Got gut? Yep we all do!
But it’s more than just something you digest food with.
Every week I have clients who show up disconnected from their guts. And no I don’t mean they can’t figure out where to shovel their food.
Their internal processing completely discounts any messages from their other brain – THEIR GUT.
Some call it a gut instinct. Or listening to your gut.
Whatever you call it, most people I meet totally ignore it.
What happens when you ignore your gut:
Anxiety about the future.
Some might say this is hogwash. But science is catching up to “trusting your gut”:
Despite popular belief, there’s a deep neurological basis for intuition. Scientists call the stomach the “second brain” for a reason. There’s a vast neural network of 100 million neurons lining your entire digestive tract. That’s more neurons than are found in the spinal cord, which points to the gut’s incredible processing abilities.
When you approach a decision intuitively, your brain works in tandem with your gut to quickly assess all your memories, past learnings, personal needs, and preferences and then makes the wisest decision given the context. In this way, intuition is a form of emotional and experiential data that leaders need to value.
So how do you access your second brain?
Sit quietly. Close your eyes.
Bring into your consciousness something you’re thinking about way too much and creates some emotional discomfort.
Acknowledge it for a moment. Name the emotions if you can.
Then send your awareness lower to your gut.
Ask your gut what it thinks about what’s going on further up (in your head).
Listen quietly for the answer. (HINT: Don’t judge, force, overthink it. Let it emerge.)
Then, with that answer in hand, ask your head how it feels about the answer. Take stock of what has changed.
How do you feel now?
A bit more certain? More clear? More calm? Something else?
Give it a try and see! Post your results in the comments.