We have all heard the wise words, “trust your gut”, “go with the flow”, and “follow your intuition”. But what does this process truly require?
Sure, we are all born with intuition, and presumably we can access it whenever we need it. It’s that inner voice that tells you when you are on the right track, or the wrong one.
But if you’re anything like me, this voice is often overridden by logical or emotional reasoning. You may use your intellect to interpret your intuitive voice in a way that suits an identity with which you have grown comfortable.
Intuition is a balanced combination of both rationality and emotionality, and it is often hugely challenging to discern which is which.
Don’t despair, there are strategies, exercises and tactics we can employ to strengthen our intuitive voice. This work is crucial in combatting anxiety, fear and depression, and developing emotional maturity.
These three techniques will support your intuitive development:
Mindfulness in the form of meditation like a body scan or breathing exercise, or simply a practice of mindful eating or movement (like yoga) is a key component to heighten your intuitive instincts.
Mindfulness trains the brain to observe thoughts and feelings as a bystander, and supports us to disentangle our identities from our thoughts and feelings. Mindfulness reminds us that emotions come and go.
When we resist the urge to merge our identity with our thoughts and feelings, we are less likely to allow these circumstantial and fleeting energies to determine our decisions, problem-solving strategies, and beliefs about ourselves and the world around us.
Then comes Reality Checking. This one can be particularly challenging, depending on how consistently you wield logical and emotional reasoning to justify an identity narrative or belief system.
For example, someone may be seeking to appease their traditional parents, fit into normative standards, and are committed to embodying traditional womanhood or femininity to achieve this.
If this person feels an attraction to another woman or queer person, they may be inclined to repress their sexuality because it triggers cognitive dissonance between who they think they are and the truth of their emotional body. It also threatens to dismantle all that they have known, their support system and emotional bonds. It may trigger an identity crisis.
That is why we are so good at intellectualizing our feelings. Feelings don’t care about social standards, the fashion police or family pressures. To some extent, we have all been actively repressing our intuition in this way for the entirety of our lives.
You may experience a tendency to immediately find a reason for every feeling that arises.
Suppose you have an important meeting coming up at work. You may experience anxiety that morning, and seek to interpret or rationalize this feeling of unease.
You may suggest to yourself, “I’m a high achiever who is seeking a promotion in this workplace, and I have to prove my professional worth today.”
This reasoning aligns with the identity you have constructed that gains social approval and reward.
However, it is possible that you don’t really want that promotion, and you would rather be creating artwork or music, or are content with your current position and don’t want to pursue management even if it comes with a substantial pay increase.
This is a much harder reality to accept, and it requires rethinking your identity as a high achiever, leadership material and breadwinner.
Reality checking is about allowing a feeling like anxiety to come up, and resisting the urge to assign that feeling a reason or justification. Observe it, let it be what it is, and ask it what it wants you to know. Then be as open and honest as you can be with yourself.
You don’t immediately have to quit your job and join the circus, but be prepared for this process to show you things about yourself you have been afraid of seeing.
Another key component of developing your intuition is Setting Boundaries. Boundaries are important to any healing journey. When we can act in our own best interest regardless of the reactions of those around us, we will be more inclined to listen to our inner voice, instead of crafting an alternative narrative that feels more comfortable.
Boundaries are required if you want to be an adult. We are often infantilized by our need for external validation from others.
Emotional maturity will result when we take steps to be honest with ourselves, face our shadows and honour our truth.
Tarot is a great way to touch base with your intuition, because it will call you on your BS! Are you open enough to hear what your subconscious is telling you? Contact The Tarotologist for a reading and see what’s in the cards for you!