You can’t live a life custom-made for you unless you have the ability to hear your own inner voice.
Also called your instinct, higher self, your gut or your inner-knower, your intuition is one of your best tools you have to live a life that flows with peace, harmony and ultimately joy.
But how do you know what’s right for you? If you’re like most people, you probably think about the situation…that is, you use some sort of left-brained, logically-based, deductive thinking pattern in your mind, come to a conclusion and then do it.
Well guess what, if this sounds like you, then you are using less than half of the brain-power available to you!
Wait…I have how many brains?!
We all know we have a brain between our ears and 9 times out of 10, it is this brain that comes to mind when we “think” about making a decision. Although I’m certainly not advocating that you stop using this brain in your head, unfortunately most of us are not aware of the fact that this is not the only “brain” we have in our bodies.
That’s right. We have two other brains! A ‘second brain’ we have is in the heart and yet a third is in the gut.
We call them “brains” because they have completely independent nervous systems that contain the exact same neurotransmitters, peptides, receptors and hormones as the brain between our ears. As a matter of fact, embryonic research has shown us that the heart is actually formed FIRST, usually at approximately the third week of conception, and the brain (in the head) is then formed out of the heart. So what does that mean? Basically that the HEART RUNS THE BRAIN!
Chew on that one for a bit!
Where Happiness Lives
The second embryonic system to develop is then the gastrointestinal system. So that means as a baby develops in it’s mother’s womb, nature has prioritized the GI tract as the second most important system for the body’s optimal functioning and survival.
The brain in the gut is called the enteric nervous system and is located in the mucosal lining of the digestive system. There are more than 100 million nerve cells in the small intestine alone which is actually equal to the number in the spinal cord. And if you combine these nerve cells with the nerve cells in the esophagus, stomach and large intestine, then there are actually more nerve cells in the gut than in the spine! So I guess you could say, the stomach is smarter than the head!
The enteric nervous system is also comprised of something called the Gut-Activated Lymphatic System (GALT). This tissue is in the mucosal lining of the body and comprises approximately 85% of the immune system. So if you want to stay healthy, disease and cold-free, be sure to keep your gut healthy and happy with the right foods and the right thoughts!
This is also one of the reasons that I always teach people about how absolutely vital it is that you eat the highest quality, best diet possible and that your digestion be in tip-top shape; because the digestive system of your body actually controls and “feeds” all the other systems of the body.
And there’s more.
Did you know that over 95% of the body’s serotonin is made in the gut?!?! That’s right, the lowly ol’ stomach is responsible for making you feel good, give you a sense of satisfaction after eating, feel relaxed, get a good night’s sleep and make new brain cells!
Formed first and second, the heart and gut therefore, are obviously super important and to our physiology, health and to our very being.
The bottom line is that the heart and the gut both have an ‘intelligence’ uniquely their own. Question is, are you using them?
The Wisdom Mother Nature
Why would Mother Nature supply us with more than one brain? I’m sure you can think of a lot of funny answers to this question, but physiologically, it makes sense.
The heart is the center of feeling. The gut, which is based in the solar plexus/the middle of your body, and is the center of Self. By having self-sufficient (independent) neurological systems, each of these organs can operate independently of the rest of the body and head-brain. They can also communicate independently as well.
Think of it as having 3 C.E.O.’s running a company (your body).
Why such a need for leadership resources? One theory is so we have several outlets from which we can obtain important own internal mechanism of wisdom, guidance and inner-knowing. Kind of like a built-in internal compass that we can then use for insight to help govern our lives and know what is right for us.
Whether it be in regard to making a tough decision like perhaps if you should change jobs, or how to know if someone has your best interest at heart or maybe even to help determine if a particular food or product is good for your body, your built-in intuition system will never steer you wrong.
A New Way to Think of the Mind-Body Connection
We’ve all heard the expressions: “broken heart”, “stole my heart”, “stabbed in the heart” and we can all tell the difference when someone “puts their heart into something” or not. Also terms like a “gut feeling”, feeling “sick to your stomach” or having nervous butterflies are common sayings we all know and use on a daily basis.
These are just some of the many examples of the mind-body interface, where truly there is no separation between the two.
7 Tips to Develop Your Own Intuition Pronto
Are you ready to start using all three of your brains? Here are my tops tips for developing your intuition so you can start tapping into your own inner compass and make the best decisions for yourself.
1. Get In Touch
The first thing you have to do is to start tuning into what’s going on inside your body. With our fast-paced, highly techno society, we predominantly live our lives (and therefore our consciousness) “in our heads”, disconnected from our feeling bodies. We have lost touch with the innate, primal, instinctual aspects of our nature. It would benefit us all to pay particular attention to how our body reacts to, or feels about any given situation. Start to pay some attention to what’s happening from the neck down the next time you are faced with a decision or dilemma. Notice any subtle feelings and physical symptoms that you might experience.How does my body feel when I think about this issue, situation or problem? Do I feel any tension (tight shoulders or stomach) or do I feel a kind of release or feeling of relaxation? (It helps to close your eyes on first)
2. You Gotta Feel to Heal
Close your eyes and feel your energy when you think about the situation, question, etc. Feel if your energy increases or decreases when you think about it. If it increases or you feel a scene of lightness, excitement or joy then that’s a YES from your Higher Self! If you feel a sense heaviness, drain of energy, tiredness or even sigh that’s a big NO!
3. Take Loving Care of…YOURSELF!
Ask yourself what is the choice that best takes care of me? Then make the choice that does! If you’re not sure, think of how you would advise someone you love who was in the exact same situation.
A solid core is your best ally and defense. Know who you are, what your values are and what you want. Knowing and understanding yourself is fundamental to not only optimal health but also happiness in life! Without knowing this first you have no way of knowing if a “voice” you are listening to is yours or your Aunt Suzie’s from when you where 4 years old!
5. The Right Choice Always Brings Peace
Think about the question or decision and feel which decision/outcome brings you a greater sense of ease and peace both short-term and long-term. Do the one that does.
6. Know Your Values
Ask yourself if you have to compromise any of your values or any aspects of yourself regarding this decision or outcome. Again, a solid foundation of your own values, priorities and self-knowledge is essential for clarity and confidence. Going against your core values will always bring regret, angst and friction.
7. Project into the Future
Image the situation you are dealing with concluding on the path it’s on. If you would feel more peaceful as a result, then it’s the right one for you. If not, change it.
I hope you found this article informative and helpful! If you’d like more information, techniques and tools on how to develop your intuition, feel more connected with yourself and be more of who you really are, please check out our special Women’s Group which meets regularly here: Awakening Your Divine Feminine.
Here are some of my favorite resources on intuition and the mind-body connection. I have more resources in my workshops but this will get you started:
- The Second Brain, Michael D. Gershon, M.D.
- The Heart Speaks, Mimi Guarneri, M.D., F.A.C.C.