In recent studies it has been proven that developmentally the gut brain forms first in nature and in the womb, followed by the head brain. The gut brain is primal in your physical development and its primal to your very existence as a life form. Even more significantly you will discover that your gut brains functioning intelligence is primal to your identity. It is the intelligence that is at the core of your deepest sense of self…. your subconscious sense of who you are and who you are not. It is also the intelligence that is at work dealing with all core identity-based issues and motivations such as needs for safety, protection, maintaining boundaries, and what you will physically or psychologically internalize or reject. (Michael D. Gershon, M.D., 1998)
We spend more on healthcare than any other nation. Why aren’t we the healthiest people on the planet? We are in fact among the sickest population in the world. Prescription drug use for mental and emotional and gastrointestinal conditions is at an all time high. With that said there are way too many people still suffering through life in a drug-induced haze. Popping pills to ease any and all discomfort seems to be the default of our nation. By touching in to our gut wisdom in the second belly brain and integrating it with our cranial brain we can shift the quality of our physical and emotional health exponentially. Listen to your gut wisdom – Use your gut intuition – Trust your gut – My gut is telling me there is something wrong – Go with your gut response – It was a gutsy and courageous thing to do are all some expressions of deep subconscious processing.
These expressions all indicate in their neuro-linguistic nature that intelligence, wisdom and intuition are occurring in the region of the belly. This is insightful and empowering validating the wise messages from ancient traditions around the world.
Creating Self-Awareness Through Coaching
As we deepen our self-awareness in a compassionate way, we increase our receptivity to our gut feelings – the images, sensations, and intuitions arising in our body’s center.
Through Gut Wisdom Coaching, it is necessary to create a safe space for the client. Gaining trust is imperative before inviting the client to go inward in order to become self-aware of the hara goe -belly voice within.
When a client is disconnected to their center you may observe someone who constantly worries about money or never feels satisfied with their home or work environment. Addictive behavior such as eating disorders, smoking, abusing drugs, drinking too much alcohol, or gambling, illnesses such as lower back pain, hemorrhoids, constipation and sciatica may also be manifestations from being disconnected to one’s core. When we are listening to our inner gut wisdom and are in alignment we feel physically secure, able to be part of a group without being domineering or needy and be able to trust their instincts and follow their destiny.
Beginning with who am I? What is my heart’s desire for the future whether that is a new job, new or improved relationship, an abundance of money, time, creativity, improved skills or creating more balance in lifestyle and career. When a client finds clarity about what they truly value in their life, what their natural talents are and what brings them joy, they are able to witness and release their inner/outer blocks opening to more opportunities to live up to their highest potential.
Getting in touch with your gut wisdom means bringing more vitality to your body’s center, evoking sensation, stimulating awareness. It is common for most of us to have cut ourselves off from sensing what’s happening within our core. The longer we’ve abandoned this world inside us, the more mysterious – even daunting – it may seem. Developing and directing your intuitive power means returning to this long abandoned place, investing in your awareness, and claiming it as your own. Celebrating and affirm what the client has done to get them to this journey of discovery.
Connecting to Hara-goe (belly voice) Breathing
- Sit comfortably, resting your palms lightly on your lower belly. Allowing your breath to deepen into your belly. As you breathe, notice the images and sensations occurring within your belly if available. See and feel the life force concentrated in your belly center. Notice shape, color, sense its motion; listen for its sounds. See and feel the life energy focused within your belly growing brighter and stronger with each breath.
- Breathing into your belly center, now breathe out through the your perineum and down into the earth.
- Breathing into your belly center, breathe out through the front and back of your body from the center of your lower belly.
- Breathing into your belly center, breathe out through the front and back of your body from the center of your upper belly at a level just beneath your ribs.
- Breathing into your belly center, breathe out through the front and back of your body from the center of your chest.
- Breathing into your belly center, breathe out through the front and back of your body from the center of your throat.
- Breathing into your belly center, breathe out through the front and back of your body from the center of your forehead.
- Breathing into belly center, breathe out through your perineum and down into the earth. At the same time, breathe from your belly center out through the crown of your head and up to the sky.
- Closing your eyes, take a few moments to experience the images and sensations occurring throughout your body…. then return your awareness to the present.
De-brief with client to discuss what came up during the breathing exercise and explore these discoveries together. (Lisa Sarasohn, 2006, pg. 216-217)
Celebrating wins – affirming what the client has done or accomplished so far.
