5 Exercises for Tuning-In To Your Intuition
‘Let your intuition guide you’ — I’m sure we’ve all heard some variation or other of this at some point.
But I can’t begin to accurately capture the frustration I’ve often felt in response to vague suggestions such as these.
How am I supposed to be able to discern where a decision is arriving from in my body? How am I to know if there are outside or cultural forces at work guiding me, influencing me?
Ugh, see? Frustrating.
Thankfully, as someone with a tendency to overthink (as you may have already keenly deciphered), I’ve had a great deal of practice when it comes to drowning out the hum of irrelevant + distracting thoughts.
And here are some of the methods I’ve found most useful:
1. Go to Your Island
This technique is one from my childhood, and therefore one of my most tried + tested approaches. It was employed many times by my mother (a great source of wisdom in my life), when I was struggling with a decision.
The trick is to close your eyes and ‘go to your island,’ as my mother would say. It doesn’t actually have to be an island; personally I prefer a small wooded forest. But the point is to go somewhere in your mind where you are completely removed from your current surroundings. It’s just you. Then allow yourself to make the decision in that scenario.
It is important to note that often a decision becomes very clear, very quickly when we take a moment to really remove distractions from the equation. And the distraction we are removing in this situation is often other people.
So, if you find that you’re struggling to make a decision, but when you get to your island there is a very obvious one waiting for you, it may be that you are being largely influenced by the opinions, perceptions, and ideas of others. And it is safe to say, those are not the thoughts of your intuition.
Because your intuition is what’s waiting for you on the island.
There are many different opinions surrounding meditation. Some people find it rather difficult, while others have made it part of their daily routine.
Personally, despite it quickly becoming a ‘trend,’ I genuinely find intentional periods of quiet meditation to be some of the most transformative and insightful moments of my week. Meditation allows us to bring a state of peace + clarity to our bodies from which we can reconnect with our authentic, internal thoughts + hopes.
I am not disciplined enough to make it a part of my daily routine (which may have something to do with my lack of a consistent routine to begin with…), but it is often the first method I turn to when I am struggling to decipher the desires or insights of my intuitive self.
It’s taken me a long time to be able to commit to meditating without any assistance, so if you are starting out or you’re quick to fall down a rabbit hole of your own thoughts (like myself), I’d recommend a guided meditation.
3. Write It Out
If visualisations + meditations aren’t your thing, journaling may be the method for you.
I often find that I articulate myself far better in writing than I do in speech. Sometimes, when I am unclear as to how I feel about a certain event or circumstance, I take a moment to write out all of my thoughts on the matter.
In doing so, I force myself to take the swirling, jumbled mass of feelings + tangents and organise them into neat (ish) sentences. In doing so, I’m able to really sit with the different levels of thoughts and feelings. And once I’m done, I’m able to read over what I’ve written, and I often walk away with a much deeper sense of self-awareness + understanding as a result.
Sometimes, I even surprise myself.
There’s even an exercise referred to as ‘stream of consciousness writing’ in which the idea is to write to record multitudinous thought in its purest form. So, essentially, you write each and every thought without edits or judgement. Virginia Woolf narrated novels with this technique, and I know some people who swear by it.
Personally, I prefer to stick to the whole ask myself a question + attempt to answer it technique. But that’s because I find the idea of trying to record my overly-tangential thoughts quite daunting.
Sometimes, we can’t visualise clearly, and we simply don’t want to or can’t bring ourselves to write.
In this scenario, I advise asking. But here is the key: don’t ask for response of the other person, ask for the response in you.
When you ask your friend, “which one do you like best?” you often already have an opinion in mind, and you’re hoping she agrees with you. In that split second before she answers, there’s a gut feeling that presents itself. A notion of sorts, that’s trying to tell you what you want. Sometimes it arrives a little late, either in the form of disappointment or elation in response to someone’s answer. This is your intuition trying to speak to you. Listen.
Sometimes it doesn’t even have to be a person that you’re asking!
A method I was given by a creative writing professor is to use your ‘voice notes app’ on your phone to record yourself speaking, and just start talking. Similar to writing down your thoughts, speaking about them can often lead to insightful revelations.
This article from Rogue Wood Supply explores the potential of Voice Notes.
5. Just Go
When all else fails, just go.
Go to that sacred hideaway that speaks to your heart. Go on a walk. Go to the mountains. To the ocean. To a new town, city, country.
It doesn’t matter, just go.
Sometimes all we need to reconnect with ourselves and our roots is to get out of our routines + our heads and reconnect with the world around us and the joy there is to be found there.
There is nothing that could ever substitute the preciousness + sacredness of my outdoor walks. Something about fresh air + solitude is fundamentally healing.
So when all else fails — Just. Go.
Now, I hope these exercises will help you in getting in touch with your intuition. And if you don’t mind, I’d like to leave you with one final note on why it is so important that we connect with our intuition + let it make decisions in the first place.
‘Intuition’ by definition is: a direct perception of truth, fact, etc., independent of any reasoning process; immediate apprehension*.
Therefore intuitive knowledge is that which we know in our bones to be true without needing any evidence to prove it. It is removed from all potential distractions, and it is completely and wholly authentic to us and our unique Vision of the world and our Purpose within it.
Therefore, when we live guided by our intuition, we act in alignment with this Vision + Purpose, and I believe that this is the only way to achieve truly, joyfully authentic + fulfilling lives. Lives chalk-full of precious ‘heiter’ moments.
So whether you’re considering the next step in your business, or trying to evaluate the importance or potential of certain relationships, I hope you will take the time + intentionality to check in with your intuition and let it lead.
Because, dear one, all the answers you seek are already within you.
Here’s to stepping into our inner knowledge,
Emmeline Bramble is a verbal + visual apothecary empowering the ‘cunning folk,’ the brave creative spirits of today, to embrace and embody their most authentic and fulfilling work + life by following their unique intuitive knowledge. Through personalised mentorship, design, and copy services, she assists the wild women in developing the narrative of their creative ideas into one with the power to craft not only a business but a lifestyle that is aesthetically compelling + intuitively aligned.
Follow Emmeline’s work here:
*thank you dictionary.com