Your gut instinct operates on feelings. You know this at the core of your being, but are you listening to it? Are you feeling it? Are you really tapping into the wisdom of your gut instinct that has served and protected your fellow humans for thousands of years? By engaging your attention and learning to understand gut instinct, you will begin to recognize your feelings and start to listen to the responses that are part of your own unique experience! Gut instinct is a basic building block to your intuition. Get it engaged and in gear.
Having colon cancer last year and dealing with a colostomy for a few months brought gut instinct into clear focus for me. As I started to think seriously about it, I wondered if the whole experience was an important wakeup call for too many missed messages. I was concerned the surgery and chemo directed at my abdomen would dull future messages from getting through. I’m not yet positive but the opposite may be true. All that is left of the colostomy is a purple scar that seems to react with some significant sensations which I am learning to feel and decipher.
Our bodies are truly a marvel and recent discoveries are confirming the “brain in your gut”. A primal connection exists between your brain and your gut through an extensive network of neurons and a highway of chemicals and hormones. All the chemicals of the brain reside in our gut. It is no simple coincidence; we are designed for this connection. So let’s decipher some of the ways to utilize your gut instinct.
Put Your Intuition to Work
For starters, I highly recommend “Put Your Intuition to Work: How to supercharge your inner wisdom to think fast and make great decisions” by Lynn Robinson. Lynn’s focus is on intuition in business and work related decisions, but her techniques will assist you in any decision that has you stumped. Lynn says, “The next time you’re faced with a decision, large or small, check in with your gut. Does an option you’re considering feel off or right in your belly?”
Let’s say you have a decision to make. You’ve been exploring the pro’s and con’s but something about this choice holds you back and you aren’t moving in either direction. Asking simple direct questions to engage your gut can provide answers, or at least clues, to what might be hovering under the radar of your mind. An important part of this whole process is to separate your feelings from your thinking mind.
Images and feelings will help you find your way to a decision. The exercise may not provide a clear path forward, but allowing your gut instincts to be felt and heard can add to the mix of information involved in the decision. Choices are everywhere and your intuition is there to guide you.
Lynn’s book is full of examples, case studies and useful tips about making decisions while engaging your intuition and gut instincts.
Simply noticing how a choice makes you feel can be a good start.
So you’ve got all of the information available to you with facts and figures but you are still unsure.
Lynn says, “Close your eyes and imagine saying yes. How does that decision feel? How do you feel emotionally? Heavy, weighty, depressing feelings generally indicate ‘Don’t go with this’. Up, energizing, enthusiastic, positive emotions point to an affirmative response.”
Only you know what your body feels and only you can interpret the messages and signs. Your gut instinct is your own unique internal language. Are you listening to it ? Are you feeling it?
Catch the message of your gut instinct
Usually your gut just responds to stimuli and you need to catch the message on the fly. Other times you may ask your gut a question and decipher the answer. Either way gut instinct will show up as sudden and often times subtle physical sensitivities.
One often repeated recommendation for developing and relying on your intuition is to begin practicing with less important decisions. So remember to check in and sharpen your gut instincts on smaller day-to-day decisions and you will be in a much better decision making position when the big choices come along.
How does your gut instinct get your attention? Are you listening to it? Are you feeling it?