Do you ever wonder what the “magic sauce of life” is? Why some people seem to attract opportunities, wealth and positive experiences while others perpetually struggle? I’m going to tell you why I believe intuition, intention and inspiration are three of the most powerful tools we can harness to bring abundance, fulfillment, and joy into our lives.
By learning how to fully use these tools (which we all already have), you will feel more satisfied with your life and a whole new world might open up for you. But if you go down this road, I must warn you, it will be extremely difficult to return to the small, predictable (and possibly unhappy) life you had before!
INTUITION: Just a Feeling?
In these days of computers, cell phones, social media and television there is very little that we don’t know or can’t find out in a matter of seconds. In a way, it almost feels like we rely so much on technology and information that we don’t need our intuitions anymore. What the heck is intuition anyways?
For me, I think of my intuition as this quiet voice in the back of my mind that knows. I don’t know how it knows things, it just does. When someone says “I knew in my heart” or “I had a gut feeling” they’re talking about their intuition.
Did you ever just “know” something without understanding how? Even if there are no supporting facts or evidence?
I’m not talking about suspicion or projection. I don’t mean going off of arrogant assumptions. We all possess this inner voice of wisdom that can guide us towards the best choices. It’s our intuition and it is always on our side, ready to let us in on the wisdom–if only we could slow down long enough to tune in and really listen.
Listen to Your Intuition NOT Your Inner Critic
How do you actually tune in and hear that intuitive voice over all our other inner-dialogue? We really do “talk to ourselves” often and unconsciously we’ll wind up using the voices of those who made the biggest impact on our self-concept. See if you can try listening in to your inner dialogue sometime. Pay attention to “who” is actually speaking when you engage in self-talk. Is it always you?
You may find an angry boss in there yelling at you to do a better job or that uncompassionate teacher you had in fifth grade constantly scolding you. There might memories of a bully in your mind replaying and telling you how ugly or how terrible you are. Or maybe it’s the voice of a sibling chiming in whenever you do something wrong and reminding you that “you always screw up”. If you’ve ever tried to listen to the soft, intuitive, voice of wisdom over the rabble, you know how hard it can be. Depending on how consciously it is done, self-talk can be devastating and self-defeating or uplifting and inspiring.
You Are In Charge of Your Self-Talk
It took me a long time to learn that I was in charge of my inner voice. I put in a lot of work to change this because my inner dialogue used to be extremely negative and self-critical. I was always talking to myself in the voice of my mother, my sister, teachers, preachers and “friends” saying how worthless and wrong I was. Believe me, that did not work out very well for me. I was miserable.
But now my inner-voice is what I choose. It’s kind, compassionate and encouraging, like a wise soul who always wants the best for me and for others. Maybe it’s the voice of my intuition and I’ve simply allowed it to grow stronger and stronger over the years because I’ve listened and followed its guidance more and more.
Meditation: Your New Best Friend
Meditation will help you fully hear that intuitive voice. I could go on for a hundred pages on this subject but instead I’ll try to summarize. First I want to emphatically say that meditation is not religious or spiritual (unless you make it out to be). At the core, it’s simply an effective and powerful way to gain control over your own mind.
If you don’t have control over your mind, you will be controlled by it—that’s a fact. You will go through life always wondering why you act and react certain ways but never having an understanding of your mind or gaining any power to choose how to act and react instead.
Through meditation I discovered that I can be in charge of my mind. And the more I practice, the more in charge of it I am. I became quite familiar with the “talking mind” that’s always yammering on and on about anything and everything. This inner-dialogue talks right over my small, quiet voice of wisdom. It is always getting me into trouble too, always making assumptions and coming up with half-cocked ideas. But when I do finally get my talking mind to shut up, and find a way to turn off my inner critic: BAM, there is my intuition speaking to me loud and clear.
If there’s a decision to make, I first gather all the information and research the facts (because what I can I say, I’m a very logical and practical person). But then instead of “doing” anything right away, I set everything aside and meditate. Once my mind is clear and slow–like a small, rippling creek instead of a rushing river of thoughts–I tune into my inner wisdom and try to intuitively sense what the best choice would be.
Following Intuition is an Act of Faith
Sometimes the answer comes clear, strong and all at once. Sometimes it’s more of a soft urge or a feeling to follow a particular course of action. It might take days, weeks or months to know. I might only get one small piece of the puzzle at a time, maybe just a knowing of where I should start. Then, as an act of faith, I have to move forward to get more of the picture. It might only come piece by piece. I keep going, taking one small step at a time, trusting myself each time, believing in my ability to know what’s right for me in each moment.
The more you practice, the easier it gets. Each time I listen and follow the guidance of my intuition, that voice gets a little stronger and a little louder. Ultimately, I think it comes down to learning how to trust our innate wisdom. Maybe we can tap into the wisdom of our ancestors, the knowing we inherited through DNA and epigenetics.
For some of us, trusting ourselves doesn’t come naturally. We have to learn this new skill of trusting our inner wisdom. But when we finally do, it’s easier to know which paths to take and which ones to avoid, which people to trust, what line of work to engage in, what projects to take and on and which ones to let go of. Our inner wisdom knows the answer, we just have to learn how to listen and trust.
INTENTION: Tap into Your Inner Wizard
The second tool we already possess and can learn how to harness is the power of intention. What do I mean by intention or by the act of intending something? What I’m talking about is a specific skill that we can all develop and strengthen. It will blow your mind how powerful intention can be. Think of it as the action of bringing something into our lives by visualizing it and also by actively working towards it.
It might help to explain what intention is not. Intention is not forcing something to happen by your own willpower. It is not manifesting, either. I see a lot of people caught up in this idea of “manifesting” which seems much less-effective to me and more like wishing or hoping. Although it’s fine to wish for things–intending is not wishing, it is so much more.
