In the middle of a weight room in downtown Chicago, with clinking weights, loud grunts, and an occasional yell followed by a bang of iron, I taught a “Follow your Intuition” yoga class to two of my regulars.
When I first became a yoga teacher, I put in a lot of effort before each class. I had a specific sequence that matched a specific theme and included a specific essential oil (pre-COVID hands-on adjustments), with an extremely specific playlist.
I was determined to change lives though and decided a perfect theme was about following intuitive guidance. I remember at the start of the class, I led a meditation and talked about birds learning to fly, owls knowing how to hunt, fish knowing how to swim, and so on. Our fellow animal friends follow their soul-speaking sixth sense, and we should follow their lead.
What I was describing was instinct—not intuition.
It made just as much sense as Alanis Morissette’s “Ironic” (which doesn’t actually explain irony but still is a fire song).
After years of teaching, reading ancient texts, and having a baby, I learned and practiced the art of using one’s intuition.
A bear knows when to fill its belly and sleep all winter long. That is their earth-born knowledge. As human beings, we are given both instinct and intuition. The foundation of intuition is a compilation of life experiences so that we can create solutions and heartfelt responses. It is to listen to an inner, loving voice that just “knows.” It’s following our gut and sometimes feels like it’s coming from a place that is a little higher than us.
Beyond logic and beyond waves of emotion lies a deeper inner knowing. You were not born with this innate intelligence. You had to travel through hardship and pain, heartache and fears. Your soul has done research to get to this point of inner-knowing.
Intuition speaks to us in unique ways.
To listen and strengthen intuition, we must tune in to its power. It works as a muscle—the more we listen the easier it gets to access. Your spiritual muscles are asking you to lift, carry, and make heavy decisions that will support your divine path.
Throughout my years of reading and research, there has been a connection to the number 3 and intuition. In numerology, number 3 is a sacred number, a map to infinite wisdom. The power of 3 is universal—heaven, Earth, and water. Body, mind, and spirit. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Birth, life, and death. These 3 components of time always comprise the past, the present, and the future.
Here are five ways (sorry it’s not 3—that would have flowed so nicely) to allow the sacred number 3 to act as an inner compass to your divine path:
1. The first 3 seconds.
There is a belief that the first 3 seconds of a choice or action are considered intuition Anything after is the thinking body, rather than the heart-centered body.
When a decision is being asked of you, pay attention to the first thought that pops in. When intuition guides us, it seems as if our body knows before our thinking mind. Like when we make a sudden turn while driving and we don’t know why, or call someone out of the blue only to find that they really needed someone at that moment. It isn’t our body that knows before we do though, it’s our heart that guides the body, and our thoughts process it later.
This belief pertains to an instant response to a question, decision, or action. Of course, intuitive hits can come at any time throughout the day, in a dream, in meditation, and so on.
2. Make room to listen with meditation and deep breathing.
Take in 3 of the deepest breaths of your whole day.
Inhale for 3 seconds and hold for 3 seconds.
Exhale for 3 seconds and hold for 3 seconds.
Practice this breath until you begin to fold and relax.
Bring your mind to the sounds around you, the sensations in your body, and the patterns of your breath. Being aware of these 3 places will aid in grounding.
With this breath, we gain access to our inner wisdom. Inner wisdom of the breath, body, and the ability to fold in.
Bring your attention to your heart space being more open and receptive, and breathe deeper to encourage opening.
Listen to the voice that comes in as you quiet and allow your mind to be inspired by your inner wisdom. Connect to the source inside.
Meditation can declutter and calm the mind to allow intuitive information to flow in clearly. The SAGE method is a great learning tool to allow the thinking mind to decipher which messages are imagination versus intuition or subconscious versus conscious.
3. Write 3 pages.
Automatic writing is an old form of divination in which spiritual messages come through as you write. I tend to stick to a prompt when I write. And then, I write a voice that speaks through me but is not me by the 3rd page. The words flow effortlessly, and my mind goes blank. I recently listened to a podcast with writer and meditation teacher, Sarah Blondin, who also spoke about this 3rd page phenomenon.
Writer Elizabeth Gilbert writes to Love in the morning as her prompt; others close their eyes and let their pens take over.
I like to use a 3-part prompt:
>> I am working through…
>> Now is the time to…
>> I am…
The voice usually comes in by prompt number 3 on the 3rd page. Serendipitous, right?
4. Expressing gratitude.
The more we focus on what we appreciate in our hearts, messages of the heart become louder, stronger, and clearer. List 3 things you are grateful for each day—it can be in your head while you shower, in a notes page, or before you journal.
5. Chant 3 mantras.
In short, a mantra is traditionally a short sound, vibration, word, or phrase to aid concentration in meditation. We activate the energetic components of a mantra by chanting it 3 times (or more).
The Shanti Mantra is a peace chant used in traditional ceremonies or classes that is chanted 3 times to help get rid of 3 types of distress—natural occurrences beyond our control such as natural disasters, suffering caused by living beings, and misery created by ourselves.
Om Shanti, Shanti, Shanti
This mantra allows us to realize the holy teacher within and outside of us—a key to being confident in your divine intuitive knowledge.
To create and breathe with your own mantra, say to yourself, “If I can give my heart any gift in one word, it would be…”
Let that be your mantra. Inhale “I am.” Exhale “mantra.” Repeat this 3 times to initiate an energetic vibration that will replace any negative energy with the positive ones.
To recap, meditate and breathe with a mantra, journal after meditation, write what you’re grateful for, and pay attention to your initial thoughts.
There is a universal, loving, intelligent life force that exists within and all around you at every given moment. It dwells within you as a profound insight. You have the compass. This is hard work—be patient.
Listen, practice, and trust.
If you would like to listen to this as a meditation, please click below: