If you are like me, you weren’t taught how to trust your gut. Trusting your gut is a learned skill born of experience. A skill deepened through experience and experimentation. Through trial and error, we learn to discern what is driving each decision we make. Intuition may seem like a hazy topic for some but whether you know it or not, we all experience it during our life. Simply put, intuition is the ability to make well-informed decisions.
As I reflect back on my learnings I noticed a few areas in my life that when I began to refine and up-level which supported this skill. Refinement is a daily process.
Grow your intuition with a supportive lifestyle
Is your lifestyle supporting your ability to make good well-informed decisions?
You want to support yourself with actions that support the things you value. First you have to know what matters to you. What are your values? When values are clearly-defined, it is easier to feel the friction present when your words or actions run contrary to them. When action aligns with values, this can support the kind of lifestyle you desire.
Each choice you make shapes your lifestyle. Essentially your lifestyle is the accumulation of your past actions which shape your current reality. These choices also signal your body to respond in a specific way. Example, if you exercise, you become stronger. With every choice, you have the ability to learn and to listen to your gut feeling and the opportunity to respond accordingly.
Is strengthening your intuition something that interests you? Trust your gut one choice at a time.
It takes time, patience and a level of responsibility to continue fostering good decision- making. So a well-rounded lifestyle which supports your emotional, spiritual and physical health is key to making good decisions. Meditation and quiet time with low stimulus are key for healthy emotions along with exercise and recovery. Think rhythm, pulsing between rest and activity. You want a good balance of both.
Build your intuitive gut.
Your gut health directly influences your ability to make good clear decisions, hence the name for this is the gut-brain axis. It is this enteric nervous system which resides in your gut that sends and receives signals to your central nervous system. When the central nervous system is relaxed, as clear communication helps to infer, you are better able to respond and make well informed decisions.
What you feed yourself will either support your gut health, as in helping with clear communication along the gut-brain axis or not. Going deeper, trusting your gut comes down to the symbiotic relationship between your gut bacteria and what you feed them. If you are not supporting this relationship you are hindering your ability for deeper intuitive connection. So choosing to consume gut-healthy foods on a regular basis will help support a healthy gut-brain axis. You could say your gut biome learns to trust and even guide you based on how well you support it.
A gut healthy diet looks different for everyone, but in a broad view there is a template. This template includes creating a supportive environment for good bacteria. Think of a house with strong walls for the bacteria to live and be protected, and feeding the good bacteria with fresh earth-grown foods so they can thrive as a healthy community. While food matters to having a healthy gut, so do other lifestyle factors. In fact, recent research shows that one of the most influential factors on maintaining gut health may be stress, or rather and one’s ability to regulate their response to stressful situations.
Enter meditation and time to relax.
Today’s modern diet is far from being supportive of your gut and a healthy gut is only a part of the whole picture. How do you know what works? Experiment with new ways of feeding your gut and supporting a healthy connection to the feelings you experience.
Support your intuition with awareness.
Have you noticed the difference between your thoughts, emotions and intuition? This was a learned skill for me which I developed after many years of noticing and listening. This skill has showed me is the subtle difference in qualities intuition has from thoughts and emotions. I experience intuition with a light, pure and clear feeling to it. My thoughts have the subtle sensation of dense air or humidity, and emotions carry the quality of a visceral physical experience.
Meditation is great place to explore the differences between your thoughts, emotions and intuitive insights. And it was through listening, trusting and taking action daily that taught me how to discern these differences. How do each of these feel differently for you? Through reflecting on past choices you can notice trends and tendencies, and begin discerning the differences.
Have you been accurate with past intuitive insights? Have a regular time to reflecting and acknowledge the gut feelings you have and if they contain any truth.
Intuition is an easy thing to dismiss. On one level you may know something needs to happen or is true, yet you ignore the signal and move forward based on an emotional response. What to do? Practice listening, trusting and taking action. The more you do it, the more developed your awareness becomes.
Practice, refine, repeat. A healthy dose of curiosity will positively impact your relationship with your intuition. Curiosity helps me enter my life as a living experiment. This experiment includes the practice of listening to my gut, refining my choices and repeating often. Do you want to become more intuitive? Practice listening to your gut feeling. Spend time in reflection and meditation to intentionally sense the different qualities of thoughts, emotions and the sense of knowing.