Psychic ability, intuition, gut feelings or natural instincts ... Whatever you want to call it, we all have it to varying degrees.
My great grandmother read tea leaves and people's palms and could stop someone in their tracks with her infamous evil eye. She taught me to always trust your gut, and that psychic ability was similar to musical talent - some people are born tone deaf, and others can naturally carry a tune. Intuition, just like any other skill, can be developed and strengthened with practice.
Here are my top tips to develop your psychic abilities:
Before you start practising it's important to centre yourself and ground your energy. A good way you can do this is by sitting in a chair with your feet flat on the ground, closing your eyes and taking a big deep breath. As you breathe out, imagine you can blow out any stress and tension out your lungs like black smoke.
Feel the bottom of your feet on the ground, and imagine that you have roots growing out of the bottom your feet and into the earth. Feel your calf muscles, your knees, your bum in the chair, your heart beating in your chest, and your lungs breathing in and out air. Take a moment to be truly present in your body.
If you want to take it to the next level, you can imagine a cord coming out of the base of your spine going right down to the centre of the earth. Imagine that any energy that doesn't belong to you from any other person, any stress, any frustration, any anger or hurt is draining down that cord and dissipating. Next, imagine that cord detaching and going down to the centre of the earth so that none of the negative energy you’ve just released can reattach.
Now imagine a new cord coming out of the base your spine and going down into the earth, then visualise the Earth's energy coming back up that cord into your body, recharging you and revitalising you. This visualisation is an excellent meditation to help centre yourself, quiet your mind and turn down the noise of everyday life so that you can tune in more effectively.
Practice with a deck of cards
This is a trick I learned from my grandmother. Take a deck of regular playing cards face down, and hold one up to your forehead and guess the colour. As you get better at guessing the colour, you can try guessing the suite or number. My grandmother could correctly guess the colour of 20 cards in a row. She always made me stop after 20 because she didn't want to get one wrong. If you're playing this game with another person, when you hold the card up to their forehead, try saying the colour of the card in your mind and imagine you can send that colour into the mind of the other person. It's amazing how much this seems to affect the other person's result in guessing the colour correctly.
Find lost objects by colour
One of my favourite techniques to find lost objects is to imagine you can attach a bright colour to the missing object as if you are tying a balloon to it. Imagine you can look down from above and see where that colour pops up. I can remember reading about this technique in a book and telling a friend that I had found a missing piece of jewellery by using this technique. She replied, not looking convinced. “Well, my TV remote has been missing for three weeks, and I've torn the house apart looking for it. Try finding that.” We were standing in her lounge at the time, and I imagined tying up a bright pink balloon to her remote.
I immediately got a flash of pink behind a large painting that was hung low on the wall. I walked up to the painting, pulled it away from the wall so I could look behind it and there was her missing remote. I pulled it out from behind the painting and handed it to her with a smile on my face. She stood there looking completely gob-smacked, pointed her finger at me and said: “Oh my God, you’re a freak!” I replied laughing. “Yes, I am. I'm the freak who just found your missing remote.” This technique works for finding people as well as things.
The reading screen technique
From the centre of the inside of your head, with your eyes closed, imagine that you are looking out at a screen floating out in front of your forehead. Imagine what this screen looks like. It can be the size of a small TV screen or as big as a screen in a movie theatre. You can activate your screen by imagining a button or a dial on it so that when you are ready to “turn on” to your intuition, you can press the on button or dial it up to a higher level. This works the other way as well, if you want to turn it down, possibly to go to sleep or around crowds of people, you can imagine turning off your screen or turning the dial down.
Now you can just be open to whatever comes up on the screen, or if you are struggling to “see” anything, you can imagine a flower or a tree and watch what happens to it as you ask questions. If you are trying to read a relationship between two people, imagine two flowers or trees (one for each person) and watch what they do. It's incredible what kind of information you get through these simple visualisations.
We are all psychic to some degree
We are all born with instincts and our subconscious mind, as well as our bodies, are constantly reading our environments and the people around us to keep ourselves safe. How many times have you had a gut feeling telling you something was wrong or not to do something and when you ignored it, things turned out badly?
The way I look at it, it's like we are all our own radio station, sending out energy and information into our environment. And if other people tune into the right frequency, they can pick up on that information. You can't see radio waves or Wi-Fi, but we know it's there. Psychic information is exactly the same.
I believe your intuition is one of the most important skills you should work on improving. I know for myself, it has saved my life on more than one occasion and kept me from going down paths that would've been detrimental in the end. The stronger your intuition, the easier it will be to stay safe, make good decisions and ultimately live your best life.
Caroline Cranshaw is a hypnotherapist, founder and trainer at the New Zealand Integrative Hypnotherapy Training Institute and the author of The Smoking Cure. Find out more about her at nzhypnotherapy.co.nz