Selena Gomez not-so-famously proclaims in her not-so-famous 2010 song, “Intuition,” Sometimes it’s just gets so confusing / Feel like I don’t know what I’m doing / But I trust in my heart and in the end / It turns out to be better than when it begins. She was on to something (even if not so many listeners got the message): Intuition is, by definition, a way of receiving information without conscious reasoning that can guide us toward positive people and things and away from the negative.
The thing is, while our ancient ancestors relied on their inner knowing to, say, safeguard them from tiger ambushes and the like, modern society has made knowing how to trust your intuition a lot harder—and less socially acceptable. “The patriarchal system has created the idea that if it’s not logical, it’s nonsense,” says spiritual guide and healer Shaman Durek, author of Spirit Hacking. “We’re inundated with distractions, and we’ve moved away from that feminine aspect that holds the intuition—our ability to sense beyond our senses and know beyond our knowing.” But, Durek adds, intuition is something we all have within us, even if we don’t use it very often. The trick to connecting with it more closely? Getting out of your head and feeling into your body.
Durek refers to this process of learning to trust your intuition as “calibrating your internal navigation system,” or INS for short. “Ancient shamans—who happened to be women—utilized this technique as a way to figure out where their itinerant tribes should settle, as it allowed them to decipher if there was water nearby, and if there was game nearby, as well as which plants were safe to ingest and which ones were poisonous,” he writes in Spirit Hacking. (Yes, it’s just as applicable in non-life-or-death situations, like figuring out whether you should sweat through a dance cardio class or take a rest day.)
Here are the 3 steps to calibrating your INS and learning to trust your intuition:
- Ground yourself: Calm your mind and body by taking a few deep breaths, putting your focus on the rise and fall of your belly as you breathe.
- Say out loud, “Body, show me yes so I can feel it”: “Scan your body for sensations. Notice what you feel and where you feel it,” says Durek. “When you feel a ‘yes,’ it’s always a feeling of excitement and joy—a feeling that feels safe and comforting and loving and supportive.” This could manifest as, say, butterflies in your stomach or a rush of energy in your chest, he adds. Once you’ve pinpointed the sensation linked with “yes,” describe it out loud in order to cement it into your psyche.
- Say out loud, “Body, show me no so I can feel it”: Again, scan your body and notice how it feels physically. “When you feel a ‘no,’ your body closes down—it’s in protection mode,” Durek says. Once you’ve pinpointed how “no” feels, describe the sensation out loud.
After determining how “yes” and “no” feel for you, look out for the sensations when you make decisions. “Your body already knows what’s good for you,” Durek says, adding that every person, place, and thing has its own energetic frequency. If that frequency is in alignment with your own frequency, you’ll feel “yes” sensations, whereas if you get a “no” vibe, you’ll know that the situation isn’t a match for you. “The more you utilize this technology, the more sensitive your body will get,” he says.
Of course, intuition often gives us messages that we don’t want to hear. (Like, for example, That cute musician’s gonna break your heart—sorry ’bout it.) In these cases, it’s important to dive deeper into any unwelcome sign or sensation you receive. “We can further investigate by asking certain questions, such as ‘Is this not good for me because there’s something better for me I’m not seeing?’ Or ‘Is my ego attached to a certain outcome that I feel I should be getting based on my belief system?’,” Durek says. Ultimately though, following your intuition is the fastest route to get to you where you want to go. “It’s helping you to create alignment versus forcing things to happen—and going down a bunch of roads you didn’t need to go down.” That’s a hack I can get behind.
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