How to discover and develop your intuition

by Martha Dawson

Making changes in your life almost always start with making changes in your head.

How often have you chastised yourself for ignoring an intuitive message? Maybe you found yourself in a situation that could have been prevented if only you had listened to your intuition. There are many names used to describe the meaning of intuition:

Heart Mind… Indwelling Intelligence… The Conscious… Inner God…

My mother called it using That First Mind. “Always listen to that first mind,” she would say to me. What Mother expressed to me (and anyone else that happened to be within ear shot) was the importance of centering yourself long enough to allow intuition to guide you. Regardless of what you call it, there is absolute value in attending to the messages that come by way of your own indwelling intelligence. We have been afforded, as a condition of our birth, this gift that connects us to the source and keeps us in alignment to what we are doing at any given moment in life. When your heart-mind is ignored or dismissed, then your life experiences become a reflection of the deviated path that you chose to take.

What the Ancestors say about Indwelling Intelligence

There are many cultural sayings that emphasize the importance of relying on your indwelling intelligence. In Yoruba Cosmology, this inborn intelligence is called the Ori, or the head. It is said that the Ori is the personal aspect relating to individual destiny and the guiding principle for a person’s life. Dr. Balogun recognizes the spiritual relationship between a person’s Ori when he states, ”The Ori or destiny is that which determine every significant event during a particular life time.”

Other familiar quotes referring to the immaterial mind or a person’s indwelling intelligence are:

  • If you study long, you study wrong. This concept emphasizes the power of one’s first mind as an intuitive tool when faced with decisions.
  • You talking like a person whose head is on backward.  or His head ain’t right. Both sayings would appear to have its roots in the traditional African thought as described in the Yoruba concept of the Ori. The meaning of both sayings emphasizes the strong link between the immaterial mind (indwelling intelligence) and the human life of people.

How Close Are You to Your Head?  Self-reflect on the following questions.

  1. Do you second-guess yourself?
  2. When making decisions, do you often need the approval of others?
  3. When faced with a challenge, are you able to identify the underlying reasons for the problem?
  4. Would friends and family likely describe your behavior as impulsive?
  5. Can you remember your dreams upon awakening? And if so, what do you do with the recalled information?
  6. Are you able to recognize patterns and symbols in your own life?
  7. Do you find yourself thinking “I should have…” concerning past events or past decisions?

Affirm… Affirm… Affirm…

Making changes in your life almost always start with making changes in your head. If any of the questions resonated with you, using the affirmation below is something that you can do today in order to align with your own head. The affirmations can be read aloud or silently. The purpose here is to clarify your human responsibilities and your spiritual responsibilities; they are constantly working together to create your life experiences.

I acknowledge my Ori*.

I trust myself to make decisions.

I am on my path.

I take responsibility for what is happening and what has already happened in my life.

I am exactly where I am supposed to be.

#Balogun, Oladele, A. (2009). The Nature of Human Person in Traditional African Thought.

*The word Ori may be replaced with Intuition, Indwelling Intelligence, The good mind, or Inner God. Remember it is not the name you call it that matters but the message is what counts.


Martha Dawson is a Holistic Life Coach who works with clients seeking both pleasure and purpose in life. Her approach to coaching is collaborative, flexible and solutions focused.


Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.

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