5 Simple Steps For Learning To Trust Your Gut
Have you ever been faced with a decision that seemed impossible to make?
Maybe it was a question as to whether or not to go forward with a medical procedure that wasn’t aligned with your belief system; maybe it was whether to stay in a difficult relationship or end it; or maybe it was a question that, if answered the wrong way, could have life-and-death consequences for you or a loved one?
The one thing that links these questions together—as different are they are from one another—is that none of them has an absolute answer. For each situation there is no “right” or “wrong.” There is no truth book you can turn to that will tell you which answer to choose.
And if you’ve ever been in a situation where you had to make this kind of decision, you probably discovered that every friend you asked for help had a unique opinion as to which path was right for you, so you ended up with a collection of opinions that make the original question even more confusing.
There are different kinds of challenges in life that are best solved through different ways of thinking: some with the brain and some with the heart. And while heart-based thinking may be less familiar in our fast world of technology and digital information, in a very real sense it is perhaps the most sophisticated technology we’ll ever know.
Resilience From the Heart
The single eye of the heart—the state of harmony that we create for ourselves in heart-brain coherence—accesses what’s true for us in the moment of a given situation. Rather than thinking through a list of the pros and cons or weighing out the probability that an experience of the past will repeat itself in the present, our heart intelligence knows instantly what’s true for us in the moment.
We’re Only 18 Inches Away From The Next Step of Human Evolution
There is a saying among certain indigenous and ancient mystery traditions when it comes to the way we live our lives, and how we come to terms with life’s experiences. Though the traditions are different from one another, they are bound together by the theme of a common thread of wisdom:
In order for us to come full circle and embrace our personal power in life, we must first embark upon a journey of personal discovery. And while the journey may lead us away from what’s been familiar in the past, and may take our entire lifetime to complete, the distance of our trip is a short one. It only covers about 18 inches.
The truth is: whether we’re tall or short, and regardless of the race or nationality we call our heritage, for all of us the average distance from the center of our brains to the middle of our hearts is the same: 18 inches.
But the short distance can be deceptive. Depending on the beliefs of our families, our communities, our religions, and what happens in our life experiences, it can take months, years, or a lifetime to learn how to make the shift from the logical thinking of the mind to the intuitive wisdom of the heart, and when it’s appropriate to do so.
“If the 20th century has been the Century of the Brain . . . then the 21st century should be the Century of the Heart.”
— Gary E. R. Schwartz, Ph.D., and Linda G. S. Russek, Ph.D.,
Authors of The Living Energy Universe
The recent discovery of the “little brain” in the heart, however, and the benefits it affords us tells us that to make such a shift is certainly worth the effort. It’s the journey that takes us out of the either-or polarity thinking of the brain, and into the intuitive knowing of our heart. And while the ability to do so would be empowering for us at any time, it is especially so now, in our lifetime of converging extremes.
We’ve all heard the adage that the only constant in life is change. We’ve also heard that change can be one of the most stressful experiences we face in life. And it’s that stress of change that biologists tell us is the trigger for new ways of thinking and living—the evolutionary transformation that makes us better people, creates stronger families and communities, and ultimately promises our survival as a species. The formula is clear: the bigger the shift, the greater the transformation.
We’re living the shift from creating our lives based upon the way our MINDS see the world to a new way of thinking and living based upon the way our HEARTS and minds sense the world.
What’s important here is that whatever change life brings to your doorstep, it’s only a problem if you don’t know how to embrace it in a healthy way. As you learn to merge the senses of your heart and the logic of your brain into a single potent system, you empower yourself to beneficially manage change in your life.
I use the following technique, sometimes on a daily basis, to help me plan my day, temper relationships, and honor the principles that are important to me when I’m tested in life. What I know with certainty is that we can never go wrong when we honor our hearts. I also know that if heart intelligence works for me, it will work for you as well.
