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Instinctively knowing something about a place, situation or person without being aware of how you know – and that something later turns out to be correct – is the voice of your intuition speaking loud and clear. Problem is, we have so much mental chatter going on in our heads, it is often very hard to have the self-awareness needed to hear that voice. That’s why the following ritual turns a simple morning and evening activity – brushing your teeth – into a mindfulness exercise that helps increase self-awareness, so you can tune out the mental chatter and tune into your intuition at any time.
Mindfulness can help you filter out mental chatter, weigh your options objectively, tune into your intuition and ultimately make a decision that you can stand behind completely. -- Search Inside Yourself Leadership Institute
There’s no doubt mindfulness exercises can help you tune into your intuition. Research from Google’s Search Inside Yourself Leadership Institute recommends mindfulness techniques to help you connect with your intuition when you need to make important decisions.
Other studies confirm that enhanced intuition is an added benefit of mindfulness, along with greater inner calm, creativity and compassion for yourself and others. One study proposes that mindfulness is such a powerful intuition-igniting exercise because it increases self-awareness or knowledge. In short, the more you practise mindfulness, the better you get to know yourself and the better your decision-making process will be, proving the profound truth of that ancient saying, ‘Self-knowledge is the beginning of wisdom.’
MINDFULNESS TECHNIQUES ARE NOT COMPLICATED
Mindfulness techniques often appear complicated to the uninitiated, but all you need to do is become more aware of your environment and pay attention to what you are doing in the present moment in a non-judgemental way. Nothing could be simpler and more natural, and one of the best ways to introduce mindfulness into your life if you’ve never tried it before is through the simple act of brushing your teeth. Why?
Most of us brush our teeth morning and evening and it’s a repetitive (boring) task that we may often be tempted to rush and for this reason it is perfect for a mindfulness exercise. When we are brushing our teeth, we are on autopilot and in that alert but relaxed state so conducive to intuitive insight. You are doing something without much conscious thought and this gives your unconscious an opportunity to take centre stage and make intuitive connections.
And not only is brushing your teeth mindfully fantastic for igniting your intuition, but research suggests that it may also be good news for heart health and therefore your overall wellbeing, too.
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The more you trust your intuition, the more empowered you become, the stronger you become, and the happier you become. -- Gisele Bündchen
One of my readers, Sarah, wrote to me to tell me that she always thought of herself as a really analytical, logical person and in no way intuitive. She only read 21 Rituals to Change Your Life because the idea of bringing more order and purpose into her life through the power of ritual seemed logical.
Sarah told me she soon realized that this wasn’t a book about getting organized but about becoming more self-aware and taking a few moments of quiet time each day to reflect or seek inner calm. She had never really found time to appreciate the sacredness of the present moment before, but now she was approaching all her actions, even ones she did every day like brushing her teeth or washing her hair, with reverence and respect. Other benefits she discovered ritual brought to her life were better decision-making, greater self-awareness and confidence and the discovery of her intuitive voice.
Sarah also told me that she believed the mindful approach to life 21 Rituals to Change Your Life had encouraged her to develop may well have saved her life. She was in her car at a junction with her foot on the brake when the lights turned from red to green. Something told her not to take her foot off the brake quickly but to do it very slowly and, instead of ignoring that voice as she previously would have done because it wasn’t logical, she slowly and gradually released the brake before moving forward. There was no car behind, so she felt no pressure. But just as she was taking her foot off the brake, a motorcycle sped through the intersection, ignoring the red light.
If she had moved forward quickly there could have been a nasty accident. Sarah told me she believes her intuition may well have saved her life that day – and that of that foolish motorcycle rider.
BRINGING THE RITUAL TO LIFE
When you reach the end of what you should know, you will be at the beginning of what you should sense. -- Kahlil Gibran
My suggestion is do this ritual when you first brush your teeth after getting up. You may want to repeat it in the evening. When you reach for your toothbrush and put the toothpaste on it, make a commitment to pay full attention to what you are doing. Your mind will be surprised, as this is such a familiar action and you are approaching it in a new way. Be grateful for that mental surprise as this is the beginning of your ritual.
Smell the toothpaste when you put it on your brush. Study its colour and texture. How does it sound when you squeeze it out of the tube? Don’t think too much about all these things. It’s more a matter of observing and being fully aware or present in your actions.
When you put your toothbrush in your mouth, again focus all your attention on what you sense and feel. Be aware of your arm moving and your fingers holding the brush. Hear the sound brushing your teeth makes. Is the sound different when you brush your back teeth to when you brush your front teeth? Be mindful of how the bristles feel on your gums and your teeth.
If at any point you feel ridiculous doing this, remember brushing your teeth is perfect for mindfulness practice. It is repetitive, lasts a set period of time and is an activity which you can focus all your sensations upon.
Intuition is the clear conception of the whole at once. -- Johann Kaspar Lavater
No time: If you don't think you can manage this ritual because your morning is always rushed and you haven't got time to be mindful, put a sticker on your bathroom window with the words 'Take your tooth time'. You are going to be brushing your teeth anyway and ritualizing it is not going to take up any more time than usual when you brush your teeth. There's a big difference between being mindful (aware of the present moment) and taking your time (living life in slow motion.)
Mind racing: You may perform the ritual and find that instead of calming you it is has the opposite effect. Your mind is racing louder than before. If this is the case, the ritual is working because the exercise has made you aware of your thoughts, whereas before they were background noise you ignored or got used to.
