This is probably the question I am asked more than any other: How do I increase my intuitive skills? So, to help you in that regard, assuming you, too, want to be more intuitive (I mean, who doesn’t??), here are my top six tips.
But first, a disclaimer. It is my belief that everyone and everything is an interconnected part of All That Is. It follows then, that at our core level of Oneness, we all have access to all the information in the universe(s). We can access this information through empirical study and research (via the left brain, aka, the slow way) or through intuition (via the right brain, aka, the fast way). If you do not share my belief, that’s okay, but try these tips out anyway, as an experiment and see if any of these work for you. Even Einstein said, “Logic will get you from A to B, imagination will take you everywhere.” And this takes you right to my first tip…
1) Spend more time in your right brain.
This means enjoy daydreaming, visualizing, making music, art, dance, stories, or anything else creative. Why? Both intuition and imagination are processed through the right brain. By getting to know your right brain a little better through your imagination, even if it’s all pretend, you keep the portal open to intuition as well. At first, it may be difficult to distinguish between what you’re “making up” and a direct intuitive hit. That’s okay, too. With practice you learn the differences. The important thing is to visit the right brain and value it by keeping it stimulated through imaginative play.
2) Act on the intuitive hits you get.
Many of us are getting a lot of intuitive hits throughout our day, but since we live in a culture that devalues intuition as medievalism, mental illness, or even of the devil, we are very good at dismissing, rationalizing away, or simply ignoring the glaringly obvious intuitive guidance that is staring us in the face.
For example, a few months ago, my husband had the impulse to buy a lottery ticket at the grocery store. This isn’t common for him at all so it was probably already his intuition guiding him. He then had the sudden thought to play the famed numbers that the character Hurley used in the TV show Lost. Later that day, when the lotto numbers were revealed, indeed four of the winning numbers were the Lost numbers which meant a $150 prize! However, my husband didn’t get the prize because he didn’t actually play the Lost numbers. Why? After he had thought to play those numbers he reasoned that if we were fated to win, it wouldn’t matter what numbers he played; he’d win no matter what. So he played different numbers and didn’t win anything. This is exactly how the left brain tries to trump the right brain. So the next time you get an intuitive hit, try it out and see what happens! It may be all that happens is you save yourself an hour in traffic by listening to your intuition and taking an arterial instead of the interstate you later find out was completely blocked due to a protest march. (Yes, this happened to me!) By acting on your intuition no matter how small it is or seemingly insignificant, you build your trust in your abilities. Intuition is just like a muscle: the more you exercise it the stronger it gets.
Again with Einstein: “The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.”
3) Meditate and contemplate.
It doesn’t matter too much what practice you follow. Just do what appeals to you and therefore, is easiest for you to keep at on a regular basis. Most meditative and contemplative practices increase mental strength through focus which enables you to train your brain. You are then able to quiet down the left brain that is usually streaming a steady flow of commentary about everything and free up the right brain to be in the ever-present now, watching, aware, awake and open to the flow of intuition.
4) Pay attention to your body (and nature in general).
You body is more connected to intuition than your rational mind. Ironically, in our materialistic society, many people are disconnected from their body’s awareness, so it may take some time to get back in touch with your body’s wisdom and learn to trust its intuition. A general rule of thumb is that if you are going away from your intuition, your body will constrict in some fashion: your gut clenches, your throat constricts, your breathing gets shallow. When you are going towards your intuition, your body relaxes, opens up, and feels better. Nature responds similarly. When I am “in the flow,” I notice eagles overhead or some other “sign” that confirms my intuition.
5) Do your inner work.
It’s not sexy, but it is imperative. Some of the main blocks to getting clear intuitive hits are heavy emotions, limited thinking, and unseen shadow. Some people give up on their intuition because when they have followed it, it hasn’t been accurate. The issue isn’t with the intuition itself, but how it’s being received and process by you. Like a radio, if you’re not tuned in exactly to the right station you’re going to get static or pick up multiple stations at the same time. Fear, anger, sadness, and pessimism can all be like static and shadow can twist or add to the pure intuitive message trying to come through. If you have no idea how to do inner work, find a reputable therapist, spiritual director, healer, or wise religious leader to help you discover your inner world and integrate it.
I once received intuitive guidance not to attend a class I was interested in. The instructor, also an intuitive, told me I was wrong not to attend, and that by not coming to class, I was dooming myself to being in a car accident. I trusted my own intuition over hers because 1) she was financially and emotionally invested in the outcome of my decision - she would make more money and have more attendees – both ego concerns that might twist or warp her intuition; and 2) her message of doom was a fear-based threat. Pure, intuitive messages are emotionally clear. Even if they are warning messages to keep you safe, they do not carry fear, or threats, but are simply matter-of-fact.
6) Learn the language of your dreams.
One of the first things I did to begin to become more aware of intuition through dreams was to keep a dream journal. Not only would I write down the interesting dreams I could remember in the morning, I also wrote open-ended questions down in the journal right before I went to bed at night to see how my dreams might answer them. For example, I’d write “I need guidance about which job to take” or “I am asking for guidance about this relationship.” It’s amazing how many intuitive hits would come in the dreams, or even the next day as I went about regular chores. The subconscious is very connected to your intuition, and even though its language is often cryptic, symbolic and archetypal, by connecting with your subconscious intentionally, you open another door to your intuition.
Good luck! Let me know how your experimenting and playing goes…