I talk/write quite a bit about listening to your intuition. It occurred to me that I don’t think I’ve ever really explained what I believe intuition is.

One definition of intuition is “a thing that one knows or considers likely from instinctive feeling rather than conscious reasoning.” It’s a deeper knowing than conscious thought. Sometimes it’s even a *feeling* on a deep, physical and mental level rather than just a thought.

All of us have intuition, but we’re often taught not to listen to it. We’re told things like “You couldn’t possibly know that” or “Think it through before you do it.” While there are definitely times we need to think things through, sometimes that interferes with our ability to do what’s truly most beneficial for us. On the other hand, sometimes thinking something through requires you to listen to your intuition. You need to know fully and deeply whether something is right and beneficial, instead of just thinking about it. Thinking on a conscious level can lead to overanalyzing, or what some of my friends have called “analysis paralysis.”

This is something I’ve had a lot of experience with. My brain often gets stuck on trying to think things through or on doubting and questioning the course of action that appears best for me. As a child, I operated almost solely on intuition, but the “helpful” adults around me trained me out of that fairly early, and now when I need to make a decision or judge something I’ve been told, instead of allowing my inner knowing and Core Self to steer me in the right direction, I get tangled up in conscious thoughts like “That can’t be right” or “I need to make sure of this because if I’m wrong, something bad might happen.”

I’ve gotten much better at listening to my intuition over the years, though, because I’ve seen that if I ignore it, things generally don’t go well. Whether it’s about making plans or decisions, or about whether to listen to what a spiritual leader or even my own guides are saying, my intuition is the best indicator of what will truly lead me to my most beneficial life.

Connecting with your intuition can be as seemingly simple as sitting quietly and feeling in your body what seems best and most right. I say “seemingly” because some people are not accustomed to feeling things in their bodies because of trauma or other reasons, and many of us have been taught that that isn’t the right way to make decisions. It takes practice and trust, but it is worth the work.

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