Did you know your body has two (2) brains? I was reminded of this medical revelation from an experience I had 20 years ago. I was invited to inspire women living with HIV/Aids but I was the one who left encouraged after my brief encounter and hug from a sightless man who was there as one of the social workers. I will always remember what this blind man said to me after finishing my keynote speech at a large health conference on a Tuesday in Southern California. This sightless man stood patiently in my long book signing line to tell me something that has remained with me for 20 years. When I doubt my purpose or ask God if I should stick with my passion when times are difficult or the speaking invitations come in slow… I remember what he said. When I question my decision to quit my human resources job with a pay check every week to become self-employed…I remember what he said to me. He did not see the dress I was wearing. He did not see my performance of sign language to a Yolanda Adam’s song “Never Give Up.” He did not see my handouts. He did not see all the things I prepared to visually inspire and educate my audience. He didn’t see all the external things that I took so much time planning for or worrying what other people saw or thought about me (e.g. how I looked, how I stood, what I was wearing, my printed handouts, my hair, my jewelry, my shoes, my nails, etc.) This sightless man standing alone without any assistance but his cane said to me, “Thank you Jewel for following your golden gut. You have touched my spirit. I felt your energy and I am encouraged to go on.” WOW!! My golden gut!
Dr. Gershon, coined the term “second brain” in 1996. He is one of many researchers who studies brain-gut connections. The brain controls behavior. Butterflies in your stomach (gut) rise when the brain sends a message of anxiety to the gut, which sends messages back to the brain that it’s unhappy. But the gut has been referred to as your second brain. Your gut is where you have feelings of being; guided, warned, nervous, sad, happy, in love, or depressed. Your stomach (gut) dictates your mood and appetite. Your gut feelings give you warnings and sometimes you may regretfully ignore what your gut (instincts) are telling you. Your brain and “golden gut” are connected and communicate. My golden gut feeling (instincts, emotions, true north, God’s voice) guided me to quit my job and start my public speaking career in 1984. Sometimes I question my decision. But for the most part I’m glad I listened to my golden gut. That sightless man saw in me the invisible. He helped me to remember my “why” I wanted to make a difference. I wanted the freedom of developing my own future. I wanted to impact people’s lives in a positive way. I wanted to express what God had revealed to me about love, faith, courage, wisdom, healing, self-esteem, resiliency, perseverance and purpose. I had no mentors, no web site, no clue and no money but I began following my gut.
I consulted my first brain for logic and set a goal when I should begin my new golden career. My first brain (mental) calls it risk taking.
My second brain (emotions) calls it a leap of faith. My first brain wanted a plan. My first brain was full of doubt and fear. My second brain was full of excitement and gave me courage. My second brain compelled me to follow my dream and my heart. If you only listen to the logic in your first brain, the fear and rational thinking may paralyze you. If you only listen to your second brain (emotions) without consulting your first brain (logic), you may impulsively make decisions you will soon regret.
What is your “golden gut” saying to you? I hope you are inspired to discover the golden treasures and life purpose God has for you by listening to your second brain…your golden gut. Pray that God will guide you to find your hidden golden treasures (Proverbs 2:4) ~ by Jewel Diamond Taylor