Intuition is a sense of knowing how to act spontaneously, without needing to know why.

~ Sylvia Claire

Yep, we are busy, that is for sure.

Our plates are full.

The day begins, usually to an alarm, and our speed runs on overdrive until we crash.

Then we do it all over again.

Rush. Crash. Repeat.

So how do we take action and make change when we feel exhausted, rundown and overwhelmed?

How can we live a life with greater meaning, freedom and joy when so often it feels like we’re just trying to make it through the day.  How do we know which path to follow when we are feeling cloudy, confused and lost?  How do we create the life we are meant to live if we don’t know which way to go next?  How is it possible to take action and make greater change when it feels like we are running a race we’ll never win?

Over the years I have definitely had moments where I hit a wall.  I have found myself in those confusing, stressful, frustrating times and I stop and wonder, How the heck did I get here?  And what do I do next?

No matter what, I’ve discovered that the more I learn how to listen to, trust and follow my intuition, the more flow and ease I find in my life.

Our intuition is there to guide us.  It’s those messages in our heart  – the quiet whispers that point us in a direction.  We know it, because our intuition is always there, wanting to be heard. But over time we can easily dismiss it.  We blow it off and eventually our mind thinks it knows better.  So we justify and make excuses and stop listening.

When life rushes by us day after day after day, we can easily lose touch with our intuition.  Those inner voices get quieter, or overshadowed by our limiting beliefs.  Our mind thinks it knows the way.  So we ignore the inner nudging, the quiet calling, the gentle guide inside that wants us to try a painting class, start a business, quit a job, be a writer, make a change…  We think, Oh I could never do that. I’m not good enough, smart enough, pretty enough, young enough, experienced enough, courageous enough…  And we start believing these thoughts as truth, which creates a block that keeps us from living our authentic life.

Intuition is a gift we are all born with.  And it’s our job, as the creator of our lives, to stay connected to it.  Because when we do, we shed the negative thoughts and we awaken to the wisdom in our hearts.  And it’s that wisdom that leads us to freedom.

Here are 7 tips that have personally helped me learn how to listen to, trust and follow my intuition:

1) Find Stillness  

Slow down.  Stop doing so much.  Find and make space in your life for rest and renewal.  Even 5-minutes-a-day of quiet space and stillness will help you feel more centered. Feeling peaceful and connected to your center will help you hear what your heart is saying.  Examples of stillness are things like; connecting to your breath, doing a yoga pose, listening to a guided meditation, writing in your journal, painting, taking a bath, going on a walk in nature, saying “no” to activities and things that fill up your time, knitting, sitting and doing nothing, enjoying lunch with a trusted friend…anything that helps to quiet your mind. It’s in the stillness that you reconnect to how your body is feeling.  That pit in your stomach, your nervous butterflies, the headaches or tension in your shoulders…can all be signs that your intuition is trying to be heard.  Find stillness and check-in with how you feel.

2) Practice A Beginner’s Mind  

Stay open, remember what it’s like to be a child and to see and experience things for the very first time.  Try new things, ask questions, and practice saying, “I don’t know.” The ability to stay curious will give your inner voice a place to go.  When we close off and act like we know the answers, that voice gets trapped, nowhere to go and no way for you to hear it! Keeping open about the “process” of things (the journey), rather than looking ahead to the final outcome (the destination), will help you cultivate present-moment awareness.  Living in the present moment will allow you to hear that inner voice more clearly.

3) Play and Create  

Let go of the rules. Allowing yourself a regular practice of play and creating, with less “right” ways, will help you release judgment, negativity and doubt (all things that hinder your ability to listen to your intuition.)  Let go of being so serious.  Laugh more.  Dance more.  Have more fun.  Keep playing.  And get your hands messy with paint or other art supplies you are drawn to. We are all playful, creative beings and there is no “right” way to be creative!  Expressing yourself creativity helps you step out of your head and into your heart.

4) Take Healthy Risks  

You’ve heard it before, but do something that scares you, every day. Seriously. When you do things out of your normal routine and step out of what feels comfortable, you will surprise yourself!  The more healthy risk you take, the more you learn, the more practice you get and you’ll build more confidence to try more.  Taking risk gives you strength and helps you trust the inner wisdom that’s guiding you to take the risk in the first place!  So call that new friend, join that new group, sign-up for a class, try something you’ve never done before…do something that scares you and let your intuition soar.

5) Be kind

Give yourself a break.  Practice being kind to yourself (and to others), with the thoughts you think, the things you say and the actions you do. You are enough, you are doing enough and you and your dreams matter.

6)  Eliminate Negativity & Clutter  

Feed your soul with things that are positive and nourishing.  Become more aware of the toxins in your life.  These toxins include negative words, negative images (the news, movies, TV…), negative people, junk food etc.  A big change in my life happened when I limited my time around negative people and things.  Notice what a bummer it is to be around someone who complains and talks about other people.  Limit your time around negative people and continue to be a source of positivity.  The less you join in with others who judge people, the less you will judge yourself.  Surround yourself with support and positive people.  Let go of the things that clutter your mind, body and spirit.  This will create space where your intuition can flourish.

7) Give Thanks

There is so much to be grateful for in your life!  Focus on the things you are most grateful for, every day, and good things will happen.  Check out the Go Gratitude Experiment.  You can sign up to receive daily gratitude reminders. Or try thanking someone in your life each day.  This practice opens you up to the gifts that come from giving and receiving.  Check out my Thirty Days of Giving Thanks challenge.

This is your one life.

Today is a new day.  A fresh, clean slate.  You don’t have know all the answers.  Stop trying to figure it all out in your head.  Give your mind a break and take time each day to practice reconnecting to your intuition.  Get still, slow down, stay curious, be open, play, create, take risks, try new things, be kind and give thanks.

Learn to listen to, trust and follow your intuition and you will experience the abundant joy that comes from following your heart!

Your Personal Reflection:

Pick one tip off the list to practice this week.  What message is your intuition trying to tell you? Put pen to paper and see what you discover.

Big thanks to all of you who stopped by to share your comments on my last post. I decided to give-away not one, but two spots for my next e-course!

The two winners of the random drawing for a spot in

 Inside Out: A Creative Adventure of Self-Discovery

e-course are:

Barbara and Kathleen!

Registration for Inside Out opens December 1st!  

Get ready to join us for the best start of a new year yet.

Be well…