Your intuition often called your gut feelings get their name from the place in the body where they make themselves known. A pang in your gut when you may be doing the wrong thing, or a vibrant zing when your body approves of what you are doing, can guide you reliably at times when logic fails. Sometimes, when logic takes over, we ignore our intuition and probably live to regret it. We discover later that a rational approach is only one way of determining what is going on in a situation and how we should react.
Trusting your intuition
Your gut resides in the solar plexus just above your belly button. When it is functioning well, you can trust its guidance and adjust your actions accordingly. So many of us have a tendency to hold in this area of our bodies. We take shallow breaths that never reach this part. But it is in this place that we find the courage to act, to reach out into the world and create change. When our gut is out of balance, we are timid and out of sync, wishing we had been able to say something although we were only able to say it later when we were alone; wishing we had acted on the opportunity we hadn’t seen until it was past.
Most of us have probably experienced a sense of knowing things before we know them, even though we probably can’t explain how. Maybe you hesitated at a green light and missed getting hit by a speeding car. Possibly you decide on a whim to break your no-blind-dates policy and meet your life partner. Those ‘insights’ can be tapped into when you learn to recognise the signals. It could be sweaty palms, a funny feeling in your stomach or even an unexplained certainty that something is not right.
According to Judith Orloff PhD, a Los Angeles based intuitive psychiatrist and author or Second Sight (Three Rivers Press, 2010) there are five gut feelings that are advisable to pay attention to:
1. Something feels wrong in my body. It could be you feel drained by an energy-draining person. Move away from them.
2. I am in danger. You can tell within the first 10 seconds of meeting someone if they are friend or foe.
3. I want help. Following your instincts for sympathy and generosity generally turns out to be a good investment in your health and happiness.
4. I know how to do this. Sometimes your can-do instinct developed through years of experience is drowned out by an onslaught of overthinking and your ‘forget’ how to do something.
5. This is it. Your intuition signals that you’ve found something or someone truly right for you.
In order to get the most out of your gut feelings, you may want to focus your attention on it more regularly and make the time to care for it. You can begin right now by taking a deep breath into your belly. When you exhale, pull your navel in toward your spine so as to empty out completely before taking another deep breath into your belly. When you empty completely, you release any stagnant energy and create more space to be filled with the fresh, nourishing breath. The more you practice this simple, cleansing exercise, the clearer and more communicative your gut feelings will be and the more comfortable you will feel acting on them.
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