Hone your sense of intuition

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"Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary." — Steve Jobs


I find intuition to be such an attractive word. Whenever I see it written or hear it, I'm drawn to it.

I wonder if you feel the same...

The idea that within us we already know what direction to proceed with our lives has an incredible draw.

I see a number of other intuitive coaches equating their coaching sessions with a psychic experience—that intuition is something ethereal and not wholly graspable without their help or connection to the divine.

But I don't see intuition that way at all.

You don't need to have any special abilities to access your intuition.

You don't have to be ultra-spiritual or even a little "woo-woo."

It does have a certain sense of magic about it, I guess, since it's more subtle than access to the rational mind.

But it's possible to see intuition as purely grounded in earthly matters.

Intuition is an innately human instinct.

Think of intuition as a process that is already happening within you.

If our guts are already trying to tell us something, then it's more about intentionally drawing our awareness to what is already there.

Yes, every once in a while you get a flash of intuitive insight, but more often than not to hone your gut instincts, it takes practice.

The same is true for motivation and is also true for creativity.

Both can strike you inexplicably, but in order to consistently access either, you have to do work that brings them to the forefront.

I might say, "I'm not feeling creative, so I won't create." But by and large, you won't feel creative until you start to do the work.

It's faulty logic.

Create and you will feel creative, not the other way around.

If I waited to write "until I felt like it," then I would almost never write. Only until I sit down and begin do words start to flow.

If I waited to workout "until I felt like it," then I would stay curled up on my couch 24/7. But when I put on my sneakers, roll out my yoga mat and I begin my warm-up, the motivation to push through my workout comes.

The same is true for intuition.

Accessing intuition is an intentionally cultivated habit.

You don't need to strengthen your intuition, you need to sharpen your ability to listen to what your gut is already saying and follow through with it.

You're gradually building a muscle.

What's different about intuition from motivation and creativity is that it's less about action and more about receptivity.

How can you enhance your receptivity?

The most obvious practice to quiet the impulse for action long enough to listen to intuition is meditation.

The brain is loud, so meditation can set aside our mind noise in order to hear our gut's message.

Meditation is can be a useful tool for honing your intuition, but it's not the only tool.

Any kind of listening can be beneficial—listening to the unsaid words between your words and the words of others.

Also asking yourself questions and digging for the answers. Notice I said "digging"; when we ask a question of ourselves, usually our first impulse is to answer.

Don't just go with the first answer. Explore further, ask more questions and see if your initial impulse rings true.

This can be a process just in your head, or journaling can be of use.

Most likely, you'll combine a series of tools over time to sharpen your sense of intuition so it comes to you more readily.

However you do it, the method is less important than the purpose.

Learn to access your intuition and you gain access to your deepest core—who you are, what you value, what you want and how to make it happen.

So how do you view your own intuition? How do you interact with this extra "sense" and take heed (or not) of its advice?

I'm curious to know, so hit reply and tell me how intuition shows up in your life.

Go forth and intuit.

Iris Rankin

Soulful questioner, exuberant organizer, here to find the balance between discipline and delicious relaxation. Iris Rankin is the founder of Project Intention, a values-based community focused on living day-to-day with purpose, planning, and heart. Iris encourages women to adopt the self care practices that make them feel divine, the planning tools to hone in on their essential wants and needs, and the emotional resilience to express their most authentic selves.

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