JEREMIAH STEPHEN (HeartSphere): “Voices”

“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.”

― Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

Life teems with choice and decision. Some are difficult, while others are easy. Some test the loom upon which the very fabric of our lives is woven. And upon the precipice of choice we may also find resounding voices–those that are not our own.

We all come to these critical points as we dwell within the many spheres that visit our lives.

All decisions affect not only our life, but the lives of others as well. The choice of food that we nourish our bodies with has consequences that can be witnessed in minutes, and others that may not be seen for many years. Our choice of words can immediately defeat or uplift a stranger, a loved one or a friend. And our choice of actions may alter the course of world history, or at the very least, our own personal history.

But many of these choices are made almost involuntarily, influenced by thoughts that do not belong to our hearts.

I used to be worried about every move that I ever made, about every word that I would utter and every action that I took. I wasn’t worried about the causal outcome of my words or actions, but of the response from those around me. In doing this, I placed myself into a protective shell that grew dense over many years. And many of us are familiar with this.

I was called shy, withdrawn, reserved, introverted and anti-social. But this was never who I truly was. I felt comfortable being quiet, so I stayed where I found comfort.

But the day came when I no longer visited those thoughts that brought me worry. I found strength in my own hands, through creative pleasure and my own God-given gifts. I realized that I only worried over my perception of another person’s perception. It was my own thoughts that worried me, and nothing else.

Then I realized one beautiful truth…

Don’t believe everything that you think.

Today, I embrace who I am. I speak my deepest thoughts, and am not afraid to share my life with anyone. Of course I’m still full of cynicism, sarcasm and a host of other idiosyncrasies, but who isn’t?

I’ve made countless choices that have taught me great truth, and if anyone asked me to correct anything in my past, I can honestly say the thought itself is impossible.

Because everything that I’ve done has brought me here, to this moment.

Had I not decided to move to a new place instead of staying home, I may not have a daughter. Had I chosen to stay just one day longer in Colorado, I may not have a son. So revisiting my perceived past “what-if’s” or otherwise “difficult” choices brings me to knowing that my options were on my path for a reason.

As is everything… And everyone.

We should be wise to not give our choices up to the resounding doubt that speaks to us from the dark corners of the mind. We should never step out of our own light to appease the shadows of a crowd, or to play it safe and stay comfortable in a hardened shell made of our own mind’s treachery.

These are lessons that I’ve learned, and though I am where I am in life because of choices I’ve made from these metrics, I’ve come far from the mist that once covered the hidden garden. I now choose wisely, and listen to my heart as it softly speaks.

I wish all to hear their true voice, and to be sound and content in speaking their own truth as it should be done by one’s own accord.

Life is full of Choices…

And full of Voices…

So, choose wisely.

And Speak your Own.

 

~via TheHeartSphere.com

Advertisements

MATEO SOL: “7 Gut Instincts You Should NEVER Ignore”

In order to fulfill your spiritual purpose in this life, you’ve got to walk the path less traveled.

And to walk the path less traveled, you have to embrace your inner wolf.

It is your inner wolf that will guard, guide, and protect you with courage, integrity, and intelligence.

But here’s the thing: in order to embrace your inner wolf, you’ve got to listen to your gut instinct.

The problem is that our gut instincts are often polluted by fears, prejudice, and mental clutter.

In this article, I want to share with you the seven gut instincts you should never ignore. You’ll also learn how to differentiate the voice of fear from the voice of primal wisdom.

What is the Gut Instinct?

Your gut instinct is the physical reaction you have to the world around and inside of you.

When you experience an overwhelming “gut feeling,” your body is carrying out a primal response to subconscious information. The ultimate purpose of your gut instinct is to protect you. As your gut instinct is the most ancient and primal “sixth sense” you have, it is the one you can rely upon the most.

One example of your gut instinct in action would be deciding to spontaneously avoid walking down a road at night because something “feels off.” That feeling is your gut instinct warning you that danger is afoot. You may then glimpse an intimidating gang of men down the street as you hurry by — your gut instinct has just saved you from potentially being robbed, beaten up, raped, or worse.