Unrealistic expectations: You may expect instant results and be disappointed that you don’t immediately feel more connected to your inner wisdom. If this is the case, simply notice your impatience and reflect on it during the day. This will increase your self-awareness and the more self-aware you are, the more intuitive you are likely to be.
Distractions: If there are too many distractions in the morning when you brush your teeth – perhaps children or family needing your attention – the answer isn’t to shut yourself away but to notice these distractions and the impact they have on you. This will increase your self-awareness.
Perfectionism: If you do this exercise and feel annoyed with yourself because you can’t switch off from your thoughts or you don’t feel calm and centred, perfectionism is the roadblock. It’s impossible for anyone, however evolved, to be aware all of the time. Give yourself a break – even if you didn’t think the ritual was a success, the fact that you are trying it is progress enough.
Self-doubt: This is a deadly roadblock to personal growth and intuitive living. The solution is simply to observe rather than judge these feelings. Just because you feel or think something does not mean it is true. Remember, whatever roadblock you encounter when practising mindfulness isn’t an insurmountable obstacle, just something that is happening.
The moment one gives close attention to anything, even a blade of grass, it becomes a mysterious, awesome, indescribably magnificent world in itself. -- Henry Miller
Brushing your teeth is something you are going to do at least once a day every day for the rest of your life, so why not turn this repetitive action you probably do on autopilot into an intuition-sparking ritual? Why not look at other actions you do every day, such as eating or even the chats you have with your loved ones and reflect on whether these, too, have become routine?
Focusing your full attention on brushing your teeth and all you do during the day as if it is the first time not only keeps your teeth pearly white and sparks your intuition, it also benefits your health, your relationships, your life.
Brushing your teeth mindfully is a ritual because a ritual is something you do that has deep meaning. Focusing on the present moment in a mindful way gives that moment deep meaning. Indeed, if you aren’t mindful when you carry out all the rituals in this book, they become meaningless. I hope that this ritual in particular will not only encourage a more mindful approach to your daily life, but reinforce all the other rituals in this book. All 21 rituals are designed to boost your intuition, but they won’t ignite your intuition unless they are performed with deep awareness, reverence and gratitude for the present moment.
DO IT: BRUSH AND FLOSS
Intuition comes very close to clairvoyance; it appears to be the extrasensory perception of reality. -- lexis Carrel
Before you begin, tell yourself this moment and this toothbrushing ritual will happen and the present moment is one filled with infinite power and possibility. Then focus all your attention on the action of brushing your teeth.
You must not simply think or talk about brushing your teeth, you have to do it. You have to pick up the toothpaste and toothbrush. You have to unscrew the cap of the toothpaste, squeeze it on your toothbrush in your other hand and then brush and rinse until you have finished. If flossing is part of your dental hygiene routine, approach this in the same mindful way.
How To Turn Brushing Your Teeth Into A Mindfulness Exercise
This ritual could not be simpler. At some point in your day you are going to brush your teeth, so all you need to do is brush your teeth mindfully.
Mindfulness, remember, is giving your complete attention to a current experience or action in a non-judgemental way, so when you brush your teeth today you focus entirely on observing what you are doing with care and joy and don’t allow yourself to be distracted by other things. Pay careful attention to the toothpaste and toothbrush, the flow of water in your sink and when you start brushing be fully present and involve all your senses of sight, smell, hearing, taste and touch.
Savour brushing and flossing your teeth for however long you need to brush them. If thoughts wander into your mind, just watch them pass through, and if feelings surface, avoid judgement. Know that they will all pass.
When you have finished your tooth-brushing ritual, give thanks for the understanding of what is happening right now that it has brought you. Know that with your intuition there are no doubts and questions about the present moment. Intuition, like the present moment, just is.
FOR THE RECORD
Intuition-igniting ritual: Brush your teeth mindfully.
The theory: The more mindful you are of a simple, routine action like brushing your teeth, the more calm, self-aware and focused you become and the better able to hear your intuition speaking to you.
The practice: When you brush your teeth mindfully, you may find yourself approaching other routine tasks with self-awareness and non-judgement.
The more time you spend in the present moment, free from thoughts about the past and future, the more intuitive you are likely to become because intuition thrives in the spontaneity, freedom and deep awareness of the present moment.
©2019 by Theresa Cheung. All Rights Reserved.
Excerpted with permission. Publisher: Watkins,
an imprint of Watkins Media Limited.
21 Rituals to Ignite Your Intuition
by Theresa Cheung
Like optimism, intuition can be cultivated. Research has shown that contrary to popular opinion intuition isn't something we are born with and it doesn't come naturally to everyone. Intuition is a skill that we can learn and we can get better at it the more we practise. Drawing on science, psychology and Theresa's techniques this book offers 21 simple and proven daily rituals to help you tune in to your inner wisdom and start making better decisions in your life today. (Also available as an Audiobook and in Kindle format)
For more info and/or to order this book, click here.
About the Author
Theresa Cheung has a Masters from King's College Cambridge and has spent the last twenty years writing bestselling books and encyclopaedias about the psychic world. Two of her paranormal titles reached The Sunday Times top ten and her international bestseller, The Dream Dictionary, regularly bounces to number 1 on the Amazon dreams bestsellers chart. Visit her website at www.theresacheung.com