Just in case you’re thinking – no, I’m not referring to the gut as that part of your belly that hangs over your waistband after a few too many indulgences… I’m referring to the inner gut. What the heck is an inner gut you’re asking? Before I clarify, let’s see if any of the below statements resonate with you:

I knew better.
I had an inkling that I ignored.
Something just didn’t feel right.
I had an inner voice warn me.
I ignored the feeling in my stomach.
I felt like I had a sea of butterflies in my stomach and was thinking that I was imagining things.
My heart was racing, but I ignored it.

So, with inner gut, I’m not referring to a specific body part, but a sensation and knowing deep inside of you that may reside in either your belly (or oftentimes referred to as gut) or your heart area. Some people may also refer to it as inner wisdom, intuition or instinct. Personally I experience that sensation in my belly. And if you’ve followed my blog postings for awhile, you know that I’m all about following your instincts and listening to your body. For me, that’s part of my spiritual connection with Mother Nature. But I have to tell you that at times I don’t follow my own advice. Yep, I right out ignore those nudges or sensations that come from my gut. Yes, yours truly worries that she is being judgmental, negative or fearful.

Why is this compelling me to write this week’s blog posting about why your gut always knows best? Because I’ve had a few situations over the past year where my gut absolutely told me not to do something or to be cautious – and I just totally ignored that feeling to later have it come to bite me in the derriere. And that bite was quite painful – emotionally and financially. So, yes – my gut did know what was best. My mind, on the other hand, told me that I wasn’t being open-minded, that I was playing small, that I was resisting being stretched, that it was just my “baggage” holding me back, or that I was lacking compassion. Wonderful monkey brains we have, don’t we?

The moral of all this is that when you’re faced with a situation where you have a gut reaction (or anywhere in your body), take the time to truly listen to it. Don’t just let the monkey brain take over and feed some nonsense to get you to push away the feeling that you’re experiencing. Yes, there may be times when you just don’t know how to interpret what your gut is telling you. That’s where practice comes into play.

Here are three things that you can do to help you with your “gut instinct interpretation skills”:

Embrace stillness and space. When you have a gut feeling about a situation, find an opportunity to go somewhere and be totally still. Take deep, deep breaths and just ask yourself what it is that you need to know from the particular situation. Don’t take action until you’re clear on the answer. This might happen immediately or take a few hours or day. Be patient with the process.
Build your gut muscles. Start with small decisions and then look at the outcome. The common example is your drive home from work – listen to whether your gut tells you take an alternative route. Another small one would be to listen to your body about what nutrients it might need and follow the cravings (not the junk food kind…). How about when you get an inkling to call someone – just do it. Or when you have a certain feeling about someone – honor it and keep appropriate boundaries.
Start recording your hunches. If you keep a journal, start keeping track of the little things that pop up. Then let things unfold and see how they play out. You can even make it a fun game. For every hunch that turned out right – reward yourself with something special like fresh flowers or some great dark chocolate and be grateful for how your “gut” is taking care of you.

What’s the saying: “Mama Knows Best”? Well, it’s just the same with your gut. It’s just that we as women have moved away from our natural way of “thinking”. Yes, our instincts are our natural way of thinking, not that gorgeous brain of ours. So, let your gut guide your brain and not the other way around!

Author's Bio: 

Marion Chamberlain is a former self-improvement junkie that found freedom, connection, and independence through self realization. Learn how you can do the same with her powerful coaching program http://marionchamberlain.com/krafting-with-marion/