Do you want to be more intuitive?
Imagine moving through life with your own personal guidance system that knows exactly how to get where you want to be in your relationships, career, and overall life journey.
That would be amazing right?
So what if I told you the secret to developing your intuition lies inside the most primitive and ancient parts of your evolutionary code?
“Okay I’m interested. Let’s dig in!”
For thousands of years our primitive ancestors survived (and even thrived) in harsh living conditions because they constantly pushed the limits of their mental ability to perceive the world and make instinctive decisions:
- Using multi-layered sensory awareness to track shifting patterns of wildlife, hunt food & avoid being hunted
- Reading the landscape for early signs of food, medicine, resources, shelter, weather, seasons & water
- Cultivating a deep knowledge of nature and devising ways of preserving that knowledge across generations with no written language
Have you ever thought about this?
Modern people have become domesticated and dependant on technology to do things we previous did with just our brains.
But more and more research is showing that humans need to be wild and free in order to operate at our best.
I want to help you take the re-wilding challenge and discover an exciting journey into nature by following the 3 step formula for how to develop your intuition!
So… What Exactly Is Intuition?
In my experience most people really have no idea what intuition actually is… or how to make it stronger.
A lot of people get lost in the idea of developing “psychic powers” or using your mind to control other people, or being able to see the future.
So first off…
When I say “intuition” I’m not talking about anything mystical or magical. I really believe it’s just a completely normal experience that has evolved from a time when humans lived close to nature.
I’ll explain the psychology behind why I believe intuition is actually a primitive survival strategy in the next section…
But first I want to emphasize that everyone has intuition already. You already have intuition working for you. It’s only a question of whether you’re aware of it.
Taking steps towards rewilding simply makes you more aware of the intuition you already have:
- Have you ever had a gut feeling about a decision that ended up being perfect even though you couldn’t explain why?
- Have you ever had a coincidental opportunity show up in your life at exactly the right moment?
- Do you ever feel like you have a deeper purpose in life? Like there’s something calling you in a different direction than you’re currently facing?
These are all examples of real life intuition in action!
But it’s not magic. It simply has to do with how the human brain processes sensory information for the end goal of survival.
Are you ready for more?
Let’s dig deeper!
Intuition As A Survival Strategy…
I believe that intuition is a survival strategy left over from a time when humans were still dependant on their more primal or animal instincts.
Just think about it…
Imagine what it would be like to live in a small tribe of 10-20 other wild humans thousands of years ago?
You need to find all your food, water, shelter, stay relatively dry & safe, fix wounds, and heal infections.
You survive every day on a vast landscape filled with thousands of different plants, bird & animal sounds, colors, shapes, sounds, rushing water, changing topography, trees & forest conditions.
And oh yeah… there are sabre tooth cats, giant bears, hippos, rhinos, poisonous snakes, scorpions, and frogs among hundreds of other things that want to kill you or eat you!
How do our brains process all this information and find the most important things we need in order to survive?
To answer this question, let’s take a jaunt into modern psychology…
How Your Subconscious Sorting System Gives Rise To Intuition And Instinct…
In order for human beings to survive in the wild there are 4 basic things that need to happen inside the brain.
- We need to acquire information about our environment through the 5 senses (seeing, hearing, feeling, smelling, tasting)
- We need to process and categorize this information into meaningful data (Plants, birds, animals, distance, direction, temperature)
- We need to draw conclusions about what it all means (Danger, food, safety, resources, opportunities)
- We need to take action based on what appears to be happening around us (Fight, run, attack, harvest, hide, sleep, wakeup)
Now the challenge with all of this is when you grasp the sheer volume of information being acquired through the senses in step 1…
You realize that it’s simply NOT possible to process all this information on a conscious level.
Scientists have shown that there are literally billions of bits of information coming in through your 5 senses at any given moment.
Yet somehow… You need to sort through as much as possible in order to become AWARE of the things that are most impactful to your survival.
This is why the vast majority of mental sorting and processing happens at an unconscious or subconscious level.
And this is also why sometimes you can sense things or know things that you can’t seem to explain.
It’s not actually magic. It’s just that somewhere on a subconscious level your mind is processing sensory data and alerting you to what’s happening.
It’s that gut feeling or sudden flash of insight, or an inner voice that leads you to take certain actions that benefit you.
That’s how intuition works.
And it’s also the reason why awakening your senses in nature is one of the best ways to activate your intuition!
Why Intuitive Leaps Are So Common In People Who Spend Lots Of Time Outside…
One of the great benefits of spending time outside is that your brain learns how to acquire and process vast amounts of information both on a conscious and subconscious level.
