Imagine yourself being handed a magic formula that’s so powerful that whenever you put it to work, the things that are best for you can be easily acquired.

This sounds like the beginning of a fairytale, doesn’t it?

Well, it’s not. There IS a magic formula and it DOES bring exactly what is in your best interest through a simple, direct mechanism. The formula I’m speaking of is your natural gift of intuition.

Intuition is your direct perception of the absolute truth. In other words, it’s the wisdom in you that knows everything without having to learn it first.

You might refer to your intuition as your inner voice, gut instinct, or sixth sense, but no matter what you call it, one thing’s for sure, YOU’VE GOT IT! Everybody does.

When do you last remember seeing your intuition working for you? Was it when you decided NOT to drive down a certain road because you sensed danger? What about a time when you thought about a person and then he or she soon called you?

Did you recently get a sinking feeling around somebody and you weren’t sure why? Have you recently had a song come into your head where the lyrics actually applied to something you were going through?

Whether you remember things like this happening to you a lot or a little, they ARE always happening. These moments of awareness carry important information that you simply can’t get from any other source!

They come from the core of your being, designed to guide you through life, from every point A to every point B with the least amount of stress, worry, or confusion.

So if we really have access to all that information to make our lives easier, why do so many people seem confused…worried…stressed? If we all really know the truth about everything, why isn’t life perfectly clear, secure and calm?

Blocked Intuition

Intuition is naturally active in you from the very beginning of your life. However, as you grow to become an adult your inner perception has to compete more and more with outside influences. The beliefs, desires and instructions of family, friends, teachers, coaches, the media, etc., are introduced to you all throughout your life.

Some of those influences conflict with your natural instincts, eventually leading to tension in the body, illness, or other indications of inner stress.

To give an example of how outside influences can conflict with your inner guide, imagine that you grew up learning that it’s bad manners to excuse yourself while somebody is talking; or that the harder you work, the more valuable you are.

As innocent as these rational statements may seem, at times, they can really cause you internal conflict.

You feel conflicted when you want to excuse yourself from a nonstop talker who’s sapping your energy because you’ve learned that it’s bad manners.

Or you feel trapped and unhappy when you’re working so hard to be valuable to your family that you’re neglecting to tend to your health, enjoy your relationships or get adequate rest.

This is a simple illustration to demonstrate that while a lot of what we’ve been taught by influences have been helpful to us at certain times, at other times they may cause us to block our intuition in favor of the voice of our rational mind.

Do you know of any outside factors or influences in your life that might cause you to block your inner voice today? Perhaps beliefs you’ve adopted from major influences about work, money, parenting, relationships, travel, entertainment, etc?

Perhaps you feel pressured to weigh the wants and needs of other people against your own? Or maybe you are currently doing something you know deep down is not in your best interest?

Asking yourself these questions can help you understand how tuning into your inner voice can help prevent painful circumstances from happening.

How can you tell if you’ve wandered far from your inner voice? A good way to test if your intuition is currently blocked is to look at your life and see if any areas are in disorder.

For example, if you’re experiencing mental blocks, inertia, dissatisfaction or are feeling stuck in a cycle of financial, relational or health problems, it’s likely that there’s a conflict going on inside you.

There may be a clash between what your rational mind is telling you and what your innate instincts are saying.

Is Your Inner Voice Being Blocked?

Below is a list of what blocked intuition might look like when viewing it moment to moment:

• Self-doubt
• Worrying about various fears that “might happen”
• Second guessing words, events, and decisions of the past
• Frustration with other people or situations that don’t change
• People-pleasing behavior or giving too much to be nice and polite
• Having a nagging pain that can’t be explained
• Controlling others or being controlled
• Flip-flopping on decisions
• Making regretful emotional decisions
• Looking for approval and validation from others
• Grinding teeth
• Having poor boundaries
• Getting taken over, disturbed, intimidated or overpowered by another person
• Experiencing a constant sinking feeling or repeated anxiety around a person, place or situation
• Neglecting to point out the “elephant in the room”; fear of speaking what is the absolute truth
• Nervous stomach
• Getting caught up in other people's emotional highs and lows, emergencies and manipulations
• Committing to be part of things that are not in the best interest of your highest self and divine purpose

Looking at this list, do you see areas in your life that you’d like to change for the better?

When our bodies don’t get regular exercise, they get out of shape. It’s the same thing with intuition. It can get out of shape for lack of use.

All you have to do is bring your intuition up to the surface where you can hear it more clearly.

So check out part two of this series on intuition -- a meditation to stretch some new muscles to get your inner guide back in the driver’s seat.

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Author-Coach Jenna Forrest is able to guide you to the life you dream of, personally or professionally.

She uses an intuitive approach in her consulting, empowerment coaching, and public talks -- and gets to the root of things quickly so you can enjoy the results you want, faster.

"Jenna has a contagious spark that attracted me the first day we met. Since then I have been inspired and comforted by her gentle yet powerful perspectives that come from her ability to see right into me. I feel respected and encouraged by Jenna because of her understanding of sensitive personalities like mine." L.S. - British Columbia, Canada

To learn more about what people are saying about Jenna's personal empowerment coaching and success consulting, visit www.jennaforrest.com.

Her book Help Is On Its Way-A Memoir About Growing Up Sensitive was published in 2008 to introduce the topic of high sensitivity to mainstream audiences.

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The image is from Awakening Intuition: Using Your Mind-Body Network for Insight and Healing by Mona Lisa Schulz, MD, PhD

Another book: Powered by Instinct: 5 Rules for Trusting Your Guts by Kathy Kolbe