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Syndicated Columns

Feeling it in your gut

Posted March 10, 2007


Q. When I have a gut feeling, is it the same thing as intuition? -- A.M., Boca Raton

A. Abella Arthur said, "Intuition is a knowing, a sensing that is beyond conscious understanding -- it's a gut feeling."

Intuitive messages can come in the form of cravings, through the words of a stranger, in our dreams or from ideas that pop into our heads while waiting for a red light to turn green.

The more you follow the pathway of intuition, the clearer the pathway gets.

David G. Myers, a professor at Hope College, says, "Intuition is the capacity for direct knowledge and immediate insight, without any observation or reason. These insights swim to the surface of our attention and ask us to do something. Some are big decisions, others are barely perceptible."

The good thing is that you do not have to force yourself to listen to your intuition. It's already there.

People have believed for thousands of years that contemplation -- whether it's Zen meditation, yoga breathing or Judeo-Christian prayer -- quiets our mind and makes us more receptive to our intuition.

One of the hallmarks of intuition is that it is persistent, so pay close attention to feelings that surface again and again.

No matter how intuitive an action feels, when you are upset you are more likely to make irrational choices. It is better to sleep on those gut reactions and see how they feel the next day.

It turns out that the gut has more nerve cells than the spinal cord and although researchers don't yet know why, there are some people who experience emotions and insights at the gut level.

Maybe that's how we make our truly balanced decisions.

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