How to grow your intuition and connect to Spirit
Or: what may be preventing you from accessing your gifts
I am often asked: “How do I grow my intuition or increase my spiritual connection to the universe?” Followed by: “What can I do to immediately solve all of my life’s problems? And how I can I do it with minimal effort? By the way, can you do it for me?”
OK, no one actually says those latter parts. But you do think them. Admit it, don’t be shy. I think them, often.
This intuition question is the spiritual version of “how can I loose weight without altering my diet, exercise, stress levels, sleep patterns and lifestyle? And how can I get immediate results?”
Google weight loss, you will find thousands of books, programs and articles, many claiming to have found that one simple, magic formula. Actually, don’t google for weight loss advice, you may break the internet with so many hits.
I want the magic formula too, but alas, the only formula that works is: desire + hard work + consistency + honesty = results.
I am a big fan of Ayurveda – one of the world’s oldest holistic, body, mind and spirit approaches to healing. A fundamental principle in Ayurveda is: “opposites create balance.”
What is the opposite of spiritual growth? Blocks! Blocks to spiritual growth are direct opposites to the growth itself.
What do we do about those blocks? Clear them, of course. Chuck, ditch, exterminate, eliminate, dump, expel.
But that’s later. First we must recognize them. Give them a name. Call a spade a spade. Take them out of the obscurity of our subconscious. Then work through them. Systematically and with love.
As Mr. Ed said to Wilbur: “You should never have told me horses sleep standing up, it gave me a mental block.” (Pop culture note: Mr. Ed was a US TV show about a talking horse).
Let’s dive inside our subconscious mind
Think of our conscious mind as the ship’s captain and the subconscious mind as the crew. The captain calls out orders, the crew usually complies and so the ship moves in the direction set by the captain. Except that sometimes the crew starts a mutiny. Disregarding their captain’s orders they take the ship in a different direction.
The same often happens to us. Consciously we decide to make a change, to heal, and to grow. We embark on this process and then suddenly find ourselves reverting back to our old ways. This is because subconsciously we have beliefs and fears that are incongruent with our conscious wants.
Just like the crew who rebelled against their captain, taking the ship in another direction, our subconscious blocks us from achieving that which we had set out to do.
Identifying those subconscious blocks is the first step to healing. After all, if we do not know what is blocking us, how can we unblock it?
Let’s call a fig a fig, a trough a trough, al pan pan, al vino vino
Fear. This is a biggie. Do you ever wonder: “What if I spend all this time and money on meditation, yoga, Reiki and then nothing happens?” Or “what if I do not have what it takes to grow spiritually?”
Fear is an even bigger factor when it comes to success. Do you find yourself thinking: “What if I learn how to use my intuition but then have no control over what I do with this knowledge? Perhaps I am not ready for the responsibility? What if I learn how to see the truth about myself and others but do not like what I see? Who am I to embark on such a journey?”
These are all valid concerns that must be addressed at some time during your growth. However, in the beginning, just acknowledging your fears will make a big impact.
Religion and upbringing. If you were brought up in a strict religious setting or have a strong connection to your social group, then embarking on your own personal journey can seem lonely and outright heretic.
Be honest with yourself, what will leaving your tribe do to you? Are you willing to accept the consequences? Is there another community that will accept you for who you are and for who you want to become?
Join online chat groups, visit your local spiritual center, find meetup groups, confide in those who you know will support you.
Remember, each of us must walk his or her path. Sometimes that path crosses with paths of those we have come to call friends and family. Sometimes, that path diverges and goes into a different direction. This is normal, albeit uncomfortable at times. Choose your own path and walk it with your back straight and chin up. You never know, perhaps those divergent paths will reconnect in the future bringing you more joy and freedom than you could imagine at this time.
Clinging to a word – semantics. Societies use language to reflect their cultural and religion values. Words create associations and those associations can keep us from moving forward.
For example, the word “angel” is often associated with Christianity. For those who are non-religious or belong to other religions, the phrase “connecting with angels” may seem off putting.
Similarly, many of us associate”god” and “prayer” with group religion. If we are in disagreement with a particular religion or with the concept of religion in general, then these words can trigger negative feelings.