How Does Gut Instinct Work? (and Why You’re an Animal)

Put simply, your body is like the television screen on which your subconscious (the radio waves) transmits its information. When you can learn to read your body, you can learn to accurately tune in to your gut instinct.

We human beings like to believe ourselves to be separate from animals. Yes, we might be more sophisticated. But at our core, we are still animals — human animals. Our primal impulses and evolutionary origins don’t just disappear because we sit and read the newspaper each morning or wipe our asses with lavender-scented toilet paper.

As noted by anthropologist Clifford Geertz:

… man is an animal suspended in webs of significance he himself has spun.

Rather than get hoity-toity about the fact that we’re only really advanced animals, why not embrace it? By honoring the wisdom of the subconscious mind and its impact on the body to produce ‘gut instinct’ we can save ourselves from a lot of suffering. (This has been proven by the way.)

What’s the Difference Between Gut Instinct and Intuition?

Gut instinct and intuition are often used synonymously. And, yes, they are interconnected. But they aren’t quite the same.

So what’s the difference?

Put simply, gut instinct is your primal wisdom. Intuition is your spiritual wisdom. We need both if we are to walk our spiritual paths with courage and intelligence.

Intuition is very cerebral — it is a calm and clear sense of “knowing.” On the other hand, gut instinct is very visceral and physical — you feel it in your body.

Intuition can be expressed through the body, and the gut instinct can be expressed through intuitive knowing. But generally, both are clearly discernable and strikingly different in their experience.

Also, gut instinct is much more emotional and reactive (as it is wired in the primal brain), whereas intuition is more neutral and calm.

Examples of Gut Instinct

Some call it a “hunch,” others an “inkling,” but in this article, we’ll refer to it as the gut instinct. Here are some examples that are taken from the animal kingdom and human (animal) behavior of gut instinct:

  • A herd of zebra sense danger while grazing. They cannot see the lions lurking in the surrounding savannah, but something is distinctly “off.” One zebra whinnies and the herd begins galloping away vigorously.
  • A herd of elephants meander through the deserts in search of water. Instinctively they know what direction to move in to find their sustenance.
  • A cat sits on the edge of a three-story house and wants to find a way down. She slinks over to the edge and stares at the ground apparently about to jump — but then changes her mind. She climbs down to the first story roof and then makes the jump, apparently aware on an instinctual level that jumping from any higher distance would injure her.
  • A person approaches you at a bar wanting to flirt with you. You start reciprocating, but something feels wrong. You sense a predatory quality about this person. You don’t trust them. You excuse yourself and leave.
  • Two hikers get lost on a trail within the mountains. Without a compass or any way to determine a direction back to camp, they sit silently and tune into the surrounding trees. Suddenly one of them points to the west, “I have a feeling that is the way back!” An hour later they have made it back to home base.
  • You’re driving down a highway at night. Suddenly, the impulse overtakes you to change lanes immediately. You obey the impulse, and a couple of seconds later miss a large spike of glass that could have punctured your tire and rendered you stranded on the side of the road.
  • A young woman is sitting in class at college. Out of the blue, she feels the strange impulse to return home. She ditches the class and catches a taxi, a pit of dread looming in her stomach. When she arrives home, she finds her mother on the floor having a heart attack. If she had ignored her gut instinct, her mother would have most likely died alone.
  • A man has two job offers. One of them pays less, and the other pays more. Logically he would choose the job that pays more, but he can’t shake the knot of dread that forms in his stomach every time he considers accepting the higher paying offer. He decides to choose the job that pays less. Two months later, he is relieved that he chose the right offer as the higher paying company went out of business due to a high profile lawsuit.
    I hope you now have a good idea of how the gut instinct operates!

Signs You’ve Experienced a Gut Instinct

Pay attention to these signs:

  • A sudden feeling of dread or fear (that is out of context)
  • A strong urge to do something (feels like an inner nudge or pull)
  • Full-body chills, goosebumps or “tingles” up the spine
  • Nausea or physical uneasiness
  • Sudden hypervigilance (or being on “high alert”)
  • A clear and firm voice within you instructing you to do/not do something

You might experience all of these signs at once or only one or two of them.

