How intuition can improve decision making

I have been intuitive all of my life, but I didn’t know it until I was 40! Up until then I thought my intuitive messages were just lucky breaks or part of my quirky personality that sometimes sees things differently. There were times however, when people were surprised at what I said. ‘How did you know that?’ they would ask. Usually I laughed it off, because I had no idea how I knew–other than I did. Sometimes it didn’t make logical sense either, but I trusted it to be right, and mostly it was. In my 40s, through my healing journey, as well as studying as part of training to be a Life Coach, I began to understand my intuitive messages. Now I can’t imagine what it would be like to live without my intuition as my guide. Now, whenever there are important decisions—and often even for the smaller things, I check in with my intuition.

Some of you may be thinking, but I’m not intuitive. Let me stop you right there, and say, ‘Yes, you are!’ All young children naturally use intuition. Before language is fully developed, children step easily between reality and imaginary worlds. To children, fairy stories are no less real than everything else in their world. For them, sensing, seeing, feeling and hearing things that aren’t perhaps part of our logical, physical world is not unnatural. However, as we grow-up, we are asked to trust only what can be proved and reasoned, leaving little place for intuition that doesn’t have concrete facts. BUT your intuition never has wisdom beyond pure facts. At the very least, it alerts you when your loved ones are sad, angry or even if they are ill. It warns you when you are in danger. It whispers its wisdom to you everyday. So, even if it’s currently a quiet voice in the background of your life—you can turn-up the volume once more and let it enrich your life.

Mystical or Natural Ability?

Intuition has been given a mystical aspect, but mostly it gives you little nuggets of information in practical ways. Let me give you some examples of intuitive messages that you may have dismissed as something else:

  • Driving home you suddenly decide to take a different route. Later you hear there was a lengthy traffic jam on your ‘normal’ route. Was this just chance or good luck?
  • You suddenly think about an old friend you’ve not seen for ages, and then later that day, you bump into them, or they telephone you. Is this just co-incidence?
  • You are about to do something and a nagging inner voice says: ‘No, don’t do it!’ But you do it anyway, and then everything goes badly wrong. Is this just bad luck?
  • You visit a town you’ve never been to before, yet it ‘feels’ like you know it already. You convince yourself you must have seen it in a film or have read about it.
  • A stranger suddenly makes you feel anxious. You hurry away then later laugh at yourself for being so silly and dismiss the anxiety as nothing to be concerned with.
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    Even if none of these resonate with you, I’m willing to bet there have been times in your life when you have done something that didn’t make logical sense but you did it because it ‘felt’ right. This is your intuition.

    What is intuition?

    Intuition conveys messages to provide us with a form of knowing. The messages may occur in the form of an image, a body sensation, a sound, a word or a phrase. We become aware of these messages without rationale of how we know this information. It’s an inner wisdom as opposed to information that has been ‘processed’ with our thinking mind. In other words we didn’t read it, watch it nor were we told it. Intuition is an innate ability. It is true that some people are naturally more intuitive: but everyone has this ability and everyone can develop further if they wish to do so.

    How does your intuition talk to you?

    Intuitive messages are conveyed in many different ways. Usually the message you receive is not just in one channel. For example, in times of danger, you may feel your hairs stand up on the back of your neck, and your stomach tighten, and there is a flash of red that isn’t physically in your vision. Or you may just suddenly get sweaty hands. A single or combination of subtle changes in your body and mind are your intuition talking to you. To make it easier to show you how it usually appears, I am artificially separating the way these message appear into 5 different intuitive channels.

    Changes in your body: This is the most common way people experience their intuition. The word ‘experienced’ in this instance is literal. Your body senses something at an energetic level and it responds with a reaction that can be strongly felt in the body. These are some examples:

  • Your body changes it’s temperature making you feel cold, shivery, hot or flushed.
  • Your feel heavy and/or your feet feel rooted to the spot.
  • Your stomach begins to churn or it becomes knotted.
  • Your heart beats faster, or it feels like it is heavier than usual.
  • Your hands begin to tremble, tingle or become sweaty.
  • Your sense of smell or taste is heightened.
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    There may be other reasons for experiencing these symptoms, but when these are not related to health issues, it could be your intuition. Messages in the body are usually warnings to be extra vigilant, to take care, to be wary. We say things like; ‘I had a gut feeling’, ‘It smelt fishy to me’, ‘My stomach was churning or ‘My heart was racing’.

    Knowing: There is a strong sense of knowing something for which you have no proof. It seems this ‘knowing’ has come from nowhere (although there are often more subtle changes that you just hadn’t noticed, but collectively they are summed up as ‘knowing’). Sometimes these messages contradict intellectual thoughts. In these cases, your language may show this confusion with mutterings such as: ‘It doesn’t make sense, but it feels right’ These intuitive messages frequently show up as:

  • Despite logical reasoning, this alternative option strongly ‘feels’ right.
  • Every logical argument you throw against it doesn’t squash the feeling.
  • This option/idea keeps popping up into your mind—seemingly without reason
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    Again, these messages may show up for different reasons, but they are often about opportunities. Our language reflects this form of intuition with: “An inkling”, “It feels right”, or “I can’t explain it: I just know”.

    Clairaudience – is conveyed through the spoken voice, music or sounds. We all have voices in our head that represent different aspects ourselves such as the worrier, the critic, the pleaser and so on. Clairaudient messages, are different. They sound like it’s being spoke by someone else. Clairaudient messages are usually personal. Your intuition wants you to ‘hear’ specific words or phrases for you to understand the message.

