There is nothing difficult about developing ESP. In fact, it is such an easy and natural process that most of us simply overlook it. The most difficult task I have consistently faced in my workshops is convincing students how easy it is to use. Once that hurdle is passed, individuals are able to see some clear evidence of their own intuitive abilities.

The real question may be “Why develop your intuition at all?” Some individuals have cited very practical reasons, such as wanting to use it to help solve problems or for obtaining insights in order to make better decisions. Others hope to gain objectivity for setting realistic goals or perhaps in order to increase their own creativity. Many are interested in using ESP in their daily lives, in their personal situations, and at the workplace. Some people clearly want to help in understanding personal psychic experiences which may have started at a very early age. Regardless of the reasons, everyone can benefit from getting in touch with the intuitive capabilities which we all possess. After forty-five years of experience, there is no question in my mind that developing ESP broadens self-understanding and brings people closer to one another. Many individuals see positive results in every area of their lives: physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually as soon as they begin working with the additional insights that intuition has to offer. In fact, psychic development offers a larger perspective on life and a new sense of connectedness with family, friends, and all of humanity.

Unfortunately, there is still a common misconception that intuitive experiences happen infrequently and only to a handful of “special” individuals. However, the truth is that most people have experienced extrasensory perception numerous times in their lives, and for many it is actually a very common experience. Regardless of how common it is, many people remain skeptical of psychic phenomena and most never seriously considered the thought that they may be psychic themselves.

I would describe people who are psychically aware in this way: they are warm, sociable, and easy going; they are quick, alert, and show their emotions easily; they are adventuresome and show enthusiasm for life; and they are practical and realistic. In short, these are the very characteristics one would expect to find in any healthy, well-balanced individual. All healthy, grounded individuals have the ability to utilize psychic information in their everyday lives. Those who are out of touch with this fact are ignoring one of life’s adventures as well as an incredibly useful asset. Most of us haven’t begun to imagine the capacity of the human mind. Experts agree that we’re using only a small fraction of our brain capacity, perhaps as little as five to twenty percent. Regardless of the percentage, it’s an established fact that we are not using our full potential. Part of this untapped potential relates a heightened sensory system that each individual can become aware of through experience and training. It is something that everyone can develop because psychic awareness is not so much a thing as it is a process. Intuition makes use of the intellect and the imagination—both attributes of the brain. To understand how it works, it is helpful to understand how the brain functions.

Some of the earliest brain research was done with individuals who had suffered brain damage through accidents or illness. Researchers discovered that the two hemispheres of the brain controlled not only Why Should I Develop My ESP? And Just What Is It? different sides of the body but also different brain functions. The left hemisphere controls the right side of the body and is involved with rational, analytical thought processes, for example language and mathematics. The right hemisphere controls the left side of the body and specializes in spatial and holistic functions, integrating many operations at once. Imagination, visualization, and psychic processes are all examples of right-brain functioning.

Neither hemisphere of the brain is smarter nor more advanced than the other. But in most individuals it is common to see one hemisphere more developed than the other. Ways in which connections between the left and right hemispheres can be accomplished include relaxation and meditation, creative imagery, intuition and laughter. The exercises in Unlocking Your Intuition can assist individuals in integrating the left and right hemispheres of their brain as they learn to balance the functions of the intellect, the imagination, and the intuitive processes. The result can be a more fully integrated, balanced personality and a balanced-brain individual, who can be more successful both personally and professionally. And, as an individual works at such integration, psychic or extrasensory information can be made extremely practical as well as much more readily accessible.

In my experience, I have found that working in groups of two or more is one of the most productive environments for beginning students of ESP. A shared experience seems to enhance the process, for students learn as much from each other as they do from the material. Also, another person or a group provides immediate, direct feedback and support, which makes the whole experience more enjoyable. However, Unlocking Your Intuition does provide exercises for practicing on your own, and many of the group exercises can easily be adapted to try alone as well.

Psychic processes know no boundaries of space and time. Therefore, the impressions you receive may concern events from the past, the present, or the future. Precognition involves knowledge of future events obtained through psychic means. Retrocognition, on the other hand, involves having or perceiving knowledge of the past through the intuitive processes.

Although the advantages of obtaining psychic insights into the future are innumerable and obvious, the ability to obtain knowledge about the past is also quite useful. Archeologists have used it to help locate buried sites and gain information about artifacts and ancient civilizations. The police have used it to help solve criminal cases and find missing persons. Mental health professionals often use retrocognition in therapy with clients who may need to remember past events and experiences that have been repressed or forgotten. Retrocognition also allows for the ability to see into past lives. You should be aware that retrocognition and precognition impressions may be experienced through clairvoyance, clairaudience, or clairsentience. For information about future events, try concentrating on moving ahead in time. For information from the past, concentrate on moving back.

As you can see, there is more than one way to receive information psychically. A common misperception is that all psychics are clairvoyant, receiving most of their impressions visually. This isn’t always the case. In a typical reading, various impressions of all kinds may be perceived. For example, I once gave a reading for a Chicago man who had come to me for a consultation. As I concentrated on him, I saw three arrows connecting him to three foreign countries. I wasn’t sure what countries were represented, but I told him my impression and he offered to get me an atlas from the next room to help identify the locales. As he got up, I heard these words spoken silently: “India, France, and England.” As I concentrated on his next question concerning his connections with those countries, I had strong feeling responses that provided the additional information he requested. I felt that his lifelong dream was to go India, that his ring was from France, and that he would be making a business trip to England. The man confirmed each of my feelings and in fact, stated that he would probably have to go to England within six months since he was collaborating on a book with an individual from that country.

This is a typical example of the kinds of psychic impressions you may receive in a reading, all in a very short span of time. In this case, the first impression was clairvoyant (symbols representing arrows and foreign countries). The next impression was clairaudient (the words “India, France, and England” spoken in a thought). The final impressions were clairsentient (an inner knowledge about his connections with each country).

The intuitive process utilizes unconscious material and brings it to conscious levels of awareness. However, when a barrier exists between these levels of awareness, it can be more difficult to obtain the information. Fear, tension, and interference by the intellect are all barriers to the unconscious mind; these are also the most common problems experienced by individuals beginning to work with their ESP. Some people are afraid to contact the unconscious mind. They may have had negative or frightening psychic experiences as children, or they have learned to be frightened of them from parents or religious authorities who believed that it was “the work of the devil.” At the root of this fear is the belief that psychic processes are uncontrollable and therefore dangerous; the fear in losing control is a problem only if an individual is unbalanced emotionally or if he chooses for it to be a problem. The exercises in this book are all safe and manageable; at no time will you be out of control of your experience. Throughout all of these exercises you will be in complete control and have the choice to turn on and turn off the psychic process at will. Many priests, nuns, ministers, doctors, health care professionals, business people, parents, students, and children have been able to make personal intuition extremely practical, benefitting greatly from their own psychic abilities in the process.

There are many ways to develop intuitive abilities. The exercises here offer an approach I’ve been using for over forty-five years in workshops and training programs. These techniques have proven themselves again and again. They offer a wide range of learning experiences. Some of them will appeal to you more than others. I encourage you to find and use the techniques that work best for you. Although you may find that you are more naturally adept at one more than another, it is to your benefit to develop all of your psychic senses.

And one more thing: it’s important to have fun while you’re exploring your intuition. It is a process of self-discovery, personal unfoldment, and nearly limitless insight.

[This article is excerpted from the book Unlocking Your Intuition: 7 Keys to Awakening Your Psychic Potential by Carol Ann Liaros.]