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Over the years, I’ve enjoyed plenty of spiritual teachings.
These teachings hinted at my true nature, but they couldn’t bring about the direct experience of it. My knowledge eventually clouded my inner wisdom.
An unconventional Zen teacher named Master Linji taught that when we meet the Buddha, we should chop off his head.
The first time I read that, I thought, What, chop off his head? Why?! My finger traced the text several times.
What he meant was that we may be pursuing our idea of enlightenment without realizing it. In other words, to access our inner wisdom, we need to release the past and the future, beliefs, expectations and even spiritual ideas.
That’s why, to be fully alive, we must “chop off the Buddha’s head”.
So I pondered: What would happen if I tuned out what I know? Could my intuition show me the way?
It isn’t always easy with my overactive, reason-oriented mind. But developing my intuition helps me navigate life with more ease and grace.
Why it’s hard to connect to our intuition
Many of us have accidentally shut off our gut feelings.
As small children, we learned that our caretakers know better. Heeding their advice kept us out of trouble and decreased stress.
For others, listening to their intuition was unsafe. They may have been criticized or neglected for speaking their truths.
But everyone has intuition for a reason. It’s a part of who we are. Our intuition guides us to the right decisions, reveals our spiritual gifts and improves our lives.
It isn’t a pseudoscientific phenomenon, as some people might think. Our intuition comes from the way our brains store, process and retrieve information on a subconscious level.
The biggest obstacle to developing my intuition was unhealed trauma. I learned as a child that my hypercritical father’s needs were more important than mine. So, I grew up constantly focusing outward, like a coyote scanning the desert for danger.
My self-doubt wouldn’t let me lower my guard. I didn’t trust myself to make the right decisions.
Fortunately, I discovered EFT Tapping, which helped me focus on my inner experience and calm my nerves. Introspection and journaling also helped heal past wounds.
Eventually, it felt safe enough to trust the universe. My mind miraculously relaxed and the still, inner voice emerged.
Another obstacle to connecting with my intuition: having a set idea of what intuitive hits are.
I used to think intuitive hits sounded like another person’s voice—I didn’t know whose, but certainly not my own. To my great surprise, those juicy ideas that sounded like my own thoughts were my intuition.
Our preconceived notions can make us doubt the validity of our hunches. But our intuition always communicates with us. We just don’t notice or pay attention.
4 intuitive types
In You Are Psychic: Develop Your Natural Intuition Through Your Psychic Type, author Sherrie Dillard writes that our intuitive or psychic type is our primary way of intuiting.
We tend to resonate with one or two intuitive types: mental, emotional, physical or spiritual. But we can develop our abilities in each one.
Which one(s) do you identify with?
Mental intuitives receive impressions mainly through their thoughts and a sense of knowing.
If you’re like me, you tend to get spontaneous ideas and insight. Though we can intuit others’ thoughts and perceptions, we might doubt our abilities.
My partner Loïc and I often use telepathy unknowingly. One time, we were just below the fifteen-euro minimum for credit card payments at the local organic store. I secretly craved a chocolate bar. Suddenly, Loïc reached over and grabbed the chocolate bar from the counter!
Perhaps you’ve experienced claircognizance before. You get a flash of insight, just a knowing with no explanations. And clairaudience is intuiting energy information from sounds, voices or even music.
Empaths will resonate with this one…
Emotional intuitives feel others’ emotions. It’s easy to confuse intuited emotions with their own or feel overwhelmed.
Perhaps you can sense someone’s heavy energy. Or you may feel a loved one’s joy, even if they live far away. Some intuitives feed off the emotional rollercoaster and some close up due to the intensity.
Clairsentience allows these intuitives to receive information about people or places through the heart and a sense of feeling.
If you’re a physical intuitive, you may receive gut feelings, tingling sensations or even others’ pain. Intuited physical symptoms might appear and vanish mysteriously.
Clairsentience can manifest as concrete bodily sensations and awareness. People who intuit information by holding an object or gazing at a photo use psychometry.
Years ago, nothing seemed to soothe Loïc’s stiff back. So I decided to place my hands on his back and imagine the pain disappearing. My hands felt hot and tingly. The next morning, he felt much better.
