WHO IS YOUR INNER CAPTAIN?
You’re the captain of your own ship sailing the sea of life. How do you navigate in uncharted waters? What are you using as your compass and steering wheel? How are you determining the course of your ship?
Our inner guidance system consists of various intelligences within us, each related to different parts of the body. Three of these intelligences are our mind, heart, and gut. They offer different insights and perspectives on our life situations and depending on which one we rely on primarily, we experience our life from a whole other angle.
MIND – WHAT I THINK
If your habit is to rely on your mind and intellect, you will tend to go straight to your head to observe and analyze a situation, figure things out, and come up with a plan.
Our intellect is referring to the ability of our mind to observe, analyze, synthesize, reason, correct conclusions about what is right or false. It is, therefore, a vital source of intelligence. It is helping us in learning, processing information, focusing, figuring out solutions, and creating actionable plans.
A great example for someone who is working on fully exploiting the capacity of his intellect is Bill Gates. I’m watching the documentary ‘Inside Bill’s Brain’ touching on different aspects of his thinking while intending to solve some of the world’s biggest problems.
You don’t need to be a genius to access your minds’ real intelligence and make a positive impact in the world. Many of us play small because our intellect is also the extension of our ego, our conditioned, and limited self-concept. Our subconscious ego-based thoughts and beliefs, such as
…Who am I to make a difference in the world?
…I’m not good enough…
…I’m a failure…
…I’m not worthy…
…I don’t belong…
are holding us back from experiencing our inherent potential. Our ego causes us to make choices based on how we’re perceived by others or ourselves and can prevent us from connecting to our true selves. To access the highest potential of our mind, we must dissolve the grip of the ego on the mind and strengthen our other intelligences. Still, often it doesn’t even occur to us that there might be different perspectives or intelligences to explore.
GUT – WHAT I SENSE
Do certain situations make you feel nauseous? Do you sometimes sense danger spontaneously as tension in your gut? Have you ever felt butterflies in your stomach?
Our most primal intelligence center is our gut, with the ultimate purpose of protecting us. Our gut instinct gives us immediate feedback and important insights about what is happening both in our inner and outer worlds.
We commonly speak of our gut feelings and often say, “I should trust my gut“. Still, we let those feelings be overruled by our fears, prejudice, and mental clutter – our ego.
How can you distinguish between your gut and your ego?
Your gut instincts are spontaneous reactions, physical sensations, or emotional responses in your body to a given situation. They arise out of the blue and don’t have time to sneak in slowly from your brain. They give you immediate feedback about the situation: DO THIS or DON’T DO THIS.
Fears, on the other hand, build-up gradually. They are emotionally charged and kind of vague. They make you feel confused, overwhelmed, frustrated, and might let you enter a negative spin of thoughts.
Your gut can be a valuable source of intelligence, as long as you can distinguish between the voice of fear – your ego – and the spontaneous emotional and physical sensations of your gut instinct.
How to strengthen your gut instinct?
Many people have shut down this vital intelligence center and have lost touch with their deeper emotions and feelings. Zen practice might help you to purposefully cultivate attention in your gut area, your belly, or as they call it Hara. The Japanese term Hararefers to an energetic quality localized in the gut region. All movements and power in the martial arts originate from the Hara, and you feel more centered, grounded, and emotionally balanced when your Hara is strong. The key to balancing and strengthen your Harais breathing.
Here is an easy way to start. Stand up, soften your knees and bend forward at your waist, as if you are going to touch your toes, and then breathe. You’ll notice that your breath automatically drops deep into your belly. This will help you get in touch with this lower part of your body. Breath in and out a few times and then slowly return to a standing position while continuing to breathe deep into your belly. Repeat this exercise a couple of times throughout the day. As you gradually reawaken your connection to your lower body, you will start accessing your gut intelligence.
HEART – WHAT I KNOW
The heart is the center of a much larger awareness – our intuition. Gut instinct and intuition are often used synonymously. They are interconnected intelligences, but they aren’t the same.
Your gut instinct is more emotional and physical – you feel it in your body.
Your intuition is more neutral and calm – you experience it as inner knowing.
The word intuition originates from the Medieval Latin word intueri, which means “insight”, “immediate cognition”, or from the late middle English word intuit, “to contemplate”. Intuition is the ability of inner sensing and inner insight. Through our intuition, we access unconscious knowledge and understand something without reasoning.
Through the heart, we can grasp a larger truth than either intellect or gut may recognize. The heart is the pathway to our core, our essence, our soul. That innate intelligence I call SoulHome.
The heart is:
- the conduit to our pure Being, pure Intelligence
- the realm of knowing
- the center from which unconditional love flows
- the passage to our spiritual wisdom
Your heart is the ultimate navigational tool to manifest your soul’s mission, to find the courage to come alive and make the impact you’re meant to create. Your heart is also the source of inner peace in the face of turmoil, the source of trust in the face of doubt, the source of gratitude in the face of loss, and the source of love for yourself in the face of your imperfections.
Many of us have difficulty to access our heart’s intelligence and follow its guidance.
How to tune into your heart?
The first step is to slow down and relax into your life. Make some time for inner contemplation and silence. Go for a walk in nature, smell the flowers, and notice the beauty that surrounds you. Begin doing things that feed your soul.
Energize your heart center
Place your hand over the center of your chest and gently massage this area as you continue to breathe in and out. Take deep and full breaths, all the way to the bottom of your belly, yet imagine that the breath is coming in and going out from your heart.
Try Deep Coaching
Coaching can be a highly intellectual process. Most coach training schools teach an array of coaching methodologies and models built upon the systemizing capacities of the intellect. Still, coaching can be much more than just problem-solving and solution-finding.
The Deep Coaching practice I’m working with is more about coaching from the heart, less from the head. In Deep Coaching, we access our heart’s intelligence and encourage clients to access their own heart’s intelligence. Deep Coaching enables people to experience more and more the exquisite nature of their true self and soul. No form of coaching goes deeper than this.
Do you listen mostly to your mind, to your gut, or to your heart?
Or are you led by a combination of two or even all three intelligences?
All three are valuable aspects of your inner guidance system, and being aware of them and finding alignment in between them can quickly bring clarity in decision making, and in finding your next step.
Author: Gabriella Csanádi
Photo by Florian Van Schreven on Unsplash