    Intuitive, auditory messages are not common for me, but when they come along, it’s often via music. A while ago, when driving to the supermarket, on the car radio I heard the old Take That song, Patience. I hummed along to it as I was with all the songs that day. As I walked into the supermarket, I heard it again. How strange, I thought, to hear an old song twice when it’s not a current song. And I quickly dismissed ti. Later, back at home, while unpacking my shopping, I switched the radio on. I didn’t like the song it was playing, so I flicked the button to another station. And there it was again—the same Take That song. This time, I stopped and listened to the words. Part of the lyrics appeared brighter and louder’…have a little patience…’. I realised that the words were trying to telling me something. Over the previous few days, I was frustrated with many things—but in particular my lack of progress on a project at work. What, I wondered, might it look like if I had more patience and took a gentler approach with myself. Might some added patience help me? Instantly, I knew it would.

    Clairvoyance – is conveyed via dreams or visions. They can be personal, or about events that have happened, or about the future events. Intuitive dreams are different from normal dreams which are typically symbolic and seem not to make sense. By contrast, intuitive dreams feel so real that it’s not unusual to wake up suddenly with a total recall of the dream. If you have clairvoyant abilities, you may also get visions of past or future events. Visions are like dreams but while you are awake. Places, people or objects may trigger these visions. Sometimes the first time you are aware of your clairvoyant abilities is a strong sense of déjà vu.

    Clairvoyants can often see auras too (the energetic field shown as coloured ‘mist’ around the person, animal, plants or inanimate object). Different colours in the aura indicate what is going on and can be ‘read’ by talented clairvoyants.

    Clairsentience – messages are felt emotionally either by recognition, or by actually feeling them in your own body. Emotional energy can be sensed from people, places or objects. When it’s from people, it’s most usually about what is going on for them right now—in the present moment. Adept clairsentient people may understand the emotional realm because they are well versed in their own emotional language or, conversely, they are able to relate to emotions in others because they are unable to relate to their own. This is latter case is often due to a traumatic childhood event where they detached themselves and in the process they became expert readers of other people’s emotions, in order to stay safe.

    Virtually every one has clairsentient abilities. For example, you will often sense a friend or loved-one is feeling when it’s out of the ordinary. You know instantly that something isn’t right before they have said a word. Yes, you may be getting some clues from their body language, but the subtle differences in the emotions are picked up by your intuition. This is a natural ability is to keep you safe. Reading these emotional messages helps you know whether the person in front of you is a friend or foe and whether you need to fight or flee.

    Developing your intuition to guide you

    Developing your intuition begins with becoming more aware of what your senses are noticing. Your subconscious is picking up vast amounts of information through your senses that your conscious mind doesn’t see, hear, smell, taste or feel. A first step then is to become more aware of what is there already that you are missing. Try this exercise to see how much more you notice when you begin to pay attention.

    Take a pen and paper. Ask yourself: ‘What can I see?’ Notice what you are seeing in this moment and write it down. Notice what you are being drawn to. Usually you will find your eyes beginning to focus on one thing. Be curious as to why that is. If anything occurs to you, write this down too. Try stretching your periphery vision too: what can you see that is to the far left and far right of you. Don’t turn your head: instead ‘see’ it.

    Now ask yourself: ‘What can I hear?’ Through the jumble of noise, what is the loudest, sharpest and softest? Again, pay attention to the sounds and their frequencies. Why are you being drawn to notice these?

    Repeat this exercise asking yourself what you smell, taste (yes, even when you are not eating!) and feeling. For feelings include body sensations as well as your emotions.

    Then ask yourself, ‘What do I know?’ Let this knowing be of the moment rather than all of the facts and figures you have in your head. Be curious. Try not to edit it nor make sense of it. Just let yourself write down the answer that comes to you.

    When you have finished writing, check-in with yourself and ask if there is a pattern or commonality that links some or all of the things that you particularly noticed. Don’t worry if nothing is apparent. Just expanding your consciousness in this way is a beginning. Repeating this exercise regularly improves you ability to notice the subtleties of what is going on around you and will help you become more intuitive.

    Another way to encourage your intuition is to expand your listening abilities. In “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” Stephen Covey states: ‘Most people do not listen with the intent to understand: they listen with the intent to reply’. Try listening to everything someone is saying. Coaches and counselors are trained in a process called active listening, but everyone can become better listeners. If you really listen, you will begin to notice differences in speed, energy, passion and intonation of someone’s voice and it tells you so much more than words alone.

    Begin noticing ‘odd’ things. Like when you see, hear or feel the same things in quick succession. See if you can spot a pattern. Take a stab at what it might mean. The best way of doing this is to record it in a journal, and then you have a record that you can check to see if your intuitive interpretation was right. By the way, my view is that your intuitive messages are always correct, BUT your interpretation of the message can be wrong—sometimes way off of the mark! However, the more you flex your intuitive muscles, the better you will become. 

    Your intuition is ‘talking’ to you all of the time. But if you keep applying logic to it, ignoring it, or are too wound-up to listen (see or get), then it has a hard time to get-through to you. Choose to sit for 5 minutes each day with no digital distractions and notice what you are seeing, hearing and what you know. With practice, you will quickly begin to notice far more than before.

    In the beginning, have fun playing with what your intuition is telling you. When you become more adept, ask yourself a question on which you need to make a decision. After you have asked your question, check-in with yourself. What do you see, hear and know at. deep level to the truth?

    Intuition is not something that replaces your intellect or rationale. Instead, use your intuition to aid and assist you. In this way making decisions will be more grounded. Honing your intuition will act as a guide and it can open all kinds of doors that previously may have been closed to you. Regular practice of the simple exercises above with strengthen your intuition. The more you sense, the more you write what came up, the more you will understand the workings of your intuition. Then, you will be able to use it more confidently. Let me know how you get on!

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