Questions to reveal inner knowing – that inner wisdom of who you really are.
- What do you know already about what you were made to do?
- What ‘s been most meaningful to you in your life? Where have you found real purpose in living?
- Sometimes we have a deep, intuitive sense of what we want to do or be in life, without even knowing exactly where it came from. What would fall in that category for you?
- What kinds of roles or responsibilities do you enjoy and feel good at? What leaves you exhausted and empty?
- Of all the roles you’ve been in, which ones was the best fit? Why?
- If every experience of your life were planned to groom you for your destiny, what would you say your whole life has prepared you for?
- What experiences have you had that gave you an unusual sense of purpose?
- What has your life experience told you about your destiny?
- What valuable experiences can you draw on to accomplish your dreams?
- When have you been greatly affirmed in who you are and what you were born for?
- What have you done that has been the most successful or beneficial to others?
- What relationships or people have influenced your sense of destiny? How?
- What do you feel has been revealed
Developing Self-Confidence Through Coaching
Once we believe in ourselves, we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight, or any experience that reveals the human spirit.– E.E.Cummings
Through Gut Wisdom Coaching clients will gain self-confidence remembering times in their lives when they demonstrated courage and a can-do attitude. When was the last time you acted energetically in a purposeful way? Through active listening, intuitive questions and mindful breathing and/or guided imagery practices we will find intuitive ways to locate and mobilize that source of strength, with the objective of going further and deeper than sheer willpower that can often wane from exhaustion. When self-confidence is gained through touching into and owning our inner wisdom we can then trust ourselves to make choices that will serve our higher self and the higher good. Our partnership will invite Clients to gain access to a wider range of perspectives and therefore, allow for more choices that may otherwise be hidden or obscured. Gaining self-confidence to be open to more opportunities by shifting perceptions and long held beliefs that may no longer be serving the client. Empowering the client to make choices that are in alignment with the client’s authentic vision, values, passion, strengths and purpose through validation.
When self-confidence is developed and activated the client will enjoy a healthy intuition where they can generally rely on their hunches or “gut instincts” and they can express themselves well.
Alternate Nostril Breathing
- sit comfortably. Place the middle finger of your right hand on your forehead; your thumb rests on your right nostril, your ring and baby fingers rest on your left nostril.
- Inhale and exhale. Close right nostril with thumb; inhale through left nostril for a count of 5.
- Close both nostrils; hold your breath for a count of 5.
- Lift thumb, exhale for 5 through right nostril
- Inhale through right nostril, hold, close right nostril and exhale through left nostril. This ends round 1.
- Repeat 4 more rounds.
Benefits: balances the energy of the nervous system and has a profound stilling effect on the mind.
Validation – Positively articulating whom this person is at their core being.
Questions to explore clients source of inner-confidence:
- How will you make that decision?
- What do you need to know to make your best choice?
- What would a great decision look like?
- How do you usually make decisions?
- How well does this decision align with your passions, your values, your purpose?
- What fears or inner drives are influencing your response? How could you remove those things from the equation so you can make a better decision?
- What is the payoff for each option? The risk? Can you live with the worst-case outcome? What steps could minimize the risk if you went with this?
- What is your gut saying? What feels right to you?
- Who are you becoming through this decision? How is it shaping your identity?
- What do your emotions in this decision reveal about the inner you? How do you want to respond to those insights?
- What future do I see for this person that s/he may not have the confidence to see for him or herself? How can I believe in this person where s/he most needs to be believed in?
Amplifying Self-Assurance Living Your Purpose
Nothing can dim the light which shines within– Maya Angelou
Through Gut Wisdom Coaching we will co-create self-awareness and self-confidence by exploring and connecting to our center (our true nature). As the client gains self-assurance they will enjoy that deep, unshakable knowing that they are capable of taking risks, meeting new challenges and take the necessary steps to manifest their dreams through intuitive action. Together we will explore effective tools and behaviors to support their journey. Through Coaching we will strengthen and empower the client’s own authority and accountability for living a purposeful life. To carry on and thrive in a natural way, no matter what comes up in the way of uncomfortable thoughts or situations. Coaching will continue to serve the client on their quest for change and or transformation though listening, observation, validation and empowerment by inviting them to listen and trust their own gut wisdom.
Amplifying Self-Assurance Breathing
- Inhale one-third with your belly.
- Inhale one- third with your rib cage.
