When Did You First Notice Your Intuition?

March 21, 2024

I’m Sonja.
Leadership Specialist and Creator of The Expansion Practice. Also a travel enthusiast, dog lover, fanatic for all the books (on all the subjects), and an advocate for intuition.

Trigger Warning: This piece contains material of a highly sensitive nature, namely suicide ideation, and may be difficult for some readers. Please take care of yourself if you decide to keep reading.

When I was sixteen, I had a life-changing experience. I had been struggling through high school, not just academically but emotionally. I had a well-established problem with alcohol, which I turned to in just about every social setting. I was deeply uncomfortable in my own skin and couldn’t deal with being myself (aka. sober). After one particularly bad, blackout-drunk evening at a party, to which I recalled very little, I was sitting in class the following Monday and overheard a classmate recounting the events of that evening. As the story unfolded, I was mortified to realize she was talking about me.

If I could have disappeared into oblivion at that moment, I very willingly would have. I was ashamed and deeply humiliated. It was not the first time I contemplated suicide, but it was one of the most intense. I could not bear being in my life any longer.

Maybe it was because I was exhausted, and my defenses depleted. Maybe I had finally hit my rock bottom. Or maybe I was just ready to receive this time. Whatever the reason, I had a very clear message land for me that evening as I was contemplating taking my life. I could stay on this path, and it would end my life, or I could choose a different way forward and start over.

At that moment, it was as if all the fog and uncertainty I had been living with had finally cleared. I was being shown two very different pathways before me and there was no doubt where each led.

This is the first memory I have of receiving and acting on my intuitive intelligence®, although I would not know to call it that until decades later.

Like the majority of people who contemplate suicide, I did not want to die, but I did not know how to keep living the way I was. I had no idea what my next step would look like, but I wanted the emotional pain I was experiencing to end. For the first time, the path ahead felt clear to me. It was time to start over. I knew I was going to be okay, all evidence to the contrary to this point. I didn’t know how but I also understood that I would never contemplate suicide again, and I never have.

I was being divinely guided. I wasn’t alone on my path, and I sensed for the first time in my life that there was a much bigger picture available to me if I surrendered and trusted what was coming through for me – what my intuition was showing me.

This pivotal turning point opened me to a larger vision for my life.

Over time and with my own healing, I saw that I could be of service to others who were struggling as I had been. I could play a role in creating opportunities for them to see what they’re capable of, ensuring they have the support and the scaffolding in place to act on their potential. It’s become my life’s work.

Since that time, I’ve had more intuitive hits or moments of “knowing” than I can count, but I haven’t always acted on them. I have certainly fallen off the path at different points in my life but when I allowed myself to receive guidance, I was always able to find my way back.

Receiving our intuition is one thing, but the magic unfolds when we act on it.

That’s not always easy, or convenient, to do. Our intuitive intelligence® is going to guide us to our evolution and to what is in alignment with both ours and the collectives greatest good.

For me at sixteen, it meant leaving my peer group and starting down a new path on my own… yet I never felt alone. This is one of the gifts of our intuition. Knowing we don’t walk the path alone. We are co-creating it with a higher power (call it God, the divine, source, infinite consciousness, whatever language resonates with you).

Have you ever felt that before? Since you’re here reading my newsletter, my guess is that many of you have and you may be interested in developing a deeper relationship with your intuition. I’d like to help you do that.

Over the next few newsletters, I’m going to be sharing more on how to identify and cultivate your intuition so you can activate it in both your life and your leadership. I’ll be inviting you to slow down more. To create some quiet space in your days so you can begin to hear yourself and your intuition more clearly. And I’ll be sharing some prompts and exercises to support your exploration.

Today’s Exploration

To start, the invitation is to create space for yourself this week (or each day perhaps 🤷🏻‍♀️) just to sit still. That’s it.

Truth be told, this was the hardest part for me in the beginning. I was always in motion – busy doing something all the time, it seemed – and stillness felt foreign and uncomfortable at first. Lean into that. It’s completely normal and all you need to do is notice it. No judgment. No action steps. Just be with it.

Create the space. Close the door. Let your household know you need some time without being disturbed. Start with three minutes. Don’t feel you need to jump into an hour of stillness or meditation to prove you can. There is nothing you need to achieve during this time. Start where you are with a few minutes of stillness.

If your mind needs something to do, notice your breath. To help you slow things down, you can inhale for a count of 4 and exhale for a count of 6 (adapt as feels best to you as long as your exhale is slightly longer than your inhale).

If other thoughts surface, can you picture them as clouds and allow them to float on by? As feelings or sensations arise, can you look at them like an outside observer might, with no attachment? Are you feeling sensations somewhere in your body? Just notice what you’re noticing. There is no right or wrong way to do this.

Maybe your three minutes of stillness evolve into fifteen one day. You may even begin to crave that feeling of stillness, that exquisite quiet, each day that is just for you. That’s what’s unfolded for me. This devotional time, now a non-negotiable start of every day for me, is where I can hear myself most clearly. It creates that critical space between the feeling and the doing that allows me to respond, to the best of my ability, consciously and purposefully. It doesn’t mean I show up perfectly. It means I am a work in progress, and I start anew each and every day. We all have that opportunity.

If you give this a try, hit reply and let me know how this experience is unfolding for you. If you know you want to go deeper with this work, book a free Discovery Call with me and we’ll get some time together to do just that.

*If you or someone you care about is contemplating suicide, please know support is available to you 24 hours a day by dialing 988 (in the United States and Canada. Outside of North America, you can look up your local or national crisis line number). This service will route you to a free, confidential, local or national distress line with access to support and resources in your area.

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