There is a tremendous sensory richness to being outside and engaging with subsistence activities like tracking, bird language, harvesting plants, navigation, etc.
Far more than being locked away inside the humming walls of your home or office building.
Nature (and more specifically sensory awareness of nature) has real life tangible effects on the human brain that promote insight, instinct and intuition.
This is why so many hunters and nature photographers have stories of encounters with wildlife where a gut feeling led them to an animal or in some cases saved their life.
Experienced wildlife trackers will commonly talk about having feelings and inner sensory impressions about the animals they’re following that later turn out to be accurate.
This is also why connecting with nature is rapidly becoming known as a recommended daily practice for enhancing creativity, making better decisions and living a more purposeful and fulfilling life.
Taking Steps Towards ReWilding Your Life Will:
a) Amplify your intuitive sense by helping your senses function better
b) Reduce the mental distractions that prevent you from hearing your inner guidance
Most methods for developing intuition centre around meditation or visualization techniques.
They’re presented with such titles as “awaken your psychic powers so you can make anyone fall in love with you” or “attract a million dollars in 7 days by doing nothing”.
Contrary to this… In my experience intuition is something that emerges much more naturally and generally by expanding awareness and seeking insight.
When you listen for the inner voice of intuitive messages, it will lead you in unexpected yet amazing directions that are perfectly matched for your own personal gifts, strengths, goals, desires & interests.
Now you understand what intuition is and why it exists…
Are you ready to take some real action and start training your intuition?
How To Practice ReWilding So You Can Develop Instincts & Intuition
Here is my proposal…
If you want to develop your intuition, why not focus on what’s been working for millions of years throughout human history?
Nature is the ideal place for training your intuitive sense.
Have you ever noticed how being in nature can cause dramatic shifts in your state of mind?
Whenever I’m feeling anxious, confused or distracted… I’ve learned that by going outside and tuning in with nature I can very quickly let go of those troubled thoughts and find a quiet mind and inner peace.
The outdoor landscape has this effect because it pushes our comfort zone, it stretches our senses, gets us tuned in.
This quiet mind is an important tool for telling the difference between your personal emotions/desires and the true voice of your inner wisdom.
A lot of people confuse the emotion of hope with intuition. They want something to be true and so they believe it’s their intuition talking.
But hope is not the same thing as real intuition.
With practice & lots of time outside you’ll learn to tell the difference between the true voice of intuition and the voice of distraction.
This website is filled with videos, articles, tools & techniques for exploring nature on a very deep level and developing your wilderness instincts.
Just follow my 3 step re-wilding action plan for switching on the firehose of your intuitive abilities. Let’s do it!
Training Your Intuition In Nature…
So what’s the magic formula for developing intuition by rewilding?
It all boils down to 3 overall goals that expand awareness & perceptual capabilities, and draw on the deeper resources of your primitive brain.
You can practice these skills in your own backyard, in a city park or out in the middle of wilderness area.
Whether you have 5 minutes per day or hours of time to wander free in the woods… these are the most important things to focus on when you want to awaken your inner wildness and develop your intuition.
1. Develop Your Sensory Awareness
Consider that intuitive information comes into awareness through the senses. Each sense is connected to it’s own unique part of the brain.
You can see things in your surroundings, and you can also see things in your mind. You can hear things happening around you, and you can also hear things inside your mind.
It isn’t that big of a leap to realize that developing your physical senses will also affect how your brain processes information on an internal level.
By placing conscious focus on each of your 5 senses, you will strengthen the neural networks of awareness connected to these different parts of the brain.
Sense of Sight
Sense of Hearing
Sense of Feeling
Sense of Smelling
Sense of Tasting
I wrote an article recently with 8 nature based sensory awareness exercises you can practice to build proficiency with each of these sensory systems.
This is the first step towards expanding your worldview and opening the dusty long-unused pathways of your mind.
It prepares you for the next essential step…
2. Build Practical Knowledge Of The Natural World
Sensory awareness alone is not enough to fully awaken the animal parts of your brain that give rise to instinct and intuition.
In order for perception to have practical value in the physical world, our brains need to also sort, categorize and process that sensory data into meaningful relationships.
Too many people approach nature from a purely academic perspective.
But simply knowing facts about nature is not enough!
The emphasis needs to be on utility because this is more engaging for the brain.
What can you actually DO with your knowledge of plants, birds, trees, tracking?
Here are a few examples:
Plants – Have an effect on your body. Using plants can change your state of mind. A particular plant might make you feel a certain way. While another plant might make you feel another way. You can build awareness of the effect different plants have on you by drinking a tea or eating something in a more mindful and present way. What sensations occur?
