Mary Elizabeth Lynch’s 3 Powerful Techniques to Build Intuition (E28)


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June 28, 2016

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In this week’s episode of The Art of Personal Growth Podcast, I sit down with Mary Elizabeth Lynch, a attorney/mediator and conflict resolution specialist. She is also the co-founder, for the Personal Transformation and Courage Institute. I actually met Mary Elizabeth at a workshop at my alma mater, George Mason University, and really appreciated her story of moving from a criminal law position to the world of well-being and mindfulness.

Our conversation covers a variety of topics about mindfulness, mindlessness, and well-being, and I invite you to listen to the whole thing to hear Mary Elizabeth’s insights on how these interplay in our daily lives. Mary Elizabeth also shared three powerful techniques to help build intuition – something she says is important to help us achieve the well-being we all deserve. Here are those three techniques, which you can start practicing today.

Walking Around the Problem

One great technique for cultivating intuition, especially when you’re confronted with a difficult situation or decision, is to try the technique Mary Elizabeth calls ‘walking around the problem.’ I learned this technique when I attended her workshop, and it’s a difficult technique to learn – once you do though, the results are really powerful.

As Mary Elizabeth says, we are used to a very left-brained world: everything is based on the scientific theory, proving things through facts, and using maps, models, and categories to understand the world. Walking around the problem is a much more right-brained exercise, as it requires us to tap into our intuition, and consider the problem from every angle… even those that aren’t supported by irrefutable evidence!

‘Walking around the problem’ means we try to hold several perspectives of the issue in our mind at the same time, and have a more holistic understanding of it. We can also see the ‘space’ between the options, and come to a more creative conclusion or resolution. It definitely takes practice though!

Creative Non-Doing

Mary Elizabeth explains that this intuition-building exercise is like meditation: you take five minutes in the morning to focus solely on the present – not the past or the future – and consider what’s happening now. Instead of allowing our minds to race around in time or space, or get caught up in certain thoughts, we let everything flow past us during this time.

Instead, creative non-doing allows us to tap into the sensations in our body, which Mary Elizabeth calls ‘body wisdom.’ Our bodies have their own ways of communicating with us, but we’re often so busy paying attention to what’s on our minds that we miss what our body is saying!

By taking just a few minutes each morning for creative non-doing, we become more skillful at tuning into the wisdom our body has, and our minds can process information more creatively. Because we’re not doing anything, we allow space in our lives for that to happen. Again – this isn’t easy; just like other meditation practices, it’s something to practice and improve over time.


Inquiry is the final way Mary Elizabeth suggests we can build intuition. She defines this technique as “asking yourself a question which has no answer.” This sounds hard, right? After all, the point of asking a question in the first place is because you’re looking for an answer.

Instead of searching for an answer, the process of inquiry allows us to consider the question from many different perspectives and answers. Mary Elizabeth says it’s important to learn and remind yourself that all of the perspectives and answers have their own validity, and that you can hold them in your mind simultaneously.

If you’re looking for a great question to start practicing inquiry with, consider this one:

What makes your heart sing?

Isn’t that a great question? So many answers come out of that question – and all of them are likely valid and perfectly acceptable! Inquiry helps you get in touch with your intuitive wisdom and authentic self, especially through questions like this. Even asking yourself just one question per day can help you start cultivating more intuition.

Mary Elizabeth shared many other insightful comments throughout our conversation, and also told us about her Well-Being Foundations of Personal Transformation event. Even better, she gave a massive discount for The Art of Personal Growth listeners for this event, which starts in August. Be sure to download the whole episode (above), or click the subscribe buttons to hear all about it.


Thanks for Listening!

Thanks for joining me this week. I’d love to hear your thoughts, please leave an honest review for The Art of Personal Growth podcast on iTunes. Ratings and reviews are super helpful to tailoring the content of the show and I read them all! They also matter in the rankings of the show.

If you enjoyed this episode, please share it on the social media! This week’s hashtag is #TAoPGP28.

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It's Time for a Better Career Change!

Don't Put Your Happiness on Hold!

Start Now!