In my practice, connecting to intuition is a big part of the healing process. Intuition goes by a lot of different names; some of them are “the gut,” self-trust, and “knowing.” There are many ways to define it, but intuition is essentially the sense of inner knowing that connects us to our highest self. Accessing and trusting intuition leads to so much healing and empowerment, but there can be challenges along the way.
When you start tuning in to intuition, trust can be a major barrier. Clients ask, “How can I trust what’s coming up for me?”, “What if I’m wrong?”, and “How can I know what’s intuition vs. something else?” These are valid questions. Strengthening your connection to intuition takes time, and willingness to approach life in a new way.
When we’re learning to connect with and follow our intuition, there are three aspects to this trust:
Trust the path
Trust the Universe
These three pieces fit together to support and grow intuitive trust when things get tough. When one part feels weak, the others can fill in. Use this threefold approach to intuitive trust to bolster your faith and keep you focused.
Trust the Path
I believe that the Universe is wise and loving, and that we can trust what happens to us in this lifetime. Our lives are part of a divine story that we are all acting out, and each of our paths is unique, with its own lessons, joys, and challenges.
If we are open to traveling our path with acceptance and trust, we can experience tremendous joy in observing what happens without attempting to control or reject it. But even when we don’t accept our path as we’re on it, we often find that we’ve somehow landed exactly where we were supposed to be; we inevitably have the experiences that we needed to have for our growth, enlightenment, and healing.
Another way to think of this is "trusting the process." Imagine that you want to bake a cake. This isn't just any cake either - this is a delicious, intricate cake that fits your tastes exactly, and perfectly satisfies all sweet tooth cravings you could imagine. It is a cake that is special, unique, and specifically tailored to you.
Bringing this cake to life isn't quite as simple as putting a frozen meal into a microwave and pushing a button. First of all, you're going to need to learn to bake, and that will take time, patience, and some struggles. Then, even when you have the knowledge and skills that you need to create this masterpiece, the process itself will take time. Each ingredient must be added and mixed in the right way, and finally, it needs to bake. Even after that, your cake will need to cool and be frosted before you can finally, finally eat it. You might even need to make a couple of "practice" cakes before you get it right. But in the end, every step of the way was necessary, valuable, and unskippable.
Your path will likely take you on detours that are unexpected, in both pleasant and unpleasant ways. We try to rush things to play out, but our stories take time to develop. If you can trust that you are exactly where you need to be, and that your story will take shape as it’s meant to do, you can approach your life with more curiosity, gratitude, and peace, and have fun along the way. The trick is to let go and take joy in the process.
On your life’s journey, you are the main actor, the protagonist. You are the one taking action, the one making choices, and the one making decisions. You are also the only one that can truly access your desires, your dreams, your feelings, and your experiences.
The way you feel, what you want, and what you don’t want are all components of intuitive guidance that it’s important to trust. Trust your desires, trust what feels good, and trust what doesn’t feel good too
. All of this is important information that will guide you.
Trust, too, your ability to find the path.
You might not know exactly where it ends or where you are going, but you can find the next few steps, one by one. Let your instincts guide you each step of the way. To build that trust, look back at some of your journey, and consider the route that you've taken so far. Although you may have meandered, as we all do, you will see with a bird's eye view that there's been some cohesion to the choices you've made and the path you've traveled so far. Trust that you've already been doing what you need to do, even if you haven't been aware of it as it's been happening.
Trust the Universe
As we grow trust in our inner guidance, we can also trust that the Universe is on our side. Trust in the Universe can fill in when we have trouble trusting ourselves.
There are many ways to think of “the Universe.” Some call it God, others think of it as life force or energy. Whatever you choose to call it, this benevolent energetic force is there to help support us as we grow into who we’re meant to be and manifest our highest purpose. I like to think of the Universe as the wise and loving energy that connects us all together and possesses an intuitive intelligence that guides our lives.
Whether we are en route or have hit a detour, the Universe inevitably finds a way to guide us back to our path when we veer off course, and encourages us to continue when we are on the right track. The key is to pay attention.
Universal guidance doesn’t always come in pleasant packages. If we are disconnected, pursuing false idols, or trying to force outcomes, we may get smacked in the face with something that forces us to step back and reconsider what we’re doing. Events like a divorce, a layoff, or even an accident can all be catalysts for the growth and change that we need to pursue to reach our highest good.
By that same token, we can also count on support and encouraging signs when we are in alignment with where we need to be. Look for serendipity, random opportunities, and a sense of flow as confirmation. You can even ask for a specific sign as a check-in. I’ve been awed on a number of occasions by how signs have shown up for me, even when I held on to some doubt as I asked for one.
When you find yourself feeling lost, like you don't know where to turn or what to do, ask the Universe for guidance. We won't always have the answers, and we don't always get the "lightbulb" moments that we're hoping for. In those moments, ask for help. This act of surrender and faith is a powerful gesture that will always be met.
Love, Trust, and Control
In her book, Untamed
and on her podcast
, spiritual writer Glennon Doyle talks about the intersection between trust, love, and control. She says that trust is a crucial component to love, and that when we try to control something, we’re not actually acting with love. In the podcast specifically, she refers to our relationships with our bodies; when we try to control our bodies, we’re not trusting the invaluable inherent knowledge that they possess, and in doing so, we fail to love them as we should.
This same dynamic plays out in our relationships with ourselves and our intuition. When we trust our path, our ability to follow the path, and the Universe’s guidance along that path, we are living from a place of faith and love.
By contrast, when we try to control our lives and force outcomes that aren’t meant to be, we fail to approach our lives with loving trust.
Keep the Faith
“I trust my path, I trust myself, I trust the Universe.”
If your trust in one of these is waning, let the others help to support you. Use this as a mantra as you are beginning to grow your connection to your intuition. As you progress in your connection and watch your life play out, you will get more evidence to support this trust. In the meantime, keep the faith, have patience, and stay connected.