Once you’ve said yes to your intuitive powers, it’s time to play with some tools.
When you’re first beginning this work of building Intuition, it’s important to allow yourself the freedom to experiment and release yourself from any expectation and measurement. Be an observer of yourself. Be curious. Slow down and notice how thoughts and behaviors feel in your body. Allow yourself to feel what’s right for you – really feel it, noting emotional and physical responses. As you become a student of yourself and build an intimate relationship with your body, mind and spirit, you will naturally set the foundation for more consistent practice and you will inevitably get results.
The number one objective of living from Intuition is to restore yourself to balance; the beautiful harmonious alignment of body, mind and spirit that we are naturally born with and which gets knocked out of whack as we move through the world. Every time you tend to your physical, mental and emotional wellbeing, you spiritually adjust yourself in the direction of that alignment.
The following are some simple, nourishing practices to play around with. Try as much as you can to record your experience of them in a journal so that you can process and integrate your shifting. But most of all, have fun!
If you can only do one thing, breathe. Simply observing your breath instantly calms your nervous system and the addition of deep, slow, intentional inhales and exhales will significantly reduce fight, flight or freeze responses. Breath can also be very energizing if you’re feeling foggy or sluggish. Close your eyes send your breath to your feet, anchoring them to the ground. Play with sending your breath anywhere that you are holding pain, tension, adrenaline or fatigue and observe how your body responds.
Like breathing, stretching is very grounding and clarifying. If you’re feeling tired or frustrated or indecisive, it’s great for waking up your mind and stimulating blood flow. If you’re feeling anxious or restless, it’s great for quieting your mind and connecting to your body. Try a simple sun salutation and notice how it makes you feel. Allow yourself to experiment with other stretches and notice the difference between their calming and energizing effects.
Look, any inner work is beautiful and beneficial but I’m gonna take a hard stance on this one: You are shooting yourself in the foot if you practice building Intuition without a clean diet. So much of our spiritual and emotional state is influenced by hormone levels, gut health and nutrient balancing. Set yourself up for success by cleaning up your consumption, particularly as it pertains to refined sugar, alcohol and caffeine. Again, play! Try to go for a stretch without these chemicals and notice your mood, your cravings, and the cleansing effect once you detox.
Spiritual healing demands just as much rest as physical healing. Whether it’s setting a timer to close your eyes for 5 minutes or catching a sun-drenched cat nap in the middle of the day, try to allow yourself to power down and see how it changes you. I know this can be especially hard for parents who want to use their children’s nap times or play dates to be productive. Try to reserve a portion of that time for yourself and know that you will be all the more productive and present because you invested in yourself!
Writing is so powerful that really it deserves its own post but for now, just play with checking in with yourself and reflecting on your spiritual and emotional state. This is a great way to practice labeling and identifying feelings (something that can be hard for those who dissociate or deny themselves emotion or live in service to other people’s wellbeing). Browse the feelings wheel, see what jumps out at you and notice how the Intuition of your body responds as you write.
Connecting to Nature
There’s a reason why you feel better when you take a walk in the woods. As organisms ourselves, we feel most at home among natural life and the elements speak to our physical, emotional, and spiritual rhythms. Notice how there is no separation between you and the air. Feel your breath synch up with flowing water. Notice how your spine automatically lengthens when you stand among the trees. If you live in a city, do what you can to get air and sunlight and connect to plants. Every little bit goes a long way to regulating your nervous system.
Nothing builds Intuition quite like creative expression. You can engage therapeutically, with the intention to cleanse heavy emotion and amplify joy, or you can simply use it to lay your adulting down for a spell and exercise your right brain. Whether it’s practicing fine arts or dismantling a transistor radio (is that still a thing?), do whatever you can do to set your mind free and get your hands dirty and watch how it changes your day.
When you need a sharp turn out of anxiety, a gratitude list is the perfect antidote, as fear and appreciation cannot live in the same moment. Start with making a list of 3-5 things you’re grateful for and visualize sending them love. Do more if you wish for as long as you wish and observe the calming and centering effects. This is also a great way to start or end the day on a grounded note.
Honoring your feelings is simply that: Letting yourself have a range of feelings for as long as you need to and – the is the real gold! - without judgment. Arguably the most profound action you could take towards Intuition development, inviting your feelings to come and go without restriction or punishment gives your innate healing mechanisms the space to process and balance you. The fact is that feelings are generally very temporary if we permit them genuine expression. Notice when emotions are bubbling up for you and play with giving them healthy opportunities to vent.
I like to think of affirmations as soul vitamins. Take a couple each morning and night to fortify your physical, mental and spiritual state. A simple “I love and appreciate myself” is great but you can tailor your positive statements to satisfy whatever support you’re needing at the moment. Try different ones on for size (if you Google them, you will get more options than you could use in three lifetimes); close your eyes in stillness and repeat them out loud several times to gauge how the statements land in your body.
When imagination is paired with intention and emotion, it’s an incredibly effective way to ignite spiritual connection. Sit with yourself and visualize the life you’d like to create. What is the state of being that you associate with that vision? Is it peace? Joy? Freedom? All three? Allow a variety of ideal scenarios to play out in your mind, bathe in the emotional experience of them and mark the difference in your energy before and after. Genuine positivity is massively nourishing for your body and mind, so set yourself loose in any vision that calls up your bliss!
Exercising choice is a cornerstone of self-esteem, self-worth and autonomy. Your life is your own and every choice you make is an opportunity to claim your stake as the architect of your experience. This can be a struggle for anyone who has historically been silenced or shamed or punished for trying to assert his or her needs. Start slowly by bringing intention to small choices around the food you eat and when you eat it or the order in which you want to accomplish your to-do list. Build up to more complex decisions around taking ownership of your time or engaging with difficult personalities. If ever a decision is difficult for you and you feel stymied, know that not making a choice is also a valid choice! Pause and breathe and take as much time as you need to arrive at an answer that works for you.
Exercising choice comes more and more easily as we build a relationship with our needs. So often our needs are inherited; we simply walk through life according to parental modeling blind to the possibility that we are different and may need to do things differently. Make a list of some basic needs that are clear to you. Play around with drilling down deeper into them and getting more specific – maybe you need 8 hours of sleep every night. What else do you need in order to get quality sleep? Do you like a noise machine? Essential oils? A hot shower? Do you need to put your cellphone in a separate room? Give yourself the freedom to ask for everything you want on paper and notice how that permission opens your awareness to other needs as you walk through your day.
Asking for Help
Leaning on other people: The Holy Grail of spiritual development. The truth is, my sweets, that intuitive living works best in connection with others. Sharing your journey with emotionally safe people who are in it too instantly quadruples your progress. Shame and fear can’t survive in the light. Give yourself the gift of sharing your struggles with a trusted someone who can hold space with compassionate listening. If this feels too vulnerable (and of course it does, you are not alone in that!), you can exercise the same muscle by asking for small favors or practicing giving an honest answer when someone you love asks you how you’re doing.
And there you have it! A veritable amusement park of healing and Intuition-building. Don’t feel like you need to do all of these at once! Start with any that are calling to you. Challenge yourself to play around with those that feel intimidating. If any of these spark big emotion, that’s a bonus! Emotion is evidence that your mind and body are processing and purging on your behalf. Do your best to allow the feelings to surface and freely express. And keep in mind that journaling and visualization go a long way. If some of these practices feel too overwhelming to implement right now, today, then indulge them on paper and in your imagination and allow your body to ease into the real thing in its own time.
PS: I’d love to share in your experience! Tag me on Instagram and show me your self-healing in action!