Harness your intuition this summer
When was the last time you trusted your intuition?
For thousands of years we have trusted our intuition and our gut feeling – we have used both to successfully guide us and help us survive amongst our own species, against permanent threats, and drastic changes in the environment. But we’ve come to a point in time when modern work values and lifestyle seeded on logic and reason have taken over and alienated us from our intuition – our inner wisdom compass.
Have you ever experienced a feeling, a hunch, a strong physical sensation, or some type of inner voice telling you ‘this feels wrong’ or ‘this feels right, do it’? Have you listened to it? What were the results? Our intuition – our personal navigation tool – is too beneficial to ignore.
According to Arianna Huffington, co-founder and editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post, accessing our intuition, listening to and making use of it, is key to thriving at home, at work, and in life. In her best- selling book Thrive, Arianna shares the views of experts such as psychologist Martin Seligman and Michael Kanan on intuition:
“Many important decisions are not arrived at by linear reasoning, but by intuition. And more, intuition-based decision-making is a) rapid, b) not conscious, c) used for decisions involving multiple dimensions, d) based on vast stores of prior experiences, e) characteristics of experts, f) not easily or accurately articulated afterwards, and g) often made with high confidence.”
What’s holding us back from tapping into our intuition, this innate gift we have? If we have lost connection or blocked it for some reason, how can we access it again, nourish it and listen to it? How can we utilize our primal survival instinct gift?
A great metaphor that helps us understand how to connect with our intuition is imagining ourselves as a radio with antennae. We need to clear our antennae from external distractions to connect with our inner selves.
Here are 2 easy ways under your Power of Influence:
- Busyness of mind over the body –
We are living in our minds and we’re often disconnected from our bodies. We are the result of a stream of involuntary and incessant thinking, says Eckhart Tolle, author of the #1 New York Times bestseller of ‘The Power of Now’ and the highly acclaimed follow-up ‘A New Earth’. In his extensive work on the transformation of consciousness and true awakening, he explains that we are taken away from feeling truly ALIVE, being in the moment, and being whole, in part due to our multi-tasking world, the distractions of gadgets and in greater part, because of our incessant mental noise.
By missing out on being ALIVE we have lost consciousness and the delight of life – where we nurture the source of intuition, realization, contentment and creativity.
In ‘The Power of Now’ Ekhart Tolle shares that when people come to him for help, guidance and personal illumination, he replies: “You have it already. You just can’t feel it because your mind is making too much noise.”
Mindfulness is a powerful practice to bring us back to ourselves, to listen for silence, to listen for self, to listen for guidance, intuition and the body.
Here’s a short yet powerful video on YouTube from Eckhart Tolle on Listening for Silence (Excerpt from Creating a New Earth DVD): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mtuiEDBKgBU
When I see clients who are extraordinarily busy, all in their minds days and night, I ask them ‘What are you avoiding to connect with?’; ‘What is the busyness covering up?’; ‘How can you find silence within?’.
Reconnecting mind and body is a great first step toward tuning your antennae into the right frequency so you reconnect with your intuitive powers.
- Sleep deprivation
How is sleep deprivation connected to intuition? Now imagine your antennae weak, unable pick up any frequency, only picking up very low and subtle signals. We need to power them up and make them stronger!
If we are at the point of exhaustion, feeling low and at breaking point, how can we possibly connect with our inner selves? We simply don’t have the energy to do anything more than function on autopilot.
The National Sleep Foundation (NSF, US) recommends adults (26-64 years) sleep between 7-9 hours a night. People who believe that they can function on fewer hours of sleep are tricking themselves. There is evidence to suggest that only 1% of the population have a ‘short sleep’ gene. They are able to function well, despite sleeping less than 6 hours per night. Unless you’re in the minority, don’t kid yourself: you’re not designed to be a ‘short sleeper’.
Again, only we can decide: a) how much we want to change in our life; b) how far we want to go and c) how important this is to us.
Where do our intuition and inner wisdom take us?
Once we find our way ‘home’ we are ready for something greater – finding our place and meaning in this world.
In our lives and careers we often question ourselves – am I exploring my full potential? Am I fulfilling my life purpose and mission? Is this all I can do? This becomes more prevalent as we cross the 40th– line when we start to question what we have achieved so far and what’s missing. The answer to this ‘midlife crisis’ won’t be found in a sudden urge to invest in a fast car and late-night drinking, that’s for sure!
