On Intuition and Gut Knowing

Trust your gut; womb knowing; intuition.  These are terms we use to explain how we simply know if something is good or bad for us.  We just know!  It’s more a physical feeling than anything else – grabbing our attention when we’re about to do something new, or meet someone we don’t know.

But before we can even begin to trust our gut, we need to learn to identify it. Gut knowing isn’t a thought or an emotion – it isn’t something that comes from our head; nor is it an interpretation or a value judgment.  For instance, “I feel anxious about this meeting” isn’t a gut instinct, it isn’t even a feeling.  It’s a thought – specifically a worry, about the future. Gut instinct is visceral, like a physical sensation.

Now, think of a time when you walked into a strange room, and there was someone a few yards away who gave you the creeps – you couldn’t define it in words, you just had this uneasy feeling deep in your belly.  That is a gut instinct, and you’d be wise to heed it.

Or, think of a time when you really liked an idea that crossed your desk, even though you couldn’t put your finger on it.  You went with it anyway and it turned out to be the best thing you could have done.  That is also a gut instinct.

The thing about intuition, or gut instinct, as Gavin de Becker says, is that it is always right in at least two important ways: It is always in response to something, and it always has your best interest at heart.

In order to trust our gut, we need to train ourselves to heed it. I wrote about this almost 2 years ago, Learning to Trust Your Gut and it’s worth repeating here.

How can you learn to trust your gut? Here are 4 things you can do to learn:

  1. First, quiet the mind.  Try focusing on your breathing for 10 deep breaths.  Before we can trust our gut instinct, we need to be able to recognize it, and we can only do that if we put our inner head business aside.
  2. Pay attention to your visceral responses and reactions.  Do you have a tingling at the back of your head; or butterflies in your stomach; or a clenching, tingling, jumpiness, in any part of your body?  What are those responses telling you?  What images and past experiences come up for you?
  3. Now you have your gut information – the raw data.  That may be all you need to take action.  If it isn’t, ask your higher power, inner wise self, for guidance. Close your eyes, free yourself of any expectations and pre-conceptions.  Then let it go and give your higher self the space it needs to respond.
  4. When your inner wisdom responds, listen to it. It may come to you while you’re dreaming, or during some daily routine.  Watch out for it.

Trust comes from trying things out and seeing them work.  The more you learn to know your gut intuition, the more you will learn to trust it.

Trust your gut – a demo

Quote of the Week

I’ve realized that being happy is a choice. You never want to rub anybody the wrong way or not be fun to be around, but you have to be happy. When I get logical and I don’t trust my instincts – That’s when I get in trouble.
-Angelina Jolie
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