Why You Should Stop Following Your Gut: A Better Way to Hone Into Your Intuition
As a natural health practitioner, I happily straddle evidence-based science and the more etherial realms of understanding.
And although I love me some scientific studies, I admit that a lot of the hands-on work I do is heavily influenced by intuition.
So you might be surprised to hear that I’ll never encourage you ( or anyone) to follow your gut.
But before we dive into the reasons why, I’m going to share something personal that a lot of people don’t know about me.
When I met my husband I knew exactly what I was looking for in a partner.
I wanted someone kind, who loved nature, music, knew how to grow their own food, and was curious about the world.
No, it wasn’t love at first site.
But the more I got to know him, the more I could see that this guy checked all the boxes.
Despite all of his good qualities though, and depite the fact that he proved himself to me, time and time again, it took me a long time to feel secure in our relationship.
Because my gut was sending me warning signals.
Loud warning signals.
Debilitating warning signals.
But there was no reason that I could pin-point for the alarms to go off.
On paper he was pretty near perfect.
And it was tearing me apart, because I had always trusted my gut before, and this just didn’t make sense.
But there was something inside of me that wouldn’t let me dump him just because of these gut feelings.
And boy am I glad that I didn’t follow my gut, because, almost 10 years later, I can confidently say that he might just be the best thing that ever happened to me.
So what are you supposed to follow if not your gut?
I’ll get to that in a moment.
(And no, it’s not your brain).
But first, let’s get into all the problems that can arise when you follow your gut.
Your gut is a hot-house of activity.
On a purely physical level, there are billions and billions of microbes living in there (a.k.a. your microbiome).
These microbes influence everything from your food-cravings to your mood.
Simply put, if you have the right kinds of microbes in your gut, then you feel good.
But if you have an imbalance in this department then your microbiome is causing chaos in the rest of your system, triggering hormones that make you feel foggy-brained, irritable, anxious, and more.
And this mind-gut relationship is supported by the etherial perspective, too.
Before they had microscopes to see the microbiome, ancient healers were well aware of the impact your gut can make on your psyche.
According to Ayurveda, your upper abdomen, which is where most people feel their gut-feelings, is the home of your Solar Plexus Chakra.
And your Solar Plexus Chakra is where your sense of self, ego, courage, and fear reside.
So the problem with following your gut feelings is twofold.
First off, due to poor diet, antibiotics, and a host of other environmental toxins, most people have an imbalance in their microbiome.
And if you have an imbalance in your microbiome, your interpretation of the world is going to be clouded.
Because as we already went over, your microbiome has a huge influence on your hormones.
And if the wrong hormones are firing off, it can literally change the way you interact with the world (PMS anyone?)
Which means that if you have an imbalance in your microbiome, your gut-instincts aren’t going to be the most reliable.
But if you have any sort of imbalance in your gut, it can also just straight-up make your gut feel bad.
And if your tummy hurts because of a physical imbalance, do you think it’s going to give you an accurate reading on whether or not you should put yourself in a certain situation?
Not so much.
A lot of people have had the experience of having a strong physical aversion to a situation, which they then interpret as intuition.
But if you forget to consider the other things that might be going on, like an actual physical imbalance, then you might be missing out on opportunities that could offer a great deal of richness to your life (like me staying with my husband, for example).
And there’s another issue on the etherial side of the coin, too.
Remember, the Solar Plexus is where your ego, sense of self, courage, and fear reside.
And that last one is a doozy.
Because if you’ve ever had any negative experiences in your life (and you know you have,) then you’re going to have some fear in there.
Even if you’ve gone through years of therapy, shamanic rituals, and cleansing baths.
Your gut-reaction to any situation that resembles a negative experience you’ve had in the past is going to be fear.
And this is what was going on for me when I met my husband.
He was unlike anybody I had dated before.
He was kinder, more patient, and more in-line with my values than anyone else.
But because I had such strong, negative experiences in the past, both in witnessing and being in relationships of my own, that fear was a loud beast to tame.
And it flat-out took over my gut.
So what should you do instead of listen to your gut?
Do what I did.
Listen to your Heart.
According to Chinese medicine, your Heart is where pure Consciousness resides.
It’s the space in your body that connects you to the Greater Whole of All That Is.
And if you quiet your mind enough, it’s where you’ll hear your clearest, truest, most reliable intuition speak.
Your Heart is where you should be listening for your answers, not your gut.
And now I’d love to hear from you.
What techniques do you use to tap into your intuition?
Leave a comment, I’d love to know!
And who knows.
You might just change someone’s life by sharing your experience!