If you want to know how to develop your intuition and deepen it, first you should know that you’ve always known.
“When you reach the end of what you should know, you will be at the beginning of what you should sense.” ― Kahlil Gibrán, Sand and Foam
On a summer afternoon in 2010, ragged and exhausted, I decided to take a quick nap. As I was leaning back to lay my head down, an image…an idea…landed so powerfully, I sat right back up, on alert and focused.
The Blurt from Beyond that had come to me was that I could start my own real estate firm and renovate the back corner of one of my dad’s showrooms. I would only need a tiny bit of square footage and by tearing out the back wall, my storefront would open onto 4th Street, facing the entrance to a world-renowned inn and spa.
I could see a humble, yet charming space with great visibility, foot traffic, and utility.
Every cell in my body tingled with electricity, sat at attention, saluted, and said, “YES!”
Overriding Your Intuitive Override
My mind, a bit groggy, was quick to rub its eyes and start in with all of its Nopes—all the reasons why it was a bad idea:
“A) You don’t have any money. B) You cannot start your own firm in this economy. Financial suicide! C) You cannot renovate that building! I mean, how would you even do that?”
I leaned back against the headboard, stared up at the ceiling fan, and thought, “Right. Not feasible. Sure seemed like a powerful idea, though.”
Learning how to develop your intuition requires recognizing your tendency to override it.
In a matter of a few minutes, I had traveled through the Nova of Creativity and Intuition and right into system override and flame snuffing.
Luckily, the idea wouldn’t leave me alone. It nipped at my heels as I walked in the woods. It tiptoed over and sat down next to me as I looked out at Shortoff Mountain while drinking my morning coffee. It showed up when I was driving, cooking, or doing laundry.
Finally, I posed the idea to my dad and asked about renting the space from him. He beamed back, “Of course! Go for it!”
Wait, could it be that easy?
It would turn out to be some of the hardest work of my life. Renovating a building, launching a business, and achieving escape velocity during the Great Recession required months of 18-hour days. But, yes, getting started was actually quite easy.
I limited my downside as much as possible, focused on following my gut, and created what I needed to bring my vision to life. I navigated the maze of decision making, competition, lizard brain fears, and financial balancing on an hourly basis. Head down, step by step. Three years in, my beloved firm became a magic carpet to financial freedom.
Your body will never lie to you, but your mind is supremely skilled in telling you tall tales. Learning how to connect into my body truth and intuition has steered me to success time and again (as well as has kept me out of the weeds and rough waters of bad decisions).
How to Develop Your Intuition
So how do we do that exactly? How do we lock onto our body wisdom—our deepest intuition and clarity?
How do you know how to develop your intuition?
Begin by bringing to mind one of your most favorite experiences…a time when you felt the utmost freedom, creative expression, joy, and lightness of being. Once you have your favorite experience, close your eyes and immerse yourself into that memory. See it vividly in your mind and play it back in great detail. Feel all the sensations you felt during the experience and stay there, going deeper and deeper into the memory.
Now, notice what you are feeling in your body and where. Does your chest feel open and expansive? Is there a tingly sensation in your stomach? Does your face feel like you cannot stop smiling? Are your shoulders and neck relaxed and loose? Does your throat feel open?
Learning to read your body is how to develop your intuition.
Connect into your body and take note as to what exactly you feel. If needed, go back to focusing on your memory and reliving it before identifying what is happening in your body. Then, write down what you discover. Those body sensations and their locations are your seat of Body Truth and Wisdom.
Seal into muscle memory what those feelings are and where. These sensations are your body saying, “YES!”
Next, you will want to go through this same exercise, but this time, with one of your worst memories and experiences. Bring up the icky moment and take note as to what you are feeling in your body and where.
Do you feel your throat close? Tension in your neck and shoulders? A sick feeling in the pit of your stomach? Is your heart racing in staccato bursts?
These sensations are your body saying “NO!”
Feeling Your Way Forward
Your body is a powerful navigating instrument that will point you toward savvy decision making. As you lean into sensing and feeling through the filter of your body, you will be pointed in the right direction over and again. As ideas, opportunities, creative musings, and invitations come your way, check in with yourself and get a reading from your body.
What is your body saying to you? Warmer or colder? YES! or NO!?
If you have a resounding YES! from your body, and your mind starts all its chit chat noting all the reasons why you shouldn’t follow your intuition, consider overriding the override. Give yourself time to deeply connect in with your body without distraction, buffering, noise, and overdoing.
Consider an expansive feeling of freedom in your body as an indication you are in alignment with the proposed direction/opportunity/idea, and a locked up and tense feeling as a stop sign (or at least a yellow flag).
Give the idea room to run and see what happens. Does the same hunch keep returning? Is it not willing to give up on you?
Feel your way forward. Even when there is no light to steer by, we have our own reliable internal guidance system to take us across any body of water, great or small.