I used to marvel at energy healers and their ability to pick up on individuals’ mysterious energy fields. I guess I classified it as a science; since I hated physics and chemistry because my visual brain couldn't understand particles you can’t see, I wrote the whole field off.
As I dove deeper into my personal yoga practice and my teaching practice, I began to bump up against the concept of energy more and more. I heard the word intuition thrown around a lot and started to secretly worry that I wasn’t going to be a great teacher because I was the least intuitive person around. Thus started my quest to developing intuition. Like leadership, I took the view that it can be learned.
Funnily enough, intuition is no different than any other ability. Intuition has always been within you. The work is digging through the mud your brain has splattered against your heart to unearth it.
Here are 5 ways to find your intuition.
1. Pay attention to your funny quirks
Your body knows what’s going on before your mind can comprehend. That’s why I started walking around tapping my chest with my fingertips. It was a strange quirk that drove my boyfriend nuts. I thought nothing of it until one day I finally realized that every time my hand started to tap my chest, I was in an uncomfortable situation. If you pay attention to what your body has been telling you all along, you’ll find the first key to your intuition. Plus, my body had introduced me to EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique, read more on Wikipedia), without my mind even knowing it.
2. Let go of your stories
Tell yourself you are intuitive and believe it. I sabotaged my intuitive capabilities by allowing myself to firmly believe I wasn’t intuitive. It became a part of me, my story. When you let beliefs become ingrained as part of your identity platform, it’s harder to admit the truth and let go of the things that no longer serve you. It may have been that at one time in my life I didn't want to be intuitive because I didn't want to know what I already knew. But I overcame that fear and had to let go of my staunch stance on non-intuitiveness to move forward.
3. Shut down your brain
The number one killer of intuition is the brain. Our rational mind likes to fight with our subconscious to maintain the illusion of control, when in reality the rational mind more often than not is the enemy. Researchers are concentrating heavily on the concept of the second brain, discovering new connections between neural activity and the gut. Turns out those gut feelings can be physiologically explained after all. When we allow the mind to hijack the body, we shut down our capability of connecting to the gut.
4. Lose control
Be spontaneous. Take risks. Makes mistakes. Not only will you take a crack at any vestiges of perfectionism, but you’ll also come up against many of your biggest fears. Overcoming fears help you demolish the blocks that keep you from moving forward, including energetic blocks in the body that may be keeping you from connecting within. Once you've eliminated your need to control, you’ll be much more in tune with your body’s natural responses and your ability to respond appropriately without the help of Mr. Mind.
5. Investigate Nature
Nature is nothing but intuition. Flowers grow toward the sun. Animals run when humans come near. In a society where Darwinism still reigns supreme, nature must follow the laws of intuition to survive. Humans long ago seem to have traded in intuition for convenience, eliminating most risks and the need to use our bodies to survive. Instead, we turned to synthetics, plastics, mass manufacturing and money and crafted new laws based on practicality, convenience and excess. Spend some time in the forest, observing the ways of the land, and you might just feel the urge to reconnect with your own intuitive side.
Remember that developing your intuitive skills will take time. We've spent so long smothering our natural state of being, that it only makes sense it will take some time and a bit of hard work to dig it back up from the abyss.