When there's a sea change, when something in life is about to shift direction, we naturally start to run our pros and cons list, confer with our closest friends and tiptoe our way into "listening to our intuition." Decisions feel better when they resonate as truth in our body, in our gut, AND makes sense in our mind. Sometimes, we value the mind part more and forget about it feeling good in our body. The temptation is to make a decision that may look like the linear or rational choice only to have our inner wisdom be warning us to think again. If you hear your intuition, then there's courage required to follow it. Once you do, there's the fear that the fear we have is actually real and legitimate (i.e. paying your bills if you quit your job, your childrens' safety if you decide to road trip from California to the tip of South America, your heart if you leap into love).
I'm a big proponent of following your intuition and investing your thoughts, feelings and actions under the belief system that you can trust yourself and all you seek outside of yourself is living right inside you. This is a skill that is learned, rarely taught and scary to trust when the stakes are high.
This blog is written to consider ways in which you can start to explore easy, low-risk situations to develop your intuition so that when a big fork in the road appears in your life, your intuition is a tool in your tool belt and you know how to use it. Imagine upgrading from a tedious screwdriver of doubt and analysis into a drill of confident and conscious intuition. It's about stretching your awareness of possibility. To develop your intuition is to entertain the idea that you just may have access to more knowledge, guidance and grace than you think you do.
Here are 3 easy steps to start learning how to listen to your intuition:
1- Go on a walk. I recommend to set aside one whole hour completely unscheduled to go on a walk led by your intuition. Don't multi-task and plan to do something else as you walk. Give yourself fully to the experience of practicing listening to your intuition and start to let that inner voice guide you. To hear your inner voice, you need create some time and space to LISTEN. Listen to those gentle nudges that encourage you to turn right to go to the park and nap or to walk as slowly as you can or to walk along the river, whatever the guidance is. Listen to the voice that says, "say hello to that stranger and tell them that you are practicing listening to your intuition and it guided you to go up to them." Listen to the voice that tells you it's ok to slow down. It's ok to cry. It's all ok. Listen to the voice that tells you, "it's better than ok, that you're on the perfect place in your journey." That you are on a journey. And then be on the journey of your walk and practice feeling this sense of connection guiding you every step of the way. Take this walk once a week for one month to develop stronger intuitive guidance in the world.
2- Simple Divination Practices.
Think of an issue that is up for you right now. Some conflict looking to be resolved. Some question about how to move forward. Some person you are unsure of how to handle. I recommend having a deck of oracle cards. I like Doreen Virtue's Goddess Guidance Cards or Messages from Your Angel's Cards, Osho's Zen Tarot Deck or my new favorite Goddess Oracle Deck. Place one hand over the cards and let your hand feel called to pick up the perfect card to answer your question. Be fully receptive to not have to have it make sense in a linear way, but look at the picture, and trust your intuition to see a deeper meaning for you. If you don't have a deck of cards, you can get them as an app on your phone or you can even do this with your bookcase. Close your eyes and let your hand dance across the book titles and notice where you feel called, then when you pick the book, open it up to a random page and read the sentence, paragraph or page. Be in a conversation with the divine by giving the divine an opportunity to speak to you.
3- Take Good Care of Yourself.
When I can't hear my intuition. When I don't know what to do. When I"m confused, weak, tattered and worn or torn and frayed, I actually do know what to do. I have to take good care of myself. Start simple. Get a good night rest, or 10. Take a hot bath or shower in the morning and at night (the healing and energetically cleansing powers of water are profound). Speaking of, drink more water and eat nourishing food. Greens, and then more greens. Lay off the sugar and alcohol for a couple days. Get back to center. These simple things will help clear your vessel alone, but beyond the recuperation and detoxing, take really good care of yourself by becoming more of a vessel with exercise, meditation and time with good friends. The more you move your body in a way that resonates with you, the more circulation of blood, oxygen, energy and the more you will clear yourself to be open to receive guidance. Meditation is a great way not only to bypass our thoughts and become a vessel of divine downloads. However, that usually happens with practice and at unexpected times. But, even when it doesn't happen that you have a profound meditation session, just beginning to sit with the intention to be still and listen to your breath, you quickly see your repetitive thoughts. The awareness of these auto-pilot fueled beliefs is powerful to help give them less credibility when deciding between a pure intuition and an old belief system, because you are more familiar with the pattern. Good friends are key. They see your blind spots when you don't. They remember your greatness when you forget. They tell you when it's time to check in with your intuition again. Make sure you have a few on your speed dial.
What does this have to do with Qoya? It hit me the other day while I was moving. The whole point of Qoya, of exercise, of travel, of dinner with friends, of watching a sunrise or sunset is to deepen this connection to spirit and that intuition is the listening, honoring and reverence of that dialogue with the divine. Most of us have been raised in a religious context that teaches us to talk to God through prayer, but not how to listen. Like all good relationships, if you don't listen, you can only go so deep in your connection. Your intuition is not this bizarre, new age, self-help, magic bullet to fix your life. Your intuition is the receptive part of the conversation, the listening to spirit guiding you, of the wisest part of you guiding you. And through movement and intention based practices like Qoya, you remember not only your essence is wise, wild and free, but, you remember how to feel your way through life. You remember how to use your body as a compass and you can practice in class trusting it. It's like an intuition training ground!
Be gentle with yourself. Start listening to your intention in a way that feels safe, like going on a walk. Go deeper into your inner world journey by pulling a card. And, keep it clean. It being you. Be a clear vessel that not only your body is a temple for the divine spirit that lives in you but a vessel for all the inspiration, love and enthusiasm that is streaming towards you, waiting for an opening that it can slide into.
You are so much stronger than you think. We all are.
P.S. Qoya Kids, Embodyqoya.com (an online Qoya studio) and more retreats are being announced next week!