Honing your intuition can help you in making better choices in life because the more information you have about something, the better decisions you can make, the faster you may be able to reach your goals, and enable yourself to live more fulfilling life.

Intuition is defined as the power or ability of attaining direct knowledge or cognition without evident rational thought and inference. Intuitive knowledge is considered to be knowledge which cannot be gained either by inference or observation, by reasoning or past experience. As such intuitive knowledge is thought of as independent, original knowledge.

Many years ago I was in a coffee shop where I overheard a man having a spirited and very loud conversation with someone about the nature of intuition. He argued that intuitive knowledge is based on observational skills. While the information obtained through observational skills is excluded from the above definition about intuition, many times people do acquire tremendous amount of information purely through observation and then they appear to be "psychic". Many "fake psychics" simply rely on their observational skills. These skills are also known as "cold reading" and are employed by stage magicians.

Our subconscious minds register all information from our surroundings and most of that information is gathered outside our conscious awareness. When some of that information emerges in our conscious awareness, it may seem that it came from higher realms because we had no awareness of ever acquiring it consciously.

People who are working on developing their intuition often practice different ways of improving their observational skills. Honing one's observational skills is one of the essential skills in the practice of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), where you learn to pay attention to minute changes in skin color, pupil dilation, slight changes in lip size, referred to in NLP as "minimal cues". These skills come in very handy when people play poker, for example. Since poker players have vested financial interest in the outcome of the game, they pay attention to "minimal cues" of other players, in order to notice when other players may be bluffing or when they might have a winning hand.

NLP Practitioners sometimes engage in the following exercise, which I believe started with Dr. Milton Erickson. One person would hide an object, and the other would play the role of a "psychic" by holding the wrist of the person who hid the object. The "psychic" would rely on slight changes in the pulse of the person who hid the object, to guide him toward the recovery of the hidden object.

Some people are more "intuitive" by nature. Some are intuitive in a way that they find it easier to absorb the information from their environment through what seems like osmosis. They may have difficulty focusing on one thing and may be labeled with attention deficit disorder, yet their way of processing information may be perfectly suited to certain occupations. For example, I have a friend who is an extraordinary private investigator. He excels at what he does perhaps mainly due to his ability of being aware of the information that other private investigators miss. He naturally absorbs information from the environment as if thorough osmosis. From the perspective of brainwaves, people with this talent have predominant theta brainwave activity.

Some people are more naturally intuitive in a way that they can access the information related to different times, places or dimensions of experience, which are clearly not in any way associated with where they may be physically. On the level of the mind, there is no time and no space and we are all free to access the information about anything we greatly desire to know, from any dimension of existence, from past, present or future. The only obstacle in this process are the "filters" we have placed in our subconscious minds.

The secret in acquiring this kind of information is in allowing it to emerge into your conscious awareness, in having your mind blank, open and receptive like a crystal clear glass, so that the information gained is not colored by your preconceived ideas or emotions. Genuine spiritual masters, who have no more any self-interests, who have nothing more to emotionally protect and have fully opened themselves to the infinite, can access the information that to the rest of us borders on miraculous. On the other hand, there are so many people who may be "channelingl" the information from different realms, however the information that comes through is polluted by their own preconceived ideas and is no better than any guess they might have made based on their rational understanding. True spiritual knowledge is always rooted in love and in the principle of oneness - there are no exceptions.

We are all intuitive to a greater or lesser extent and whatever your level of intuitive ability, you can develop it further. Developing intuition is based on learning to pay attention to the information within you. For example, if you were trying to decide between two job offers, as you imagine yourself working in one position and then in the other, the right choice would look brighter, it woul feel more joyous, it would make you feel lighter and it would bring with it a great experience of inner peace and contentment. If you were picking lottery numbers or stocks in which you desire to invest, or winning horses at the racetrack - again through experience you would learn to distinguish between the information that comes from your intuitive knowledge and the one that comes from your rational mind. As a general guideline, when this information comes from your rational mind there is a sensation of tension, a sensation of your energy shrinking and condensing as you are subconsciously trying to protect your financial self-interest. When you are in a state of mind where you are trying to protect your ego-based self-interests, you are closing the door of your intuition. What opens you to your intuition is getting into a state of love, into a state of giving, into a state of relaxation and expansion, where you feel at-one-with-everything and particularly at-one with the subject of your intuition., where you become it inwardly.

One simple way of practicing intuition on daily basis is choosing for practice subjects in which you don't have any vested interest and the outcome is not important for you. This makes it easier for you to maintain an open state of mind necessary for practicing intuition. You may try to intuit what someone you are going to meet is wearing, or if the phone rings who may be calling you, or if you are going to some new place, try to intuit how does that place look like before you go there; or you can pick a magazine with pictures and try to intuit what picture or information will you find several pages ahead. In this way you will condition your subconscious mind to provide you with the information that is not ordinarily accessible to you through your physical senses.

Author's Bio: 

Dr. Laura De Giorgio is the author of over 2,000 self-help hypnosis, motivational and inspirational recordings in English, French, Spanish, German and Italian. On her website http://www.deeptrancenow.com you can access many free articles designed to help you use your mind power effectively, many free downloads and inspiring movie presentations.