Our Gut Instinct

You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something – your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life. – Steve Jobs

It has been a few months since you last saw my words strung together here, these thoughts of mine. Oh, I have been writing, observing the world around me – like most of you do as well – but I have not published again until today.  I am now especially motivated to do so …

A week ago I was heading to a hot yoga class. I parked my car on a busy street on the west side of midtown Toronto, used a mobile parking app to pay for the time I needed and got out of my vehicle. Walking only thirty metres or so to the yoga studio I was startled by a cryptic message on my phone.  My end point was interrupted by that message and instead a gut instinct altered my course – the first one of yet another to strike me that morning. I was persuaded to abandon my hot yoga class that I was so looking forward to.

What is gut instinct all about? You might also call it your inner voice. Is it a supernatural or god-like power not merely guiding us but compelling us towards an absolute action or direction? According to the Collins Dictionary a gut instinct is “an instinctive feeling, as opposed to an opinion or idea based on facts.”  This latter perception is a conscious, thoughtful and reasoned conclusion akin to a Benjamin Franklin protocol on how to make a sound or even unbeatable decision.  Have you ever been so motivated by a gut instinct?

The Cranberries wrote and performed a beautiful song called Animal Instinct which I hope you will click on. It is a raw love ballad illuminating something many of us have experienced.

“It is a lovely thing that we have
It is a lovely thing that we
It is a lovely thing, the animal
The animal instinct”

We know of being in that carefree present moment of love making when we are seemingly in a free-fall of actions without a thought to orchestrating a pro and con analysis of next steps or what if scenarios. And it is not thought to be learned, but an innate ability – an animal instinct if you will.  That was the allegorical gut instinct I experienced last week but not a sexual one.

I was in an elongated moment of confusion, uncertainty and fear. I had no previous experience on which to draw. Facts were not within my reach. I had no capacity to formulate an opinion. Suddenly, an action ensues, and I am in free-fall.

Powerlessness. Trust. Abandonment. Faith.

As a person who so often writes about choice and free-will I am not sure I acted out of choice this time. And I ask myself repeatedly – WHY NOT? Five minutes later and I would have been doing a downward dog or tree pose.  So, was it a force that interrupted my journey at that moment? If it is truly a gut instinct or inner voice, I trust that this power is so great and pure – following it will and did end happily, and I’ll leave it at that.

I urge you when and if the moment arises, to be fully self-aware of that extraordinary opportunity. But then again, if it does, you will know it – just as I did.

Let’s all make a difference in our lives and those we touch or can …

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