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    Can You Really Trust Your Gut? | Amber Tamblyn

    Trusting your intuition takes time and requires silencing self-doubt. Community support and honest feedback can help distinguish between anxiety and intuition, leading to personal growth and inspiration for others to trust their own intuition.

    enFebruary 06, 2023

    About this Episode

    There may be a temptation in some circles to dismiss intuition as witchy, folkloric, or unscientific but there’s actually a ton of science around this. Our guest, author, actress and director, Amber Tamblyn will guide us through this. Tamblyn argues that intuition is a trainable skill but that this south-of-the-neck intelligence is often obscured by being too stuck in our heads and out of touch with our bodies. 


    Tamblyn has been nominated for Emmy®, Golden Globe, and Independent Spirit Awards. Her work in television spans over two decades including starring roles on House M.D., and Two and a Half Men. On the big screen, she starred in movies such as The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants and 127 Hours. She’s written seven books, including her latest, which is called Listening in the Dark: Women Reclaiming the Power of Intuition


    In this episode we talk about:

    • How she defines intuition, and the role it plays as a bridge between the conscious and unconscious parts of our minds
    • Why we are conditioned to validate rational intelligence over intuitive intelligence  
    • The gut/brain connection, and why the enteric nervous system is known as the “second brain”
    • Practical tips for getting better at listening to our bodies
    • The role of meditation in boosting intuition
    • The scientific research that points towards the importance of having a relationship with nature, and how this can improve our intuition
    • The relationship between intuition and creativity
    • How we should think about dream life
    • What to do when you’re not sure whether you should trust your gut
    • How to recognize the difference between anxiety and intuition
    • And why our society has downplayed the importance of intuition, which has been a tool used against women and men



    Full Shownotes: https://www.tenpercent.com/podcast-episode/amber-tamblyn-555

    See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

    🔑 Key Takeaways

    • Listening to our bodies, practicing meditation and spending time in nature can improve our intuition. Recognizing anxiety versus intuition is crucial as intuition is often downplayed in society. Trusting our gut is vital for our physical and mental health.
    • Intuition is an overlooked form of intelligence that connects us to truth and can guide us in making decisions based on both rational thinking and inner knowing. By embracing our intuition, we can tap into a powerful source of wisdom that can help us overcome systemic inequalities and promote social justice.
    • Intuition, often discredited as emotional thinking, is a valuable source of decision-making that complements rational intelligence. By acknowledging and trusting it, we achieve balance between the conscious and unconscious parts of ourselves.
    • Women's unique perspectives and voices have been disregarded throughout history, and it is important for both men and women to work towards breaking the patterns of patriarchy to hear and value them.
    • It's crucial to respect and acknowledge our mental and bodily illnesses rather than numb or ignore our feelings, similar to how the Hearing Voices Movement and feminist movement aimed to acknowledge various experiences and perspectives.
    • Intuition is a practical tool that should be honed and trusted just as much as the brain. Listening to the body's warning signals can lead to a healthier life.
    • Spending time in nature, respecting and understanding our gut, and listening to our body can improve our overall health. Make time for nature and prioritize your relationship with your body.
    • Practicing listening to our instincts is important for personal growth. Take time to ask difficult questions, sit with potential answers, and address fears little by little using a step-by-step guide. Patience and persistence are key.
    • Imagining oneself as a scared child and as a supporter can help overcome fear. Acting on the truth of fear can be life-changing, and understanding oneself helps in making decisions that affect the outcome of our lives.
    • Slowing down and connecting with intuition through meditation, silence, feeling, and trusting gut instinct can lead to better decision making. Relationships play a key role in happiness and the Just Curious Relationships podcast can help navigate complicated issues.
    • Setting boundaries with our conscious mind is crucial for allowing our gut and intuition to guide us in decision-making. Engaging in activities like meditation, being in nature, and helping others can quiet the voice in our heads and improve overall health and survival.
    • Trusting your intuition takes time and requires silencing self-doubt. Community support and honest feedback can help distinguish between anxiety and intuition, leading to personal growth and inspiration for others to trust their own intuition.
    • Intuition can be shared with loved ones, leading to gut-to-gut communication, and helping individuals navigate through difficult moments. It can also inspire creativity and self-discovery, fostering deeper connections with those around us.
    • Writing and intuitive processes can help connect with loss and transform one's identity, leading to the breaking free from unrealistic industry expectations and becoming a voice for the voiceless.
    • Trusting your intuition and exploring your dreams and symbolism can uncover hidden talents, traumatic events, and unresolved issues, leading to a better understanding of yourself and personal growth.
    • Keeping a dream diary and identifying recurring themes can guide us towards important memories or unresolved experiences. Combining our intuition with rational decision-making can lead to a more fulfilling life.

