Follow your heart. [A conversation on intuition.]
Yesterday I was sitting in a minibus with my boyfriend, on an 8 hour ride north from the bottom of Myanmar, and we had the following conversation about my favourite topic: intuition.
Isn’t it weird, how people say, “follow your gut”? I mean I get it, they mean follow your intuition. But do you really feel it in your gut?
He looked at me like I was talking crazy, but I knew he understood what I was saying. Where do you feel your intuition? I continued.
Behind my eyes and forehead.
Weird. I feel it in my chest.
That makes sense. More than where I feel it. But I think when people say ‘trust your gut’ what they mean is their reactive instinct. Like fear.
Like fight or flight?
But that’s not intuition baby. That’s fear. The reactive fight or flight from fear you feel in your gut is not the same as intuition. For example, if you had to intuitively decide between chocolate ice-cream and strawberry ice-cream, you wouldn’t be making a fight or flight decision based out of fear.
He laughed.
Vienda, the moment you bring critical thinking into the equation it’s no longer intuitive is it!? Trying to decide between flavours of ice-cream is your mind deciding what flavour it wants to taste. Not what your intuition wants you to have. You can’t be intuitive with food.
Yes we can! We can have an idea of something that our bodies want to eat, and then go and prepare it.
But you need to use critical thinking to go ahead and prepare the food.
Exactly. That’s how our intuitions and our logical minds are a team, and work together.
He calls it critical thinking. I call it the logical mind that likes to get involved in our intuitive decision-making skills. I think it’s a man-woman language thing.
Ok, so ice-cream was a bad example. What about the other day, when you were eating that local tea-leaf salad, and loving it, and you just intuitively knew that that particular salad was full of nutrients that your body needed. You didn’t have any logical reasoning for it, you just knew. And I bet if you did some research on the ingredients and what nutritional benefits they contain your intuitive sense would be validated through logical reasoning. That intuitive knowing you had wasn’t a gut reaction, or a response to fear or fight and flight. It was just something that you knew.
Typical mono-syllabic male.
So intuition is not a gut feeling in response to danger. It’s knowing a truth about something without logical or practical evidence.
Right. It’s something that your heart tells you and trusting yourself to follow that.
So, maybe people should say ‘follow your heart’ instead of ‘follow your gut’.
He thinks this conversation has absolutely no significance, but I think I’m onto something here. I’m working on a practical guide for connecting to your intuition, and I think I’ve just understood where so many of us get stuck: we think that our intuition is fear-driven instead of heart-driven and this is where we get confused. We allow fear to guide us instead of faith-drenched love.
I’m going to come up with a solution. Watch this space.

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