Monday, September 24, 2012

Gut vs. Intuition – Are They One in the Same?

I remember once being presented with a notion that seemed counter-intuitive to my understanding of a key aspect of our selves - and the notion was this: “Emotions and Feelings are not the same thing.”  And although admittedly I cannot recall the exact source of this edict, I nonetheless filed it away in my memory bank in hopes that I would one day come to an understanding of just what this notion really meant.

After many years of contemplation and being conscious of the physical sensations that come from inside of me and moreover what precipitated the sensation, I have a feeling that there is a distinct difference between the two.

In my article, God is Love Takes on a Whole New Meaning written quite a few years ago, I highlight the idea that the heart plays far more of a key role in our functioning in both physical and spiritual reality than we may have suspected.  I cited the seminal work of the Institute of Heartmath wherein their research has yielded paradigm shattering statistics on how the electromagnetic energy emanating from the heart is thousands of times greater than the brain and thus directs our intuitive aspect leading us to ever expanded states of awareness, that which we refer to as “intuition.”  Granted, the heart in this matter cannot act alone.  It needs to establish a resonance or coherence with that of the brain (our thinking decoder and processor) in order for us to achieve maximum benefit; one that can be applicable to virtually every aspect of our lives, whether it be decision making, inspiring our innate creativity or uncovering our ability to fully thrive.

Years and years of indoctrination to think and feel in a certain way; believing that a measure of intellect coupled with hard work was all that was needed to attain our dreams have undoubtedly left many with a sense of disillusionment.  Then there are those who have insisted that going with their gut or intuition is a necessary addition to these basics in order to achieve desired results.  But are gut and intuition the same thing?

Let’s have a look at some distinct differences between the two and why going with your gut may be less intuitively inspired than you might think.

As mentioned previously, the heart is the major processor in our bodies, both physically and energetically.   It is said to be the strongest energetic resonator of our being and in fact is the very first physical organ that develops within the womb to initiate our entry into life and the physical plane.  The chakra system which is represented by 7 major wheels of subtle energy throughout the human form count the heart as an upper chakra and thus a link to the higher (more expanded) energetic frequencies.  When the heart is in resonance with the brain, higher and more expanded states of awareness can be reached.  Consequently, the lower chakras, of which the solar plexus (or gut) is included, although serving an important role, when used in isolation and thus not in coherence with the heart and brain (the decoder) can disassociate and fragment the energetic system rather than align it. 

When we think of going with our gut as a function of intuitive processing, it is worth noting that the solar plexus (gut) is more strongly associated with emotion as a response to something rather than the initiator of an idea, inspiration or intuition.  When we think of emotion, what often comes to mind are times of fear, anxiety and anger and if one pays close attention to the physical association of these emotions they will notice that the physical sensation is often coming from the lower part of the body and more precisely the stomach area, hence the oft felt sensation of feeling knots in the stomache or feeling nauseous as a direct response to emotional anxiety or fear.

It is important to note again that emotion tends to be more aligned with reaction (we hear the term emotional reaction often) and feeling with intuition “I have a feeling about this…”  To reiterate, in the modern context, emotion is associated with response and feeling with initiation.  These are fundamental differences and clearly delineate the associations that emotion emanates from the gut and feeling from the heart. 

Recall the feeling of when you first fell in love.  Another oft heard term is feeling your heart go pitter patter…”  Of course, an accompanying sensation you might have is feeling knots in your stomach when you see your first crush for fear of rejection!  Of course the fundamental sense of love is closely associated with the heart, but it is also absolutely important to take note of how each of these sensors must cohere in order to discern and achieve wholeness and balance in our daily lives.  Both the gut and our intuition are key to connect to the brain – our decoder of information that guides us in the actions that we take.  If our gut is our emotional sensor and is in coherence with the heart and brain, we can effectively utilize this to mitigate danger and react accordingly.  This is a most useful tool.  When our heart is in coherence with the brain, we have the ability to interact with higher states of awareness; use and trust our intuition to guide and evolve our selves.  When the three are in resonance, we achieve wholeness and thus replace the sense of helplessness, hard work and stress with calm, joy and fulfillment – how we are truly meant to live!

Try this little exercise…

Next time you have a sense of something, whether it be fear, anxiety and anger or love and compassion, make note of where the physical sensation is radiating from.  There are subtle and yet profound differences.  Write them down.  Be conscious of the impressions your body gives you.  Chances are you will never feel the same way again.

Image: "Manifestation" by Alexis Brooks
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