How to trust your intuition

The last time I went against my intuition was summer of 2008. My intuition told me to stay on an idyllic farm in Umbria, Italy, instead of going camping in Sardegna with a group of folks I'd met earlier that summer. My whole body told me not to go to Sardegna, but I was swept away by the idea of love and fun and beautiful beaches. 

What could go wrong, right?

Fast forward several weeks. I had $20 in my bank account and was stuck on an island with some crazy folks. I didn't feel safe. And I needed to get out. 

Even writing about it now makes me feel uncomfortable. 

I made my way onto a ferry back to Rome, with no plans and no money. By the grace of the goddess, I made friends with an amazing family on the ferry. They let me stay in their villa outside of Rome for several days, and I was able to change my flight and head back to New York. Safely.

But seriously?

Never again. 

Never again.

Never again.

I know better than to disobey my intuition now. I hear her loud and clear, and I go with her flow. Sometimes it is really tricky, because my intuition doesn't make sense to my rational mind. 

Stay at Google? Ok.

Quit Google? Ok.

Start a business? Um...ok? I guess...?

Eat some nettles? Ok. 

Marry him? Ok. 

But here's the trick. My intuition isn't this muse living outside my body, dictating from above.

My intuition is the sensations of the physical body, leaning me in one direction or another. 

My wish is for you to access this wisdom within your own body. To truly trust your intuition, and to shape your life based on this wisdom. 

So, here's the process I've used to develop and trust my intuition. 


Intuitive Body Attunement

Step 1. Think of something terrible. An ex-lover. A teacher you hated in fifth grade. That time you were rejected. Or something else awful. (Choose something that elicits a strong emotion, but not too strong). 

  • Let yourself marinate in the emotions of that person/experience/idea for a few seconds. 
  • What happens to your stomach?
  • Are there other areas in your body where you feel physical sensation?
  • What happens to your chest? Your throat? The palms of your hands?
  • Write this down. 

Step 2: Connect back to your breath for a few moments, releasing the previous experience. 

Step 3. Think of something wonderful. When you got the job. When you fell in love. A beloved friend or inspiration. Something that elicits a strong emotion of comfort and happiness.

  • Let yourself marinate in the emotions of that person/experience/idea for a few seconds. 
  • What happens to your stomach?
  • Are there other areas in your body where you feel physical sensation? 
  • What happens to your chest? Your throat? The palms of your hands?
  • Write this down. 

Good.

Observation time.

Generally, when I'm thinking about something terrible, my stomach knots up and gets queasy. I'll feel a sensation of tightness in my chest, and my throat gets itchy.

When I think of something wonderful, my stomach has a sense of lightness, my throat feels relaxed, my chest is expanded, and my palms stay dry. 

These physical sensations are the baseline for your intuition's guidance.

Now, you can uses these impulses to guide your decisions.

Think of a simple question, with only two possible outcomes. For example, I'll choose "Should I go out tonight, or should I stay at home?"

Step 1:

  • Visualize doing the first thing. 
  • Notice where you feel physical sensation in your body.
  • Write this down. 

For me, going out tonight led to a feeling of tightness in my throat, a throbbing at the base of my spine, and discomfort in my belly. 

Step 2:

  • Visualize doing the second thing. 
  • Notice where you feel physical sensation in your body.
  • Write this down. 

For me, staying home produced a sense of physical comfort - a calm stomach and relaxed shoulders.

Compare these responses to your baselines from the first part of this exercise. 

Staying home corresponded most to the sensations I experienced when I visualized something wonderful. 

So, my intuition says I'll be staying home, likely watching YouTube clips of interviews with George R.R. Martin. While snuggling with my husband. 

And that's it. Over time, this process can become really simple. Asking your body a question, and noticing the physical responses.

And the nicest thing?

There's no room for error. 

Sensation is sensation.

Your physical body doesn't lie. 

So you can trust the information you are receiving is accurate for you. 

And make decisions in alignment with your soul.


More questions about developing your intuition?

I'm putting together a course on body-based intuition: how to develop and trust your intuition, so you experience the wisdom of your soul. There's so much juicy information, and I can't wait to share it with you in the upcoming months.

Include your questions in the comments, and I'll definitely address them in the upcoming course!

And if you try out this exercise, let me know how it goes!