Giving Your Intuition a Seat at the Table

We have two inner voices. One voice comes from the rational brain - the temptress, the rebel who wants what she wants when she wants it, the voice that is governed by "shoulds." The other voice is that still quiet inner knowing, what is called our intuition.

Our intuition is our best guide and a welcome companion to our rational mind. Together they produce an unstoppable team, and allow us to live a life of ease....

Easily accessing your intuition is a special gift. Feeling pressure to be logical and conform to what we think others want is fairly common. Pleasing others is a tough habit to break. Remind yourself that your inner knowing is your most trusted friend. Practice giving it the right-of-way, and you'll see that your choices will yield a life of joy, love, and peace, now and over the long run.

Can't Contact Your Intuition?

You may be making it harder than it is. The reality is that at any moment you can tap into your inner knowledge. Whether you're considering revving up on a third cup of coffee, dating an unavailable man, or fudging your income taxes, if you choose to listen within you will get some really helpful information. You really do know the answer. Intuition is always at the ready.

Like any skill, contacting your inner voice gets better and easier with practice. Consulting your intuition can become second nature, and as your point of reference changes, you'll no longer waste time justifying your position to others. When your intuition illuminates what's true for you and you've learned to trust it, the need for validation from others lessens.

Your life will cease to be driven by woulda, coulda, or shoulda. As you begin to trust what you hear, self-confidence grows. You slowly develop the faith that no matter what transpires or what emotions arise, you'll be alright if you stay true to what you know in your heart.

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The point is to listen and then obey! Translate into action what you really know within.

How to Hear Your Intuition

Learning to hear your intuition requires a one hundred and eighty degree turn from "out there" to "in here." The process is straightforward but takes practice. Here's how:

1. Stop and be quiet. Your inner voice resides in silence so you have to slow yourself down. First, calm your body so your mind becomes more settled. Shivering vigorously for a minute will remove emotional static, as will shedding a few tears or pushing against a doorjamb. Taking several deep breaths also temporarily quiets your mind and body so you can be fully present. Accompany your soothing, centering activity by repeating truths: "Everything will be all right. One thing at a time. I know what I know."

2. Ask your question, general or specific. If you've never consciously called on your intuition, start with something small and immediate, such as whether you should call in sick at work. Pose your question. You might try one of these:

* What's true for me about this specific topic?

* What do I want?

* What do I need?

* What do I feel?

* What do I need to do?

  Or try a more specific question, such as:

* Do I need to talk to my husband about what I'm feeling?

* What do I need to do about my bad knee?

* Should I work out after work tonight?

3. Be open and listen for the answer. It doesn't have to be profound; it's simply what you know beneath the mental chatter and opinions of others. One of the biggest clues that you're hearing intuition is that it feels right in your body. Hearing your heart's truth brings a peaceful inner sensation, a relaxing, freeing, "yes" feeling.

How does it sound to you when you say it out loud? The wisdom of your inner voice rings pure and truthful. There's no mind noise. It brings an expansive, tranquil feeling. Messages from your heart don't begin with "I guess..." or "I think I should..." or "I'd better..." That's your mind talking. If the answer is complicated, you can be sure you aren't hearing your intuition. Likewise, if what you hear sounds flat or empty, or has a negative edge or tone, you still haven't contacted your inner voice.

What To Do If You Can't Hear Your Intuition

You might be trying too hard. Your intuition's messages are usually fairly obvious. But if you've asked a question repeatedly and still can't hear an answer, emote, and/or repeat a reliable truth for a couple of minutes, and then ask again. Or pose your question in a different way. Trying on some different wording may be just the thing. If that's still a no-go, take a more rational, logical approach. Expand your perspective by browsing through books, crunching numbers, or seeking opinions from experts and people you respect. Put a reasonable time frame on your data collection. Then pose your question again. Your answer will emerge in due time.

If you're having trouble accessing your intuition, shiver some more, then gently ask your question again. More likely than not, you already do know the answer. Just stop telling yourself that you don't. Ask, "What's true for me about this specific topic?" If you doubt the answer, you can subject it to scrutiny by asking again. If you've heard your intuition, you'll get the same answer. If not, you'll hear rationalizations or justifications.

Do the same if you aren't getting a clear communication: ask yourself after expressing your emotions. Or set a specific time in the future to ask again. Some people recommend asking once a day and then giving it a rest. Be diligent in your inner inquiry, and something will emerge even if it is that it's not time to know yet.

You can also rid yourself of emotional interference by using your thoughts. If, for example, you're bombarded by negative self-talk (e.g., "I can't decide," "It doesn't matter," or "I don't care"), power on truths such as:

* I know.
* This is important.
* I care.

As you repeat these statements, be sure to nod your head up and down, not side to side. Gently but persistently ask yourself:

* What do I know when I'm clear?

* What does the best of me say to do about this?

* What's true for me about this?

Ignoring, Rather than Obeying, Our Inner Voice

Tapping into our intuition is one thing. Obeying it is another. Our habitual drive to control events or seize momentary pleasure makes listening a bit tough. Being true to our intuition may be inconvenient or uncomfortable. It may not jibe with other people's desires. That's why all too often the mind undermines faith in your inner voice. Moving out of your parents' house and getting an apartment or taking a job that pays considerably less could feel daunting but be intuitively correct.

When you ask within, "Is this relationship over?" and hear a resounding yes, the part of you that resists change and wants to avoid pain laments, "I don't want to break up. Not right before the holidays. I can't bear the thought of him becoming involved with someone else."

Your mind is seductive! It can convince you of almost anything, including settling for the status quo. You start doubting yourself. "Maybe my standards are too high. Maybe he'll change. At least he's not violent. Maybe I'll never find anyone any better." Six months later, there you are in the same unfulfilling relationship. Why? Because you ignored your intuition to avoid the temporary pain of breaking up.

Once you get a clear intuitive hit, hold on to it, it's your anchor amidst the choppy seas of the mind that will try to blow you away from your heart. You'll always know you will be safe.

 ©2017 by Jude Bijou, M.A., M.F.T.
All Rights Reserved.

Book by the Author

Attitude Reconstruction: A Blueprint for Building a Better Life
by Jude Bijou, M.A., M.F.T.

Attitude Reconstruction: A Blueprint for Building a Better Life by Jude Bijou, M.A., M.F.T.With practical tools, real-life examples, and everyday solutions for thirty-three destructive attitudes, Attitude Reconstruction can help you stop settling for sadness, anger, and fear, and infuse your life with love, peace, and joy.

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About the Author

Jude Bijou, M.A., M.F.T., author of: Attitude ReconstructionJude Bijou is a licensed marriage and family therapist (MFT), an educator in Santa Barbara, California and the author of Attitude Reconstruction: A Blueprint for Building a Better Life. In 1982, Jude launched a private psychotherapy practice and started working with individuals, couples, and groups. She also began teaching communication courses through Santa Barbara City College Adult Education. Visit her website at

* Watch an interview with Jude Bijou: How to Experience More Joy, Love and Peace

* Watch video: Shiver to Express Fear Constructively (with Jude Bijou)