DR JOHN DEMARTINI - Updated 1 year ago
Like many people, you may have wondered if there is any distinction between your intuitive inner voice and your gut impulse and instinct.
You may have also wondered if it is wiser to listen to one or both of them and if they may even be saying the same thing.
Your “gut instinct”
There are basic survival reflex responses within you that are similar to those found in animals, which tend to be displayed in certain instances for the purpose of survival.
I’m sure you can remember a moment when you’ve been infatuated with someone. In that instance, you were likely conscious of their UPSIDES and unconscious of their DOWNSIDES.
What you may not know is what happens on a neurophysiological level when you become temporarily infatuated with someone or something.
Dopamine, oxytocin, enkephalins, endorphins and serotonin are elevated in your brain, resulting in a high and a desire to pursue them like a predator does his prey.
As a result, you will likely perceive more pleasure than pain and therefore feel an impulse TOWARDS them.
If you think back to an alternative scenario when you have resented someone or something, you were likely more conscious of the DOWNSIDES and unconscious of any upsides.
On a physical level, you initiated norepinephrine, epinephrine, cortisol, testosterone, osteocalcin, and other transmitters, and initiated an instinct to AVOID in the same way that prey avoids predators.
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These resulting impulses to seek and instincts to avoid are registered in your gut or enteric brain.
Your impulses and instincts are registered in the duodenum, which is a C-shaped section of your small intestines that comes after your stomach. The duodenum has a series of nerve networks, which are sometimes called the gut brain.
Your gut brain from your duodenum to your mouth represents your impulse or taking in portion for seeking and consumption; and your gut brain from your duodenum to your anus represents your instinct or letting out portion for elimination or avoidance. In that way, whenever you have a gut impulse to consume or gut instinct to avoid, the gut is activated.
This is most often what people refer to as their “gut impulse”, or “gut instinct”, which are very different from your intuition.
Let me explain further.
Your intuition is like a homeostat, a negative feedback loop that is designed to bring the conscious and the unconscious portions of your mind into balance.
If you're conscious of the upsides and unconscious of the downsides, your intuition acts to point out or whisper those potential downsides to bring you back to center – the mean - to help you extract meaning out of your full perception.
This could be in the form of a quiet whisper saying, “it’s too good to be true”, “watch out for a downside”, “avoid rushing into things”, or “keep asking questions before deciding”.
That inner whisper or voice is your intuition making you aware of the unconscious down side so you can become fully conscious and aware of both sides.
In other words, your intuition tries to take the conscious and unconscious splits you have when you experience survival impulses and instincts and bring them back into full consciousness.
To put it slightly differently, your intuition attempts to prompt you to see the upsides to what you think are downsides, and the downsides to what you think are upsides, to bring you into homeostasis and balance – the center, or the mean.
In this way, you will be less likely to react and instead be poised, present and purposeful, while also acting from within on what is most important to you.
When you have an impulse towards or instinct to avoid, this activates the amygdala and your hindbrain and gut and sends you into survival mode. Your intuition, however, is a response from the prefrontal cortex in your forebrain, also known as the executive center of your brain.
The prefrontal cortex, when activated, sends nerve signals down into the amygdala using the neurotransmitter GABA, which is an inhibitory transmitter and glutamate, which is a stimulatory transmitter, to calm down, govern, or neutralize any impulses and instincts.
In the process, it allows your intuition to whisper to you the upsides of what’s down and the downsides of what’s up to bring you back into homeostasis where you can see the sides you’re not seeing.
Your intuition is a homeostatic prompting from the advanced part of your brain, the executive center, to bring you back into balance and make you conscious of the unconscious, so you can be balanced and fully conscious, or mindful.
Once you are fully conscious and mindful, you are able to see things from a more neutral and balanced perspective – not as positive or negative, good or evil, right or wrong, attractive or repulsive, impulse or instinct – but instead for what they are: neutral events or experiences.
Being fully conscious and mindful allows you to transcend your impulses and instincts, which are often emotional distractions, and quieten the noise and chatter in your brain and gut.
As a result, you are far more likely to be poised and see things as they actually are, instead of being subjectively biased in survival mode where you will tend to distort your reality to cause you to impulsively be attracted or addicted or instinctively protect yourself from a perceived threat.
When I started teaching my signature two-day program, the Breakthrough Experience, I developed a method called the Demartini Method.
The Demartini Method is a scientific way to wake up your intuition and overrule your impulses and instincts, in the form of scientific, reproducible, duplicatable questions you can ask yourself so you can see both sides consciously.
In this way, you can have mindfulness, poise and tears of gratitude, and be more of a master of your destiny instead of being run by external circumstances and be a victim of your history.
I am certain that your inner voice acts to guide you to what I call a perfectly balanced state where you become inspired, grateful, certain of your vision and purpose, vitalized, present, and enthused. It’s also where you are likely to feel the most:
- Energized because being in a balanced state is where you are most likely to use your energy and resources most effectively and efficiently.
- Authentic because you are no longer impulsively looking up to others and minimizing yourself or instinctively looking down on others and exaggerating yourself.
