(by Becky Walsh)
(From Watkins’ Mind Body Spirit magazine, issue 33, Spring2013)
According to the newspaper ‘USA Today’ the average adult makes about 35,000 decisions each day – some are quick and some are painfully slow. It takes on average 45 minutes to make an important decision. But many people have conflicting feelings when making choices. Psychologists call this ambivalence. Often this state of ambivalence is caused by having to come to terms with a complex world of choice and the belief in right and wrong, good or bad decisions. We are bombarded by more information than at any other time in our history. Life is moving fast and it’s easy to find yourself overwhelmed and in a constant state of ambivalence.
From school we are taught to value our logic and reason as the compass to navigate important decisions we have to make throughout our lives. Yet there are multiple ways in which we understand what we know. Some people have knowledge by retaining information and regurgitating it when required. Others learn by experience, so even though the sign says ‘wet paint’ they wonder ‘how long has the sign been there?’ and they just have to touch it to find out. Some need to see it to believe it, while others must have an emotional connection for information to mean anything.
In this time of information overload there is simply too much to think about. When the mind becomes too full to process all the data, this can lead to a lack of sleep. Information is processed through the subconscious mind during our REM sleep and what we don’t finish processing in sleep, wakes us up in the early hours to be processed before the working day starts.
However, there is a compass for reliable decision-making that bypasses the thinking mind. It’s an inner knowing that has been undervalued – your intuition.
The reason it’s been undervalued is because, up to now, people believed there was one form of intuitive knowing, that of the gut instinct. What I am describing in my book ‘You Do Know – Learning to act on your intuition instantly’ is that there are, in fact, two forms of intuition. Did you know there is actually a brain in your gut? Embedded in the lining of the intestines, is the enteric nervous system, with hundreds of millions of neurons – one thousandth the number in your brain. Gut neurons communicate with the brain through the vagus nerve, which runs from the base of the brain to the chest and abdomen.
The clearest connection between the gut and the mind, is how we experience anxiety and stress. A gut instinct is when we have a reaction to something we may find fearful. Making decisions through this form of intuition means that we make choices out of fear or defence.
The second form of intuitive knowing is often discounted because it has no words. It is emotionally- based. For example, when we have an excited, expansive feeling and we simply know, we may not understand why we know, we just know. Following this inner knowing intuition can lead to remarkable life changes, as your decisions become about the expansion of who you are rather than limiting yourself to what you already know. We can access this form of intuition by becoming curious about the decision we are trying to make. When we think logically about decision-making, weighing up the pros and cons, we can become overwhelmed or ambivalent. Use love-filled intuition to make empowered choices, free yourself from ego judgement and make the switch from thinking to knowing.
Becky Walsh is a catalyst, teacher and speaker in the field of intuition and personal transformation. She is the author of three books including the Amazon bestseller Advanced Psychic Development, and writes for many magazines. She is perhaps best known for having presented and produced her own weekly radio show on LBC 97.3, a three-hour show which enjoyed 97,000 listeners. Becky has made regular TV appearances and performs live shows of intuition and comedy. She is also the cofounder and director of Open Beyond, which empowers people to teach and create. www.beckywalsh.com