INTRODUCTIONBIOSELECTIONS: LIMERENCE100 THINGS AND COUNTINGA WEEK WITHOUT LYINGACTING MY WAY TO HAPPINESSANCIENT WISDOM BEHIND NEW AGE THINKINGBE YOUR OWN ORACLE PART 1 OF 2BE YOUR OWN ORACLE PART 1A OF 2BE YOUR OWN ORACLE PART 2BEWARE THE CUDDLE DRUGBRINGING YOUR BEST DISHDOES SAYING NO MAKE YOU A BAD PERSON PART 2 OF 3DOES SAYING NO MAKE YOU A BAD PERSON? PART 1 OF 3DOES SAYING NO MAKE YOU A BAD PERSON? PART 3 OF 3EMOTIONAL CHEATING PART 1EMOTIONAL CHEATING PART 2FANTASY AS FOREPLAYHERE WE GO AGAINI AM NOT MY FACEI ASK TO RECEIVEIF I WERE A STREET SWEEPERIT'S 2012: TRY SOMETHING NEWSOLUTIONS FOR THE OVER-THINKERTHE MESSAGES WE SENDTO STAY OR TO WALK AWAYWHY DOESN'T HE CALLWHY WAIT?MORE: LIVING
BE YOUR OWN ORACLE PART 1 OF 2
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In ancient times, oracles were revered for guiding seekers on life’s journey. Many leaders wouldn't make a decision without their advice. The truth is that we don’t need to seek the wisdom of others to help us make choices.
We already have our own inner oracles that guide us at every turn. Our bodies are our counselors. They hold the key to infinite wisdom about people and situations. We just have to learn to listen.
Here are a few examples of how our bodies give us information:
· Lean forward, lean back response: The lean forward, lean back response tells us whether or not we feel emotionally, spiritually, or physically safe with someone. The moment a person steps into our personal space, we automatically lean in or we lean away. This slight movement is based on our unconscious perceptions. If we lean forward it means we subconsciously feel safe. If we lean away, then we subconsciously feel that we are in some kind of danger. (A more obvious and intense version of this response is when meeting someone we either recoil or feel a pressing urge to run to the other side of the room.)
· Instant knowing: Instant knowing is a quick influx of information that we feel in our midsection. We call it a gut reaction. Instant knowing offers information that we can use anyway we choose once we learn to translate the feeling into words.
· Fight or flight: The fight or flight response is automatic and a clear warning sign when something isn't right. We instantly react when we perceive that we are in danger. Our pulse speeds up, blood flow increases to our extremities, our glucose levels rise, and our adrenaline surges and readies us for action.
Animals also have visceral gauging mechanisms. Imagine a deer grazing in a quiet field. Seemingly out of nowhere, the deer picks its head up, freezes, and then runs. It may not have seen anything, yet it perceives a threat. Unlike your average human, the deer instinctively accepts the warning of the inner oracle, rather than questions it.
Why we ignore our oracles
There are many reasons why it is difficult to listen to our inner oracles. Here are a few:
- We want proof. As an intellectually based society, we learn to dissect and interpret our feelings and then decide if they have merit, rather than trusting our intuition at face value. Understanding our feelings from an intellectual standpoint is crucial for our growth. However, to use our inner oracle, we must learn to value it and listen, whether or not we have solid evidence to support what we perceive.
- We want to think the best of someone. We are more apt to think we have incorrectly judged someone rather than believe ill intent. We often jump to rationalize bad behavior with excuses such as upbringing, insecurity, lack of awareness and more. We often ignore our inner oracles telling us to flee. We later admonish ourselves and wish we had trusted our instincts or listened to our guts in the first place.
- We learn the hard way. It's human nature to value what we have earned more than what we are given. The same goes for what we learn. Therefore, we tend to learn the hard way. Even though our inner oracles tell us to spend less, or eat less or date appropriately, we ignore the obvious and struggle through trial and error. We don't usually take our inner oracle's advice until we've repeatedly experienced the adverse effects of not doing so.