The way I got over the “angel”,”god” and “prayer” triggers is by realizing that no one religion or group has a monopoly on those words. I told myself that it is OK for me to use those words to reflect my beliefs and my understanding of the world. The fact that someone else uses them to mean a slightly different concept does not take anything away from my belief system.
Words carry meaning that we assign them. Don’t get hung up on semantics. If you are bothered by the word angel, god, prayer or alter, get over yourself. Or substitute angel with unseen friend, god with universal energy of all there is, prayer with affirmation and altar with sacred space.
Make life easier for yourself, don’t let words paralyze you. Hear the spirit of the word rather than its literal meaning. Let go of word triggers or find another way to express your beliefs.
Social conditioning. If you hear something enough times, chances are you will begin to believe it. “In our family we do not communicate with spirits.” “All people who communicate with the deceased are charlatans or wackos.” Or, “Meditation is an Eastern Religion and we do not subscribe to that religion.”
Ask yourself: “Is this the truth?” “If so, is this my truth or someone else’s truth?”
You may be surprised to discover that what seems like your truth is actually someone else’s opinion that has been instilled into you over the years.
Trauma. Trauma can come from this life and from your past lives. It can also be passed on to you through ancestral DNA.
According to Epigenetics, traumatic experiences in your ancestors’ past may have left molecular imprints on you and your offspring. These imprints can last for many generations. Perhaps that unexplained fear or block you are feeling is not your own, but that of great-great-grandmother’?
When you were a child, did people make fun of you of because of your abilities? Did you see scary, unexplained things? Have you had to shut off your intuition because you did not know how to handle it?
Do you have a feeling that you had been punished for your “gifts” during one of your previous reincarnations?
The energy of events that took place long ago, often lingers and must be addressed. If you are planning on having children, it is especially important to resolve your traumas now so that they are not passed down to future generations
I recommend you engage the services of a trusted healer for a past life regression, inner child healing or ancestral DNA clearing. It is possible to do this work on your own, however, it will be much faster and more effective to have someone with experience guide you through this journey.
Not putting in the time to practice. Think back to how you became successful at something, either school, a sport, hobby or a career. Chances are that you did not wake up one morning and miraculously become a champion. I bet you devoted time and effort to your success. Same goes for your spiritual growth. Do not expect your life to change with minimal involvement on your part. Wanting it is not enough. You must put in time and energy. Daily.
Expectation. How do you expect to connect to your unseen friend or guide? Do you expect thunder and lightning followed by a booming Morgan Freeman voice telling you to “take the side street instead of the highways when going to work next Thursday?”
Remember, universe does not speak the same language that humans do and does not follow human logic. If you expect things to happen in the way that you imagine they should happen, you will be disappointed.
Set your intention, work as hard as you can, then let go of expectations. Remember, when it comes to miracles, the smaller the package seems the more impact it is going to have.
Let’s move forward
Being on a spiritual path requires you to look into yourself deeply, asking the hard questions, acknowledging your personal truths, and accepting the answers, no matter how uncomfortable. Growth may not be easy, especially at first, but the benefit is well worth the effort.
Remember, no Olympic champion ever received a medal simply by sitting on the couch and wishing for one.
Here are some things you can start doing today.
Maintain a continuous practice of meditation. Meditation can be easy and fun. Find a class you enjoy or get a recorded meditation and listen to it nightly.
Surround yourself with those who support you. Have clear and clean partnerships, friendships, relationships that expand your soul.
Own your energy system. Do not allow others to pull you into their drama. At the same time, do not judge other people for they are responsible for their own path.
Follow your intuition and guidance. How can you tell if your intuition is clear? Easy, if it feels fearful, judgmental, angry, shameful, etc… then it is your ego talking. Ask Ego to step aside and invite in your Spirit. Remember, Ego constrains and Spirit expands. When truly connected with Spirit you will feel love, expansion and freedom.
Get help. Find a teacher or a friend who will help you. None of us lives in a vacuum. We are all here to learn.
Keep going. Life happens, distractions, setbacks, disappointments will happen. Do not let them distract you from your path.
May your choices be clear, may your friends support you, may your inspiration come from the divine and may your blocks go sleep with the fishes.