You know that sickening feeling that washes over you after a conversation or interaction with another person that whispers, “Something is fishy”? Or, despite that everyone tells you it’s a good career move or physical move, your whole body says “hmm, yeah, no”.
Describing this specific feeling is difficult but if you experienced it before, you know exactly what I mean. When your intuition speaks, you best be listening because your brain absorbs more information without your awareness of it happening. Our subconscious powerfully receives and processes stimuli without our knowledge or that our conscious brain doesn’t catch. These insights potentially save us from bad decisions and help us process otherwise seemingly unavailable information.
Some of these insights, however, could be attributed to messages from the beyond, depending on your religious or spiritual beliefs. As someone who is an empath (one type of highly sensitive person), I convene with my intuition often but sometimes I take on other peoples’ emotions as my own and separating them can be difficult. It’s both a gift and a curse.
I’ll do another post for Mindful Monday about Empaths and Highly Sensitive People, but if you want more information in the meantime, click here. This post explains the traits of an empath/HSP. The two aren’t mutually exclusive, but not every HSP is an empath (this is important to note) even though they possess similar qualities.
Connect to Your Intuition
Connecting to your intuition isn’t difficult, but the feeling is tricky to spot if you lack experience with it. If you want to connect better to your intuition, you can start here with some of these tips.
Get clear about your beliefs
What is important to you? Pick 3-5 things that are important to you when you meet someone or experience something. My core beliefs are honesty, loyalty, optimism, and safety (also more on this later). When I go somewhere or meet someone, I ask myself
- Is this person or experience what it says it is?
- Does this person have a positive attitude or does this experience make me excited about life?
- How does this person or experience make me feel? Do I feel energized and good about myself or do I feel anxious and drained?
- Does this person or experience align with my core beliefs?
If you’re new to meditating, start here. Meditation helps relax the body and bring your subconscious and conscious mind closer together. Meditation also helps connect you to your higher self and to energies of the universe. By connecting to the energies of the universe and others, you’ll get to know what that feels like and be able to notice more and more how people, places, and things feel.
Meditation, especially guided meditations and visualizations, assist in removing doubt as well. In Western culture, we’re taught to think using our brain, often forgetting that our emotions and how we feel about something dictates our final decision. We then try to rationalize with thoughts that help us make sense of it.
Part of trusting your intuition is about removing doubt. If you trust someone, you don’t doubt what they tell you or their experience. So, if you want to trust your gut, you have to learn to trust yourself.
Here’s a quick 10-minute guided meditation to get you started:
Listen when Your bOdy Speaks
If you feel some type of way about a person, experience, or situation, acknowledge it and process it. What is the feeling trying to tell you? I typically recognize this as Fight, Flight, Look Deeper, and Go For It. Yes, they’re elementary, but it helps me process something in the moment and make a decision based on it. Since I began trusting my gut and evaluating what I want against their actions and words, my intuition became stronger and more often than not, my gut corrected any rationale I had.
Story TIme by Les
For example, I was on a date about a month ago with a guy who was cool and could carry a conversation (wow, shocker). Upon meeting him for the first time, before I even said “hey, how are you?”, I knew it wasn’t going to work. Because when I saw him, my excitement about the date evaporated and replaced with “lol why did you do this, Les?”
He tried to hide it by telling me his intentions were good, that he was looking for a real relationship, taking me out on a proper date, etc. This looked like a great date to any outsider, but internally I wanted to be home in bed and cuddling with the dog. I was over the date before dinner even started and my gut just kept telling me that this person was not a good match for me. I ignored it for a moment and rationalized by saying “he planned this whole date for you and is really making the effort. Maybe he’s different.”
My intuition proved my rationale wrong when about 3 days later he said he wanted to spend the whole weekend with me at my apartment, invited me to go to fair with him which is conveniently located in the town of my college alma mater, and then tried to bribe me to spend more time with him by telling me he got me a gift. All major red flags.
When I politely told him that I wasn’t interested in pursuing a relationship with him and listed off why, he got disrespectfully upset, and sent me a lewd photo of himself and said “I thought you might like this”.
He attempted to apologize the day after and I told him to shove his apology up his ass.
While this a nightmare dating story, the point here is that my body picked up on his true personality, despite his best attempts to hide it, and had an adverse reaction because it didn’t align with my core beliefs or what I sought. If I hadn’t listened to my gut, I might have ended up in an emotionally draining situation with a guy I didn’t even really like or in a potentially abusive situation.
Pro-Tip: Ladies, if a guy treats you like this before the second or third date or after you politely tell him that you’re not interested, please leave him in the dumpster where you found him. You deserve better.
After these kinds of situations, you can learn to fine-tune your intuition. Now, typically within 10 seconds of meeting someone (on a date or meeting new friends), I can tell if I’d like to spend more time with them or not. I haven’t been wrong yet and I recognize that’s a pretty lofty thing to say.
Trusting your gut is trusting yourself. It’ll save you a lot of heartbreak and from potentially dangerous situations. Learning what feels right in a situation will take time. Getting clear about what you want and your core beliefs will help you pick out what’s not for you. Connecting to your higher self and your subconscious can help you feel out a person or situation more strongly. But the key is to listen.
A lot of people listen to react to something, rather than ponder the information they’re receiving from a situation or person. They listen for their turn to speak or react, rather than to interpret and provide a thoughtful answer. In listening to and trusting ourselves, we have to slow down and thoughtfully interpret the information presented to us in that moment. By not doing this, you can miss critical insights. We all know that the smallest details completely scramble a situation.
In love and light,