How do you know when something’s not quite right?
You might say to me “Delphi, I just get a feeling” and I would accept that. But you might also worry, about whether you can trust it.
It makes sense if you’re feeling a bit nervous about trusting your intuition right now, when in our current climate so much is unknown. It’s hard to “know” what’s for the best, when no one knows what the future holds just yet.
We’re also experiencing huge cognitive load, taking in so much information – which is constantly changing – it makes our capacity to receive and process more data difficult. But that doesn’t mean we don’t have a sense of when something feels right or, well…a bit off.
If I were to ask you how your day has been so far, you could instantly tell me based on a feeling. You wouldn’t stop and take hours to analyse logically everything that’s happened so far (from what you chose to wear or have for breakfast, and what you’ve seen on social media) to give me an answer. You would just get a sense of how things have panned out already, and then tell me.
Intuitively getting in touch this way is reading what’s known as your somatic markers – your gut instincts.
Somatic markers are always guiding our decision making (even if we don’t realise it), and essentially they’re reading our emotions. We know that emotion has its own intelligence – that’s why I say there are no “good” or “bad” emotions; all feelings are valid – and it’s what we do with them that has the impact. In essence, it’s our emotions that are trying to tell us something, and it’s our body that tries to communicate.
The problem comes when we have a big decision to make, when we are stressed, or try to push those emotions away.
Your body reads this as trouble and the part of the brain that kicks in when we’re feeling the pressure literally takes over. It throws logic out the window, and uses the past as it’s only reference point.
So if, when you’ve had a decision to make in the past you froze, you might worry that will happen again. In the same way, if you lashed out when someone spoke unkindly, your brain might suggest snapping back is the only option you’ve got. But it doesn’t have to be that way, once we know how.
Here’s some food for thought:
This week, maybe set the intention to Access Your Wisdom. This article explains that it starts with listening. You could start with tuning in to your body right now and paying attention to what it’s actually saying (mindfulness can help). It might be that you’re tired, or hungry or need a short break. Notice also how you respond in different situations – when things feel right, do you get goosebumps or do the hairs on the back of your neck stand up? Another way is to consider what Maria Forleo describes as the presence of “expansion” or “contraction”. When something feels right you feel expansive – your eyes widen and you light up; you glow from the inside out. When something feels ‘wrong’ you might notice you contract – your body tightens or the colour drains from your face. If you’re not sure, talk to a trusted friend and ask them to watch how you respond when you talk about the decision you need to make – does your body open up, or do you they see you closing down? Together you might be able to tune in to what you’re gut is really trying to say.
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Copyright Delphi Ellis