At times, you have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition. What you’ll discover will be wonderful. What you’ll discover is yourself. – Alan Alda
Your life is running fine – house, job and relationships all in order – but now and then you feel something missing.
Or maybe you’re bored, unhappy, depressed even. A sense of doom is hanging over you, keeping you awake at night and anxious throughout the day.
You may be somewhere in between these scenarios. There’s no crisis, no reason to complain, but sometimes you’re restless and wondering if there’s more to life.
Any of this sounds familiar?
You may realize that something is asking for attention, but don’t know how to tune in. The uneasy feelings scare you. You don’t trust them, taught to rely on the rational mind and base your decisions on what you can see and believe to be real: a well-paying job, a loyal spouse, social responsibilities, a path once taken.
But life demands more of us than acceptance of the status quo.
Life wants us to live it to the fullest. To dive into the deep now and then. To face challenges and grab opportunities. Above all, it wants us to claim our birthright: to have a life that becomes us in every possible way. True to our uniqueness, free of constraint.
Life talks to us from within through hunches and inklings. Vague feelings and ideas that seem to come from nowhere. A voice speaking from our gut and heart aka intuition.
In-tuition literally means being tutored or learning from within. An innate knowing free of the interference of mind. We may receive it physically (spinal shiver, gut feeling), as inspiration (a sudden insight, a dream) or through sixth sense (something is off, a sense of knowing proprioceptively).
We sometimes dismiss an intuitive feeling believing we’re not ready (or being unsure how) to act on them. But we forget that we don’t need to do anything yet. On the outside nothing needs to change. Nobody needs to know. All we need to do is tune in and listen.
How do we connect with intuition, when it appears as nothing more than a faint feeling or a foggy idea?
Here are 5 easy steps to help you practice your intuitive muscle:
- Decide to trust it. Learn more about it, for instance by reading a book on the subject.
- Turn towards that vague instinctive feeling (or idea) when it plays up. Accept its validity. Really feel it, uncomfortable as it may be.
- Be curious and inquisitive. What is your intuition telling you?
- Be open to what you feel or hear without judgement or fear (shame, blame, etc). Silence the mental chatter (the stories in your mind).
- Practice! Don’t wait for intuition’s occasional visit. Look for it throughout the day. Practice with simple things (what to buy? have another drink or not?) so that when your intuitive voice wants to have a say in a bigger decision you’ll be able to tune in more easily.
We may not always trust our intuition, but it’s usually right. Intuition points us in the right direction, prepares us for change and is our ally on the path towards change. In fact, change from within is most often, if not always, set in motion by intuition.
Whether you’re on top of your game or down on your luck, don’t ignore that unsettling sense of “something”. The key to your next step (and a meaningful life) may very well lie in the messages embedded in these faint and foggy signs and feelings.
Jacinta Hin was born in the Netherlands and has been living in Tokyo, Japan, since 1989. Her professional background is in human resources, career management and coaching. She is passionate about helping people, herself included, discover new perspectives of possibility, move to embracing and working with their transitions, and designing and realizing changes aligned with who they truly are and what they truly want from their lives.