Steve Jobs said, “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.”
Following our intuition isn’t always easy. Sometimes, it’s difficult to hear ourselves in a noisy world. But there are ways we can cultivate our intuition so we’re better able to listen to it.
First, in order to be able to use your intuition, you must be able to recognize it when it speaks to you. Intuition usually isn’t loud or demanding— it’s subtle and communicates in different ways for different people.
Your intuition may speak to you through images, hunches, thoughts, words, emotions, physical sensations, or simply a deep sense of knowing. Be aware and open to all ways of sensing.
Here are five exercises to build your intuitive muscles. The more you practice these on a daily basis, the better you’re able to discern your intuitive voice when it speaks to you. One exercise might work better for you than another. So experiment. And above all, have fun!
Exercise #1: Which Way?
I do this all the time in the car. Let’s say I know my destination and multiple ways to get there, but instead I ask my intuition to guide me. Which route do I take? I ask whether to make a left or right or to get on the freeway. I follow the first thing that pops into my mind.
This is an excellent way to build intuition because you train yourself not to second-guess. This is essential when building your intuitive muscles.
Exercise #2: Which One?
I do this one a lot, too. Say you find yourself grazing in the kitchen for a snack. We’ll go healthy this time. You’re not sure whether you want a pear or an apple. Place the pear in one hand and the apple in the other. Hold them up to your chest. See if you can feel a sensation in your hand, maybe a heaviness, tingling, or warmth. If it helps, close your eyes.
You might get an image, feeling, or thought as to what you want. Your body will guide you to which one it would like to eat. Your body is the best barometer of what is right.
Simple. Yes! This is how we practice building our intuitive muscles. Start small.
Exercise #3: Sensing People
Practice sensing into people before you know them. See what kind of information you get from observing people and feeling their energy before you talk to them or learn anything about them from other people. The more you pay attention, the more you’ll realize you already know things that you couldn’t have known with your cognitive mind.
Exercise #4: Blind Readings
Blind readings are a wonderful way to develop your intuition and to discover your intuitive voice. It just takes practice.
Take three blank index cards and write Yes, No, and Maybe on one side. (Use pencil so you can’t see the writing.) Shuffle the cards so they’re mixed up.
Quiet your mind. Ask a question you know the answer to like: “Is my name Italia?” Close your eyes. Place your dominant hand over the cards one at a time. Notice the subtle differences in the feeling and energy you receive when your hand is on top of each card.
Pick the card you feel the strongest connection to. Maybe your hand feels heavy, tingling, or warm. Keep practicing until you learn the difference between your mind and your intuitive voice.
You can also use this if you have to make a decision. Write down three possible options, one option on each card. Repeat the above exercise. Which option are you most drawn to? Maybe your intuition is trying to tell you something.
Exercise #5: Align with Your Values
Decision is the ultimate power. When you practice making choices in alignment with your values, you begin to sense your intuition more clearly. How? Cause your intuition acts from integrity and is connected to your values. Become comfortable with feeling what it’s like to act based on your values and you’ll learn to hear your intuitive voice more clearly.
Building your intuition is a great way to work up a sweat. Now, get mov’in!