    📝 Podcast Summary

    The Training of Intuition and Its Connection with Gut-Brain Relationship

    Intuition is a trainable skill, and the enteric nervous system plays an important role in gut-brain connection. Conditioning to favor rational intelligence over intuition has obscured our south-of-neck intelligence. The podcast covers practical tips for getting better at listening to our bodies, the role of meditation and nature in boosting intuition, and recognizing anxiety versus intuition. Many parts of society have downplayed intuition, which has been used against both women and men. Intuition showed itself during the Me Too movement as people all over the world spoke about things they had never spoken about before. Trusting our gut and listening to our bodies are crucial for our physical and mental health.

    The Power of Intuition in Overcoming Systemic Inequality and Promoting Social Justice

    Intuition is the underpinning of women's rage and systemic inequality that connects us with the feeling of truth that our bodies know. Profound listening to what our bodies tell us is an important but ignored form of intelligence that animals and humans possess. The author explores the lineage of oppressed intuition and highlights the mass flexing of the inner intuitive muscle during social movements that we overlook. The book 'Intuitive' is an exploration of the different voices, including politicians, comedians, and holistic practitioners who describe their intuition and disconnection with their gut. Intuition is a connection between rational intelligence and feeling of truth that makes decisions based on certain facts and rationale, and there's always a margin of error inherent in any decision we make.

    The Power and Value of Intuition in Decision Making

    Intuition is the margin of error that can bridge the gap between conscious and unconscious parts of our minds. In making difficult life decisions or assessing the trajectory of our story, relying on intuition along with rational thought can help attain balance between our physical selves and our unconscious mind. Society has conditioned us to believe that thinking with our emotions and body is bad for us, but this secondary intelligence is very real and valuable. It can inform part of our intelligence and decision making, as well as be respected as much as our rational intelligence. We need to find a balance between the two and acknowledge the power of intuition that we have long ignored.

    The Suppression of Women's Voices in History and Society

    Throughout history, women's voices have been disregarded and oppressed, with men in positions of power dictating what they heard. The concept of hysteria was used to diagnose women who heard voices, leading to their persecution and mistreatment. The lack of representation of women's experiences in history texts is concerning, as it fails to acknowledge their unique perspectives and voices. The current social and political climate perpetuates this oppression, with the Supreme Court in the US denying women agency over their own bodies. However, it is important to note that men are also conditioned to disregard the value of the feminine. Both men and women must work towards hearing themselves beyond the patterns of patriarchy.

    The Importance of Respecting and Acknowledging Mental and Bodily Illnesses

    The Hearing Voices Movement, a few decades ago, respected mental illness and allowed people to hear voices and auditory hallucinations. It aimed to acknowledge that mental illnesses are okay to experience. Similarly, the feminist movement aimed to take back our voices and stories to share our experiences instead of being told through the male gaze. Honoring bodily diseases and illnesses, whether it's mental or physical, is something that our culture fails to do. We tend to numb or ignore our feelings, instead of having a connection with them. It's important to respect and acknowledge the signals that our body sends out, whether we listen to them or not.

    The Importance of Trusting Your Gut

    Our body knows more than we think and it is essential to trust our intuition as much as we trust our brain when making decisions. Intuition is not some far away feeling but a practical tool that we can and should hone. The science behind gut-brain access identifies the importance of listening to our body's warning signals. Our gut processes information that is connected to what comes about from our brain processing information. Many diseases and forms of illnesses start not in the brain but in our stomachs. Hence, it is necessary to nurture and protect our intuition at all costs and trust the body's signals to lead a healthy life.

    Connecting with nature for a healthy gut microbiome.

    Having a longstanding connection with nature is critical for maintaining a healthy gut microbiome and healing the body as a whole. This involves putting your feet in dirt, being physically in nature, and finding a daily sit spot. Listening to your body should be treated like a muscle you would flex, and it involves respecting and understanding your gut as a source of information. If we give even a fraction of the time we spend on deciding what we're going to eat on any given day to prioritize our relationship with nature and our own bodies, we would be in a profoundly different and healthier space.

    The Importance of Listening to Our Body and Gut Instincts

    Listening to our body and gut instincts is important for a better outcome in life. It's a slow and scary process that requires practice. We need to ask ourselves difficult questions, sit with potential answers, and address our fears little by little. Generations of conditioning have taught us to ignore our instincts, but we can chip away at the conditioning by using it as a tool and practicing with a step-by-step guide. This guide involves finding a quiet place and centering ourselves before going inward to ask ourselves a difficult question without immediately reacting. It's a trial-and-error process that requires patience and persistence.

