Everyone has intuition, a “wise inner guiding system,” according to Lynn A. Robinson, M.Ed., an international expert on intuition, and author of six books on the topic, including her latest book Divine Intuition: Your Inner Guide to Purpose, Peace and Prosperity.
And everyone can develop their intuition and use it to navigate their daily lives, make fulfilling decisions and discover and realize their dreams.
That’s because “when we pay attention to our intuition, it points us in the right direction.” Intuition “provides an additional level of information that does not come from the analytical, logical, and rational side of the brain,” Robinson writes in Divine Intuition. She describes intuition as “a way of knowing, of sensing the truth without explanations.”
Intuition can take many forms. According to Robinson, it might be an image, feeling or physical sensation, like goose bumps. Or it might arrive in a dream. Also, “Some people say they just know the answer.”
Looking at your own past can help you pinpoint how you’ve used your intuition and how it appears. Think back to a significant choice you made in your life, Robinson suggested. “How did you know it was a good or bad decision?”
Robinson views listening to our intuition as a skill we can cultivate to enhance our lives. Below, she shared seven strategies readers can use to connect to their intuition and lead a meaningful life.
1. Take small steps.
You might worry that listening to your intuition means making immense, intense and, most of all, risky changes in your life. But it doesn’t. “We think big leaps when small steps would suffice,” Robinson said. For instance, when your intuition speaks, whether through an image, feeling, sensation or dream, ask yourself: “What is the right next step?”
Let’s say your intuition whispers that it’s time to leave your job. Instead of making the decision to quit right away, take small steps to gather information about your options, Robinson said. For instance, “You might rewrite your resume and talk to someone with a job you might like.” This helps you honor your intuition, while taking concrete, sensible steps toward the life you want.
2. Follow your enthusiasm.
“When you’re trying to make a new decision, pay attention to what feels exciting and energizing and what you’re curious about,” Robinson said. Enthusiasm is one way intuition guides us toward our personal path to success. If something is boring or draining, try to move away from it, she said.
3. Create a different kind of to-do list.
When Robinson gets up in the morning, she meditates and visualizes what she wants. For instance, that might be anything from growing her business to maintaining a happy relationship. Then she asks herself a key question, which serves as a kind of unique to-do list: “What three things can I do [today] to move in that direction?”
4. Seek answers in your sleep.
Before bed Robinson journals about the very topics she needs guidance on. She asks a specific question as she drifts off to sleep. Sometimes her dreams reveal her next steps. Other times she “wakes up with a knowing” about the answer or her direction.
5. Take an intuitive walk.
“People have a hard time stilling their minds,” Robinson said. So if you need to make a decision, taking a walk can help. While on your walk, Robinson suggested keeping an open mind. Your answer may come as an a-ha moment when you least expect it.
6. Journal for clarity.
It’s important to get clear on what you do want versus what you don’t, Robinson said. She suggested journaling about what you’d like your life to look like. This can be general, and you can journal for a few minutes a day. Having a clear vision gives “your inner compass the right coordinates,” so you move in the right direction for you.
7. Watch the words you say to yourself.
“I’ve made it a practice when I start to feel negative, anxious or discouraged [to consider], what am I telling myself right now?” Robinson said. That’s because when our minds become a muck of negativity, we can’t hear our intuition, she said. It gets blocked by bogus stories and what-ifs. In her work Robinson noticed that it’s common for people to “talk themselves out of what they want.” Put another way, “We talk ourselves out of joy.”
Our intuition is a wise compass that points us in the right direction toward a meaningful, fulfilling life. Robinson views intuition as a gift that’s available to all of us. Consider giving yourself the gift of listening to your inner insight.