I have been intuitive all of my life, even though I didn’t realize it until I was almost 40!! Up until then I thought my intuitive messages were simply lucky breaks or just part of my quirky personality that sometimes sees things differently. There were times however, when people were surprised by what I had said and asked me; “How did you know that?” and I usually laughed it off, because I had no idea how I knew: other than I did. Sometimes it didn’t make logical sense either, but I often trusted it to be right, and mostly it was. In my 40s, through healing, exploring, studying and during my training to become a Life Coach, I began to understand my intuitive messages and develop them more fully. Now I can’t imagine what it would be like to live without it as my guide—and it’s an incredibly useful tool in my line of work.

Some of you may be thinking, “Well, that’s all very good Jennie, but I’m not intuitive.” Let me stop you right there, and say, “Yes, you are!” All young children naturally use intuition. Before language is fully developed, children step easily between reality and imaginary worlds. Just look how involved they become in fairy stories! And so for them sensing, seeing, feeling and hearing things that aren’t perhaps part of our logical, physical world is not unnatural to them. However, our educational system is firmly attached to the intellect and physical world and so children learn to trust only what can be proved and reasoned. BUT your intuition never leaves you. Even if it’s a very quiet voice in the background of your life—you can turn-up the volume once more and let it enrich your life.

Mystical or Natural Ability?

Intuition has a mystical aspect to it, but mostly it gives you little nuggets of information in very practical ways. Let me give you some examples of intuitive messages that you may have dismissed as something else:

Driving home you suddenly decide to take a different route. Later you hear there was a lengthy traffic jam on your ‘normal’ route. Was this just chance or good luck?

You suddenly think about an old friend you’ve not seen for ages, and then later that day, you bump into them, or they telephone you. Is this just co-incidence? 

You are about to do something and a nagging inner voice says: “No, don’t do it!” But you do it anyway, and then everything goes badly wrong. Is this just bad luck?

You visit a town you’ve never been to before, yet it ‘feels’ like you know it already. You convince yourself you must have seen it in a film or have read about it.

A stranger suddenly makes you feel anxious. You hurry away then later laugh at yourself for being so silly and dismiss the anxiety as nothing to be concerned with.

Even if none of these resonate with you, I’m willing to bet there have been times in your life when you have done something that didn’t quite make sense (logically) but you did it because it ‘felt’ right. This is your intuition. So lets look at this in more detail.

What is intuition?

Intuition conveys messages and a ‘knowing’ to you. You become aware of these messages without conscious thought or rationale of how you ‘know’ this information. It’s an inner wisdom as opposed to information that has been ‘processed’ with your thinking mind. In other words you didn’t read it, watch it nor were you told it. Intuition is an innate ability. It’s true that some people are naturally more intuitive: but everyone has this ability and everyone can develop further if they wish to do so.

How does your intuition ‘talk’ to you?

Intuition ‘talks’ to you in many different ways. Usually the message is a combination of subtle changes in your body, energy and sensing. However, to make it easier to show you how it usually appears, I am separating it into 5 different intuitive channels. Please remember you will usually experience your intuition in more than just one way even for the same message.

Changes in your body: I have found most people have experienced their intuition in this way. The word ‘experienced’ in this instance is literal. Your body senses something at an energetic level and it responds with a reaction that can be strongly felt in the body. These are some examples:

Your body changes it’s temperature making you feel cold, shivery, hot or flushed.
Your legs feel heavy and/or your feet feel rooted to the spot.
Your stomach begins to churn or it becomes knotted.
Your heart beats faster, or it feels like it is heavier than usual.
Your hands begin to tremble, tingle or become sweaty.
Your sense of smell or taste is heightened.

Of course there may be other reasons why you are experiencing these symptoms in your body, but when these are not related to health issues, this is your intuition talking to you. Often these messages are warnings: be extra vigilant, take care, be wary. Common expressions about these intuitive messages are: “I had a gut feeling”, “It smelt fishy to me”, “My stomach was churning” and “My heart was racing”

Knowing: There is a strong sense of knowing something for which you have no proof. It seems this  ‘knowing’ has come from nowhere (although there are often more subtle changes that you just hadn’t noticed, but collectively they are summed up as ‘knowing’). Sometimes these messages contradict intellectual thoughts. In these cases, your language may show this confusion with mutterings such as: “It doesn’t make sense, but…” These intuitive messages frequently show up as:

You feel certain despite logical reasoning: this option strongly ‘feels’ right for you.
Every logical argument you throw against it doesn’t squash the feeling.
If you can ‘see’ it your minds eye, this option shines more brightly than any others.
If you can ‘hear’ it, it keeps clamouring for your attention.

Again, these messages show up for different reasons, but they are often about opportunities. Our language reflects this form of intuition with: “An inkling”, “It feels right”, or “I can’t explain it: I just know”.

Clairaudience: These intuitive messages are heard. They usually come through as a spoken voice, but they can show up as music or other sounds too. We all have voices in our head that represent different aspects ourselves. A few of them are: the worrier, the critic, the pleaser, the vulnerable child and the carer. If you have clairaudient abilities, you can clearly identify your intuitive voice from these other voices, or you can hear messages spoken from the spirit world. Clairaudient messages are usually very personal. Your intuition wants you to ‘hear’ specific words so you can understand the message.