    Overcoming Fear by Separating Oneself into Two People

    One way to overcome fear is to separate oneself into two people and imagine one as the scared one, and the other as the support system. The scared one can be imagined as a child or someone that needs love and support to get through the fear. The goal is not necessarily to agree with the outcome of the conversation but to be brave and have an understanding of oneself. Following through on something that terrifies you and acting on the truth of what the fear brings up can be life-changing and becomes easier with time. Thinking about the conversation between our bodies and our minds opens up the door for a whole new perspective and a whole new way of making decisions that affect the outcome of our lives.

    The Importance of Tapping Into Intuition for Better Decision Making.

    Slowing down the rational mind and tapping into intuition is necessary to get solid answers and make good decisions. Meditation, sitting in silence, feeling without words, connecting with others, and relying on gut instinct are important to get more connected with your intuitive process. In the corporate world, final decisions always come from the gut. Happiness is greatly influenced by the quality of our relationships, and Just Curious Relationships is a helpful podcast for unpacking complicated issues and finding solutions for all types of relationships.

    Practical Tips for Quieting the Voice in Our Heads

    Practical tips like meditation, getting in touch with nature, sharing stories with friends, getting cold, playing, and helping others are recommended for getting out of your head and quieting the voice that tells you everything is wrong. The voice in our heads needs boundaries, and we need to be in connection with our gut to make accurate decisions. Our intuition and instincts are important decision-making tools that we have lost touch with over time. Western culture is the only one that doesn't use these tools regularly, and we need to remember the importance of them to improve our overall health and survival. Setting boundaries with our conscious mind is necessary to allow our gut and intuition to guide us in the right direction.

    Cultivating a Reliable Intuition with Patience and Practice

    Trusting your intuition is a practice that requires time and patience, just like meditation. The key is to silence the voice in your head that doubts you and keep practicing. Over time, your intuition will become more reliable and steer you in the right direction, even if it may be wrong sometimes. However, when you can't distinguish between anxiety and intuition, it's important to trust your community as a safety net. Having people in your life who can give you honest feedback and hold you accountable can help you grow and cultivate a deeper understanding of yourself. Sharing your journey with others can also be infectious and inspire them to trust and value their own intuition.

    The Power of Sharing Intuition with Loved Ones

    Intuition is not just for individuals but can be shared with loved ones who can provide gut-to-gut communication and be a sounding board for us. Our closest friends and partners can see things in us that we cannot and help us navigate through difficult moments. Intuition can also relate to creativity and inspired Amber Tamblyn's book, Dark Sparkler. The book explores the lives and deaths of child star actresses and was a personal exorcism for Tamblyn of everything she had been through in Hollywood. Intuition can lead us to introspection and self-discovery, and sharing it with loved ones can help us make more informed decisions and feel more connected to others.

    Amber Tamblyn's Journey from Actress to Writer

    Amber Tamblyn was inspired by the death of Brittany Murphy to humanize the Hollywood celebrities and show their interior lives. Her essay talks about the grief, knowing, and sadness of women and men in the entertainment industry. She described how writing and intuitive processes helped her to connect with Brittany and how it transformed her from an actress to a writer. Through the book, she wanted to be a voice for the voiceless and convey the message of freeing oneself from the unrealistic expectations of the industry and becoming something more.

    The Power of Intuition, Dreams, and Symbols in Self-Discovery

    Trusting your intuition and following it can lead to discovering new talents that you never knew you had. Amber Tamblyn's experience of writing expressed her survival instincts and brought her to an evolutionary part of her life. Dreams can also be used as tools to help understand your intuition and uncover the symbolism and markers of your unconscious mind. While we don't have to take everything our dream life says literally, exploring them can lead to a better understanding of our gut instinct. Stories and mythology are an inherent part of human existence, and by following the reoccurring dreams and symbolism, we can uncover traumatic events and unresolved issues that were hidden in our subconscious.

    The Power of Intuition in Decision-Making

    Intuition plays a significant role in both our waking and sleeping lives. Dreams can be a powerful source of intuitive insights that can help resolve personal issues. By keeping a diary of dreams, one can identify recurring themes that may guide them towards important memories or unresolved experiences. Amber Tamblyn's book, Listening in the Dark, highlights the power of intuition in decision-making, and features stories of women from diverse backgrounds who have harnessed their intuition to succeed. Catherine May's Wintering is another book that advocates for embracing the darkness and solitude of winter as an essential part of our existence. Intuition, when combined with rational decision making, may help us lead a more fulfilling life.

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