I’ve heard some folks say that intention is everything. That what you bring to a situation is what will come of it. I believe it to be true. When I feel conscious and intentional about the conversation I’m having, who I want to be in it, and what I want to come of it, it seldom fails to fulfill my expectations. But it doesn’t always work out this way, does it?
In 2015, I did a lot of things for the very first time ever, some with great intention and some reactive to what I was faced with. I’m fortunate to have a council of wise people around me to help me navigate the terrain I’ve not yet traversed. It helps me to feel more confident when I have the wisdom of others who have gone before me. Another helpful tool is calling on the wisdom from deep within, which lies behind all of the ideas which make good sense in the front portion of our minds-that little whisper which always tells the truth about the thing in question which we sometimes don’t listen to.
What I’m looking forward to this year is being able to tune into those whispers and LISTEN to what is behind the loudest promptings. The quieter bits are worth hearing, too. Have you ever found yourself saying, “That’s the last time I don’t listen to my gut,” or “I should have listened to my gut” ?
What is it about our guts that are always so much more truthful than our minds? The enteric nervous system (ENT) was once thought to just control digestion. Recent studies reveal that it’s composed of 500 million neurons and is able to perceive threats and send messages to the brain, but isn’t considered “thinking” as we are accustomed to knowing as the brain’s domain.
If this is true, it’s evidence that we don’t just legislate our actions by thinking them through, that we have legitimate reason for involving our bodies. When we override the body’s influence, we know it. We know it sharp and sudden, and often regret that we didn’t take a more integrative listening approach.
From a medicine perspective, to honor the body’s knowing, as well as considering what we think about a thing-engaging our higher mind, and taking it a step further-calling in outside influences (like we do in prayer and meditation) is to offer ourselves the opportunity to have the full council weigh in. A phrase that makes the rounds is, “Pray on it. See what you think then.” The gift is in allowing aspects of oneself other than just the mind to make decisions.
As we learn to move from our emotions and bodies- the parts of us which remind us we are of the Earth- we honor our innate animal-like qualities of instinct. If we can lean further in and learn to override the informants fear, trauma and past experience, we can hear the whispering voice behind the second level of listening.
This little quiet one is very, very old.
Hers is the voice of who we once were. And still are.