Exercise: How to Ask Your Heart a Question
Your heart’s intelligence is with you always. It’s constant. You can trust it. It’s important to acknowledge this, because it means that the wisdom of your heart—the answers to the deepest and most mysterious questions of life that no one else can answer—already exists within you. Rather than something that needs to be built or created before it can be used, the link between your heart and the place that holds your answers is already established. It’s been with you since the time you were born and has never left you. It’s up to you as to when you choose to access that link as a “hotline” to the deepest truths of your life. It’s also up to you as to how you apply the wisdom of your heart in the reality of your everyday life.
The steps for accessing your heart’s intelligence are as follows:
5 Steps to Learn to Trust Your Gut – Learning The Language Of Resilience From The Heart
Step 1: Focus Your Heart
Action: Allow your awareness to move from your mind to the area of your heart.
Result: This sends a signal to your heart that a shift has taken place—you are no longer engaged in the world around you and are now becoming aware of the world within you.
Step 2: Slow Your Breathing
Action: Begin to breathe a little more slowly than usual, allowing five to six seconds for your inhale and exhale.
Result: This simple step sends a second signal to your body that you are safe and in a place that supports your process. Deep, slow breathing has long been known to stimulate a relaxation response of the nervous system (the parasympathetic response).
Step 3: Feel a Rejuvenating Feeling
Action: To the best of your ability, feel a genuine sense of caring, appreciation, gratitude, or compassion for anything or anyone.
Result: The key to success here is for your feeling to be as sincere and heartfelt as possible. As described previously, it’s the quality of this feeling that fine-tunes and optimizes the coherence between your heart and your brain. While everyone is capable of this experience, it’s one of those processes that you may need to experiment with to find what works best for you.
Step 4: Ask Your Heart Intelligence a Question
Action: The previous three steps create the harmony between your brain and your heart that enables you to tap into your heart’s wisdom. As you continue to breathe and hold the focus in your heart, this is the time to ask your question.
Result: Heart intelligence generally works best when the questions are brief and to the point. Remember, your heart doesn’t need a preface or the history of a situation before the question. Ask your question silently as a single concise sentence and then allow your heart’s wisdom to respond in a way that works for you.
Step 5: Listen
Action: Become aware of how your body feels immediately as you are asking your question. Make a note of any sensations such as warmth, tingling, ringing of the ears, and emotions that may arise. Everyone learns and experiences uniquely. There is no correct or incorrect way of receiving your heart’s wisdom. The key here is to know what works best for you.
Result: For people who are already attuned to their bodies’ and their hearts’ intelligence, this step is the easiest part of the process. For those who may have less experience in listening to their bodies, this is an exercise in awareness.
I tend to receive my heart’s wisdom as words while at the same time I’m feeling the sensations in my body. Other people never hear the words but experience a nonverbal communication only, such as warmth radiating from their hearts or their gut. Sometimes people feel a wave of peace wash over them as they receive the answer to their question. What’s important here is to listen to your body and to learn how it communicates with you. Everyone’s body communicates differently.
I can honestly say that my heart’s wisdom has never led me to make a bad choice. And while I haven’t used this technique for every big decision I’ve made in my life, I can also say with honesty that the only choices I’ve regretted are the ones I made when I did not honor my heart’s wisdom.
Now you have a step-by-step technique to help you feel empowered in the face of life’s greatest challenges.
While you probably can’t change the situations that arrive at your doorstep, you can definitely change the way to feel and respond to those situations.
If you haven’t already done so, you may discover that your ability to access the wisdom of your heart, on demand, becomes a good friend to you and one of your greatest sources of strength in life. The consistency and accuracy of heart-based solutions empower you to face any situation, meet with any person or force, with a confidence that’s hard to find when you feel helpless, overwhelmed, powerless, and lost.
Once we learn the power of Resilience from the Heart, we can create it for ourselves, our families, and our communities, and apply it in our everyday lives.
In this time of extremes, the resilience that we develop as individuals becomes even more effective, powerful, and potent when it can be applied by our families, friends, and neighbors. When we share our healing insights, we find the answer to the question of what it takes to create a way of life that reflects the values we’ve discovered through our personal journey.
The time is now… cultivate your power to THRIVE in life.
P.S. If you found this technique for learning to trust your gut helpful, I share this and more in my book, Resilience From The Heart. Buy it here.