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4 Ways to Tap Into Your Intuition
It’s almost a cliché: The telephone rings and you intuitively know who it is before answering.
Intuition often shows up this way, as a fleeting insight we'll probably dismiss as coincidence — or write off as “just imagination.”
But as Albert Einstein once said, “Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life’s coming attractions.”
Experts in intuitive counseling say you can learn to develop your intuition and capture those insights to help you make decisions in your personal life — such as whether to agree to a blind date.
“Everyone has intuition. The more you acknowledge it, the stronger and more accurate it gets,” says professional spiritual and medical intuitive Marla Mitchell.
Professional intuitives use intuition to perceive information about you and provide guidance. A medical intuitive further specializes in perceiving the physical health of the body and internal systems.
A surprising number of business leaders also use intuition to help them make business decisions. In a poll conducted by PRWeek and Burson-Marsteller, the majority of the 252 CEOs surveyed said they were likely to rely on their intuition when making business decisions. It’s something to consider next time you’re debating whether to sign off on a new ad campaign or hire a candidate who sent a bland resume but knocked your socks off in the interview.
“I’ve come to accept that my own intuition is one of many skills I can call upon in my business when needed,” says Christen Resmo, president and CEO of Benchmark Coaching, a Denver-based career coaching firm.
Four ways to strengthen your intuition
“With practice, you start noticing the quiet voice within,” explains David Stevens, professional intuitive and founder of Yoga of the Mind, a meditation and intuition training service. “Some see flashes of pictures. Others have certain feelings. Some just have a pure knowingness.”
Mitchell and Stevens recommend these four techniques to help you tap into and trust your intuition.
“Meditation helps you to get quiet and be in the present moment,” Mitchell explains. “The key to increasing your intuitive awareness is to stay very present. Intuition lives in the present.”
At the heart of any meditation method is the practice of quieting the mind, which can help you increase your awareness of your intuitive sense.
“Meditation creates the best access to intuition,” says Stevens, a student of meditation for over 35 years.
You can learn meditation skills in a class (Shambhala Sun magazine offers a great directory) or with a meditation instruction DVD or CD. Stevens says meditating for just 15 minutes a day can offer benefits.
2) Do a blind reading
Stevens recommends practicing what he calls “blind readings.” Here’s how they work:
1. Sit down at a writing table with three blank index cards.
2. Think about a decision you are currently grappling with and write three solutions for it, one on each card.
3. Turn the cards blank-side-up, shuffle them and place them face-down on a table.
4. Run your hands over the cards and notice the feeling of each card.
5. Assign a percentage to each card based on how powerfully you’re drawn to it.
6. Turn the cards over and take note of the answer with the highest percentage.
Two years ago, Stevens and his wife used a blind reading to help them decide whether to cancel a big trip they had planned. The vacation was to begin right around the time a work-related project of his wife’s was to be completed. But the project started late, and it looked like the project would reach a critical point during their vacation.
Rather than canceling the vacation, the couple did a blind reading. They labeled the first card “Shorten the trip,” the second card “Do the trip as planned,” and the third card “Cancel the trip.” They each did a separate blind reading; both felt the strongest pull toward the card labeled “Do the trip as planned.”
They kept their vacation plans. As it turned out, the critical aspects of the project were completed a couple of days before the trip. Stevens and his wife enjoyed their vacation without distraction.
3) Play red-light green-light
Fun and spontaneity can help you develop intuition. Mitchell recommends this take on a classic childhood game:
1. Imagine a traffic light. Picturing the red light indicates “no” and the green light indicates “yes.”
2. Ask yourself questions or make statements that have true / false or yes / no answers, and notice, in your mind’s eye, what color the stoplight turns after each statement. Start by simply saying your name (for example, “I am Karen”). Then, call yourself by a different name (for example, “I am Bob”) and watch in your mind’s eye to see if the colors change.
After you get the hang of this game, try it in situations where you don’t know the answer.
“Games like this help increase your trust in your own intuitive abilities,” Mitchell explains.
4) Learn more through readings and classes
Mitchell and Stevens agree that you can develop your intuition by having readings done by professional intuitives, and by taking classes.
Resmo, Benchmark Coaching CEO, says classes that teach how to develop intuition let her practice tapping into her intuitive side in a nonjudgmental environment. “I could simply allow my thoughts and impressions to flow,” she explains. "My guesses and hunches were spot-on accurate about 75 percent of the time.”