1) Trust your gut
Become a sensualist and spend time feeling your body. All your senses are engaged in intuition. Some scientists call your “gut” your “second brain”. Technically known as the enteric nervous system, the second brain consists of sheaths of neurons embedded in the walls of the long tube of our gut, or alimentary canal. The second brain contains some 100 million neurons, more than in either the spinal cord or the peripheral nervous system according to Michael Gershon, chairman of the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology at New York–Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center.
Scientists were shocked to learn that about 90 percent of the fibers in the primary visceral nerve, the vagus, carry information from the gut to the brain and not the other way around. Feel your stomach, your heart, your breath; they hold clues as to what you feel-think. They hold clues to intuition.
Observe how your mind works. Watch your own consciousness and get comfortable with being with yourself. There are several states of consciousness. Beta is a normal level of consciousness. Alpha is relaxed awareness, Theta is a state of meditative trance, and Delta is a state of transcendental experience. Meditation practice helps you control the alpha state of relaxed awareness, and therefore it opens you to receiving the intuitive process. This can increase at each level.
When the intuition comes don’t second-guess the instinctual nature of your experience…accept it. True listening is a kind of curiosity, even wonderment. As you remain open and non-judgmental while listening, new ideas can spontaneously arise. Always remain open to “listening” for these cues.
4) Practice the arts
Pursue any creative endeavor. Any art involves this thinking, feeling, choice-making, without being linear, that will heighten your intuition. Supposedly, Picasso once told a friend that intuition was like having a carrier pigeon with a message land on your balcony. “The important thing is knowing that the pigeon has arrived,” he said, “You don’t even have to unroll the message.” He also said “To know what you’re going to draw, you have to begin drawing… When I find myself facing a blank page, that’s always going through my head. What I capture in spite of myself interests me more than my own ideas.”
Intuition is such a crucial, essential ingredient for artists, and as they create, their connection and understanding of intuition is embraced. Everyone is an artist in some sense. Explore your artistic side.
5) Acknowledge synchronicities
Write them down and you’ll see they will increase. Synchronicities, or “meaningful coincidences” play an important role in our lives. You might be working on solving a problem and the answer in spontaneously revealed to you. Perhaps you remember someone you haven’t seen in a while, and then they show up! You’re thinking of a song and it pops up on the radio, or a movie reflects some life situation you are experiencing. You can even look to synchronicities for spiritual guidance. They are often a sign that you are on the right path.
6) Analyze your dreams
See if they hold a message from your subconscious. This practice will heighten your awareness and your ability to intuit inner messages. A famous example of intuition’s dream work comes from research scientist James Watson. Watson and his partner, Frances Crick, were asking: What is the design of DNA, the chemical foundation for all life? Watson’s symbolic dream of two intertwined snakes and his correct interpretation of the double helix provided a key to all life.
Another dream inspiration came to Elias Howe, one of the first inventors of the sewing machine. He had trouble with the needle’s hole and thread. In Elias Howe’s dream he was taken prisoner by a group of natives who were dancing around him with spears- spears that had a hole at the tip end of the spear, not the top!
7) Share your intuitions, act on them, and see what happens
We all have “a-ha” moments, eureka insights, and immediate understandings of something we were missing before. Spontaneous answers come more frequently as you open to them. Many stories of inventions, mathematical solutions, and hints of romance have changed the world. They came as intuitions. Share your ideas, contemplate them, and if appropriate, follow your instincts and take action!
May your intuitions continue to guide you safely on your path.