And while manifesting might sound similar to idea to intending, it’s actually so far off that you should get rid of any ideas you have around that and start over. When you intend something, you are putting your dream out into the world and then taking the steps to make it happen. Intending cannot be done passively. First form a clear picture in your mind of what the best possible scenario would be and then at every point, actively choose things that will make that become a reality. State what you want out loud as if it were already true, believing it is possible.
Everything you can imagine is real.Pablo Picasso
Intention NOT Attachment
I feel it’s extremely important to emphasize that when we intend things, we should not get attached to that particular outcome. The universe might have something much bigger and better in store for us than we could ever imagine. By getting attached to our own ideas of “how things should be” or “what we want”, we often miss the bigger and better thing right in front of us.
Don’t be afraid to give up the good to go for the great.John D. Rockefeller
Have you ever wanted something so badly that you thought you’d just die if you didn’t get it? Sometimes we finally get what we “really want” and find out it is NOT a good situation after all. We can get these ideas in our head that are hard to let go of but the most important aspect of intention is letting go. When I’m intending something, I have to be careful to include “or something better” in my intention. What if the thing I’m wanting is not what is best for me? In that case, I want the better option. Perhaps it’s something I haven’t even conceived of yet or something that I’m afraid to ask for because I think it’s “too good” for me.
All along the way we need to keep checking in with our intuitions to make sure what we are intending is what is best for us. Some things are not meant for us, or we aren’t quite ready for them. Some things are only in our life for a season, they are here to teach us, or help us heal, or to move to the next step. Don’t be afraid to let go of what we think is “right” when the clear message we are getting from our intuition is to move on.
Intending Means Doing the Work
I want to be an author and support myself with my writing. That was the intention I set a long time ago. But I didn’t wait around hoping for a big break or for someone to discover me–I simply started writing. I kept an eye out for opportunities to write and get published. I pictured holding my finished book in my hands and doing book signings. There was an image in my mind of my book sitting there on the shelves of the bookstores right next to all the other books. But beyond visualizing, I started doing it!
Start with One Action
Without knowing how to be a writer or how to write an entire book, I began writing my memoir. It has taken me YEARS. I’m just now finishing up and looking for a professional editor. Being a writer didn’t happen for me all at once. I kept working at being a writer. I journaled and wrote articles and short stories and plugged away at my book one page at a time, one step at a time.
And finally the timing was right. Last year I met a friend who is also an aspiring writer and she wanted to start a publishing company with me. We inspire each other to do the work and things are actually happening! I believe everything fell into place because I intended it, because I envisioned being a published author someday and have been actively doing the groundwork. It didn’t just “happen” overnight, there were many years of hoping and failing, of trying over and over again. Failure leads to success.
Mastering the Power of Intention
There are three main points you need to remember when it comes to developing your skill of intending:
- Imagine what would be the best scenario for you, what would be best for your personal growth, happiness, success, etc.
- Don’t get attached to your vision, be open to the “something better” that might be out there.
- Take the necessary steps, walk towards the goal, put in the effort required to fully realize your dreams. Accept that it will take a lot of work!
Don’t limit yourself. Many people limit themselves to what they think they can do. You can go as far as your mind lets you. What you believe, remember, you can achieve.Mary Kay Ash
INSPIRATION: the Final Piece Of the Puzzle
Inspiration is the third magic tool we can harness and it’s essential for so many reasons. First, let me explain what I mean by inspiration.
To me, it means constantly choosing to fill up our metaphorical cup with as much beauty and variety as we can find. We need to fill up our minds with new ideas, fill up our eyes with beautiful art and amazing scenery, fill up our ears with beautiful music that touches our soul.
Being inspired means seeking out new experiences that will stretch and grow us. That take us out of the comfort zone and leave us forever changed. A good reason to fill up your life with amazingness is so you know what possibilities are out there. If you can’t imagine it, how on earth will you be able to intend it?
The most beautiful thing in the world is, of course, the world itself.Wallace Stevens
From Passion Comes Purpose
We can choose if our lives are full of repetition and drudgery or full of things that we feel passionate about. It’s up to us to take the risks and not get bogged down in the same, safe routines. Life is about growing, it’s about doing things that scare us, inspire us, and challenge us.
Try it out! Travel somewhere new. Enroll in a class. Listen to different kinds of music. Take up a new hobby. Go see concerts, speeches, productions and shows. Admire and learn from people who are doing well in their chosen field. Read books. Listen to podcasts. Join local writer groups, book clubs, knitting circles, or hiking groups. Learn a new language. Do what you can to get outside of your small, safe, comfortable world. Inspire yourself daily. Say yes to things when they feel right. Say no when they don’t.
If you fill your life up with beautiful possibilities you will begin to imagine better and better things for yourself.
Once you learn how to fully use these powerful tools of following your intuition, filling yourself up with inspiration, and tapping into the power of intention you will be able to create an absolutely amazing life!
I believe in you!
By Sarah Caton
Thank you for reading our blog!
If you liked this article and want even more inspiration, check out our weekly podcasts! You get to listen in while Sarah and Shelly interview authors, review books, and chat about writing, publishing, good reads, life, parenting, vulnerability and more!
Contact us and let us know what you’d like to hear more about!
“Sunset Joy” by Jill Wellington from Pixabay
“Critic” by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay
“Meditate” by Shahariar Lenin from Pixabay
“Sparklers” A free photo from Pixabay
“Working” A free photo from Pixabay
“Photographer” by SplitShire from Pixabay
“Celebrate” by ktphotography from Pixabay