- We misinterpret fight or flight response with sexual attraction or excitement. We live in an adrenaline-soaked, highly stimulating society. We see heart stopping movies, read action-adventure novels, and watch super-charged television shows. Many of us are over-stimulated. To make matters worse, many modern love stories are fueled by angst and conflict. This gives us the impression that discord is love, when in truth, it is anxiety. So, we may experience the fight or flight reaction and misinterpret it as a good thing rather than a call to flee.
- We are taught at an early age to ignore our inner oracles. As parents, our job is to teach our children social niceties, ensuring they fit well into society. In doing so we may inadvertently teach them to ignore their own inner oracles about people. I'm not saying that a child's intuition can always lead him or her in the right direction. I'm commenting on the possibility that by encouraging our children to go sit on Uncle Tongue's lap and give him a kiss when they are clearly uncomfortable doing so, may not be the best course of action.
- We trust someone else's oracle over our own. It's easy to value the feelings and viewpoints of others above our own, especially if they are passionate. However, just because our best friend feels at ease in a situation or around someone doesn't mean that we will too.
- Chemical overload confuses our bodies' messages. Eating too much sugar, drinking too much coffee or alcohol, or taking too much medication can all cause physical reactions that alter the natural chemical balances in our bodies. If we are jacked up on caffeine, we are always in a state of arousal or fight or flight. In that case, it is difficult to feel our oracles’ messages. Or, if we are lolling in a slight sugar coma after lunch, we will be unable to experience our instant knowing.
- The competition. There are many internal voices vying for our attention. The loudest is the mind's. The mind's communication style is brash, repetitive, and hard to ignore - almost like a child who wants attention. The mind is the analytical part of us, the part that worries, has fear, guilt, is over-responsible, repetitive, and likes to solve problems. It is always chattering. The next voice competing for our attention belongs to our unhealed issues, such as feelings of insecurity or unworthiness. This voice coaxes us toward familiar choices, whether or not they are beneficial. We then have a cultural voice that speaks volumes. It propels us toward certain behaviors, attitudes, and decisions that may benefit the whole, not necessarily the individual. For example, our cultural voice may continually remind us that higher education is paramount with a medical degree as the end goal, while our inner oracle is urging us to become an artist. We have all these loud competing messages while the inner oracle communicates through quiet whispers. No wonder we often miss the message.
Listening to the inner oracle
We now know that we receive messages through our bodies’ inner oracles. We also know that it can be quite difficult to hear the advice. The following are some guidelines to start the process of listening.
- Pay attention to the first impulse. Your inner oracle may whisper, but it always speaks first. Notice your first impression, thought, or feeling when it comes to a person or situation.
- Write the message down. It's often easy to forget your first impression or allow yourself to be talked out of what you instinctively know is right. If you write the message down, at least you have evidence of your oracle's wisdom and can come back to it if you feel sidetracked.
- Identify which inner voice is talking. Think about whose counsel you are taking - your unhealed issues? culture? over-thinking mind? Thinking about your choices in this way makes you a conscious participant in your life's path.
- Decide how you want to proceed. Think about potential outcomes if you follow your oracle's advice or if you choose to ignore it. If you find yourself trying to talk yourself out of following the oracle's advice, ask yourself why.
- Act. How you act is up to you, but taking action, especially when you follow your oracle's advice strengthens your connection and makes it that much easier to hear the quiet whisper of inner knowing.
My message for the week is this -- if your body tells you not to get into the elevator with the creepy guy in a trench coat or the well dressed man in an expensive suit - don't second guess yourself or worry about offending anyone by not getting in – just don't get in.
If your body tells you to forgo the second cupcake, listen and walk away.
If you feel a sense of foreboding around a new co-worker, that person is probably untrustworthy, so be careful.
It takes practice to listen to your inner oracle, however the more you listen the easier it will become.
Check back in two weeks for part 2: Calling upon the inner oracle at will to answer your questions.
© 2012 Shira Block, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED