Something happened when I was a teenager that disconnected me from myself in a slew of unfortunate ways. For a long time afterward, the only voice in my head was that tiny, negative inner critic with the really loud voice, the one that so quickly and emphatically tells you everything that’s wrong with you and your world without offering a single clue about what would make it right. Years of hearing this voice chipped away my self-confidence and any sense of self-efficacy I might have developed.
During that period I couldn’t hear the opposing voice—you know, the one that quietly and softly feeds supportive information and is really easy to ignore because you don’t know why it’s important or how you know what you know. Otherwise known as intuition, this is the voice of truth, empowerment, and integration, what Deepak Chopra describes as, “a form of intelligence that is beyond the rational mind.” I longed for the inner peace, calm, and organization that intelligence could make out of the chaos my inner critic was creating. Finally, in a bid to reclaim some positive energy balance, I deliberately resorted to exercises and games inviting that intuitive voice to speak to me. For example, walking to work I navigated a new route by asking, “Should I turn left or right here?” It may seem silly, but the process of inviting my intuition into inconsequential moments helped re-establish a working relationship that I transferred onto more important decisions.
Whether you’ve become disengaged from intuition due to neglect or you’ve experienced something that cut off all contact with it, it is possible—and incredibly beneficial—to create conscious healing that eliminates the rift.
How to Define “Intuition”
Since it’s more a feeling than a fact, defining intuition is challenging. Dictionaries explain it as “the ability to understand something immediately without conscious reasoning.”
Chopra, an expert in the fields of both science and spirituality, explains that when you experience intuition, your prefrontal cortex (the front part of your brain) lights up. Clearly, then, intuition is a measurable brain activity.
Yet it’s more than that. Chopra further describes it this way: “Intuition is a form of intelligence that is contextual, relational, holistic…. Literally it drops from the mind of the universe and is therefore nonlocal…. One of the best ways to exercise or develop your intuition is to learn to still the mind; ask a question; feel the body…. Intuition should come in the pure clarity of silence and should guide you into spontaneously making evolutionary choices.”
To find out more about how to develop, refine, and make a practice of utilizing intuition, I interviewed Simone Wright, an internationally recognized intuition expert. Author of First Intelligence: Using the Science and Spirit of Intuition, Simone has been hired by CEOs, law enforcement, athletes, and Hollywood stars. Plus, she’s appeared on The Oprah Winfrey show. In our interview Simone shared her personal and powerful intuition story, then offered tips for how you can reclaim your intuition connection today.
Define “intuition” and share your personal experience of learning to appreciate your gift.
From my perspective, intuition is the quiet voice of our higher self—our soul as it comes through our higher mind. We’ve all got it. It’s a huge misconception to assume that some folks are intuitively gifted and other folks aren’t. We’re born with it; it’s an inherent wisdom that is present with us from the moment of conception. And we do tend to shut it off. As a kid, intuition was always heightened for me. I would sense and see things as a kid and then be punished and reprimanded for it.
One of the most powerful experiences I had was that my father was getting ready to pass away. In the hospital the day before he died, I was in his room and could see through him. I was seven years old at the time, and he was transparent to me. It scared me and I sprinted from the room. I didn’t officially say good-bye to him, and he showed up at the foot of my bed later that night and said, “I’m going, my sweet girl. I’ve got to leave. Be good for your mommy. If you ever need me, I will always be here.” Then my mom showed up the next morning and said, “Daddy’s gone to heaven.” And I replied, “I know, Mommy. He was here last night and said good-bye.”
Throughout my childhood, I repressed things; I shoved it down and forbid myself from experiencing intuition because it was so frightening. It wasn’t until my late twenties, when my life was a complete and total disaster—my relationship, career, and money were a mess—I figured the person responsible for my messy life was my dad.
So I went to the cemetery in my hometown to have it out with him. By then I’d completely forgotten all of my intuitive stuff. I was in the cemetery in my mother’s car and just screamed and screamed at my dad, ending with the question, “Why weren’t you there for me, Daddy?!” And over my right shoulder, very clearly, a voice replied, “I’ve been here the whole time. You just weren’t listening.” And in that moment it was like my head blew open, and all of my intuitive experiences came flooding back to me. It was then that I decided not to stuff it anymore. From that moment forward, I made it my mission to learn the truth about intuition. I asked, “Just show me the truth,” and from there my own intuition came back very powerfully and led to the work I now do and my book.
You teach people worldwide how to develop intuition. What do you recommend for getting started?
It begins with a sense of play. When you start using that inner voice, you don’t want to use it right out of the gate for major decisions. The most fabulous place to start is moments that have zero pressure. For example, asking yourself, “Do I turn right or left here?” In this instance, you just play and see.
How do we get more comfortable with the power and the fear that sense of intuition can bring up?
The answer to that is very simple: Resist nothing. When the power of who we are—not only as physical beings but spiritual beings—hits us, there is so much power there that it can be terrifying. Our intuition is going to guide us to take action internally just as often as it’s going to guide us to take direction externally. It’s going to tell us to face that fear, forgive ourselves, be kind to ourselves, and guide us energetically long before it guides us externally.
During those times that I was using my intuition to guide me and just asking, “What do I do next?” the message always was “Resist nothing.” That was scary! But the moment I let go of the resistance was like pulling a plug out of a champagne bottle. All of that energy that I’d been resisting for so long because I was afraid of it and I didn’t understand it was given permission to move and go into all the cells in my body and it was like all of that energy gathered up all of the negative experiences that I’d stored and stuffed and resisted and allowed it to come to the surface.
Often we resist things because we don’t know if we can handle what would happen if we didn’t. How did you tap into that feeling that you could handle whatever happened if you followed your intuition?
A lot of times we think we can’t handle things, but our higher intuitive self says, “You’re not the little body that you think. You are grander, timeless, ageless, and beyond the physical. Don’t worry.” That higher, intuitive self has so much more power than the things we fear. It says, “You can face this and you will succeed.” That’s what our intuition guides us to, especially in instances of dealing with difficult things.
How can anyone start to reconnect to intuition after a period of feeling disconnected?
First, let’s clarify some verbiage: We’re always connected; we’re never disconnected. The differentiation is whether or not we’re engaged. We’re swimming in that intelligence like a soup. We’re in it; it’s in us. So give yourself permission to understand you are always connected; this is a universal principle. Go out into the world and say, “I am connected all the time to this intelligence.”
Second, ask, “Am I engaged with that intelligence?” How you engage is to start communicating. You just start talking. A lot of people on this adventure take it very seriously, but you can do this in a playful, cheeky way (this will actually allow you to engage more deeply and profoundly because playfulness is a higher vibratory energy, and your intuition comes from that same energetic space). So, for example, say, “All right, intuition, let’s see how you’re working for me today. I’m going to be open to listening to those subtle nudges. I’m going to be open to your guidance today. I’m going to be totally prepared to be surprised by what I hear or sense or feel or taste, and I might even be brave enough to follow that direction.” Step into the world with that sense of lightness, almost challenging your intuition/higher self to step up.
Third, intuition isn’t something coming from the angels, God, or whatever you call that power. It’s you; that higher version of you directing you. So it’s not a gift; it’s yours. You own it. Say, “This is mine,” and declare that. You don’t have to ask or beg for it…. walk into the world knowing that power is already yours. Seventy percent of this entire process is believing you already have access to it. The rest is fine-tuning and minutiae. Before you set your feet on the floor in the morning, set your intention by saying, “All right, intuition, my fabulous friend/guide/mentor/ally, lead me today and I’ll follow.” Then just watch what happens and take the direction.