How do you distinguish between instinctive health and habit reaction patterns?
When I am writing about instinct I am referring to intuition as a part of your emotional sensing system. That is to say that I am not referring to information from an outside source but rather a knowing that is from within.
Instinct in this way is not a primitive set of patterns instilled from an earlier evolutionary state.
Intuition instinct is part of an integrated informational system that incorporates the whole of who you are and then offers information from that source within you to guide your actions.
So what is instinctual for you may not be the best instinctual choice for another.
Our emotional guidance system includes our emotions and intuition.
Remember how anger is just an alarm going off to let you know that someone has crossed your boundaries. The best response is to say hmm what boundary has been crossed; applying your mindful approach to the emotion in order to determine your best response in present time rather than reacting from a habit reaction pattern which is based in history not present time.
Intuition is a function of a mindful approach to living; it is a feeling/knowing that directs you to make a decision based on information in combination with your emotional guidance system.
Intuition instinct is knowing yourself, knowing the environment and acting on that knowing in a mindful, present moment way.
An example of this is when I was making a decision about how to treat my dog’s heart failure.
My intuition instinct was that I had a bad feeling about the medicine to treat my dog even though studies indicated it was the right treatment for my dog’s heart disease. The expert-vet was caught up in the ego of being the doctor and couldn’t compute the intuitive information that I brought to the circumstances.
I had a knowing that there was some piece of the puzzle that wasn’t being interpreted correctly – I knew his lungs were involved in the problem, but not in the way she was looking at it – I had an intuitive instinct that the medicine was not the best medicine for him.
My primary vet had years of experience with a very successful practice. He had the capacity to listen to my intuitive instinct and incorporated that into his treatment plan. He was able to take that information and shift his paradigm and use a medicine that was empirically indicated. My dog has lived 5 months longer than expected based on this collaborative approach.
Intuition is some part knowledge from the universe like Jung’s collective unconscious, and some part observation of how something is out-of-place, and some part knowing.
It has an imprint quality, but not a history imprint, and it comes in wholes – it is the answer with the picture and the explanation all at once.
It’s a knowing not a feeling, even though we describe it as a feeling. It’s an instinctual response, not a reaction.
Learning to trust your intuition requires a few things.
First, you must have an understanding of how the emotional guidance system works.
You have to be able to distinguish between fear/anxiety and intuition. Fear/anxiety internal voices tend to have an intensity and loudness to them – they break through whatever is going on. They push through to the front. These are usually not intuition; these are unconscious habit patterns. If you feel immediately triggered it is more likely that rather than any sense of intuition.
Strong emotions may be indications of an acute situations, but they may also be a trigger from a habit reaction pattern. So the first thing to do is to discern which is happening.
A great way to do this is to apply mindfulness, remaining neutral and in the present moment, and attending to figure/ground information and looking at the situation from all the paradigms available.
Second, you have to notice the intuitive instinct information, to hear the quiet inner voice that carries the information from the emotional guidance system. So if you’re good at ignoring those nagging voices/senses you have to shift that so you listen more acutely and more often.
Practicing some type of meditation or breathing exercise like Qi Gong, or Yoga is helpful to develop this.
Intuition is quiet and not forceful and it usually doesn’t have an urgency or any other emotional history imprint with it. It’s like a quiet whispering that has substance and neutral certainty to it. It can have a nagging quality to it.
I know I have used the statement I have a bad feeling about this as a reference to intuition but it isn’t really a feeling it’s a sense/knowing sometimes without emotion. It’s a quiet certainty.
Instinctive health is the practice of listening for that quiet inner voice and taking action based on it. And conversely the practice of not acting on those fearful/anxious impulses.
Instinctive health is allowing your emotional guidance system to guide you. And I think it is the calmest and most efficient way to navigate through important decisions.
See you tomorrow.