You can be happier and suffer less by embracing your natural intuition.

I always knew I was sensitive and empathic, but I did not realize that I was not using my intuitive abilities to my advantage. In fact, I was self-conscious in social situations because I was constantly analyzing people and their hidden motivations, rather than going with the superficial flow of others.

Also, because many of my insights about people were painful, I learned to repress them. When children sense sickness and dysfunction in their caregivers but cannot escape, they learn to live in self-denial.

By the time they reach adulthood, they’ve lost touch with their intuition and can spend the next many years getting themselves into harmful situations because they put others' needs before their own.

There are many ways to nurture and grow your intuitive abilities, such as a consistent meditation practice, exercising your "focus muscles", and studying metaphysical teachings, including astrology and numerology.
  1. Developing a protective membrane around yourself.
  2. Turning up the volume on the thoughts, feelings, and sensations within yourself.

Everyone and everything are made of energy — vibrating molecules that interact with one another. It’s important that you develop a protective membrane around yourself to minimize the ability for negative energy to "mix with your molecules."

Just like you take protective measures in the physical world by locking your doors, securing a home that keeps you safe from the elements, and putting your money in password-protected bank accounts, creating invisible, energetic boundaries is just as important.

Visualization is one of the most powerful ways to create energetic boundaries.

Imagine that you are in a large bubble made out of a special material that does not allow negative vibes to enter. If that image does not work for you, use your imagination to play around with different ideas of membranes that feel safest to you. I have membranes of various sizes and materials that I visualize regularly.

Here is a profound exercise to practice claiming your energetic space in the world: Close your eyes and get a sense of where your individual energy ends. Many people feel like it ends at their skin and that it does not extend further than their bodies. If that were the case, however, you would have no problem with strangers touching you or getting right up in your face to speak to you.

Imagine your energy (membrane) reaching further than your body, a foot or two away from you. After that, imagine it extending to occupy your entire home. Then your block; your city; your state; your continent; and finally, the world.

Take the time to really get a sense of it before moving to the larger area. You will go from feeling very small and insignificant to knowing how truly powerful you are.

Psi researchers (people who study the phenomenon of energy transfer) have indeed found that our energy affects people all over the world and even into outer space. Your membrane truly does span the universe!

Now imagine negative energy as dirt or pollution and inside your membrane is either clean air or clear water.

Every time someone tries to suck something out of you, or delivers criticism, anger, or any other harmful energy, your membrane needs to be strong enough to keep the pollution out, otherwise, the entire membrane will be tainted.

It’s very important that you know you deserve to have boundaries. People who lack boundariesoften had some type of early trauma which diminished their self-worth and caused them to feel undeserving of protection. If you feel that you must give people what they want, then you may have a boundary problem.

"Nice" people often make the mistake of thinking that energy vampires will somehow develop compassion and respect, thereby stopping their destructive ways.

But news flash! They won’t! If anything, they will become worse, so it’s up to you to set boundaries.

In addition to creating a safe membrane for yourself, you must crank up the volume on the thoughts, feelings, and body sensations you have in various environments and around everyone you meet.

What would happen if all of your thoughts and feelings were spoken into a loudspeaker as instructions for you? You need to pretend like that is the case.

There is no such thing as not being intuitive.

All humans have intuition just like all animals have instinct. You just have to give it a voice because right now it is buried under the noise of the world and your own self-judgments

Here is an example. I recently attended a sports event where I met a new acquaintance. Not only was there a lot of noise via the game and cheers but because it was a new meeting, I was being friendly and courteous. However, I received several intuitive messages about this person that told me something was toxic to my well-being.

He contradicted nearly everything I said. He gave me unnecessary information about himself that came off as flattering his own ego. And, he talked mostly about himself and asked me very few questions.

In fact, I missed a lot of the game until I realized what was happening. He asked if he could meet me outside of the event so he could tell me more about his life. Despite being a prominent pillar in my community, the man clearly had issues that were bleeding onto me.

Because of my generally warm and attentive demeanor, energy vampires target me as someone who can provide them with power via my attention.

He reached out to me after the event but I declined to talk with him again. Had I not listened to my intuition, I would have ended up mad at myself for allowing my precious time and energy to be used for someone else’s personal gratification.

I also would have had to set stronger boundaries in the future because as the saying goes, "Give them an inch and they’ll take a mile." We teach people how to treat us.

The next time you are introduced to a new person or opportunity, imagine a microphone held up to the messages you receive within. Here are examples of messages that might alert you to negative energy forces:

  • They are focused on themselves.
  • They are trying to impress me,
  • My chest feels tight.
  • My stomach feels queasy.
  • They feel emotionally cold.
  • I feel annoyed.
  • He/she is lying.
  • I do not want to do this.
  • I am not inspired by this.
  • This does not feel right.
  • This is not a good idea.

Get used to naming your physical sensations and noticing whether they feel expansive or restrictive.

Positive people and situations cause you to feel safe and relaxed. Negative energy causes tension.

Many people doubt their intuition. They judge themselves and rationalize the other person’s negative behavior.

The purpose of listening to your intuition is to get back to the Divine creation that you are. You have an intuition for a reason — to protect and create a fulfilling life for yourself.

By ignoring and not taking your intuition seriously, you make a statement to yourself and all of the other energetic bodies around you that you have no value, that you exist only to be chewed up and spit out. Do not take for granted the divine gift you were given.

You are a precious gem worthy of safety and fulfillment. Make a commitment to honor your intuition and you will create a life you love!

Heather Hans, LCSW, MBA is a Public Speaker, Psychotherapist, Intuitive Coach, Law of Attraction Practitioner, Holistic Healer, and author of The Heart of Self-Love. To inquire about booking Heather to speak at your event, visit her website.