Intuition is innate to everybody. It is always accessible. However, due to deeply embedded conditioning of overthinking and identification with thought, we often overlook our intuition.
A helpful way to view intuition is that it is a deep feeling or inner knowing about what is true, or the direction to go in that will serve you. It is not something that you can force yourself to hear, or try to hear, but it is a byproduct of paying less attention to your thoughts.
There have probably been many times in your life where you have had a feeling, or a deep inner knowing about which direction to move in. However, thoughts may have appeared sparking an inner debate about why it may be incorrect, all of the reasons you shouldn’t listen to it, or all of the things that could go wrong if you do.
Yet when you are paying less attention to thoughts, your attention will instead be on the deep richness of the present moment. In presence, you will naturally feel more deeply into each moment and make intuitive decisions that will always serve you best. From there, you can learn to trust the unpredictable adventure of life instead of fearing it.
I’ll share a personal experience I had with intuition that may help to build a picture of how this works in action...
A few years ago I was a volunteer at a yoga ashram in Central America for 5 weeks. I was supposed to be staying at the ashram for 6 weeks, but to my surprise, when the 5th week was coming to an end I experienced a deep feeling that was pulling me towards rearranging my flight and to return home a week early.
At first, I observed some thoughts such as: “my friends would think this is a silly decision”, “it’s going to cost a lot of money to rearrange the flight” “I should just ride it out for one more week” “I might regret coming home”.
All of these thoughts were simply ideas based on what other people might think of me, “logic” and the attachment to money that I had at the time. It may have been easy to keep debating this voice in my head and overthinking. It also might have felt easier, and cheaper, to just stick to my original plan, meet the expectations of those around me and to stay at the ashram for the last week.
But this feeling persisted, and was very strong. Disregarding the thoughts, I decided to act on my inner feeling and to book another flight home one week early. I went home, and didn’t think much about why again. I enjoyed coming home and moved on to the next experiences my life had to offer.
To my surprise, a few months later, I got in contact with one of the women I stayed at the ashram with for a catch-up. She told me that just days after I left the ashram, everybody got infected with an unpleasant sickness and that I was lucky to have escaped it.
Of course, if I had stayed, then that sickness would have been just another experience, and it would have been meaningless to judge it as good or bad. But, in listening to my intuition at the time and paying for a new flight, I naturally avoided this experience.
This story goes to show how thoughts and ideas will often take you away from listening to your intuition. Intuition is very real and incredibly natural. You cannot learn how to be more intuitive, but what you can do is unlearn the human compulsion to constantly pay attention to thoughts and believe that they are important.
When the mind is silent, what naturally occurs is a deeper, richer experience of the now. This experience moves in an effortless flow, that many refer to as the "flow state". In this state, you instinctively act based on intuition. Even though it can feel unfamiliar and scary to trust this inner knowing, the more you surrender to it, the more you will gain its trust and will have first hand experience of it working in action.
This is why the concepts and ideas we build are totally meaningless. If I was to believe the thoughts I had like “It’s too expensive to go home” or “my friends would think it’s a silly decision” then I would have stayed at the ashram and gotten sick. Instead, my whole experience was easy, fluid and I felt good every step of the way.
It is the perfect example of how our thoughts are not an effective tool to make every life decision with. No amount of reasoning or ideas that we come up with will necessarily be “true”, and most of the time our thoughts block us from our intuition and the perfect flow of life that happens when we trust it.
The only option we have to serve ourselves best in each moment is to disregard these ideas, detach from the thoughts, and always move through the changes in life from a state of being, feeling and knowing.