I had this thing I used to do when faced with a shopping decision.
Say, for example, there was a sweater that I wanted to buy, but I couldn’t decide which color I liked best. Here’s what the chatter in my head would sound like: I don’t have anything in purple, but I’m more drawn to the cream. But then again I have 3 cream sweaters… maybe I should get it in purple. But do I want to get it in purple? Then again, should I really get something else that’s cream?
As you can imagine, I would be faced with a dilemma. All of my reasoning would be getting in the way of what was most important: which sweater did I prefer? I finally figured a way to get around all of my second-guessing if I had a shopping companion with me. I would ask my friend to flat-out choose one: purple or cream? And when they would say “purple,” I’d pay attention to how I felt inside—was I excited or a bit sad? In this case, I probably would have been a bit sad, because I’m really a neutrals girl at heart. Of course, this meant that I really wanted the cream sweater instead of the purple one. I’d walk to the check-out with great relief and clarity, putting the purple sweater back and telling it to stop getting in the way of my love affair with neutrals.
This might seem a bit trivial, I know. But the reason I use this example is that these situations are some of the earliest instances where I began tapping into my intuition. I didn’t really know much about what intuition was or the power or depth that it offered. But I did know one thing: that feeling inside me was revealing more than just my preference—it was speaking my truth.
Intuition can be a difficult topic to write about because it can seem so abstract. The dictionary defines intuition as “the ability to understand something immediately, without the need for conscious reasoning.” For the spiritual seeker, however, intuition isn’t simply an ability. Also known as the Pilgrim’s Compass, intuition is a Sacred gift sourced from the True Self and used to discern the invitations and movement of the Divine on our journeys both at home and abroad.
Because of this, it’s likely that your intuition already knows the path you should take. After all, it’s often an intuition that something more awaits that inspires our quests to begin with. However, in order for intuition to be most easily accessible, it has to be honed. To be able to access your intuition when you face life’s crossroads, you have to practice accessing your intuition each and every day. Then, when things seem uncertain, your spark has dimmed, and your trajectory seems unclear, you’ll be able to tap into your intuition and discern your next steps.
To practice accessing your intuition, start asking yourself questions when facing a decision, setting analysis to the side, listening deeply, and noticing how you feel—your intuition often speaks up quickly, showing up as a gut response. Ask questions like, “Does this make me feel free or burdened?” and, “Does this bring me joy, or am I doing this because I think I should?” Flip things on their head, and ask, “Am I backing away from this because I’m scared, or because it really isn’t my thing?” And then there’s my perennial favorite, which has yet to lead me astray, giving me that extra courage I need to take the next step on the journey: “Will I regret not having done this?”
Once things seem a little clearer and you start to feel aligned with your path, we can go shopping. And then, when I can’t decide which color sweater to buy, you can help me—because you know the power of intuition, right? Purple or cream?
This article originally appeared on The Meaning Movement.