Living Well: Use Your Intuition to Make Big Decisions
When it comes to making big life decisions, it’s easy to want to ask people we know for advice. And since so many people do it so often, it might even seem natural and good to ask for advice. But when it comes to major choices like career and relationships, I propose that we consult with ourselves most of all. Sure, we can ask our friends and loved ones what they think about our situation. They might even have some keen insight that we are not able to see with our own eyes. However, they will never have the innate knowledge that we possess in our own intuition. The trick is figuring out how to access our own quiet source of wisdom that is available to us at any point of time, which we so often ignore or overlook.
A few years ago I went through a really prolonged breakup with a live-in boyfriend. For about four months we were not sure whether we were meant to break up or not and during that time I learned a lot about my ego and my spirit. Over time I realized that I had two voices operating within me. The loudest, most fearful one seemed to come from deep inside my head. If I had to describe it, I would call it a scared, freaked out voice that yelled all sorts of worries, rationalizations, and facts. The second voice seemed to live deep in my gut. In contrast to the fearful ego voice, the belly seemed to be a cool, calm well of knowledge that remained peaceful no matter how much my ego protested. During the ten month span that I went through the full break-up (we stayed together until the end of our lease), I learned three ways to access my intuition:
One of the biggest barriers to accessing your intuition is noise and distractions. So be sure to put yourself in a calm space with plenty of time to think and let your mind relax. This may require a technology ban. One great way to get quiet is to meditate, or simply sit on the ground in a quiet room. Or, you might want to go for a walk in the park alone.
Once your mind has a chance to let go of distractions, your ego can quiet down and you can begin to focus your mind’s attention on your gut and look for peaceful thoughts.
Write it Out
Once in a quiet state of mind, it can be helpful to write about the decision you are making. This can be in the form of a journal entry or a letter to yourself.
You can also simply write out the decision you’d like to make in the form of a question. For example, “Should I stay with Blake?” or, “Should I go to law school?” By being quiet and letting go of as much “thinking” as you can, you may be surprised to find that as you write out the questions you will find yourself writing responses you didn’t think of before.
From my own experience, I can sometimes find that the answers I discover are not always immediate solutions to my problems. But they are always calm, peaceful, and filled with wisdom.
Just like the method of asking questions in writing above, you can also ask yourself questions out loud. (For this one, I usually am in a room by myself so I don’t look crazy.)
Again, if you focus on your core and look for a response that seems peaceful and calm, you might be able to discover a piece of understanding that you did not have before. The statements you discover might be brief and open-ended, but they usually better guidance than anything your thinking mind might project.
And of course, it goes without saying that inquiry into your intuition may not give you a grand answer immediately. In fact, many times I’ve found that big decisions can take time. But during the wait before I truly discover the decision I am meant to take, the more I reflect and live by my intuition’s advice the more my wait for the outcome is peace-filled and calm.
So the next time you feel like running to the phone, consider a “chat” with your intuition instead.