- When your rib cage is wide open, inhale a little more (yes you can!) and let your lungs fill completely (the last third)
- Exhale slowly and normally.
- Practice for 5 minutes and enjoy stress relief expanding into self-assurance.
Expressing Belief by sharing your confidence in what the client will do in the future.
Reflections as a Coach to celebrate, express belief and validate your client:
- What has this person accomplished that should be celebrated?
- What specific progress has been made since we’ve been working together?
- How am I affirming the small steps forward that this person is taking? How can I do better?
- What do I want to affirm about this person’s efforts or commitment?
- What skills, habits and abilities does this person have that I see leading to future success?
- What is this person truly capable of in life? What potential is present here?
- What character qualities do I admire in this person?
- What is the true value of this individual? What inner greatness and incredible potential have I seen in him/her?
- What is the hidden treasure inside this person that maybe others don’t see?
To conclude, from my personal and professional experience of operating for many years in a high stress corporate environment predominately from my cranial brain I discovered that while I was high functioning and driven toward monetary gain believing it to be the answer for all lack, that this manner of existence is not desirable and/or sustainable in the long game. It is crucial for us to stay connected to our intuitive hara-goe (belly voice) integrated with our logical/reasoning mind in order to thrive and enjoy a successful and purposeful life that speaks from our center, our true nature.
Through the core competency of the Gut Wisdom Coaching Model we can access a system to facilitate and co-create self-awareness, self-confidence and self-assurance in our clients which allows them to move forward with clarity and achieve the changes and transformations they seek to make. Starting with realigning with one’s purpose and expanding from that core truth. Remembering that the process is a journey of discovery and organic in nature reflecting our ever-changing needs and unfolding desires.
The history of cultures from around the world validates this model by shining a light on the need to step back from our focus of moving through this lifetime driven by our craving for that false sense of control we mistakenly believe comes from a purely intellectual understanding versus the experiential wisdom that comes from our gut intuition and listening to our body as a whole. By living totally in our heads we become top heavy and out of balance. Consequently this obstructs our own innate and powerful ability to access the key to the blueprint of our soul’s purpose. Ancient wisdom laid out in the energetic systems and complex networks of the meridians and chakras hold powerful insight in to the art of healing that can no longer be discounted for our purposes.
To further our comprehension of the power and potential of our hara we have the re-emergence and growing body of research in the field of neuroscience to enlighten our understanding of the enteric brain and nervous system furthering us along our path and moving us forward to achieving optimum emotional and physical health by acknowledging and integrating the two brains available and gifted to us all at birth. Biology proves that our gut wisdom holds the answers to all our ailments. When we ignore feelings such as grief, anger and rage, when we deny or resist the discomfort of uncomfortable feelings and turn away from the pain it results in long term suffering leading to illness and disease. Denial may have short-term appeal but choosing to opt into over-intellectualizing or numbing these feelings is a recipe for perpetuating and magnifying our dis-ease. Inviting a client to breathe deeply from the belly, touching into that and leaning into the discomfort with curiosity and a sense of discovery through witnessing versus resisting are key elements to healing and transformation.
In co-creating self-awareness with our clients we set the stage to becoming more mindful about how we nourish ourselves and our hara – inner guidance through breath and sustenance. Self-awareness opens the gateway to clarity and vitality revealing our true nature and purpose. Once the client has touched into their own inner power we can begin to co-develop self-confidence. Coaching through powerful questions and breath work we can begin to access recall of a time when the client demonstrated courage opening up to more opportunities to step into that gutsy place by shifting perceptions and long held belief’s that may no longer serve them. As self-confidence is developed and activated the client can then begin to enjoy empowerment through healthy intuition coupled with the logic and reason to carry out their intentions for effecting change. Maintaining and amplifying self-assurance through coaching is a process of validating and celebrating the client’s choices and holding them accountable to their path in order that they can enjoy continued life-long success in the accomplishment of their goals.
Michael D. Gershon, M.D., (1998), The Second Brain, Your Gut has a Mind of it’s Own.
Lisa Sarasohn, (2006), The Woman’s Belly Book
Grant Soosalu & Marvin Oka, (2012), mBraining – Using your Multiple Brains to do Cool Stuff
Anodea Judith, (1996), Eastern Body – Western Mind, Psychology and the Chakra System as a Path to the Self
Dr. David Hartz, DC, (2013), A Tale of Two Brains: How your Second Brain is Key to Understanding Many Chronic Illnesses
John Eden, (2013), The Brain in our Belly