I was out hiking with my dog Lily this weekend and she offered a teaching moment that I thought was perfect for us to consider as we expand our intuition and use it to guide us to our highest good and chosen destiny.

Lily, my 3 year-old Jack Russell terrier, saw a squirrel, which she often does on our walks. This squirrel was busy doing its morning house keeping, foraging for nuts and things, completely oblivious to the barking, jumping, squeaking, furry, maniac that was disrupting the quiet of the day. It’s not that the squirrel was oblivious, per say, but rather, it didn’t really care, because separating it from my crazy pup was a 12-foot tall mesh fence. No way in heck that Lily would have any chance of getting that squirrel, short of digging under or climbing over that defiant green wall. Both of which she valiantly attempted.

But did Lily care about the futility of her quest? Nope. She was crazy intent on getting that particular squirrel as if it were the only squirrel left on the planet. And all the while as she was spinning and jumping and barking … less than 4 feet away, perched on top of a guard-rail, on this side of the big green fence, was another squirrel. Watching, chewing on its morning nut and looking at Lily and her ‘efforting’ as if to say, ‘Chill pup, you are working way too hard.’

The squirrel sat there for about 30 seconds before it left to do whatever it is squirrels do on a Sunday morning. Did Lily see it? No. She was so focused on the one target, the one goal, the one squirrel; that her perception was completely oblivious to a closer, easier and more available target. Does this sound, in any way, familiar to you?

Lily and other furry people like her are not the only beings that miss out on easy opportunities because they are stuck focusing on something else. We humans do it all the time as well.  There is an actual scientific name for this perceptual limitation; it is called, “In-attentional Blindness.”

‘In-attentional Blindness’ happens when we are so focused on one particular idea, outcome or goal and have certain expectations about it, that we limit our ability to perceive, recognize or notice other ideas, pathways or solutions that are more readily available and more easily achievable.

Have you ever found yourself spinning in circles, working like crazy to make something happen when all the while other opportunities were sitting right there waiting for you to notice them? It might be hard to answer that question, because if you didn’t notice them, you wouldn’t be able to say that you didn’t notice them. This is how our chosen destiny passes us by and we begin to believe we are doomed to fate.

Our intuition offers us ideas, opportunities and solutions that follow our energetic intent, that are in alignment with our highest good and come to us via the path of least resistance. But it is our attachment or commitment to habits, past ways of doing things or a belief that there is only one way for something to come about which limits our ability to perceive these intuitive directives. This limitation encourages us to believe that it is necessary to work really hard to make things happen.

There are billions of bits of information and data streaming around us at all times – some of those bits of information serve our goals for happiness and success and some don’t. As conscious beings we only perceive a tiny, tiny bit of that data at any given moment. So in order for our intuition to serve us in the most powerful way; that is, so we can begin to perceive the information that does serve our goals, we need to shift our energy, our attitudes and our attention.

Here are three ways to begin to expand your Perception:

#1. Let go of the idea that there is only one way to achieve your goal. Whether that goal is a business or financial success, a health opportunity or a relationship discovery. Simply because that way is the way other people have done it, maybe since … forever, does not mean that is the way you are going to do it. There are a million individual ways to achieve a particular outcome, and yours is unique to you.

Start telling yourself, “There is a perfect direction for me to take and I am open to discovering it.”

#2. Notice the story you tell yourself or the words you say about any particular situation. Allow yourself to let go of your opinions, good or bad, positive or negative about your current circumstance and even about your goal. Statements like, “I hate that I am in this position,” or “I know life will be better when I am rich. Married. Successful” (or whatever) – limit our ability to perceive by shifting us into judgment, which is just like putting on an energetic blindfold.

Start telling yourself, “Where I am right now is perfectly fine and where I am going is fine as well.”

#3. Let go of your idea of how the solution or goal is going to appear and be willing to let go of the habits and patterns you have used in the past to try to make something happen. Our fear convinces us we need to force the outcome into being. When we allow the power held in our intuition to guide and direct us, we begin to perceive perfect opportunities and solutions that come easily, elegantly and without a whole lot of effort.

I jokingly like to say, ask yourself, “Am I using force? Or am I using THE Force?” (Yoda would be proud)

We see what we allow ourselves to see

Intuition is the guidance of expanded perception – it is our ability to see both deeply into and beyond our current circumstance and to use that awareness to move our lives and our destiny forward. When we start using this evolutionary skill, we begin to discover that all of our hard work and struggle in the past will not serve us now, and that our dreams and desires for success are waiting patiently right beside us … if we only take the time to learn how to recognize them. Squirrel!!!!