Haven't we all gone against our gut instincts and kicked ourselves for it later?
You took on a client despite your better judgment, and they stiffed you on your payment. You dated a guy who ended up being bad news bears, just like you thought he would be upon first meeting him. You said "yes" to lunch with an acquaintance who sucks the energy out of you when you really wanted to say "no," and guess what? Oops, she did it again. There are a bazillion different scenarios.
The same goes for following those instincts.
Something told you to call your mom, and it turns out she really needed to talk. You took the job that paid less because you felt it was a better fit, and you couldn't be happier. You went for it (whatever "it" is) because it just felt right—even when everyone around you told you that you shouldn't—and it was the best decision you've ever made.
That's the kind of good stuff that Jamie Butler, a renowned psychic medium at The Center for Love and Light and founder of The Lighter Side Network, who has been working with energy and intuition for over 25 years, wants to see more of. Among her many classes and workshops, she teaches everyday people like you and me how to become more intuitive. The following includes advice she provided over a couple of different sessions. Scroll down if you want to skip to four of her top exercises to engage intuition.
Why Bother Becoming More Intuitive?
"Intuition, otherwise known as a gut feeling, knowing or sixth sense, is a valuable tool," Butler says. It can guide you to make the right decisions for you. Recognizing and following its instinctual cues allows you to be happier and freer by leading a more authentic life that's true to who you are as an individual.
Where Does Intuition Come From?
So, your "gut instinct," or intuition, really comes from your brain. "The brain is like an antenna, constantly transmitting and receiving messages," Butler explains.
Modern science has proved this concept by conducting EEG (electroencephalogram) tests—tests that track and record brain-wave patterns and find problems related to electrical activity—on the brain without actually touching the head. If this is tough to picture, imagine an EKG of the heart where they measure its electrical activity by placing electrodes or sensors on your chest. But if you don't touch the body, an EKG won't read what your heart is saying, unlike an EEG that picks up on your brain waves from above your head, proving that we transmit our thoughts.
"When we begin to understand that the brain is a transmitter and receiver, we can comprehend the concept of intuition. Intuition arrives to the brain much like radio waves arrive to an antenna," Butler adds. "Once the brain receives intuition, it translates it into images, words, sensations and more."
The Difference Between Intuition and Thought or Imagination
Thought and imagination requires your focus and energy, yet receiving intuition does not. "Imagination is a creative tool supporting one person's desires, intentions and goals," Butler says. What's more, thoughts can be triggered by your environment through your five senses, but intuition does not use your five senses in the traditional way. "It raises your energetic vibrations to where you feel you are in a moment of suspended time or even out of body," Butler adds.
Butler's Four Exercises to Engage Intuition
1. DISCOVER YOUR Real Yes or No
Develop a language of intuition that works for you in everyday decision-making—feel it in your body, visualize it.
Close your eyes and picture the word "yes." What does it look like? Colors? Fonts? How does it make you feel? Does it have a taste? What does it sound like? Now picture the word "no" and ask yourself the same questions. As you go about your day, these intuitive markers can help guide you.
For example, for me, the word "yes" feels light, easy and is associated with either a sprightly quickening of heart beat or a total calm and looks bright. The word "no" feels like a pit in my stomach, a tightness and possibly a pounding heart, and looks bold and heavy.
2. DOCUMENT IT
A "second guess" is just that, a guess. Your first instinct will get you further than second guessing. Intuition is never wrong.
Write down in a short, bulleted list all of the intuitive experiences you have throughout the day, no matter how small. At the end of the day, go back and put a checkmark next to the ones that played out to be accurate or good insight. You might find it is a week later before you get your validation. Having this on paper allows your brain to see it in a documented fashion, and see how well your intuition really works!
3. ACKNOWLEDGE IT
Many times when we try to express intuition, we use words and phrases like "that was lucky," "what a coincidence," "bright idea," "a-ha moment." That's our left brain talking. Our left brain enjoys logic, rationalizing, sensible decisions and numbers. Our right brain is for intuition, imagination and dreaming.
To hone in on intuition, we must let go of the left brain and allow the right side to speak up loudly. So, instead of writing it off as luck, start giving credit to that gut feeling and acknowledge that your intuition told you to do it.
4. PRACTICE MEDITATION
Meditation can be quiet—breathing with eyes closed, journaling—or it can be active, such as walking in nature, rocking in a rocking chair or running. Do whatever works for you to quiet your mind. Over time, a meditation practice trains your mind to recognize the difference between intuition and perception/thoughts (that chatty voice in your head that's often making things up!).
The subject of intuition may feel complex, but it's actually our most normal state of being. The more you consider this important sixth sense, the more you will develop it and reap its rewards.
Into this "high-level" talk? Find out more about the energy-healing practice of Reiki.