Follow your gut. It may sound like simple advice to follow when you need some guidance toward a certain path, but being able to decipher what, exactly, your gut is telling you isn't always so simple. Throw feelings like self-doubt, anxiety, and fear into the mix, and the message becomes even fuzzier. In some cases, it can be tough to know if it's actually your intuition speaking to you or a different underlying feeling that might steer you in the wrong direction.
Fortunately, intuitive therapist, meditation teacher, and the host of The Future Is Beautiful podcast Amisha Ghadiali says there are ways to get more in tune with your intuition so that the messages come across loud and clear. In Ghadiali's new book Intuition ($17), she defines intuition as "our ability to know something instinctively without having to discover it or rationalize it intellectually—a deep sense of knowing without an analytical process. You can't explain to anyone why—you don't have statistics or research to back up your perspective. You just know."
That said, if you can't figure out what your intuition is telling you, Ghadiali has some tips. First, she tells me, realize that limiting beliefs may be in the way. "Limiting beliefs are patterns that affect everything about our life," she says. "Our beliefs influence our emotions and thoughts, which then influence our decisions and actions, which then determines our reality." For example, she says if someone believes they aren't good enough, that (untrue) belief can sabotage their life in big or subtle ways. "Limiting beliefs often come from our conditioning, meaning they are formed in our childhood or through trauma we experience," Ghadiali says. "These beliefs can relate to our family of origin and the beliefs that they held, or have to do with the geographical area, or the experiences of our ancestors."
"If you have a limiting belief that your life is a struggle and nothing good can happen to you, then even if your intuition tries to lead you into a beautiful adventure, your beliefs might stop you from going." —Amisha Ghadiali.
Sometimes, limiting beliefs can be so strong that they overpower what your intuition is trying to tell you. "If you have a limiting belief that your life is a struggle and nothing good can happen to you, then even if your intuition tries to lead you into a beautiful adventure, your beliefs might stop you from going," Ghadiali says. "[Or] if you believe that people are untrustworthy, your intuition might guide you to a stranger who can assist you with something or be your new life partner, and you may not even say hi to them, let alone open up enough conversation for something to unfold."
The key, she says, is clearing limiting beliefs and replacing them with beliefs that could lead to positive life changes. In her book, she outlines a short intuition exercise that can help whenever you feel a limiting belief is holding you back and potentially blocking you from hearing your intuition. "It can seem overwhelming to clear limiting beliefs, especially if you have always had this framework, but we can. Once you have the belief that this is possible, it opens the doors, and you find yourself transforming these beliefs every day and opening up to new and beautiful life paths that are true to the true nature of your soul," Ghadiali says.
Clear limiting beliefs with this intuition exercise from Ghadiali's book, Intuition:
Go through the key areas of your life—relationships, career, health, home, contribution, and fun. For each area, take some time to examine what you truly believe is possible, in terms of where the limits are for you. Write down each of these limiting beliefs.
For each belief, write a list of all the proof you have that it is not true—for example, record experiences in your own life that have contradicted that belief and examples of others who have made it work despite similar potentially limiting circumstances.
Take one of the beliefs and repeat out loud that you are deleting or unlearning this belief. To assist the clearing, place the fingers from your dominant hand gently into your sternum as you do this. Clear one belief at a time.
Rewrite your belief as something that is expansive and limitless, so that you turn it around. As you say it out loud, rub your thymus (around the sternum) in a circular movement toward your heart. Repeat this rewritten belief to yourself as often as possible.
5. Become aware
When you are triggered—something happens or somebody says something that sends you back into your limiting belief—you lose sight of what is possible. Learn what triggers you so that you can breathe into the emotion and let it pass rather than buying into the limiting story.
It can be tempting to feel like you can just erase the beliefs all at once, and while knowledge and awareness is a good start, each belief will need care and time. In order to change it, you need to believe this is just a story and not the true you.
Reprinted from Intuition: Access your inner wisdom. Trust your instincts. Find your path. Copyright © 2021 by Amisha Ghadiali. Published by DK, a division of Penguin Random House LLC.
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