“Within the quiet, your intuition speaks, carrying messages of truth, wisdom, and love.”
The following is an excerpt from the upcoming Rise and Shine: A Guide for Experiencing Your Midlife Awakening, available soon.
Awakening occurs within the quiet, where your mind is relaxed and calm. As long as your mind remains overactive and busy, you are denied access to your Essential Self. Within the quiet, your intuition speaks, carrying messages of truth, wisdom, and love from within. Receiving those messages is the experience of awakening.
There are many time-honored methods for developing intuition, and I offer brief explanations of some of them in this chapter. You’re going to find methods as varied as meditation, yoga, volunteer work, and exercise. All of them, in their unique way, quiet your active mind and allow you access within. Regular use of the methods makes you more mindful, peaceful, and wise throughout your life, not only while using them. You experience more of the Essential Self perspective of life—and less of the ego. If these intuitive methods are practiced with commitment and consistency, they become tools for awakening.
At midlife most of us solve problems by taking an active approach. We roll up our sleeves and jump in. We’ve learned to exert our will upon a situation to change it for the better. But learning intuition is fundamentally different; we must learn to exert our will less, not more. We can’t think our way into intuition. Instead, we focus our effort on creating the conditions for it to occur effortlessly, on its own.
So as you get ready to adopt intuition methods as your tools for awakening, remember that you don’t have to work too hard. Put yourself in situations where you can give your busy mind a rest, follow the method, and listen as your voice of intuition speaks to you. You’ll recognize it because it carries messages of your inner truth, wisdom, and love.
But before we get to the tools in the next chapter, I offer some suggestions for their use based on my experience.
Suggestions for Using Tools of Awakening
Select Methods that Call to You.
Which methods should you choose as tools for awakening? Choose what inspires you and stirs your curiosity. Don’t worry about the expectations of others. For example, if your friends do yoga, but you’re not drawn to it, try something else.
Think about which tools you want to include in your personal awakening tool box. No two people’s tools will be the same, and yours will evolve and grow over time. You’ll probably have to experiment until you find the right tools that work best for you. As different as they are from each other, they do tend to work well together, each supporting the other.
Some of the methods will require you to learn before they bring about intuition. For those new to these methods, I don’t recommend taking on too many at the same time. When we learn something new, we think using the logical/analytical part of our minds, which comes at the expense of intuition. There’s nothing wrong with this, of course, because that’s how we learn. But too much analytical thinking will bring unsatisfying and slow results. Soon we may become frustrated and quit because it’s not working. Bottom line: for the methods with a learning curve, start with just one or two and build from there.
It’s quite likely you currently practice some of these methods. If they don’t elicit much intuition in you, they’re probably too familiar to be effective as tools for awakening. Nothing that is boring or habitual will awaken you. Get out of your comfort zone. Take a totally different approach to practicing the method you’re using or, better yet, try new ones.
Commit to Learning and Practicing.
Regardless of which methods you decide on, it’s going to take some time before they’re highly effective. You’ll have to accept sporadic results while working through the process of learning and familiarizing yourself with the methods. You’ll almost certainly feel a little silly early on, or think a method is not working and want to quit.
A genuine commitment on your part overcomes all of this. I return to the analogy of losing weight I used earlier. It could take weeks or months before you begin to notice much happening. Then, suddenly, something clicks. Like when the weight finally starts to drop off, you finally reach the turning point where the intuitive method becomes highly effective. Quickly you gain access to your Essential Self and your awakening enters a new phase.
Fast progress in awakening is certainly not guaranteed; it depends on countless factors. Nonetheless, your commitment encourages it. You will feel more easily relaxed, and your intuition more easily activated because you understand deep down you won’t quit if it feels awkward or inconvenient at first. Your commitment is a crucial display of trust in yourself and the method. Moreover, if part of you has one foot out the door, you will sabotage your intuitive development, and the method will remain ineffective.
Make the decision to learn a method that inspires you, and don’t be wishy-washy. Determine before you start how long your commitment will be. I suggest at least a season of three months, but the longer the better. Then promise yourself to learn the method the best you can and give it every chance to benefit you. I guarantee if you are committed to the method and do your sincere best for at least a few months, you will gain noticeable intuitive benefits. If after that time you’re still unsatisfied with your progress, don’t be discouraged but instead move on to something else.
Use the Tools Consistently.
For the methods to work as tools for awakening, you must make a regular practice of using them. Sure, it’s fun to dabble; any method can certainly provide some benefit when used occasionally. But to create a transformative awakening, you must use them consistently and frequently.
I recommend developing some type of routine for practicing the method. Understand that by “routine” I don’t mean boring. I just mean it’s a regular part of your daily life. To make sure it’s anything but ordinary, you can create a devotional practice around using the tools. If you’re religious or spiritual, create an easy daily ritual that connects you to the sacred source within you. If it feels right, light a candle, say a prayer, and invite spirit into the work.
You may like having routines in your life, or you may find them a bit suffocating. I’ve found that establishing healthy routines around using tools for awakening makes them more effective and painless to practice. For me, these routines are a daily sacred practice that is special and invaluable to me. Feel free to experiment until you find what works for you.
Also, make it as easy on yourself as possible. Don’t create unrealistic demands on your time because you won’t be able to keep it going for long. If you can’t practice the method seven days per week, then don’t promise yourself you will. You’ll either become discouraged when you can’t live up to the plan or burned out when you do. Create a routine that feels highly doable and stick with it. If you need to make changes to your practice, feel free to do so in good faith with yourself.
Developing intuition is like strengthening a weak muscle. Many people, when they decide to start a workout program, get excited and earnestly do too much too fast. It’s happened to me multiple times. This often leads to burnout (and sore muscles). They quit without getting the results they sought because they didn’t have the patience to take it slow and steady. Consistent, focused exercise is what works to build your intuition “muscle.” It gets stronger with time and patience, and as it does, you’ll gain more confidence and reap more of the benefits.
To learn more about Rise and Shine: A Guide for Experiencing Your Midlife Awakening, or to be notified when it is available for purchase, please write author Frank Kwiatkowski at firstname.lastname@example.org.