Oftentimes, we hesitate using our intuition because of the "risk" of being wrong. What if the "voice" we're hearing, or the hunch we're getting is wrong? In some situations, as in chemo or not chemo, operation or not operation, change jobs or not, divorce or not, it's a "life-threatening" or life-altering choice.
However, if we've developed an ongoing relationship with our inner guidance, then when these monumental decisions come along, we've already developed the confidence and the ability to tune in to our inner voice and trust that what it tells us is for the best.
How To "Practice" Your Intuition
I usually end my day, just before turning off my computer for its well deserved night of rest, by playing a game of solitaire (spider solitaire actually). I find that playing a round (or two) of spider solitaire relaxes me and puts my brain in a "non-work" state. It's become my brain's cue: OK, all systems down, she's going to bed.
However, I've just discovered a side benefit of playing solitaire. I use it as an opportunity to tune in to my intuition, and most importantly, to listen to it. After all, what do I have to lose... just one round of solitaire. Not very drastic. It's simple, it's fun, and it's harmless. What could be better than that?
Playing Solitaire to Increase Intuition
OK, I'm going to assume here that every one of you has played solitaire (or one of its many variances) at least once, so you understand the concept of the game. Now, in solitaire, there are often situations where you can choose one of several moves... So then, which one is the best? Sometimes it's obvious, but not always, and then sometimes the obvious choice is not the best.
So, my new "spider solitaire practice" involves asking my "Self" which card to move where. Now in some instances, I just don't see why the suggestion I receive is a better choice than another, but since I'm using the session as an "intuition practice" session, I go along. And lo and behold, there's the card that I'd been needing, tucked under the card I just moved. Ah, ha! That's why you wanted me to move that particular card and not the other one!
What's The Best Action?
In the same way, a lot of times in life, our intuition or inner guidance suggests a particular course of action. And at times, we don't see "why on earth" that would be a good thing to do. So, then, we have a choice as we always do - it's called free will.
If we've become dependent on the ego making choices for us, then perhaps we don't listen to our guidance and end up, further down the road, banging our head against the wall... remembering, or maybe not, that our intuition had suggested a different course of action.
However, there are times, and hopefully more and more of them, when we choose to follow the suggestion of our inner guidance and take the step that we intuitively feel is the right one. And what happens? Sometimes it's an instant recognition that it was the right choice -- other times it can take years, but at some point we realize that our guidance or intuition was right! Isn't it always?
When Is Intuition Wrong?
Ah, you might say, "There are times when I listened to my intuition, and it really messed things up". I would beg to differ. I would be willing to wager that the choice you took was not coming from your intuition or inner guidance, but rather from your mind or ego.Those two can be pretty convincing!
So, the key is to get a chance to practice using our intuition in situations where the choices are not life-threatening or life-changing, so that when it's really important we've learned to recognize the voice of our guidance and trust it. And that's where the game of solitaire comes in. By the way, you can also use this "intuition practice" in a lot of other situations, such as: to choose what clothes to wear, what to eat, what time to go to bed, etc. etc.
How to Use Solitaire as Intuition Practice
What I found works best for me (though some other method may work better for you) is to ask my self: Which card is the best one to move next? This one? and then "listen inside" for a uh-huh, or an uh-uh response (that a yes or a no response). Then when I've pinpointed the card to move, then I either mentally or physically start moving it to the various possibilities and ask, Do I move it here... or here? and again listen for the uh-huh or uh-uh response.
Now some of you may be more visual than auditory, or you may feel something inside rather than "hear" a response, or perhaps one of the card seems more vibrant than another. Some people use their body as a pendulum -- in other words, you feel a sway either as a no or as a yes, in the same way that your head nodding is a yes, and your moving back and forth is a no. Whatever method works best for you is the one you want to use. It needs to be simple and feel natural to you. The goal is to perceive the response to your question.
Asking For What You Want
It's also a great opportunity to ask for what you want -- as in, I need an eight. And lo and behold, you follow guidance to move the card suggested by the inner counselor, and there's your eight as your next card is "flipped over".
I find it all to be great fun, and not only am I getting practice at tuning in and listening to my intuition, I'm also winning more games and getting much better scores in my nightly round of spider solitaire. Seems like a win-win situation to me!
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About The Author
Marie T. Russell is the founder of InnerSelf Magazine (founded 1985). She also produced and hosted a weekly South Florida radio broadcast, Inner Power, from 1992-1995 which focused on themes such as self-esteem, personal growth, and well-being. Her articles focus on transformation and reconnecting with our own inner source of joy and creativity.
Creative Commons 3.0: This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License. Attribute the author: Marie T. Russell, InnerSelf.com. Link back to the article: This article originally appeared on InnerSelf.com