Energy healing has become a part of daily life, thanks to my guinea pig (husband) and experiments. I still have much to learn, but my tingling sensations certainly help me locate others’ pain… it’s like a spidey-sense!
Spiritual intuitives may see flashes of light, color or orbs, and experience vivid dreams and daydreams.
You may sense the presence of deceased loved ones, angels or spirit guides. Mediumship empowers you to communicate with these beings.
Have you received divine information from images or symbols? Clairvoyance makes that possible.
12 exercises to develop your intuition
Now that you know the 4 intuitive types, you can learn how to connect to each of them more fully.
First and foremost, it’s essential to slow down and enjoy some quiet time everyday. Watch the sunset, take a walk or just shut your eyes for a few minutes. This helps us become more receptive to our intuition’s subtle calls.
It goes without saying that transforming old emotional wounds greatly eases our ability to tune into our intuition.
I’ve suggested 3 tips for each intuitive type, respectively. Some have been adapted from Dillard’s book, You Are Psychic, which I highly recommend.
1) Keep a journal of aha moments
Go on a daily scavenger hunt for ideas and revelations. Jot them down as soon as you receive them. Then, review your notes from time to time.
2) Meditate on a personal issue
Write down your thoughts, emotions and expectations about an area of life, like relationships, finances or spiritual guidance.
Meditate on this issue, while listening for a still, calm voice. Intuitive thoughts are short, simple and repetitive. Review any insight.
3) Try automatic writing
Ask yourself a question. Then, write or type whatever comes to you. If you start thinking, just keep writing! Find the gems in the gibberish.
4) Pay attention to your emotions
I like to ask myself often, How am I feeling right now? We feel emotions all day long, but we might not be aware of it, or we unconsciously push them aside. This practice helps you distinguish your emotions from intuited ones.
5) Sense the energy of old furniture or jewelry
Visit an antique shop and hold or touch a piece of furniture or jewelry. Is the energy positive or negative, light or heavy? Do you get any impressions of the past owner?
6) Open your heart chakra
Imagine breathing a white light down through the top of your head. Send this energy into your heart. Let any toxic and negative emotions dissipate on their own. Feel the love in your heart and listen to any messages.
7) Detect energy with your hands
Place your palms on a strong and healthy body part. Notice the energy flow in your hands. Then, put your hands on a tense or painful body part. Feel the energy. Experiment with friends, family, pets or plants.
8) Notice the vibes of a place
Loïc and I like to exchange notes after visiting different places: Did the place feel energetic or tense? How does your body feel after leaving the place?
9) Dialogue with physical pain
Focus on the source of physical pain. Breathe deeply. Ask, Does this pain come from within? Did I absorb it from someone else? What’s the message behind this pain? Answers may appear in dreams or synchronicities.
10) Interpret your dreams
Make an effort to remember any dreams as soon as you wake up. Eventually, you’ll remember them more easily. List the main symbols in your dream and contemplate your personal associations with it.
11) Practice visualization
Sharpen the images, visions and symbols in your mind’s eye by imagining yourself in different scenes. Can you see yourself enjoying a hot air balloon ride? Or scuba diving in the Caribbean?
12) Connect with your spirit guides
There are many ways to connect to your spirit guides. Some people like to light a white candle, set an intention and invoke them. Or you can visualize a figure and begin an inner dialogue.
It can even be as simple as thanking the universe for anything joyful that comes your way!
Your inner wisdom awaits you
Developing our intuition can be extremely confusing.
It’s like learning how to walk again. Because we all have intuition. We’ve just dismissed or ignored it for so long.
If we muster up the courage to acknowledge our intuition’s gentle calls, we can let our innate wisdom guide us. And with that comes more peace, love and grace.
All we have to do is to get quiet and listen.
P.S. Would you like some free support? Get quick stress relief in a free EFT Tapping session in exchange for a short interview. Learn more.
Annie Moussu is a certified EFT Tapping Master Practitioner helping women build confidence, set boundaries & enjoy healthy relationships. Get her free EFT meditation & guide for people-pleasing.