...at least for decision-making, that is. :)
So it turns out that a big gut might actually be good for you! No I’m not talking about the size of the belly spilling over your elastic waistband. I’m talking about a big and strong gut instinct or intuitive sense. We’ve all heard people say “Follow your gut” or “What does your gut tell you?” but how the heck do we know what our gut is telling us? And why do we care what it says?
It turns out our gut instincts are a form of intuition, and in their purest form can be an awesome way of getting some super helpful guidance in this crazy world of ours. How exciting that we are actually carrying around a little internal guidance system that can help us make decisions in line with our best interests on a daily basis??!! Our gut is like our own Inner Yoda that sends us strong messages and insights before our monkey minds can shut it up with doubts and fears.
Our gut feelings and intuitive guidance always have our best interests in mind. The (often difficult) key is to separate our gut feelings from the fears and doubts that our monkey mind throws in the mix.
It is always best to make a decision when we are in a more positive state of mind—when we are feeling a mix of excited and scared at the same time. The worst time to make decisions is when we are feeling low, fearful, and drained. Making decisions out of fear usually does not lead to the best result for us (at least it hasn’t for me).
So how do you know the difference between a thought from your monkey mind (ego) and an intuitive gut instinct? The gut instinct is more of a feeling—how does your body feel when you think about the options you are trying to choose from? When you visualize yourself choosing a particular option, do you feel a mix of excited and a little scared? Or do you feel drained, heavy, and exhausted?
If you feel excited at a possibility but a little (or a lot) nervous about the prospect of making a change, that is usually a good sign. If the possibility makes you feel drained and sluggish, your gut is likely telling you it’s not a good idea.
Once you’re clear on what your gut is telling you about a certain situation or decision, the next (often difficult) key is to summons the courage to actually take your gut’s advice. Listening to our gut is often one of the scariest things we have to do. But oftentimes, the prospect of staying the same, and ignoring our gut, is even more unbearable.
It’s times like these that I like to break things down into miniature, teeny, tiny, baby action steps. For example, does your gut tell you to be an artist when you currently work as an accountant? Well that prospect could make anyone vomit with fear! Instead, why not take a teeny, tiny (I’m talking miniscule here) action step every day that will gently and easily move you forward in that direction?
For example, when you get home from your accountant job, do a 30 second google search on books written by corporate folks who made the transition into the art world. Or look up the community education schedule in your town to see if there are any art classes you might want to take.
The key is to listen to that nice, big gut of yours, and take small enough steps forward that you trick your ego into thinking you’re just “exploring” something as opposed to making any sort of big, scary change. (Note: Egos don’t like change.)
The cool thing is you can actually strengthen your gut on a daily basis (no I’m not talking about sit-ups). Any time you want to make even a harmless decision (i.e. where to go to dinner tonight or what movie to watch), check in with your gut and practice listening to it.
Picture yourself doing each of the possibilities and then see how your body feels with each one. Then go with the one that feels better to your gut.
The awesome news is that once we start listening to our gut, and taking small steps in that direction, the Universe gets super excited and steps in to support us! Each next step will be revealed to us, one at a time.
What would your gut tell you if you listened to it right now? (After it says, “Eat a cheeseburger,” of course. :)) I want to hear about it in the comments below!
Yours in Big Guts and Inner Yodas,
Tina Meyers is an Intuitive Coach and Feminine Leadership Facilitator and the founder of Women Advocates Rising and WARRIOR SCHOOL. She is a former attorney, and a seeker of creativity, courage, aliveness, and transformation in her own life and the lives of others.