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Chasing the Dream: Using your intuition to achieve your dreams

Sarah Caron is a Connecticut-based freelance writer and editor. She lives with her wonderful husband, two adorable kids and two funny beagles. Check out her food blog at Sarah's Cucina Bella.

Listening to your inner voice

This column is about striving to achieve those big dreams for our lives, which can seem unobtainable when we have kids and mortgages and greater responsibilities.

Mothers know that intuition is a powerful thing. It's that feeling when you just know something -- without any clear reason for knowing it. We listen to our sixth sense to keep our kids safe. But why for achieving your big life dreams?

Alice Langholt, Director of the Reiki Awakening Academy's School of Intuitive Development and author of Practical Reiki: For balance, wellbeing and vibrant health, says that we can receive important messages by listening to that inner voice.

Listening to your intuition

First, you need to figure out how your intuition speaks to you. Langholt says there are four ways our intuition can speak to us.

See

"Are you a visual person? Do you appreciate and create art?" asks Langholt. She says that colors, images and vivid dreams can relay intuitive information. "These are visual intuitive impressions, known as clairvoyant (clear-seeing) experiences."

Hear

"Are you a listener? Do you listen deeply to music, play audio books, close your eyes when listening so you can just focus on the sounds?" asks Langholt. She says that ringing or snippets of songs can deliver intuitive information. "This is called clairaudience, or clear-hearing."

Feel

"Do you get chills or tingles at important times? Does the hair on the back of your arms or neck stand up when something seems important?" asks Langholt. She says that this is a form of intuition too. "You're naturally tuned in to clairsentience."

Think

"Ever think of someone and the person calls? Ever suddenly 'know' something and wonder how you knew? " asks Langholt. She says that this is intuition as well. "This is the clair that people tend to ignore, but it is a significant part of intuition."

Tapping into your intuition

Now that you know how your intuition speaks to you, Langholt suggests opening your mind to stream of conscious writing. This will allow you to access your intuition. Here's how to do it:

Ask

Start by writing a question at the top of a paper. It could be something simple like "What should I blog about today?" or something more complex like "How can I get a book deal?"

Write

Next, just write. "Your right brain will dictate and your left brain will be busy moving the pen into words on the paper. It sounds simple, but this is a powerful technique for accessing your deepest thoughts and inner guidance," says Langholt.

Be open

The key to this process is to just let go. "The hardest part of any of this is being open to trying. Don't judge yourself, don't be afraid to be wrong. Just see what happens," says Langholt.

Does it work?

I tried Langholt's stream of conscious writing. My question? "How can I become a published author?" With my handy marble notebook and a silent room, I just started writing. It was kind of amazing to feel the words flow onto the page without me driving them. They were just coming from somewhere deep inside -- and in the end, I had a great plan for how to proceed and what I need to do to make it happen. My inner muse had spoken.

But the biggest reward of this was the sense of peace I felt when I was done. I'd listened.

Tell Us

Do you listen to your intuition? How has it helped you? Have you ever tried stream of conscious writing?

More on intuition

Women's intuition: How it can save your life
Trust your intuition in work, relationships and health

Intuition versus expert advice

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