Who am I? An Intuition Exercise to Develop your Intuitive Abilities

What is intuition? It is the ability to get a sense, vision or feeling about someone or something. Intuition communicates with us through symbols, feelings and emotions. It usually does not speak to us in clear language. For example, an elevator door opens and inside stands a stranger. Before you step in the waiting elevator, the hair on the back of your neck stands up. This is fear, this is intuition. Should you get in the elevator with this person?

We all have intuition. I believe we are born with it. We use it as children – we do not know any better. We go on our instinct or gut. But as we grow older and our rational and reasonable mind develops, we lose touch with our intuition. We ignore it, cast it aside – forget about it. But like an out-of-shape muscle, intuition can be strengthened and exercised back into shape.

The easiest method is through concentration and deep breathing. By focusing on an object, relaxing, and taking deep breaths, we can retrain our minds to let our intuition surface. When we concentrate on a single object, once a day, everyday, and block out our rational mind, we begin the journey to get back in touch with our intuition.

The following is an exercise that will show you how your intuition operates. The exercise will help you get in touch with the real you. All you need is a quiet room, comfortable chair, paper and pencil and/or tape recorder. You will be answering three questions – take as much time as you need. Do each question in order – do not read ahead.

First of all, get comfortable, sit down, relax and take 3-4 deep cleansing breaths. Look at an object in the room, focus, concentrate, block everything else out. Do this as long as you can, at least 3-5 minutes. Answer the following questions in order.

Question 1: Now, close you eyes (if you like) and write down or tape record everything that comes to your mind – how you are feeling, what you are tasting, noises you are hearing and memories or pictures you visualize. Write everything down, no matter how insignificant. Don’t push yourself – let the impressions come to you.

For example – When I did this exercise, here is what I wrote: I hear the dryer. The clothes spinning around, humming, monotonous. I hear my breathing. I’m tired. I see myself standing on a street corner in Chicago when I was in my 20’s waiting for the bus to take me downtown to work. I remember my apartment on Cleveland Avenue – my roommate was an actress/waitress. I felt lost – I hated my job. I kept waiting for success, trying to figure out the right job for me.

My landlord walks up to me, he is a hairdresser, and he starts talking to me. I tune him out. I do not like him. I pretend to listen. Two or three buses pass us by filled with passengers. Another bus comes – 151 Sheridan, we get on the bus - standing room only - the landlord is still talking. The bus roars as it pulls away from the corner. I have a long navy blue wool coat on buttoned up to my neck. I look out the window, the sun is shining, and the sky is blue with white clouds. I see a homeless person lying face down in Lincoln Park on the green grass; his is either dead or sleeping. I wish I were at the park instead of going to a job I do not like, I think.

Question 2: Write down or tape record your good qualities, strengths, talents, skills, abilities, whatever you enjoy doing - are good at, etc. Try and be as detailed as possible. For example – Here is what I wrote when I did this exercise: good writer, good listener, perceptive, creative, sensitive, empathic, problem-solver, hard worker, smart, educated, published writer, go-getter, leadership skills, committed, can think "outside of the box", computer skills, love my children, love my home and community, desire to help others, notice when other people are suffering - can feel their pain, gentle, kind, giving, knowledgeable, quiet and friendly.

Questions3: Describe in detail what you do for a living, or just do right now, even if you are a student, unemployed or homemaker. For example - here is what I wrote when I answered this question: take care of family; clean house; wash dishes; do laundry; run errands; shop; try to start my own business selling cosmetics to beauty parlors, friends, family and over the Internet; read; eat too much; help my daughter with homework; cook meals; volunteer at school; and teach Sunday school.

Now that you have answered all three questions, compare and analyze the answers. Find similarities and dissimilarities between the three answers. Where in your life is harmony. Where is there discord? For example - here is my analysis when I did this question: I noticed from questions #1 and #3 that I was seeking success. I felt trapped, lost, and I did not know what I wanted. Also, I do things for other people and not for myself. I meet other people’s needs but not my own. I also noticed a lack of freedom. The passing busses represented, life passing me by. The navy coat, meant that I feel restrained, buttoned-up and that I cover up my true feelings. I interpreted the bus ride as feeling lost in a crowd, being taken to a destination that I did not want to go. The monotony and noise of the dryer, bus and hairdresser talking represented the monotony of my life and the noise of my head. I feel a lack of success. The homeless person I saw and not helped meant that I am not following my desire to help others from question #2.

Questions #1 and #3 also signify loneliness. My pretending to listen to someone I didn’t want to be around, signified that I go through life listening to authority figures, even ones I do not respect, instead of myself. In addition, I don’t speak up. I am not myself. I go through life pretending - going through the motions. The park, blue sky and sunny day represented my desire for freedom. The thought of my ex-roommate following her hearts desire means that I am not.

From question #2 I learned that I should use my listening skills, writing skills, intuitiveness, perception, empathy, kindness and leadership skills to help other people. I also love my children. I stay at home and take care of them. This is the harmony or balance in my life. As far as a job or a business, I realized that selling cosmetics is not truly helping people, it is only to make money. So I decided from this exercise that I am an intuitive (I have always known, but was in denial) and that I should use this ability to help others - through listening and writing. Seeing the hairdresser that I did not like could represent that trying to sell cosmetics to beauty salons may turn out negative. I am probably not going to be successful.

By Laura Peterson