Have you ever found yourself unable to ignore a strong gut instinct about a situation? These inexplicable experiences that we dismiss as mere coincidence are often tied to our inner knowing, also called innate wisdom, intuition, or our inner guide. This inner guide has special ways of communicating with us—can we become better at listening to it?
Which Clair Are You?
I recently offered readers a quiz to determine which of the four intuition styles matched theirs: clairvoyant, clairaudient, clairsentient, or cognizant.
[Read: “Take This Fun Intuition Quiz to Determine Your Intuitive Style.”]
While your intuitive style will align with one of the “clairs,” we have the ability to utilize all four of these senses to tap into truth and tune into higher realms of awareness to receive guided messages. Outlined below are each of the main clair senses and an exercise to help you strengthen your connection to it.
Clairvoyants—Clear Seeing/Inner Seeing
Clairvoyance translates to “clear seeing” in French and is described as our third eye in various cultures. If this is your dominant style, your intuition speaks directly to you in the form of sight. You form images in your mind or interpret information through pictures. When people speak to you, you may see images to interpret what they say, and you learn best by seeing and experiencing. Your life is like a little movie inside your head: you see things unfold, and each image guides you on the right path.
Exercise to Improve Your Clairvoyance Skills
- Sit quietly with your eyes open. Breathe in and out steadily.
- Focus on an object in front of you, such as a plant, crystal, book, coffee cup, etc. Make sure it is a still object and won’t move.
- Continue to focus your attention on the object but start to increase awareness of your peripheral vision.
- In your mind, take note of the objects and furniture around you.
- If you see shadows, sparks, or movement, keep focused on the item in front of you.
- Sit for as long as you feel comfortable (usually 3–5 minutes).
- Make notes/journal on what you saw and felt.
To sharpen your clairvoyance, do this exercise often. Pay attention to any internal vision that takes place and changes in your awareness.
[Read: “Open Awareness Meditation: A Remedy for Anxiety, Stress, and Burnout.”]
Clairaudience is a way of receiving intuitive messages without using your physical ears but rather hearing messages within your mind. Your higher self (some call it spirit or simply the universe) talks to aurally. When clairaudient abilities are beginning to open up, you may notice ringing or pressure changes in your ears (such as popping or buzzing noises), or you may start to hear voices. Don’t worry, you are not experiencing mental illness but rather opening up to your intuitive channel. For example, you may suddenly hear that little voice inside you say, “Go right!” or “Stop!” Trust it; this is your intuition guiding you.
Exercise to Improve Your Clairaudience Skills
The easiest way to develop your clairaudience is to practice sensitizing your hearing.
- Go to a place where you are comfortable and at ease. (Nature lovers: try doing this in a calm outdoor space.)
- Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths in and out.
- Set the intention that you want to improve your intuition and connection by increasing your psychic hearing.
- Relax your body and let hearing be your main focus and dominant sense.
- Gently tune in to sounds that you don’t normally focus on. What can you hear? Perhaps squirrels running or even cars whirring by. If indoors, maybe floor creaks or the cycling of heating or cooling systems.
- Really pay attention to the layers of sounds and feel into each new vibration.
- Document your findings in a journal or audio message you record for yourself.
Try this exercise in several locations and journal on the experience. Stretch yourself and try your intuition style in different directions and with different focus.
For those who intuit in a clairsentient style, so-called gut feelings are guiding you. Clairaudience is the ability to receive sounds and messages inaudible to the wider world. The sounds that can be heard are highly diverse, from words and names to music and even the sounds of major events. If you relate, then you most likely are able to receive intuitive messages via feelings, emotions, or physical sensations. Empathy (feeling the emotions of others) is also a form of clairsentience. You get all your information via feeling or sensing subtle energies around you.
Exercise to Improve Your Clairsentience Skills
- Ask a friend or family member to show you a picture of someone they know very well, but whom you’ve never met.
- Look at the picture and feel into it by observing all aspects. Try to focus on the person’s eyes and try to tune into their energy. Focus your energy on how this person was feeling when the picture was taken. Were they happy, disenchanted, relaxed? You may feel a burst of energy, such as stress. (Note that if this is the first time you’re practicing clairsentience, you may just pick up basic negative or positive vibes. But the more you do it, the easier it will be to feel into the energy.)
- Ask yourself what kind of person this individual is. Would you trust this person?
- Share your findings with your friend.
- Now, ask your friend for feedback. How correct were you? Repeat this exercise as many times as you want with different people.
Claircognizance is the ability to just know something without logic or facts. For example, if you know that you shouldn’t accept a certain invitation but don’t know why, that is claircognizance. Claircognizant feelings can be very strong. They can also pop into your head at random, and so it’s often the most mistrusted or misunderstood of intuitive abilities because there is no real evidence, just an inner pull. The ego mind will try to convince you its messages aren’t true, but your heart and inner knowing have certainty; you know the truth. Always trust it.
Exercise to Improve Your Claircognizance Skills
The best way to amplify your inner knowing is with automatic writing. This form allows you to know for sure that the messages you are receiving are trustworthy.
- Grab a pen and pull out your notebook. Before you start writing, ask your higher self a question, such as:
What guidance do I need today?
How can I find resolution with a problem?
How can I be of service today?
- Then set a timer for five to twenty minutes, and write whatever comes to you. Don’t edit yourself or worry about spelling, grammar, or even legibility—just write.
- Express yourself fully and write whatever comes to you without thinking about it.
- The more you do this exercise, the easier it will be. Trust yourself and the messages you receive.
All exercises are excerpted from Shannon Kaiser’s new book Return to You: 11 Spiritual Lessons for Unshakable Inner Peace
published by Sounds True, April 2022.