There are many ways people consider the concept of their inner selves. Inner self, inner being, soul, and internal nature are some of the terms you may identify with or have heard. For simplicity’s sake, let’s use “inner self”. (Feel free to change it in your mind as you read along.) We all have an inner self. Depending on your beliefs, it can be a spiritual thing or a biological thing. Some people don’t even refer to it as their inner self, they call it instinct, intuition, or going with their gut. I believe it’s both. I believe your intuition and your inner self work together, in harmony when you allow it.
Spiritual or Biological
You don’t have to believe in chakras to have a solar plexus. Hang tight while I dig back into my college years for a simple explanation of our solar plexus.
The solar plexus is a group of nerves and ganglia radiating from the pit of your stomach. It is part of the sympathetic nervous system, which belongs to the autonomic nervous system. The autonomic nervous system is what keeps you alive without you having to remember to beat your heart or digest your food. The sympathetic part of that system is what controls your fight or flight instinct. So consider this, your fight or flight mechanism is tied to the pit of your stomach, also called your gut.
The solar plexus is your 3rd chakra using the traditional 7 chakra system. Located behind your diaphragm in your upper belly, it is associated with beliefs, decision making, and judgement. (There are more but let’s keep it simple for now.) The original Sanskrit name is Manipura.
It’s All in the Gut
Getting back to instinct and your inner being, it’s all in the gut or belly. And didn’t we all know that? How many times have you heard:
- Go with your gut.
- Gut instinct.
- Trust your gut.
- Listen to your gut.
- What’s your gut telling you?
- Fire in your belly
- Pit of my stomach
When you get nervous or excited, you get “butterflies”. Butterflies are simply adrenalin released by your sympathetic nervous system, and yet where do you feel them? In our stomach.
Gut, Instinct, and Your Inner Self
No matter what we call it, or if it is spiritual or biological, we all have instinct. Do you go against it without even thinking about it? Sure you do. How many times have you made a decision, then later thought, “Dang it. I knew I should’ve…”? So why don’t we listen to our gut more? Simply put, we’re tired, over stimulated, and out of practice.
But, there’s good news. There are many things you can do to re-tune yourself back to your inner self and instinct. Most of them are even easy.
Get some sleep. We often make sleep the commodity that we trade away for pleasure and productivity in our busy schedules. We work too late, watch TV too late, we stay online too late, we have one more cup of tea because we are finally relaxed enough to enjoy it. We also get up too early, even for the sake of our health. Maybe you get up early to go run (or meditate or workout or do yoga) before the kids are awake, or the dog needs walking, or you have to leave for work. That’s great, go to bed earlier. Making sleep high priority is the same as putting the oxygen mask on yourself before assisting other passengers.
Take a break from the news and mainstream media. Turn off your talk shows, your morning updates, your talk radio, and your nightly news. If the thought of this drives you crazy, do it for one week. You can do anything for one week, right? Don’t worry about missing a major event. I’m not talking what politicians did or said. I mean events in your immediate area that affect your daily life. If a crack head lights a chair on fire and collapses your freeway to work, you will know it! (Congratulations to Atlanta for fixing that so quickly. I know it was tough.)
Go outside. Drop the phone, unplug, and go outside. Try to get outside every single day. Bonus points for playing in the yard.
Meditate. My sister makes fun of me because it’s all I ever say when she talks about a problem or issue. I’m like the dad from My Big Fat Greek Wedding, only instead of Windex, I say meditate. If you have not begun a meditation practice, you need to at least give it a try. Hey, use the time you set aside for your daily news and plug in to an easy guided meditation.
Be a little selfish. Be self-kind. It’s great to be of service to others. But it is necessary to be of service to yourself so that you can be of service to others. (See above oxygen mask reference.) If you have nothing in the tank for you, how can you share? It is okay to push yourself, but it is not okay to push yourself to a breaking point.
Use your intuition. The more you listen to your intuition and inner self, the easier it will be to find clarity.
Two Easy Ways
There are two ways to get a good feeling of your intuition.
- Snap decisions are almost always intuitive based. Go with your first impulse without thinking. If it’s a big decision or one with large consequences, set a timer for thirty minutes. When the time is up, make the decision.
- If you want to take a bit more time so you can get in touch with your inner self and intuition, sleep on it. Take five minutes before you begin your usual bedtime routing. Sit down and write out the question. If you are a pro/con person, jot them down without overthinking them. When you resume your usual routine, if the question comes forward in your mind, redirect your thoughts to something else. Let your inner being and subconscious mind work on the question as you sleep. In the morning, you should have more clarity on the issue.
Our bodies are amazing. We get caught up in our daily lives without considering our own physical and spiritual resources. Each of our cells is a world unto itself and the total sum of them is marvelous. In life, we are pulsing, vibrating, electric creatures with a life-force. When you begin to listen to your intuition, which is a combination of your instinct and inner self, you will discover that you know more than you give yourself credit for.
Do you feel like you follow your instinct and your inner self? Are you a go with your gut kind of guy or gal? Maybe you listen to your gut but then try to reason out that impulse. We want to know, so drop us a comment.