How can you practically, and easily, harness the power of your intuition?
That’s the question we asked internationally renowned intuitive guide Laura Day, author of seven books on the topic, including “Practical Intuition,” and her latest, “How to Rule the World From Your Couch.”
To fully embrace all that is coming your way in 2015, here are Day’s 15 tips for boosting your intuition:
- Have a goal. The key to harnessing your intuition is to have a goal or a target that you are trying to get information about. Then, when you get that “out of the blue” information related to your goal or target, you know exactly how to interpret it. I always ask clients and students to know what their goals are. Goals are more than questions because you will organize the information you receive around those goals. And unless you are mentally ill, you will naturally repress information that you can’t do anything about.
- Don’t worry that you will get information you can’t do anything about. If three minutes from now a bolt of lightening is going to strike where you’re standing, and you aren’t going to have time to move, intuition is not going to let you know about it. But you will know that lightning is about to strike if you do have time to move. Intuitive impressions are usually actionable. The reason this is important is because people confuse intuition with their fears or their hopes.
- Keep an intuition journal. Two weeks before 9/11, another psychic researcher and I kept seeing visual images of planes crashing into buildings. But the two days before 9/11, we weren’t reporting anything like that. After the tragic event, I was reminded that keeping a running dialogue in an intuition journal will help you predict things far in advance — even though sometimes you can’t do anything about them.
- Document everything you feel. The best way to hone your intuition is to write down a maximum of three clear goals. These can be goals for a day, or for a strategy session, or for a meeting. Then notice what comes to you. I am a big believer in documenting because the mind is a messy place. When a thought or idea comes to you, jot it down. You will find that once you have your goals and you begin documenting things that you notice, those seemingly “out of the blue” intuitive perceptions are actually creating a road map for you.
- Be careful how you interpret “signs.” One of the nice things about intuition is that the information you seek often comes in a nonlinear way. That said, I always think it’s funny when people think they know what action to take because they see “signs.” For example, I once had a client who felt that the fact that she kept seeing yellow roses on the street was a sign that her ex-lover was still in love with her. Yet she didn’t consider the fact that he hadn’t been in touch with her for years — or that he was now happily married and had two children — as a sign indicating his level of interest in her. Really? My advice is not to mystify and complicate the information you have. Simply look at it all as data, and realize that it won’t always tell you what you want it to tell you. However, it will give you an ability to change a direction, and that is really what intuition is for.
- Avoid visualization techniques. In the last few decades, we have learned about positive visualization techniques, where we aim to create something from the imagination. With intuition you have a target — a specific target such as bringing in a business partner or finding a true love — not imaging something you conjure. When you differentiate the two, your attention will shift. When you meet someone at a dinner party, pay attention to what you are seeing, hearing, sensing. That person may be fundamental to your life, or he or she may simply lead you to the next bit of information that will guide you. Let everything you see, sense, and feel tell you a story.
- Embrace the idea of “embodiment.” People have gotten used to using positive visualization, which I feel in many ways is merely wishful thinking. In contrast, embodiment refers to the ability to use all of your senses — to taste, hear, smell, see, and even use your memory. In intuitive terms it’s called mediumship, and it allows you, for a period of time, to “become” the object or the goal you are hoping to achieve. When you embrace the idea of embodiment, you can actually feel what someone else is experiencing. It sounds a bit “woo-woo,” but try it. I honestly think it’s worthwhile for all of us to be consciously aware of what’s around us, what the barriers are, and what tools we have at our disposal to make our goals achievable.
- Stay grounded. Fact-based thinking is empowering, and that is what embodiment is about. Have a goal, experience that goal as real and true in this moment, and notice everything that gets in the way. Then make moving through those barriers your target. This is where the interesting dynamic occurs.
- Have integrity. For businesses, and for human beings, integrity is the ability to clearly see what needs to be done. One of the things that often gets in the way of using intuition effectively is that sometimes someone wants a specific achievement or goal that conflicts with an essential part of who they are. It could be they don’t feel it’s right, or it challenges something else important in their life. Finding a clear voice for all parts of yourself, and your work, is essential.
- Realize that the only thing that separates a psychic from a psychotic is whether their information is right. It’s a wonderful thing about intuitive information that you can’t always put your finger on where the information comes from. When you get “out of the blue” information — whether it’s about your company, your family, or your market — it’s very important to look at it along with all of the other information available, including financial information, hard facts, and other analytic data.
- Sleep. I think people overlook how important sleep is. We all have read the research about the importance of getting enough sleep. When it comes to honing your intuition, you can get great information when your senses are at rest. If you have a problem to solve, or a question you are trying to answer, target it before you go to sleep. When you wake up, you may not have the answer — but you will have a clear and directed bit of information to access. Take notes the moment you rise.
- Pay attention to what you can control. One of my most useful moments of intuition came a couple of weeks before the market crash at the end of 2007. At the time, I felt like I wanted to get out of the market — it didn’t feel safe to me. It wasn’t logical. No one thought I was in my right mind to pull my money out. But I did. Then, a few days before the crash, I didn’t feel that way. If I had, I believe I would have been too anxious for my friends and family. For me, keeping that running dialogue with myself about what I’m seeing and perceiving is key. It helps me know when to act on my intuition.
- Know your biases. I consider myself a very skilled intuitive who is especially skilled when it comes to prediction. But I know there are certain areas in my life — like around my family — where I am constantly wrong. Not because my intuition is wrong, but because my subconscious is not on target in some areas.
- Encourage your employees to use their intuition. It’s important for those of you who have companies to find processes that allow your employees, your staff, and other workers to communicate with each other about their intuition. To be most effective in this area, you have to put them in situations where they feel safe in giving out-of-the-blue perceptions. Begin to have a dialogue with them about those intuitive hits. These forums — even when people can anonymously share their intuitive impressions — can be very accurate.
- Trust yourself. Like most children, I assumed everyone saw reality exactly the way I do. I first realized I was different when I was 11 and my mother was in a coma. The doctors didn’t want to give an 11-year-old child a lot of details about what was happening in my mother’s room, and they wouldn’t let me in there. When a very nice chaplain sat down to comfort me, to his amazement, I told him exactly what was going on in my mother’s body. He had no idea how I knew this, but met with me every week for more than a year because he wanted to understand how I saw the world — and I wanted to understand how he saw it. That was my first sense that what I was doing was unusual. Then in my early 20s, I got involved with a university team that was testing extrasensory perception. I think it’s very important to take intuition out of the esoteric and bring it into the practical because we often forget as a company and as human beings that life is challenging. We need tools to manage it well. Beliefs are wonderful, but when you wake up in the morning and you’ve got a problem to solve, you need your tools. Intuition is a tool; it gives us actionable, accurate data that we can apply to create stronger companies, stronger communities, and stronger lives.
For more information, visit practicalintuition.com.
Click here to listen to our podcast interview with Laura Day on the Inkandescent Radio Network.