Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Separating Instinct

This is a different kind of post for me, but I’ve been encouraged to post it, so here goes…
Regarding energies, my observations are that the biggest struggle involves recognizing the knee-jerk instinct. This might involve fear, anger, greed, hate, etc. I don’t think there’s any way of overcoming that completely, but being able to recognize it is likely half the battle. Here’s what I try to do if I experience these feelings:
  • okay, I’m feeling fear, I need to take a few minutes, and don’t react to that fear until I’ve calmed down, then I can look at it rationally. I am going to take time for ME.
  • then I look at the situation in different ways until I can see or feel the best outcome, and act on that. :-)
And sometimes the best course of action is doing nothing (Patrick Star of Spongebob fame is a master at this). This can be very important because it allows others to play the roles they need to play. You become the eye of the hurricane, the calm in the storm.
Usually there is a “physical” element to the instinct, which makes it easier to recognize. For example, your gut feels tied in knots, or your head starts to throb, or your throat might start to feel “tight”. We’re all different in this respect (my band teacher in 6th grade turned purple!). For me, this is key to taking action, because if I continue to feel the “physical” part of my instinct while taking action, it tells me I’m not ready to take action (or I haven’t made the right choice).  In extreme cases this can lead to paralysis, which is the body’s way of saying, “stop!!!!”
This is not to say that all instincts are bad, because we can act on our instincts for a positive outcome. As in, “go with your gut”. But the main point here is recognizing those instincts, and trying to understand how they impact the situation at hand.
What cues do you use to recognize your instincts?

1 comment:

  1. Our instincts are so important. Trust your feelings/gut. This is your internal compass.