For me, these messages frequently show up in music. For example I get in to the car, switch on the radio and I notice a particular song. Then I quickly hear the same song again, for example at the supermarket, gym or wherever I am going. Then I hear it third time on the same day, when I would not have expected to hear it again (e.g. it’s not in the Top 20 nor a recent song). Then I pay attention. What is this song trying to tell me? Is it the words, the feeling it conveys or does it remind me of an earlier event in my life when I was fond of this song?

Clairvoyance: These intuitive messages are seen in dreams or in visions. They can be personal, or about events that have happened, or about the future. Intuitive dreams are different from normal dreams that are highly symbolic. They are usually so real it’s not unusual to wake up suddenly with a total recall of the dream. If you have clairvoyant abilities, you may also get visions of past or future events. Visions are like dreams but whilst you are awake. Places, people or objects may trigger these visions. Sometimes the first time you are aware of your clairvoyant abilities is a strong sense of déjà vu.

Clairvoyants can often see auras too (the energetic field shown as coloured ‘mist’ around the person, animal, plants or inanimate object). Different colours in the aura indicate what is going on and can be ‘read’ by talented clairvoyants.

Clairsentience: These intuitive messages are felt emotionally either by recognition, or by actually feeling them in your own body. Emotional energy can be sensed from people, places or objects. When it’s from people, it’s most usually about what is going on for them right now—in the present moment. Adept clairsentient people may understand the emotional realm because they are well versed in their own emotional language or, conversely, they are able to relate to emotions in others because they are unable to relate to their own. This is latter case is often due to a traumatic childhood event where they detached themselves and in the process they became expert readers of other people’s emotions, in order to stay safe.

Nearly everyone has some clairsentient abilities. For example when you walk into a room and someone is there, you often will know how they are feeling without asking them. Like when you walk towards your spouse, partner, child or work colleague and you ‘know’ they are frustrated, worried, sad or feeling something else. You instantly know it before they have even said a word. Yes, you may be getting some clues from their body language, but the subtle differences in the emotions are picked up by your intuition. This natural ability is to keep you safe. Reading these emotional messages tells you whether they are a friend to be trusted and helped or whether you need to fight or flee.

How to develop your intuition

Developing your intuition begins with becoming more aware of what your senses are noticing. Your subconscious is picking up vast amounts of information through your senses that your conscious mind doesn’t see, hear, smell, taste or feel. A first step then is to become more aware of what is there already that you are missing. Try this exercise to see how much more you notice when you begin to pay attention.

Take a pen and paper. Ask yourself: “What can I see?” Notice what you are seeing in this moment and write it down. Notice what you are being drawn to. Usually you will find your eyes beginning to focus on one thing. Be curious as to why that is. If anything occurs to you, write this down too. Try stretching your periphery vision too: what can you see that is to the far left and far right of you. Don’t turn your head: instead ‘see’ it.

Now ask yourself: “What can I hear?” Through the jumble of noise, what is the loudest, sharpest and softest? Again, pay attention to the sounds and their frequencies. Why are you being drawn to notice these?

Repeat this exercise asking yourself what you smell, taste (yes, even when you are not eating!) and feeling. For feelings include body sensations as well as your emotions.

Finally, ask yourself, “What do I know?” Let this knowing be of the moment rather than all of the facts and figures you have in your head. Be curious. Try not to edit it nor make sense of it. Just let yourself write down the answer that comes to you.

When you have finished writing, check-in with yourself and ask if there is a pattern or commonality that links some or all of the things that you particularly noticed. Don’t worry if nothing is apparent. Just expanding your consciousness in this way is a beginning. Repeating this exercise from time-to-time improves you ability to notice the subtleties of what is going on around you and will help you become more intuitive.

Another way to encourage your intuition is to expand your listening abilities. In “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” Stephen Covey states: “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand: they listen with the intent to reply”. Try listening to everything someone is saying. Coaches and counselors are trained in a process called active listening, but everyone can become better listeners. If you really listen, you will begin to notice differences in speed, energy, passion and intonation of someone’s voice and it tells you so much more than words alone!

Begin noticing ‘odd’ things. Like when you see, hear or feel the same things in quick succession. See if you can spot a pattern. Take a stab at what it might mean. The best way of doing this is to record it in a journal, and then you have a record that you can check to see if your intuitive interpretation was right. By the way, my view is that your intuitive messages are always correct, BUT your interpretation of the message can be wrong—sometimes way off of the mark! However, the more you flex your intuitive muscles, the better you will become. 

Finally, your intuition is ‘talking’ to you all of the time. But if you keep applying logic to it, ignoring it, or are too wound-up to listen (see or get), then it has a hard time to get-through to you. Relaxing, sitting quietly for a few minutes each day will again help you ‘notice’ the things that you may otherwise miss. Most of all have fun playing with what your intuition is telling you. Remember, it is a tool. It doesn’t replace your intellect, but used wisely your intuition can open all kinds of doors that may have been closed to you before and it will greatly enrich your life.