Everyone has intuition. It’s a part of being human. You don’t need special psychic abilities, a guru, or hours at a time to learn to hear it. The first step to accessing your intuition is becoming aware of it.
Intuition is the act of knowing without rational thought processes. This means that knowledge or information has come to you without your deliberately thinking about it or researching the answer. Your intuition is speaking with you every minute of every day. You just need to translate the language it speaks into messages you can understand.
The brain has two sides, and each side does a job. The left brain is in charge of rational thought — logic, thinking things through, making decisions, and calculating. The mind is usually teeming with left-brain chatter throughout the day. When you’re thinking of your to-do list, working through problems, doing Internet research, or replaying conversations from earlier, your left brain is taking center stage. For many, this is the inner chatter that goes from waking up until falling asleep at night.
The right brain is the location of your intuition. Emotions, senses, music, art, and creative thought are right-brain experiences. Many people get so used to just focusing on left-brain functions that they forget to give the right brain a chance to be heard. Are you too busy to have some creative fun? Do you make time to listen to music, sit quietly, and breathe? You can experience right-brain intuition when the left brain takes a break. But quieting your mind is just part of the process. Lots of people tend to dismiss intuitive information when they recognize it, because it seems so out of sync with logic. But it is real.
Your right brain communicates in a sensory way, different from the language of the left brain’s chatter. There are four ways in which your intuition sends messages. The first step is learning which way you are naturally in tune with your intuitive processes.
Are you a visual person? Do you appreciate and create art? Do you use phrases like, I see, Show me, or We’ll see about that? Do you prefer to read rather than listen? These are signs that your intuition may work that way, too. Intuitive information comes through visually via colors, images, vivid dreams, and when your attention is drawn to something you see. Ever been distracted by a word on a page? Has your eye been drawn to something that became significant to you later? These are visual intuitive impressions, known as “clairvoyant” (or clear-seeing) experiences.
Are you a listener? Do you listen deeply to music, play audio books, close your eyes when listening so you can just focus on the sounds? Intuitive audio impressions come through in ringing at important times, a vibration in the ear, or snippets of song lyrics that are significant at just the right time. You might even hear a voice of reason or guidance. This is called “clairaudience,” or clear-hearing.
Are you a feeler? Do you get chills or tingles at important times? Does the hair on the back of your arms or neck stand up when something seems important? Do you sense other people’s moods? Do you talk about how a decision feels before you make it? If so, you’re naturally tuned in to “clairsentience.”
Are you a deep thinker? Do ideas just seem to pop into your head? This is the “clair” that people tend to ignore, but it is a significant part of intuition. Ever think of someone and the person calls? Ever suddenly know something and wonder how you knew? This is your intuition talking.
Figure out which of these intuitive methods of communication is strongest for you. This is the first step.
How Can I Access My Intuition?
Now that you know your natural intuitive strength, the next step is very important. Give it some attention. Just like anything in life, what we pay attention to grows stronger. So just take a few minutes each day to tune into your way of knowing (in a right-brain sort of way). Ask yourself a question. Start out simple. Should we have chicken or fish for dinner tonight? Then quiet down your mental chatter for a moment and tune in to your clair. What do you feel/see/hear/think? Did you feel a tingle when you said chicken? Did you hear any buzz, ring or answering thought? Go with it — don’t dismiss it. If not, that’s fine. Just go about your day. Before you know it, your attention will be drawn to something that represents either answer — maybe a fish sign on the back of a car, or a commercial for a local chicken takeout. Most important will be that it will grab your attention.
Another way to access your intuition is to give your left brain a job. That job is to take dictation. Take a piece of paper and write your question at the top. This doesn’t have to be a chicken or fish question. It could be something more pressing. What is the best way for me to use my talents in a career?, Should I look for another job? or How can I improve my chances for meeting the man who’s my soul mate? are all fair game. Then start writing, without stopping to think. Your right brain will dictate and your left brain will be busy moving the pen into words on the paper. It sounds simple, but this is a powerful technique for accessing your deepest thoughts and inner guidance. Neale Donald Walsch wrote the entire book, “Conversations With God,” in this way. But anyone can learn to do this by being open to trying. The important thing is not to censor but to let the answer just flow from the pen. If you don’t know what to write, just start writing a nursery rhyme until other words come out.
The hardest part of any of this is being open to trying. Don’t judge yourself, don’t be afraid to be wrong. Just see what happens. Spending a few minutes every day on quieting down the mental chatter and tuning in to your intuitive channels will bring about results that will astound you. Try it and see!
Alice Langholt is a Reiki Master. Reiki is an ancient Japanese technique for stress reduction and relaxation that also promotes healing. Langholt has also developed the book “Practical Reiki,” a simple and powerful Reiki approach that anyone can learn. She is the executive director of Reiki Awakening Academy.
This article is updated from its initial publication in Brain World Magazine’s Summer 2012 issue.