Have you ever felt the answer to a question or a circumstance in your gut, while the world around you is saying something different…?
The story I am about to share with you has helped broaden my understanding for how my gut(-feel) is a refined instrument and a trustworthy – and worthy – source.
The unseen tapestry…
My experience is telling me that there are many layers of information available in each situation (a tapestry of sorts). And to the extent that I am able to avoid having a preferred outcome in mind, I will open up to an equal extent to these added layers of information, leading to a deeper and richer experience. Or, expressed in another way – leading to a path of least resistance.
There is an enormous web of interconnected layers of information surrounding us all the time. There are the most immediate ones that are linked to our personal experience, then there are the ones that are linked to the people around us and the way we are connected. The richness of this web is extensive. Based on my own experience, trying to force a preferred outcome to happen is just as fruitful as trying to squeeze water from a stone. Not that preferred outcomes never happen – they can and they do. However, if they do, they usually come with a lot of effort and they cause a lot of bumps along the way.
I have been cultivating my intuition and gut-felt sense (e.g. deep listening, listening for aliveness) since 2005. During this time I have come to integrate this practice into all areas of my life. I use it in my decision-making process, to find clarity and to understand which direction is resonant, and to identify next steps. It has been, and continues to be, a deeply profound and rewarding journey and – for me – a way of life.
The “path of least resistance”… or so I thought
Since 2010 we had been sharing our gut-felt sense with one another as a way to explore and deepen our mutual practice of using intuitive capacities to access wisdom beyond the mind. Having someone else sense into the same question or situation (“co-sensing”) helps to fine-tune the instrument. It is helpful for directional support in a decision-making process and for understanding whether there is a sense of aliveness (resonance) in a given situation.
Our co-sensing practice was a continuous, and, in my mind, innocent exploration. Then, come 2013, I was told that I had overstepped a boundary when I offered my sensing around a recurring situation. I had invaded privacy in a way that wasn’t welcome. I was told that this particular set of circumstances was off limits!
My sensing around this situation had been the same all along, it hadn’t sprung up from nowhere. And, I had shared my sensing as I would any other when it came up. I was perplexed and flummoxed, as, in my mind, all I had done was continue to offer what I felt was being offered by the Field in the same manner as before.
A decisive moment in time
The topic, now a no-go zone, quickly got infected as our sensing was seeming opposites. My quandary at the time was that my sense had been the same all along (for more than a year). What was I to do? Should I not stand by what my intuition and gut was telling me? Or, should I stay true to my practice, come hell or high water? To be in integrity I decided that I had to stick with my gut, even if my contribution wasn’t welcome.
It was hard at times. Not so much because our sensing was opposite from one another, rather, that there was no opportunity to talk about it! In our practice, we had come to learn that when there is a big difference in what we each sense, it suggests that there is more information available, that neither has the answer on their own and that the difference in sensing is an invitation to have a clarifying conversation. Based on our diametrical sensing I was craving the opportunity for such a conversation!
I started to doubt my ability
We continued to share our learnings and insights for all topics but this one. The topic continued to surface on occasion and it was clear that our individual sensing hadn’t changed. I was just as puzzled about the reaction my sensing received as I was that my sensing around this topic wouldn’t budge. Especially since the world around me was adamant that there was aliveness (resonance) in areas where I felt none.
I have to admit that I was suffering deeply during this time as it felt like the core of who I am was being rejected. I examined my gift, my practice, and my understanding of my innate ability in a million ways. Could it be that I had mis-read the level or direction of aliveness? Had my sensing been blurred by my own story? (We all have our own stories to liberate that, in themselves, can affect our sensing.)
My gut stayed firm
I stayed vigilant to ensure that whatever showed up in “my story” didn’t block the space I inhabit when I sense for aliveness and deeper wisdom. All this, and my sensing around the topic still wouldn’t change! The world around me clearly had a different idea. Was I going mad? In the end, all I could do was surrender to my decision to be in integrity, to stick with my gut and wait for the situation to resolve itself, full well knowing that I had no idea how long this would take. Even though a seriously daunting prospect, I surrendered.
Another year went by, then one day in late October I received an email that would shake my world. I will never forget the stunned feeling. I know exactly where I was at the time, I even remember the time of day – 21:45.
What had been on the scene for two years, and had very effectively and firmly driven a wedge into tender places, had now resolved itself. Two sentences in an email shared with me how what the world had thought carried aliveness and resonance, didn’t. I stared at the screen for minutes. Energetically, my jaw dropped – I hadn’t mis-read the lack of aliveness!!
On the one hand I felt floored and surprised as this situation had been with me for such a long time. To the point where doubting my own ability had firmly planted itself as “truth” in my psyche. But I also felt liberated and exalted as it hit home that my gut was to be trusted! And, at the same time as I was taking a deep, deep sigh of relief, my heart went out to the perceived aliveness that had been lost.
The aftermath and its transformation
I hadn’t realised how profoundly this situation and its resolution had affected me until a few days later. During the period when I was questioning and doubting my ability, it felt like my whole world was resting on clay feet, slowly sliding into the abyss. Was anything I said trustworthy? Did it carry any value?? My ability to listen for deeper wisdom beyond the mind is a huge part of who I am. It is my life’s work. If I could not trust my gut, why would others place their trust in it?! Without trust in my ability and my gut, I would have to reevaluate who I thought that I was – my entire foundation and my role in the world.
Thankfully, as I truly love who I am and what I do, I never had to venture down that path. Still, the depth to which this experience affected me took months to unravel, as did untangling myself from doubting my own ability.
Circumstances aside, the biggest learning in this story is that I stuck with my gut. And although it was a bumpy, lonely, and confusing ride at times, I now know without a doubt that my gut is a trustworthy source!
Three things I learned
1. We are always part of someone else’s experience, as are they in ours
Looking back, I can see that my total commitment to listening for guidance, and living by it, doesn’t necessarily fit with other people’s lives, even those who are equally committed. I had to learn the hard way not to share what I perceived to be true in a given situation, and to be more sensitive about how and when I share. Even if I were to have the best intuition in the world, it may not be timely or appropriate to share information about someone else’s journey, no matter how innocent the reason or intention. This is where discernment plays an important role. Having said that, sharing something may sometimes be the right thing to do, even if it will rock the boat. Following your gut is key!
2. View both sides to avoid tunnel vision
Without viewing both sides of the seeming opposite sensing, our stories can create barriers and tunnel vision as we get too stuck in the details to perceive the wider perspective, i.e. our personality is blocking the view. Or phrased in a different way – we have an attachment to the outcome and we aren’t able to stay objective. Being willing to inquire into our own role and preferences in conjunction with what our gut is telling us is hugely important. This to encounter potential stumbling blocks or interference.
3. Having stood by my gut, it has made a friend for Life!
The beauty of listening for aliveness before making decisions is invaluable as it creates an environment of trusting the unknown. Getting to know my gut’s language has been hugely important, as the level of information that is available is limited by our level of consciousness. In other words, being aware that there may be layers to the information, and – to the extent possible – not attach an outcome to what is sensed. Just acknowledge the information for what it is, and then allow it to do its magic without trying to design an outcome.