Once you have cleared your mind of its clutter, there is room to start exploring self, and the way to explore self is through intuition.
Intuition can be very difficult to tune into at first, since it is often the quietest of voices, particularly it seems in men. Women are often more in-tune with their intuition, hence the term “feminine intuition” however it is important to realise that a lot of what many people call intuition is actually just another ego process, so it is important not to confuse this “Ego Intuition” with real intuition, and it is also important to realise the role that ego plays in interpreting our intuitive thoughts, and the manipulation that ego can often apply to them.
Another important role of ego is in interpretation of information. Each individual for example gains differing meanings to words due to the bank of knowledge that they have picked up along the way relating to those words. The term ego is a classic for this and it means a great many different things to different people. Mostly they think of it as a negative aspect of certain “egotistical” people, however ego is simply a self-learning mechanism of the mind that allows us to have automated high level responses to given situations. This allows us to have freedom of mind-space so that we can perform complex tasks at the same time as thinking about other things, so it is actually a very beneficial mechanism.
Part of this self-learning task is about interpreting the environment, including ideas and thoughts and this can often be as much of a hindrance as a help, since ego can be closed minded and tend to be restrictive of ideas – applying fixed notions when it comes to interpreting the inputs that it perceives. What this means is that ego can decide to ignore some inputs and other inputs it can manipulate.
Ego will ignore inputs it does not understand and also inputs it has decided are not relevant or are to be ignored. Intuitive thoughts can fall into either of these categories and it is therefore worth spending some time working on ego in order to open it up to presenting these thoughts to you. You can start this process by repeating certain affirmations to yourself: “I will see all I can see”, “I will be open to all inputs”, “I will listen for the quietest of thoughts, no matter how odd or confusing they may be”.
Affirmations should be repeated at least three times, they are a way of programming ego, you make a positive statement and reinforce it by repetition. Try to think of ways that you have been closed minded in the past and specifically tell yourself that you will do the opposite – try to make affirmations “Will do” statements, not “Will not do”.
Ego can also manipulate information that it receives, this is difficult to avoid a lot of the time, since in order to make sense of things ego seeks to compare it to information that it already knows, and intuitive information may not have a good comparison, so when you are dealing with ego you need to remember that things may not always be as they appear – if you are lucky, ego is giving you it’s best guess as to what that information means, if you are less lucky then ego is actually changing the information because at some point in your past you did not like it and unknowingly asked ego to change it for you, to save you future hurt or discomfort.
The only way to proceed is to continue exploring your intuitive thoughts, over time their meaning and strength will improve but you should always question if the meaning you have deduced is the true and full meaning or if there is manipulation due to that information being difficult for ego to recognise and therefore a more shallow guess than might at first appear. So it is yet another case where practice is important.
So how do you practice listening to your intuition?
In order to have any chance to hear your intuition you need to have a quiet mind. Therefore practicing mindfulness wherever possible is key – also, whenever you are faced with a question, make sure you give yourself a moment to listen for any intuitive thoughts that might arise. If none are forthcoming that is fine, but get into the habit of giving that extra moment or two of listening for intuition.
I say listen for intuition but of course intuition is not always a conscious thought, often it is a feeling but nonetheless the same principle applies in that intuition needs to be given time to surface, be it a thought, a lack of thought, a feeling or a lack of feeling.
Once you realise that there is an intuitive message to listen for, you can work on it by putting yourself in a position to need to listen for it, this can be a simple task, you can go for a walk and allow intuition to tell you where to go. You can go shopping and see if intuition has guidance on where to shop and what to buy. These sound like simple things and they are, and yet they are also difficult because it means you will have to break with routine, so try going places you have not been to before since there you will have no routine to break.
Also, guessing games can also be good at finding your intuition, it does not matter if you get it wrong, what matters is that you are exercising that link with self, every time you listen for and gain intuitive guidance you will strengthen that link and it will be that little bit easier to hear that guidance in future and also you are establishing the habit of listening to self, this is a habit that needs to be retained.
Perhaps one of the best ways of learning to work with intuition is go on an intuitive meditative journey: Allow yourself to write a story under meditation by listening to your intuition and verbalising what information comes to mind.
Take yourself to a quiet place where you will not be disturbed away from any distractions. The whole concept with a meditation is simply to allow you to focus more clearly on the self-introspection journey.
In your quiet space, make yourself comfortable. The journey may last quite a bit of time so sit or lie in a comfortable position so that you will not feel physical discomfort on your journey. Note it is not important to adopt any special meditation position. I usually lie down for my meditations, the only danger here is that of falling asleep while meditating, but so long as you are not too tired to begin with you should be ok. Also note that it takes practice to get to the right relaxed state during meditation, so you may need to do this a few times in order to gain success.
Now that you are comfortable, allow yourself to relax. The aim with meditation is to try to get as relaxed as possible without falling asleep, and to empty your mind of any other thoughts, which at this point are only distractions.
Allow yourself to relax quietly for 5 to 10 minutes until you intuitively know it is the right time to begin your journey and then begin by imagining the start of your story. Listen to your intuition and try to verbalise in your mind the response and in this way establish a dialogue of self-exploration within your mind that will lead step by step to the creation of a story.
The path that this journey will take is up to you. Have no preconceptions as to how it will turn out, have a completely open mind and follow the journey that intuition sets out for you. Remember that these journeys take practice, but the more you do them the easier such journeys will be.
A journey can be short or long, normally inexperienced people journey for shorter periods. Try to take note of every thought that you have, sometimes even apparently distracting thoughts are important. The more you listen to intuition, the more successful you will be in your journeys.