Life coach, opera singer, and mantra expert, Shirin Eskandani understands the power of intuition. She helps us feel, tap into, and use this sixth sense. Here we speak to her about how our intuition can create a bigger and truer life than we ever imagined.

Splendid Spoon: What is your intuition?

Shirin Eskandani: There are a lot of different names for intuition — inner voice, highest self, or inner knowing. It’s knowledge that’s innate, based on feeling as opposed to reason. Often people describe it as a hunch. It’s the voice or feeling that hints at what’s best for you.

SS: How do we know what our intuition feels like?
SE: Intuition feels different to everyone. Sometimes it’s a small voice (which can grow the more we ignore it). Sometimes it expresses itself as a gut feeling or a pang in the heart.

To help clients get in touch with their intuition, I ask them to remember a time when they had a feeling that they should or shouldn’t do something. It could be “don’t get in that car” or “say yes to this job”: a moment when there was no reason to feel that way, they just did. That’s an intuitive moment. They then hone in on how their body responded and communicated with them. It’s a great way to discover your intuitive language.

I have to highlight that there’s a difference between intuition and ego. It can be a hard distinction to make because ego often masks itself as intuition. Ego is based in fear, whereas intuition is based in love and nurturing. What’s confusing is that both voices try to protect you, but they’re rooted in different energies.

Ego is grounded in fear and can be loud. It’s yells “Look at me!”, and is concerned with worst case scenarios. Intuition can feel scary, because it asks us to do uncomfortable things, but it’s a centered voice. It’s often quieter because it’s rooted in who you are. When you make an intuitive decision you feel grounded, even if the decision doesn’t make sense in that moment.

You can figure out the difference by channeling the energy behind your thoughts. Ego-based thoughts have anxious and nervous energy behind them. Intuition-based thoughts have a calm, centered energy to them.

SS: Do some people feel their intuition more easily than others?

SE: Intuition is innate in all of us. We can all tap into it. However, some people have a stronger connection to it. That connection can come naturally, and it can be developed. It’s like a muscle — the more you use it, the stronger it becomes.

SS: When should we use our intuition?

SE: Intuition can be used at any time. The key is listening to it when it speaks to you. It’s not going to appear every day, but it is ever present.

SS: Why do we often ignore our intuition?

SE: We ignore our intuition because it’s not qualitative. We live in a society where decisions need to be backed by evidence and facts. Telling someone you have a “hunch” about something seems like weak reasoning.

We’ve been shamed out of using it because there’s no logic to it. When you haven’t listened to your intuition in a while, it’s scary to make a big decision based on it. You would rather ask everyone what their opinion is, because you want reason.

SS: How can we tune into our intuition?

SE: You have to make space for it. Meditation is a great way to do this as it allows you to quiet your mind and ground your body, so the most nurturing thoughts can come through.

Journaling is also an incredible tool. It helps you distinguish between the different voices in your head. Sometimes we have so many thoughts running through our mind that we can’t sift through the chaos. Journaling clears the mind so we can see which thoughts are fear-based and which are rooted in intuition.

One way to gradually strengthen your intuition is to use it in low-risk circumstances. For example, if you’re at a restaurant and there are a couple items you can’t decide between, go with your gut. Ask yourself “What do I really desire?”, and decide based on what your body says. Start with small things and as you trust that voice more, it will strengthen.

SS: How does intuition connect to your soul and brain?

SE: Intuition is where the mind and soul interconnect. Your soul speaks to you and the brain puts the advice into action. Your wise soul works in conjunction with your logical brain to keep you safe. That’s why intuition is so powerful, it bridges soul and body.

SS: How can we use our intuition as a self-care tool?

SE: Intuition is all about self care — it guides you to what will serve you best in that moment. My intuition often tells me to take it easy, to take more time for myself. I often ignore it and always pay the price: I find myself exhausted, wishing I had listened to its voice. Our intuition is an incredible preventive tool. We need start listening to it to avoid burnout.

SS: What do you do to tap into your intuition?

SE: My intuition is my goddess energy. I make space for her energy through meditation, journaling, and rituals with crystals or Goddess cards. It’s important to honor our intuition’s energy.

Shirin is offering a free life coaching session to all readers of The Spoonful! To arrange your one-on-one, contact Shirin here.