In that way, you can more easily and successfully embrace the magnificence of who you are, which far exceeds any fantasy you may have imposed on yourself.
When the voice and the vision on the inside is greater than all the opinions on your outside, you have begun to master your life.
Let’s go back to a time when you have been infatuated with or resented someone.
When you infatuate with someone and put them on a pedestal, you unconsciously give them authority over you, you subordinate to them, and tend to inject their values into your life.
When you resent someone, you tend to exaggerate yourself and project your values onto them.
Values in society go from those who have the most power to those who have the least power in society, which is why people at the bottom of the barrel tend to live by outer duty, and people at the top tend to live by inner design.
An interesting red flag you may experience indicating that you may be subordinating to someone or attempting to inject their values into your life is that you will tend to use words such as, “I ought to do”, “I should”, “I must”, “I need to” or “I have to”.
Whenever you hear those words inside your mind or coming out of your mouth, it’s valuable feedback to let you know that you are likely experiencing subordination leading to impulses and instincts and living in survival mode. In these instances, it is wise to let your intuition and inner voice guide you back to a place of balance where you can live congruently with your own values where you are the most authentic and ordinant.
Your maximum potential emerges when you are being you.
Anytime you try to be second at being someone else instead of first at being you, you undermine your power.
Your intuition, which is the voice and the vision on the inside, is constantly trying to bring you back into equilibrium so you can maximize your potential on the planet.
When you tap into the power and wisdom of your voice and vision on the inside (instead of listening to all the impulsive and instinctual voices on the outside), you become most PRESENCE and CERTAIN.
If you have to ask the question whether your inner voice is speaking, it’s not. Because in that state there's no uncertainty.
When you're exaggerating or minimizing others or yourself, uncertainty emerges because you have unconscious components and therefore have missing information.
The second you listen to your intuition and wake up your inner vision and inner voice, the voice on the inside becomes louder than the ones on the outside. That’s your inner voice speaking.
- That voice will have certainty.
- That voice will likely come with tears of gratitude.
- That voice will come with clarity.
- That voice will come with vision.
- That voice will come with a state of enthusiasm.
- That voice will come with a state of presence and gratitude.
- That voice will leave you certain that you are on the right track.
If you have to ask the question, whether it is your inner voice, your inner voice is not speaking.
The secret of tuning in to your inner voice is having a balanced mind and a heart filled with gratitude.
When your heart is “opened” wide with gratitude your inner voice becomes loud and clear. Your most life expanding messages are more able to enter into your mind with ease.
In other words, if your heart is filled with gratitude, it is almost impossible to stop your inner voice from speaking clearly and profoundly.
Follow the steps below to help you begin to tune into the secret wisdom of your inner voice:
- Stand relaxed with your hands loosely at your side. Take a few deep breaths. Inhale and exhale slowly through your nose.
- Tilt your head up 30 degrees.
- Turn your eyes up another 30 degrees, until you are looking forward and upward.
- Close your eyelids and let them become relaxed.
- Think about something or someone you are truly and deeply grateful for.
- Keep on being grateful until you feel your heart has truly opened up and you even have experienced a tear of gratitude or inspiration.
- Upon attaining a grateful state, now ask your inner voice for any guiding message. Ask: “Inner voice do you have a message for me at this moment?”
- When you are grateful enough and you ask for an inner message - a message will clearly come!
- Write this message down.
- If your message does not become immediately and clearly revealed, repeat steps 6 – 10 until it does.
When you are truly grateful, you will receive amazing and inspiring messages from your inner voice. These messages will be more powerful and meaningful than might at first be apparent.
If you trust the voice and the vision on your inside and allow this secret intuitive voice to guide your life, you will reduce the imperative language from outer authorities such as you “should”, “ought to”, “must”, or “have to”. Instead, you will have a voice that says, “This is the path”, “Thank you”, and “I love you”.
When you listen to your inner voice and vision that are congruent with your highest values, when you’re certain of your path and don’t have any questions, and when you have tears of gratitude, it is wise to write them down because it is likely to be a moment of authenticity confirmed by your physiology.
It's letting you know that, in that moment, that one inner voice is the one to wisely follow.
You won't have to ask the question when the true inner voice speaks, but when the outer impulsive or instinctive voices speak – the chattering of the brain, and your masks, personas, and facades that you put on in order to deal with your judgments of survival - those are the ones that cause uncertainty and confusion and can mislead.
As your voice on the inside grows in clarity and strength, so will your inspiration when you listen.
Begin to attune to that inspiring station from within. Listen as it guides you to new levels of creativity and operation. Your inner voice will put few or no limits on your life. Only the many outer voices of others who allow themselves to live a life of mediocrity will do so.
It is wise to give yourself permission to listen to the secret wisdom and power of your inner voice, instead of your polarized so-called “gut instincts” and “gut impulses”. In doing so, you will be taking a giant step towards mastering your life and creating an extraordinary future.
"When your wise and masterful voice on the inside becomes greater than the many little voices on the outside a life of great fulfillment, wisdom and genius can become yours."
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