“80% of respondents admitted to going through life on autopilot”
(Source: US survey from accident prevention charity)
Professor of Behavioural Science at the London School of Economics and US Government well-being adviser Paul Dolan shared in his book Happiness by Design: Finding Pleasure and Purpose in Everyday Life that creating a meaningful and happy life is a choice: we can all find our answers to what makes us happy. Finding your true happiness is about connecting with what matters and striking a balance between our sources and life choices of pleasure (enjoyment) and purpose (meaning).
‘Being happier means allocating attention more efficiently; towards those things that bring us pleasure and purpose and away from those that generate pain and pointlessness,’ Dolan says.
Here are a few tips from his work to get you thinking.
Finding your purpose is about asking yourself questions such as:
- When did you last feel like what you were doing really mattered?
- What was happening that made you feel like that?
- What type of work or activity were you doing? What was your role in it?
Realizing what gives you pleasure is understanding what gives you a sense of enjoyment, such as:
- Where do you find enjoyment in life and at work?
- Think back to your last great day, be it at home, at work, or out and about: what happened that made you enjoy it so much? What specifically gave you pleasure?
- Think back to your last bad day: what specifically happened that made it bad and unenjoyable?
“Listen more to your real feelings of happiness than to your reflections on how happy you think you are or ought to be,” Dolan writes. I think we’d do well to listen to him!
If you are able to get those antennae up and running, reconnect with your intuition, nourish and listen to it, you can head in the right direction to where happiness lies. Because happiness is your birthright and not a byproduct of life!
As we approach the long and leisurely summer months, take the opportunity to stop and take stock of what really makes you happy. Take this opportunity to reflect, tap into your gift of intuition and inner wisdom to reassess your choices, and create the life you want. And, follow your hunches! Here’s to a mindful summer where we can slow down, clear the busyness, and rekindle our gift of intuition!
Recipe of the Month
Bircher muesli is one of our all-time favorite recipes guaranteed to set us up for the day with a handful of goodness!
Dr Maximilian Bircher-Benner, a Swiss doctor and nutritional pioneer, created this clever and delicious concoction for patients at his Zurich sanatorium at the turn of the last century. He strongly believed that much of the sickness experienced by his patients could be alleviated with a more nutritious diet and increased exercise. He was able to heal and prevent disease through a diet rich in raw grains, fruits, and vegetables, and with moderate exercise including walking and gardening daily.
This is a variation of the original recipe with a twist of cardamom for an Asian touch.
- Bircher Muesli with Almond Nut Milk and Chia Seeds
Preparation time: Overnight
Cooking time: no cooking required
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 1 green apple, grated without skin
- 1/2 cup almond milk
- 1 tbsp. of chia seeds soaked in water
- 1/2 cup plain yogurt
- 1/4 cup dried fruit (raisins, cranberries, apricots, etc.)
- 1/4 cup nuts, slivered or roughly chopped (almonds, walnuts, pecans, etc.)
- 1 teaspoon of cardamom seeds freshly grounded with no skin for a flavor twist
- Fresh berries
Mix all, transfer the mixture to an airtight jar, seal and refrigerate overnight. This allows the oats to absorb the milk. Serve cold or room temperature with fresh berries.
Almond Nut Milk
- 200gr (2cups) of raw almond nuts soaked for about 4hr and drained
- 750ml -1 liter (3 cups) filtered water
Blend the ingredients in a high-speed blender until smooth, then filter through a very fine strainer or a muslin bag.
Store for up to 2 days in the fridge in a glass jar with an airtight lid.
Enjoy and start your day on a high!
Manipura in the Media
As mums, we often ignore our intuition when it comes to self-care. We put the needs of others first and fail to recognise our bodies’ messages warning us to invest in ourselves. Read here for Cristina’s advice on postnatal depletion.
Do you find it difficult to switch off, fall asleep and stay asleep at night? You’re not alone. Read here for Cristina’s top tips to lay sleep challenges to rest once and for all.
I’d like to wish you all a wonderful summer break, wherever the next couple of months take you. I plan to enjoy downtime with my family and of course, to reset my antennae! I look forward to reconnecting with you all in September.
Manipura Wellness Practice