Nurture your Intuition & Create a Happy GUT

“The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.” – Albert Einstein.

I’m a dreamer. And I don’t mean “day dreamer”. Well, I guess I’m that too. But in this context, I mean one who dreams when they sleep; a mixture of real, random, magical, scary, lively, memorable, vague, and curious. Every night. While most of my bizarre dreams fall under the random category, there are vividly unique occasions when I sense my intuition is sending me clear messages…Apparently I’m too dense to listen during the day.

in·tu·i·tion

  1. the ability to understand something immediately, without the need for conscious reasoning. “we shall allow our intuition to guide us”

Here’s a question…are you really good at listening to your intuition? Keep this in mind as you read on. Try not to judge your response, just be honest and aware of your instinctual gut feelings.

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There’s more to your gut than meets the eye. Ever wonder why we use the term gut instinct? Often called your second brain, your gut “contains some 100 million neurons, more than in either the spinal cord or the peripheral nervous system”. Wowsers, we’ve got a pretty clever tummy. With all these neurons, I can see how the foods we eat can significantly influence the health, function and longevity of our entire body. If we can’t absorb all the nutrients we need, we’re going to have some serious issues getting our body to work (these neurons help the systems of the body talk to each other and stay connected, or as some might call it, online).

As we dive further into our intuitive experiences, keep in mind how the health of your gut (think: happy bacteria vs. lame bacteria) may influence the health of your entire body, including all these smarty pants neurons that send signals throughout your body and to your brain.

Side note: If you’re totally into the gut instinct thing, Here is an interesting entrepreneurial-minded article sharing various views of how people use their gut instincts, from the social thinker to the analytical thinker. Which one are you?

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I recently dreamt that I was locked in a room (part museum, part office) with a couple kids and cops. This was my last test of many battles by some bad mumbo jumbo villain. A poisonous gas would fill the room in 2 minutes if I didn’t find a way out. Eek! While the kids and cops were essentially picking their noses (I did my best to keep a calm head and focus on the task at hand – didn’t they care about dying??), I tried opening the vents and outlets, but they kept getting smaller and smaller as I’d try to open them. Dang, no way to squeeze through. I threw stuff as hard as I could against the windows. I couldn’t even make a crack! And then I looked around at the doors – No. It couldn’t be that simple. With seconds left to live, I ran to a door and turned the handle upwards – it flew open. We all ran out, thwarting this mysterious mumbo jumbo villain for good. Broohaha!

While still in my dream yet conscious of being in one (sometimes called lucid dreaming), I was honestly shocked I made it out alive, especially with such a simple solution. For one, I used to die in these types of dreams – I’d wake up and be pissed off that I didn’t get to see what else happened, or that I couldn’t save myself and others. Secondly, how could the answer be so seemingly easy?

I thought to myself, “sometimes the simplest solution is the right one.”

When I finally awoke, this thought lingered in my head…sometimes the simplest solution is the right one. Ha, well that sounds too easy (said the over-thinker stinker).

For one who loves to overcomplicate things with logistical questions, curious details, and assuming the potential outcome of everything, this intuitive reminder to opt for simple was clearly more than a dream of pink unicorns galloping in the Shire.

Maybe it’s time I let go of the assumption that I have to know the outcome of every situation and the purpose behind each decision. I mean, isn’t the idea of listening to your intuition all about going with your gut feeling, your heart, your first instinctual answer? Who says you have to know exactly where it’s going to lead? Maybe I should listen to my intuition instead of overthinking things. Hmm….

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While my personal experience may or may not speak to you, your gut may be trying to help you with another personal inquiry. Perhaps one or many (or none) of the following speak to you: you’re afraid to make a change or get out of your comfort zone, you’re not sure if you’re on the right path, you’re worried what others think of you, you never want to make mistakes, you do not want to disappoint others. Whatever it may be for you, does it get in the way of you listening to your intuition – making a decision that’s is in your best interest?

If you de-clutter your personal closet of habits and tendencies, what do you have? You. Purely, simply and awesomely you. No assumptions. No blame. No excuses. No expectations. No judgments. I think this is where your intuition lies. Listening to your intuition is like taking out your preconceived notions of a situation. You’re not relying on your past to dictate your decisions, nor over-analyzing your future’s outcome. It’s certainly not easy. But I think it’s possible. Don’t you?

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Every time Matt and I discussed our vision for AYT lifestyle, we always came back to a simple (go figure) goal: empower the individual. We want to help the individual (you) to live a healthier lifestyle, so we as a collective whole can make smarter, healthier, and more sustainable choices for our personal and global future. Yet here’s the tough part…how should we inspire you? Giving out information is not enough. One needs to be motivated to learn, improve and empower. So how on earth do we do this? How can we help you become your best and healthiest self (while expanding your perspective of healthy along the way)?

Well, maybe the answer doesn’t lie in us. We think it lies in you. If you can’t find or create the motivation within yourself, there won’t be enough fuel to power your goals or New Year’s Resolutions. Sure, we can (hopefully) jump start your journey or give you a little energy boost when needed. Yet you have to find that enduring light of happiness and purpose from within. Peeling off your past and exploring the present comes from listening to your intuition and learning what you’re really made of; what truly makes you happy. What does make you happy?

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Maybe this should be the pre-foundation for writing goals and New Year’s Resolutions – deciding who you really are, embracing it, and going with it. Owning it. 365 days of the year. Knowing that you get to define what success, failure and happiness really mean to you.

Wow! This accountability is quite powerful! The final item of 16 Uncomfortable Feelings You’re Actually on the Right Path sums up this feeling perfectly:

16. Realizing you are the only person responsible for your life, and your happiness. This kind of emotional autonomy is terrifying, because it means that if you mess up, it’s all on you. At the same time, realizing it is the only way to be truly free. The risk is worth the reward on this one, always. 

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I find it slightly funny that we, as a society, tend to look outward for personal energy instead of within. We look to the media for what’s “in”, what “beautiful” looks like, and so on. I realize I am totally over-generalizing. So please take this with a grain of Celtic salt (yum).

Here’s the truly beautiful thing. Your happiness is connected with your outlook on life. Your outlook on life is connected with how you perceive yourself and those around you. How you perceive yourself is dependent on if you are being true to yourself. And that brings us back to your gut, heart, true and instinctually real self. Wow, that’s seriously cool. You are a sustainable source of awesomeness. You should say this to yourself everyday aloud. Come on, try it out: “I am a sustainable source of awesomeness.” Feels good, doesn’t it?

care bear stareYou may have already discovered your own self-powered happiness. If so, I ask you that you continue to share your enduring light with the world. It is a contagiously beautiful energy! Yet for me, I sometimes have to fall asleep to actually wake up. Quite literally. And now I hope my light shines a bit brighter for you. Are you picturing a Care Bear Stare? Me, too :).

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If you take out the distractions…What do you look like if you de-clutter your personal closet of habits and tendencies? Who is the real you? What is your intuition telling you?

The seemingly simple action of inaction can help us find the internal balance our body craves. Here is a video we filmed in Yosemite National Park, taking you through a short breathing & awareness practice. Quieting the chatter of our thoughts while relaxing any tension of our body creates space to listen to our intuitive gut. I find this type of practice super crazy helpful when I’m feeling a bit all over the place, overwhelmed or indecisive.

By the way, did I mention you are a SUSTAINABLE SOURCE OF AWESOMENESS?! Ya, you’re rad.

Now go outside and Care Bear Stare the world. 

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