Gut feelings (sometimes referred to as intuition, inner wisdom, inner child, higher self) 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, or our ego, takes over, we ignore our gut, we override the built in system, 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.
So where do the gut feelings come from within our physical bodies? Our gut resides in the solar plexus just above the belly button. When it is functioning well, we can trust its guidance and adjust our actions accordingly.
Interestingly, many of us have a tendency to ignore this area of our bodies. We tend to take shallow breaths that never have the opportunity to reach this part of our bodies. But it is in this place that we find the courage to act, to reach out into the world and to create change. It is a place in our bodies that must not be ignored.
When our gut is out of balance, we are timid and out of sync, wishing we had been able to say something or to stand up for ourselves. Often we were only able to say what we wanted to say later when we were alone; telling the mirror how upset we are and wishing we had acted on the opportunity we hadn't seen until it was gone. Our gut had seen it, but we had ignored that feeling to our detriment.
In order to get the most out of your gut feelings, make a definite effort to focus your attention on it more regularly and make the time to care for it. Notice what it is telling you, whether it is saying 'this doesn't feel right' or 'this feels good' or 'Don't do it'.
You can begin right now to focus your attention on your gut by taking a deep breath right down into your belly. Feel that part of your body just above the belly button expand with the inhaled breath. Notice how it feels.
When you exhale, pull your navel in toward your spine so as to empty out all the breath completely before taking another deep breath right down into your belly. When you empty completely, you release any stagnant energy and create more space to be filled with another 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. Try it. When you next get a feeling in your gut about something, take notice. What is it telling you?
It will take a little time to get used to the feelings you experience. But you will soon learn how it works.
Learn to trust your gut instinct.