5 Gut Instincts You Don’t Want to Ignore

Let’s try to find our way back to our gut instincts. Here are just a few feelings we shouldn’t overanalyze or ignore.

Source: 5 Gut Instincts You Don’t Want to Ignore

 

Although I generally agree with the premises raised in this article, I do have some issues and comments about the insights provided.  In particular, I feel that:

  1. Danger: It is not a matter of listening to our gut instincts when we feel we are in danger but to determine the correct response to what we feel.  One does not have to have a mental disorder in order to inaccurately react to situations that bring up fear in us.  For example, when my boss points out that I did something wrong at work and I get afraid of losing my job, I do not have a mental disorder if I feel I am in danger.  Emotionally I may not be as strong as I need to be to face criticism.  It may be that my boss is the one in fear. Definitely being aware of one’s feeling in danger is important to one’s wellbeing and survival.
  2. First Impressions: Again we are talking about awareness here. We are sensitive to other people. If someone is uncomfortable then that can make others uncomfortable (likewise with other emotions and moods we may sense). How many times have we felt uncomfortable about someone and then when get to know them that disappears.  Even people you trust can hurt us.  I agree with what was mentioned about “protecting yourself from the harmful actions of others without fabricating instincts that really aren”t there.”
  3. Feeling comfortable: Feelings are transitory and not necessarily indicating that things are right in the world or in ourselves.  Many times feeling comfortable is allowing it to be that way despite circumstances or appearances.

I really like what the website and the article generally promotes (especially meditation).  Promoting a sense of wisdom and wellbeing is good for all of us.

Spending 10 Minutes a Day on Mindfulness Subtly Changes the Way You React to Everything

Put it on your calendar.

Source: Spending 10 Minutes a Day on Mindfulness Subtly Changes the Way You React to Everything

Obviously, I am posting this article because it contains some positive information and suggestions on the use of mindfulness in our everyday lives.  Although the emphasis is on business leadership, I feel any reason for the use of mindfulness is a doorway for personal emotional and spiritual growth.  We, as human society, dearly need this perspective.

Even though I try to practice mindfulness in all aspects of my life, I like reminders like these to encourage me to strive towards peace, serenity and freedom – to not blindly accept stress and suffering.

Feed the Right Wolf – Lion’s Roar

Pema Chödrön describes how to release anger by deciding which wolf in our mind we want to feed.

Source: Feed the Right Wolf – Lion’s Roar

Calming the Rush of Panic in Your Body – Mindful

How to create space between you and what you’re experiencing in order to decrease anxiety and worry.

Source: Calming the Rush of Panic in Your Body – Mindful

How to Be Mindful When Life is in Flux – Mindful

Uncertainty doesn’t need to create more anxiety. Here’s how we can embrace change, and a meditation practice for becoming more skillful with relaxing into the ride.

Source: How to Be Mindful When Life is in Flux – Mindful

Abhayagiri Reflections – The Cycles of Addiction

Source: Abhayagiri Reflections – The Cycles of Addiction

This article describes the process of turning feelings into suffering of which the addictive person may not be aware of.  It notes that, during this process, the mind clings to the objects of our desire – blotting out everything else. A whole train of events occurs where what we sense is identified with leading us towards grasping the objects of our desire but being unaware of it.

Cognitive Dissonance, View of Self and Outlook on the World

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/how-to-convince-someone-when-facts-fail/

Psychology has identified many ways in which the mind skews our view of the world. Cognitive dissonance is one of those aspects of mind that intrigues me because the data provides many examples of how our truths and reality do not align.  In many ways we see what we want to see and are resistent to see things any other way. 

What occurs on a macro level also occurs on a micro level. By this I mean that it makes sense that this also happens internally. Given this evidence, it behoves me to practice looking deeper into my experiece to see where what the think I experience (including my views, outlook and belief system) sways my thoughts, feelings and emotions. 

What about my health? For twenty years I experienced back issues after straining while wrestling with a friend.  It became a lingering chronic issue for me for many years. Some days I experienced severe back spasms but generally I felt constant pain. I was prescribed an endless supply of pain medication, but it generally didn’t help. 

At a retreat a few years ago I talked with a fellow who told me about a issue he had with his hand.  He had severly sprained it a couple years back but had recovered. After a break up with his girlfriend the pain returned. He was introduced to a book by John Sarno on back pain. Dr Sarno was a Physical Therapist for many years who discovered many people were not recovering from their physical ailments similarly to my friend and his hand.  His discovery was that the mind was using the injury to distract people from their emotional stress – calling it Tension Myosis Syndrom (TMS).  His theory is that the body will prevent proper oxygen flow to the effected areas causing pain.  The solution was to bring this connection to the patients attention as was the case with my friend.

At first I was in shock that TMS might have any way of effecting me.  My pain was real and not in my mind.  Today though, suffice to say, my back pain has dissappeared.   Not only that, since then, I have been able to determine what causes most my back pain and to avoid it.

A key to identifying cognitive dissonance and TMS is to identify the stress we experience. Paying attention to when it is present and when it is not.  My spiritual practice provides the foundation for this. Awareness, alert, mindful, and persistent in looking at stress and it possible causes. All directed inwardly.  In this way I try not to avoid my experience, to explain it away, or to blame outward forces (whether they be partially true or not).

It is my intention to bring these possible connections to the attention of others so that they might be free from suffering.