Is it Fear? Or is it Your Gut Instinct?

Don’t get them confused!

But also, don’t worry if you have already. Chances are you were never taught about the difference between superficial mental fears and true gut instinct.

The mind can easily fool us, particularly when it comes to gut instinct. After all, we feel our emotions within our body. When you’re scared, you most likely get clammy hands, butterflies, and an increase in heart rate, right?

In a similar fashion, when we experience a gut instinct, we also receive physical sensations.

So how on earth can we distinguish between the two?

My response is to pay attention to your mind. What is the quality of your thoughts? Is your mind racing, frantic, or chaotic? If so, you are experiencing fear.

On the other hand, if your mind is relatively neutral, but your body is experiencing strong reactions (like a sense of impending doom for instance), you are experiencing a gut instinct.

In other words, when you need to distinguish between the voice of fear and your gut instincts, always turn your attention to your mind.

Why?

Gut instincts are spontaneous — they arise out of the blue. They don’t have time to build-up in the brain, therefore, the brain is relatively still and neutral. There is no “hmm, should I? Shouldn’t I?” going on. There is just an immediate DO THIS/DON’T DO THIS.

Fears, on the other hand, build-up. They are typically more vague, nagging, unclear, and tumultuous. If your mind is spinning, if your thoughts are everywhere, you are experiencing fear, not gut instinct.

7 Gut Instincts You Should NEVER Ignore

Obviously, you must be the judge. But there are some situations in life where your gut instincts shine the most.

While it’s easy to brush off most nagging sensations, please never ignore the following ones:

1. “I’m in danger”

Remember that your gut instincts reflect what your subconscious mind already knows. Although you may not be able to pinpoint what exactly the danger is, please listen to this inner warning. It could be the difference between life and death.

2. “They’re in danger”

Yes, you might sound like a lunatic. Yes, you might feel embarrassed or perplexed. But if you genuinely feel that someone is in danger, tell them. You have nothing to lose. You might just prevent the person from making a big mistake or endangering themselves.

3. “This isn’t the right choice”

If you get a strong and clear feeling that what you’re doing isn’t right, pay attention. Even if there is no moral or logical reason why you should be feeling that way, take heed.

4. “I need help”

Your gut instinct doesn’t only warn you of danger, it also helps to preserve your emotional wellbeing. If you receive a strong sensation that you need help (whether physically, emotionally, mentally or spiritually), seek it out. Don’t linger.

5. “I need to help them”

At some point in our lives, the overwhelming desire to help someone will arise. There may not be any rational reason why. The other person may appear to be perfectly fine on the surface. But don’t let appearances deceive you. Have a conversation with the person. Ask them how they are. This might make you feel vulnerable or uncomfortable, but you will at the very least make the person feel special, and at the most potentially save their lives.

6. “Something feels off in my body”

Unless you’re a hypochondriac (which is unlikely), your gut instincts rarely lie about the state of your health. If a sudden strong and clear desire arises to see a medical professional, do it. Get a full health assessment, and even if nothing comes up, feel proud of yourself for practicing self-care.

7. “This is it!”

Often when the perfect life calling, spiritual path, job, house, decision, option, etc. comes along, your gut instinct will immediately notify you. If you receive a strong and clear feeling that practically screams “YES” don’t ignore it! This is one of the most important reasons why it’s essential to listen to your gut instinct. It could be the difference between making a life-fulfilling choice and a soul-starving decision.

Trust Your Gut

So long as you’re able to distinguish between the voice of fear and the spontaneous feelings of your gut instinct, it is safe to trust your gut.

Trusting your instincts is an invaluable life skill and one that will tremendously benefit you on the spiritual path. After all, this instinct is built into our very DNA, so why not make the most use out of it?

As a final recommendation, I suggest practicing mindfulness meditation if you struggle to trust your gut. Mindfulness meditation will help you to become aware of your thoughts and body sensations. The more awareness you can develop, the easier it will be to make the distinction — it will become second-nature to you.

 

~via LonerWolf.com