Thursday, July 26, 2007

Go with your Gut

You're familiar with the concept and with it's phrases, "I have a gut feeling" or "Go with your gut!" or "What does your gut tell you?". In these cases, we are really talking about our INTUITION. Merriam-Webster defines intuition as (noun) "quick and ready insight" and (adjective) "a : immediate apprehension or cognition b : knowledge or conviction gained by intuition c : the power or faculty of attaining to direct knowledge or cognition without evident rational thought and inference".

How does your intuition affect you? Just last night I read a very interesting article about a cat that lives at a nursing home in Rhode Island and is referred to as a "furry grim reaper" because of his uncanny ability to predict the death of a patient within four hours. Just a cute little animal story, you say? Well, this cat's abilities made him the subject of an article in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine. Yes, that's right. Western Medicine has an interest in this too! It can't be ignored. Also, last night, I had a friend who had a "gut feeling" about something he was about to do and decided not to do it. He mentioned that in the past he has ignored this feeling and "disaster ensued". So, this time, he chose to follow his intuition; to trust it and honor it. I think that is great!

And certainly you've heard of the bestseller "Blink" by Malcolm Gladwell? Although it's been on my "To Read List" for a long time, I must admit, that I just started reading it this summer and am less than halfway through it. The subtitle of "Blink" is "The power of thinking without thinking". I love it! The author believes that when it comes to the task of understanding ourselves and our world, we pay far too much attention to the grand themes and far too little to the particulars of the fleeting moments we experience. He believes that if we all took our instincts more seriously, it would greatly change the world; the ways our wars are fought, the kinds of products we see on shelves, the kind of movies that get made, the way police officers are trained, the way job interviews are conducted and so on. I definitely agree with him.

What about Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff’s “gut feeling” about an increased terrorist risk this summer, that was talked about all over the news earlier this month? Was it taken seriously or dismissed? Why are we so quick to doubt things like instinct and intuition, when they are actually very reliable? Why do we need the "hard evidence"?

In school last year, one of my books was "Creating True Prosperity" by Shakti Gawain. She is a internationally renowned leader in the field of personal growth and consciousness. I think one of her quotes says it best:

"Most of us are in touch with our intuition whether we know it or not, but we're usually in the habit of doubting or contradicting it so automatically that we don't even know it has spoken."

My goal today, is to ask you to get in touch with yourself. Place trust in yourself and honor your feelings. Don't be so fast to judge or dismiss. Belief in yourself is key. Go with your gut!

For the story of Oscar the cat (aka "the furry grim reaper") go to


Sally said...

Just today my Doc. gave me a copy of the NEMJ article about Oscar! And of course my mom gave me the article from her local paper, too. But I thought it awesome that my physician copied it for me because she knew I had cats!

Kathleen said...

Animals and children have great intuition that many adults dismiss. To me, animals are very healing and very spiritual creatures. Glad you enjoyed Oscar's story, like I did, Sally. Thank You! - Kathleen