Birds – Birds are known in nature based cultures for having the ability to quiet the mind and bring messages from a distance. Actively listening to birds and watching birds forces you to pay close attention. Studies of bird language will reveal the hidden movements of wild animals by following alarm calls.
Trees – Being in the presence of big trees has a calming affect. They are like nets for negative ions that promote happiness and reduce depression.
Wildlife Tracking – Tracking at it’s highest form is truly the synthesis of all 5 senses, combined with all your knowledge about plants, birds, the alarms made by birds. In this case you’re not just making sensory observations. You’re also going to a higher level and finding relationships between sensory observations. It’s not just about following tracks on the ground.
The real power of these skills comes from a synthesis of knowledge about birds, plants, trees, weather, seasons, ecology, history, geology, insects, mushrooms, everything in nature all working together.
This is deep nature connection at the highest level.
3. Pushing Your Comfort Zone
Sometimes the reason we can’t hear intuition is because we’re too stuck in a familiar comfort zone.
If the voice of comfort is louder than the voice calling you to grow then you won’t be able to tell which feelings are your own and which feelings are coming from somewhere deeper.
The outdoors will bring you face to face with your own limitations and demonstrate that you have the strength to move through them.
Here are 4 ways you can push your comfort edges outside:
The emotion of fear gets a bad name, but fear is actually one of the best forms of medicine for learning to discern your intuition.
In many cases fear is a sign that your intuition is telling you to do something that’s outside of your comfort zone.
You might know deep down that there’s some action you need to take in order to reach the next level of your life… but you’re scared to do it.
You can learn to not let fear control you but to embrace fear for how it helps you grow.
Fear lets you know when you’re on the trail of something exciting. The extra adrenaline helps to open your senses & awareness much more quickly than if you only ever do things that are easy and comfortable.
I once had a close encounter with a female mountain lion and her two kittens. There are no words to describe the feeling in my heart and the blood rushing through my body.
This is different from thrill seeking or reckless behaviour. It’s not necessary to seek out fear because if you’re following you’re intuition then fear will find you.
My favorite example of embracing the cold is a man named Wim Hof.
Wim is known for doing barefoot marathons in snow, dunking himself in ice baths and using mental focus & breathing techniques to keep his body warm.
He strives to remove the barriers between himself and some of the hardest conditions, while demonstrating that he and his students can withstand exposure to not only extreme cold… but also viruses that would cause illness in most people.
Wim talks about how he learned this skill directly from nature. His methods are very simple and encourage the embracing of cold rather than avoiding it.
I believe the ability to produce heat in the body is another natural aspect of this intuitive side of yourself.
I used cold training to improve my circulation and immune system.
I used to get really bad Reynaud’s in my fingers and toes anytime I went swimming, even in summertime.
I haven’t had any problems since I started cold training and I’ve only been sick with a cold once in the last 10 years.
Wim is a man who lives passionately, healthy, abundant with love & happiness.
And just for the heck of it… here’s a video of Wim talking about the wisdom of nature and sharing a bit of his philosophy.
Have you ever sat outside in the late afternoon and quietly watched the landscape move from daylight into darkness while in an expanded state of awareness?
There is a dramatic shift in mental state with the approaching night. If you do this with awareness & presence it just might change your life forever.
But this too can be a major comfort edge for people. I’m always amazed when I’m out at night with folks and they insist on using a flashlight.
Human vision works differently in the dark. It takes at least 20 minutes for the full capacity of night vision to come alive.
If you’ve never experienced true darkness while awake then you’re missing out on an incredible sensory experience.
For some people, the hardest thing about spending time in nature is that you become alone with your thoughts.
This can be an unbearable experience for some people. However I believe that time alone in nature is one of the most important things you can do in order to know yourself on a deeper level.
This is an important part of tuning in with intuition.
In this busy world with billions of people, it’s easy to find yourself surrounded and distracted by other people at all times.
I’ve spent many long hours wandering & sitting quietly in natural places and I consider it to be one of my most powerful personal growth routines.
My goal was simply to listen and be present with nature, to embrace the elements and help me understand myself on a deeper level. It works.
4 Action Steps For Rewilding And Intuition:
- Start spending quality time in nature.
- Focus on being present and consciously aware. Use your 5 senses. If you want some tips I recommend my forest secrets video as a starting point.
- Build your knowledge of nature as an interconnected system.
- Push your edges. Find ways to expand awareness. Embrace the cold. Face your fears. Get comfortable being alone and quiet.
Very helpful article and loved the video of the ice man, inspiring
Brian Mertins says
Thanks Mary, yeah Wim Hof is awesome 😉