Advice for Students

Listen to Your “Gut” Instinct

March 20, 2012  |     |   0 Comment

I have recently returned to the practice of yoga.  Due to a knee injury quite some time ago, I had to stop.  One of my health goals for 2012 was to return to the practice and I am so proud and happy that I have done so.

At one of my classes last week, the instructor cautioned us to listen to our bodies throughout our practice and to adjust a pose if we felt pain or discomfort – not the kind of discomfort that comes from challenging our bodies, but the kind that is just one mili-meter away from causing an injury.   She went on to say that we are such an obedient society and that we feel when we receive instructions that we must follow them.  She pointed out that her instructions were merely a guideline to help us with our practice and encouraged us to always listen to our “gut” instinct, because we know our bodies the best and what our abilities or limitations may be.

Her advice really stuck with me on so many levels.  How many times have we followed someone’s instructions when we knew it was not in our best interest?  Why do we find it so difficult to say “no”, or to challenge the status quo, or advice that we know to be counter-productive to our true purpose?  Why do we often go out of our way to make others happy at the expense of our own? How many times have we doubted ourselves due to someone else’s expertise and failed to follow our “gut” instinct?

I was at a professional development function a few weeks ago with a number of colleagues.  During a conversation with one of my colleagues, I confided to her that I was experiencing a dilemma with respect to a decision I had to make that would impact my business. I explained that I had two options to consider and felt each option offered a positive longterm outcome for my business.  However, my dilemma was that at this particular stage I was only able to engage one of the options. Down the road, I could engage the other – but what was I going to do here-and-now? She listened and then politely said to me, “If you can forgive me for being so bold, but I think you need to listen to your gut.”  And pow, the answer to my so-called dilemma became instantly clear.  I knew exactly what I had to do.

If you listen to your gut instinct you can never go wrong.  My mother taught me this at a very young age.  I have never doubted that advice, nor the reminder from my yoga instructor or my colleague.  Yet, I tend to think too hard and too long about the pros and cons of every move I make.  When I’m brave enough to climb out of my head and to listen to my gut, a calm takes over and I know that the decision I make will take me in the right direction.

Are you aware of your “gut” instinct?  When it speaks, do you listen?  What will you do the next time you are having a dilemma with your head versus your “gut”?  Will you make a decision that is authentic and true to your purpose?


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