If we want to maximize our internal guidance system we have to trust our intuition. To do so, we must release disbelief and heighten our awareness of this inner voice. Too often, however, we become disconnected and separated from our intuition. Our fast-paced and practical world doesn’t always support a strong connection to our intuitive flow. Sometimes there’s simply too much to do to stop and listen. We tend to become, “humans doing rather than humans being.” In trying to keep up with daily demands and the expectations of others we can become disconnected from our own senses. Another major disconnect is fear. Whenever fear arises communication with our inner guide is cut off. Fear produces focusing on negative outcomes and self-doubt leading one to wonder; “What if I’m wrong? What if something better doesn’t come along? What if it’s not the right time?” Thoughts like “I can’t” or “There’s no way” block us from creative ideas and intuitive guidance. Fear also often leads to overthinking.
According to Jonah Lehrer, author of “The Decisive Moment,” a book looking at the ways humans make decisions, “In everyday life, thinking too much and spending too long on a decision can actually lead you to make the wrong decision. The rational brain can be very useful, but it has real computational limitations. It can handle a certain amount of information at any given moment, but if you give it more than that you can overwhelm it.” All of these blocks disconnect us from our intuitive guide within.
By removing or reducing the “static interference” produced by worry, haste, fear, and overthinking, we would be sharpening and homing in on our intuitive signals and inner knowledge about what is best for us. Quiet reflection, meditation, and engaging in soothing activities will be very helpful in this regard. For some, jogging, brisk walking, swimming, biking, and other more active endeavors are helpful in opening the channel. Another way to sharpen our internal guidance system is to talk with someone we trust.
This can be particularly helpful to avoid another potential disconnect known as rationalization. A close cousin to fear, rationalization will provide any number of arguments to not listen to that inner voice. Thoughts like, “The bills will get paid somehow,” “He didn’t mean to hurt me,” “I’ll control my drinking tomorrow,” “She will keep her promise next time,” can be better examined with the help of a trusted person. Even if you don’t agree with what you hear, it will provide a way to examine and compare your thinking to your gut sensations.
Trusting yourself requires practice but you can’t get the practice if you don’t start somewhere. How is it that we gain trust of anyone? This usually develops over a period of time, seeing whether they do what they say they’re going to do. Is there consistency? Do we have faith? To enhance this skill and improve your intuitive connection, a simple two minute daily exercise is a good way to begin. Start this practice with two minutes of stillness each morning. Sit comfortably in silence and connect to your breath. Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. When two minutes are up take note of whatever your intuition tells you and write it in a notebook.
Trust your first instinct. For one week, document the intuition that comes through after your two minutes of stillness. At the end of the week, reread what you’ve documented. It’s likely that you’ll see patterns and guidance that may not have come through without this stillness practice. The more we practice listening to our intuition, the more we can trust its guidance.
Remember these other ways of enhancing your intuitive connection:
• Keep moving in the direction of your dreams.
• Trust yourself and trust those who love you.
• There are a few things we always know deeply. And we can stand by them.
• Choices are like strategies. They either work or they don’t. When they don’t work, you can always choose a new “strategy.”
• Stay strong and have faith in yourself.
• You already know what to do.
So, what is it that stops us, really, from trusting ourselves? That we’ve made wrong decisions in the past? That some of our decisions have caused us pain or misfortune and we are afraid of our judgment? That we don’t know what the outcome will be and are afraid to risk it? Undoubtedly, all of us have made some poor decisions in the past. Yet, when we search inside there are things we know. We really do know what’s best for us if we listen carefully.
The question is: How willing are we to stand behind this and make decisions to move our lives in this direction? We are a result of all we have lived. Every experience we’ve had has brought us to where we are today. And this is not all bad. We stand at the precipice of new beginnings, right now. Life is full of second chances.
A possibility was born the day you were born and it will live as long as you live.
Editor’s Note: Dario Lussardi is a licensed psychologist-master, providing consultation and therapeutic services at the Community Counseling Center in Wilmington.