I’m learning to listen to my gut

This keeps coming up as a theme: listening to your gut. I remember a  few years ago being told to do this, to trust your instinct, which somehow resides in your stomach. And I tell you I had no visceral sense AT ALL what it meant. My gut? Nothing was coming from there. I got nervous feelings, butterflies etc, but had no idea how to translate these feelings to my cerebral side.


I saw this on Big Think this morning – James Marsh, who made Man on Wire, talking about it.

OK. Noting your initial reaction. And then, “Going back to your first impulse can keep you going and keep you honest when everything else has got kind of complicated.”

Martha Beck wrote this the other morning  on listening to your body compass. She addresses the fact that often our gut will telling you to hang with some bozo of a guy/girl who’s plain wrong for you. What’s that about? She says:

Your attraction to a dysfunctional person might be urging you to spend just enough time to recognize your own dysfunctional patterns; it is the learning, not a long term relationship, that is calling you.

She says to look out for feelings of revulsion:

A key to recognizing when it’s time to tease out different components of a complex situation is staying alert for a sense of “revulsion,” rather than simple fear. Following our hearts is often scary, but the fear feels clean, and does not spoil the desire or yearning to experience our heart’s desire. Revulsion feels like eating something poisonous. It sickens and disgusts. When you feel fear, simply examine your frightening thoughts until you can see where they may be exaggerated or unfounded. Revulsion is telling you to give certain components of your experience a very wide berth.

Me, I look for feelings of black and white.

When things feel wrong they appear in black and white. When they feel right, they appear – in my mind’s eye – in colour. Which means, go for it!

I’m finding listening to my gut is mostly about… staying with the listening to the gut.

Sticking to the listening just a little bit longer, still, quiet, without expectation. The answer might emerge via a truck that drives past, or the sound of a phone…it might not come via carrier pigeon direct from your stomach.

It’s generally friggen amusing how the message comes. It can be literal.

It’s not so much about listening. It’s about staying focused inwards. And then witnessing what happens next. Bemused.

What tricks do you employ??

Share this post