So you hear a little inner voice, a little "message." Or you feel an inkling, a sense that directs you this way rather than that. Is this a voice or a feeling you should follow? Is this your intuition or just an active imagination?

This is a question most of us face as we seek to access our intuitive sense and higher knowing. And the simple answer is that, at first, you probably won't be certain. Developing this discernment -- knowing what inner "voice" you can trust -- will take some practice. And, like most skills, it will require some trial and error. But it doesn't have to be difficult, and it's a skill well worth refining.

Well, we are human beings, not oracles. As human beings, we have a variety of senses, which receive and process information in very different ways. Consequently, when we open to our "higher" senses, we are bound to receive input from "all" our senses and impulses. We'll hear from our mind chatter. We'll hear from our unconscious. We'll hear from our emotional states and from our ego.

These sources are by no means "bad." They're an important part of our human experience. But the information they offer can be a bit murky. And they often tell us more about our needs, hopes and fears than about our deeper knowing and clear direction.

Honing your psychic sense then involves distinguishing the voice of your intuition and higher knowing from the voice of these somewhat less objective and less reliable sources.

In evaluating a "message," here are a few things to check for.

Reliable information is reliable because it's real. Unlike the little echoes that our emotions and memories can generate, the voice of our intuition will have fresh life. It will have some substance and staying power.

So, if you get a piece of information and want to verify it, simply do a re-check. But before you do this re-check, find a quiet place, a place where you can spend a little time alone. A place where you can breathe and quiet your body and mind a bit.

Once you've found this measure of stillness within and around you, check whether the information is still there. If it is, it's probably valid information.

Information that genuinely comes through our higher knowing will carry that higher vibration. It will speak from a place of clarity and elevated perspective. Consequently, the message will also be delivered in a calm and often light way (... even if the message bears on something urgent).

And perhaps most importantly, the tone and content of the message will be supportive and constructive. Because our higher sources are grounded in wisdom and love, they simply will not speak to us in any other manner.

So, if the tone of the message is one of panic or if it's critical, judgmental or attacking, this is not your intuition speaking. It is most likely the voice of a fear that has been aroused in you ... or the echo of an old emotional wound.

Now, again, these "wounded" voices do have something to tell us -- they show us where we feel wounded and where to "direct" healing. But they don't offer accurate direction for our lives. You can either dismiss such a message altogether, or you can try to subtract out the distortion that fear has added and then see if any valid information remains.

Again, finding your intuition requires openness and some experimentation. So be open to your intuition, but test it out with something simple.

For example, if you're going out shopping and your intuition "directs" you to stop at this grocery store (rather than another), do it. And see what happens. If you happen to run into an old friend (or make a new friend), you'll know you connected with your intuition. If not, you've lost nothing ... and you've demonstrated your openness, your "trust" in this new faculty.

This trust is actually quite key to establishing a connection with your intuitive sense. The very exercise of trust -- following an instinct even though you're not absolutely certain of it -- serves to expand you. And whereas certainty is the realm of the mind, expansiveness is the realm of intuition. It's where our intuition lives.

So, if you're reaching into your intuition to find certainty or that one "right" answer, you'll want to relax this impulse just a bit. Instead, take a breath, let your mind rest, and "feel" for a more open, expanded sense. A sense of exploration. And like an explorer, just be open to what you find.

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Author's Bio: 

Rob Brookler is the founder and creator of the Meditations2Go® guided audio meditation collections and the website. The Meditations2Go® audio meditation CDs and MP3 downloads, meditation FAQs, and original articles – available at – are drawn directly from the popular classes in meditation and spiritual principles Mr. Brookler has taught for the past 28 years.