connected, and we are able to know everything because it’s all written there. —Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

If you were in a plane crash in the middle of Siberia, what would you want to make sure you had in your backpack?

If you were in a plane crash, even if you had a good amount of food and really warm socks, what you’d really need was a compass you could trust. If your compass was cracked, or if you’d never learned how to read it, you could easily wander in circles and run out of food before you found your way. 

When you’re in the midst of a big life transition, it can feel like you’ve fallen out of a plane in the middle of Siberia. Lost. Stuck. Sometimes hurting, and longing to know where you’re headed.

On your journey to getting clear about what’s next, your intuition is your compass. 

Your intuition is your ability to sense which direction is a “yes” and which direction is a “no.” Intuition is a felt sense of inner knowing about which next steps to take.

Your body— including the brain in your head, your nervous system, endocrine system, digestive system, your entire body— is an extraordinarily sensitive navigational system. Each cell is continuously tracking what is happening internally and externally and telling the rest of your body what it needs. All of these signals come together to create a felt sense or a not-yet-articulated inner knowing, which is your intuition. 

If you’ve felt something in your bones or your heart has told you what to do or you’ve just known something in your gut, you know what it’s like to access your body’s wisdom. 

When a client graduates from our work together, I ask them what their biggest takeaways were from our work together.

High on the list is almost always a newfound relationship with their inner wisdom. Before reconnecting to the wisdom of their bodies, they felt uncertain about what was next. They doubted themselves, spinning around in their minds about what to do next— wasting precious time and energy. 

After learning to tune into their inner wisdom, they feel clear about where they’re headed, and they trust their ability to course-correct when new information arises. Because they now trust themselves, they’re able to take efficient action. As a result, they not only make more progress; they also have time for the other important parts of their lives.

Unfortunately, if you’re like many of my clients, you may have been raised in a family or culture where it wasn’t safe to feel or where you were taught to second-guess yourself.

The good news is, although you may feel disconnected from your intuition or not always have the easiest time trusting yourself, you were born with the ability to sense what is right for you. Your compass is still there. You just need to reconnect.

So, how do you reconnect with your intuition?

I’ve found that there are five main steps to reconnecting with your inner wisdom. Here they are—

1. Replenish Your Body’s Energy.

If you want your intuition to tell you what a “yes!” is for your next steps in work and life, you need first to be able to feel desire and excitement in your body. But it’s hard to feel a “yes!” when you’re exhausted or depleted. If you’re drained, your body will likely tell you that you need to rest before you do anything else.

Therefore, to hear the wisdom of your intuition, you must consistently replenish your body’s energy.  Your minimum requirements for sleep, nutrition, and exercise are unique to you, and you must honor your own.

2. Take in the Good.

If I asked you what the elements of your dream job are, what would you say? If you’re like a lot of my new clients, it may be easier for you to identify what you don’t want or what you’re afraid than to paint a picture of what you want. 

By paying attention to what’s good in your life, you can rewire your brain to detect possibility and identify what you want. When you pay close attention to what’s already a “yes!” in your life, it becomes much easier to sense what’s a “yes!” for your next steps and move in that direction. 

3. Feel What You Feel.

If I asked you how you feel, right now, how would you respond? If you’re like many of my new clients, you might say that you don’t know how you feel. Or, rather than telling me about the sensations and emotions in your body, you may tell me what you’re thinking.

Emotions are information. If you feel tension, constriction, or uncomfortable emotions, your body is trying to tell you something. Often, the messages will get louder and louder until you pay attention. To access the intuition that arises from your body, you need to learn how to notice and decode your body’s sensations and emotions. 

4. Honor Your Needs and Longings.

Ultimately, listening to your inner guidance is about getting crystal clear about what you need (and what the systems and communities you’re a part of need) and how to meet these needs.

Unfortunately, if you’re like most people in Western culture— especially if you’re a woman or a person of color— you were probably taught to ignore or denigrate your needs and desires. Fortunately, the ability to understand what you need and long for is a muscle that you can cultivate with practice.

5. Respond with Self-Compassion.

On the surface, a big life transition isn’t as frightening as a plane crash, but it can nevertheless be really scary. And our limiting beliefs, self-doubts, and fears can create so much static noise that it becomes hard to hear the subtle voice of intuition. 

To quiet your fears, you need to learn to respond with self-compassion. Research shows that self-compassion strengthens intuition. Compassion leads to more coherent heart rate variability. And this coherence quiets the inner noise, like tuning in to a clear radio signal. The more you align with your heart’s signals, the clearer the signals become. 

Does that feel like a lot? It doesn’t have to.

I teach my clients to integrate most of these steps into what I call the Orientation Practice.

It’s a journaling practice, and many of my clients practice this daily. When they do, it changes their lives. I invite you to grab a pen and a piece of paper and try it now. Then, write down your responses to the following questions—

  1. What’s new and good? It doesn’t have to be brand new or extraordinary, just something that’s both new and good in your life.
  2. How do you feel right now? Rather than writing down what you’re thinking, write down the bodily sensations and emotions you’re feeling. Tired. Tense. Mad. Heavy. Light. Calm. Happy. Sad. Excited. — These are all examples of feeling words.
  3. What do you need? What you need can be as practical as sleep or food or a warm sweater. Or as big as to make a contribution or to be understood or to experience friendship. 
  4. Respond with self-compassion. What would you tell a small child who was telling you they were experiencing similar feelings or needs. If they were feeling great, you might celebrate. And if they were struggling, you’d offer warmth and kindness. Do the same for yourself.

I encourage you to do the Orientation Practice once a day for a couple of weeks until it becomes second nature to notice what’s good, what you’re feeling, what you need, and to respond with compassion. Doing the Orientation Practice is like holding your compass, and each time you do it, you will strengthen your connection to your intuition.

Much love,

 

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