The doorway to instinct and intuition enters through one channel–our body’s signal for Yes and No, often described as our Gut Feelings.
This signal tells us when we’re on the right path, when we’re successfully reading the clues for what comes next, and it also tells us when we’re veering off course.
But what if we haven’t yet learned how to sense our body’s language for yes and no? Highly Sensitive People often shut down a large percentage of their receptors in order to protect themselves from too much emotional stimulation. Numbing is suffocating and it’s not conducive to a quality life. I teach Highly Sensitive People to keep the channels open through earth medicine, and the psychology of resilience because when we turn our energy field into an impenetrable fortress, we keep the joy out too. There’s a difference between being alive and truly living.
And it starts with learning how to sense our gut feelings, or our body’s distinction between Yes and No.
I’ll begin by saying that generally your body’s Yes will feel like a lightness of being. It will create an open sensation of energetic expansion.
On the flip side of that, your body’s No will often feel like a heavy dullness, a stuck and stagnant sensation. Suddenly it feels like motor oil is crawling through your veins, and your shoes are sinking in mud.
What is The Energetic Communication Center, and why is it important?
I’m an empath as well as Highly Sensitive, as many of us are, and when I’m working with clients I can feel these sensations flowing through their unique chakra entry points. I call this a person’s energetic communication center and mine is my third chakra, at my solar plexus. That means that just as my actual voice speaks through my vocal cords, I can feel my energetic voice through my solar plexus. A person’s energetic communication center tends to be consistent. It doesn’t shift from one chakra to the next, week by week. Identifying this communication center is important because if I’m successful I can help them learn to amplify that chakra’s voice, gently turning up the volume. That way they can concentrate on where to listen in order to jumpstart the how to listen.
It is important to be incredibly patient with yourself and practice connecting to your body’s signals without expectation or demands.
This is a process that takes commitment and time. Sometimes our mind stomps around shouting orders, “I COMMAND YOU, Intuition, to SPEAK!” when it really just needs to be quiet, so our senses can have the space to do their thing. Our body whispers, it doesn’t shout (until it really, really needs to get our life-or-death attention).
Devote yourself to the following steps and I promise you, you’ll have it in no time.
Five Steps to Learning Your Body’s Yes & No: (Our Gut Feelings)
1.) Feel what you feel.
No more running from emotion. Give yourself the space to sit with the full intensity of your feelings. This will be a gradual process. Highly Sensitive People have a tendency for chronic repression, suppression, or denial. We can’t cap the mouth of a volcano to prevent an eruption. Humans were designed to feel. As a Highly Sensitive Person, you were designed to feel more deeply than 80% of the human population. There is nothing that will change that, and all the suppression in the world can’t stop it.
2.) Self-Acceptance & Trust.
Don’t judge what you sense or feel. This one is so important.
Let’s say you’ve received an invitation to something you’d normally love to do, but tonight you’re feeling exhausted.
To practice the art of listening for your body’s Yes and No, do the following: Close your eyes, place your hands to your heart, take three deep breaths, and then run through one possible scenario for how you’ll answer. Let’s work with Yes first. Speak your answer to yourself, out loud if you can:
“I accept this invitation. I will say Yes.”
Now observe your body for how it feels.
What if you actually get a very definitive “No” in response. You feel like you’re sinking, your body feels like lead, you actually see a black cloud descending over you (I’m not necessarily exaggerating!). But then your mind jumps in and says, “Don’t be ungrateful. This is your friend! There is no good reason to decline.”
Yes, of course, you may absolutely love the person who extended you this invitation, but that’s not the question. Maybe your instincts know more than your mind does in the moment. Perhaps you’re over-extended and you’re running on fumes. What if you just really need to be alone tonight. Trust your inner guidance.
Retest it to confirm. Repeat the process in bold above, and then speak your decision: “I have decided to say No to the invitation tonight.” Now check again how that feels in your body. Open? Light? Then you have your answer.
3.) Your cells have sentience.
Consider your body as a universe of cells with their own individual sentience. Be open to their communication, even if you have not yet strengthened your channels enough to hear them clearly. (You will!) See them as living beings, because they absolutely are. Our actual gut has been labeled our Second Brain, due to its strong connection with our gut feelings.
4.) You are your body’s Universe.
Try to trust your body just 1% more, each day. Truth: Your body wants you to thrive, and it wants you to hear its messages. It loves you. Your body has never wanted anything but the best for you. It is sorry if you’ve experienced medical or psychological or physical trauma. It has never conspired against you; it wants to help you heal. You are, quite literally, your body’s whole world.
5.) Name the emotion.
Stressed? Say it out loud to yourself. “I feel stressed.” Afraid? Speak it. “I feel afraid.”
Studies have shown that speaking a hurt out loud literally diminishes pain. If you bonk your elbow on a table edge, try holding your elbow while saying, “Feeling pain!” or “Ouch!” This directly interferes with the brain’s pain response, creating a natural analgesic effect. The same is true for emotions. Neuroscience and vagal nerve research have proven that speaking an emotion out loud is a powerful self-regulation tool. It creates a gap between the stimulus and response, allowing you to naturally reset your nervous system.
I work with an emotions word list with every one of my clients. It’s a powerful tool for increasing body awareness. I hope if you have a long-standing pattern of emotional numbing that you will consider working with somebody to help you open to your emotions safely and consistently.
Thank you for having the courage to live a fully-embodied life, dear Sensitive.
I hope you will leave a comment if you have any questions at all. Let me know how comfortable you are with reading your body’s signals, and if you can identify which chakra your body tends to speak through!
Instinct is our nature. We are nature. Gut feelings are nature’s crystal ball. And this is how we open the channels to that connection.
Joanne Sprott says
“You are your body’s universe.” Brilliant! I know most of this advice well, but following it is harder, of course. My tummy (solar plexus) knows all the answers, but I found your talk about sentient cells and me as the agent of life for my cells absolutely fascinating! I’ve heard of talking to my cells and all, but you put another spin on it. I feel like the author of my biological life now. Thanks!
Kristy Sweetland says
I’m so happy to hear this concept resonated for you, Joanne! I feel it’s the ultimate expression of self-love. Caring for ourselves on a cellular level. Truly getting to know our body as a loving force of nature. Thank you for reading!