The Hummingbird – Nature’s Marvel

A hummingbird symbolizes abundant joy and the beauty of life. It teaches us to appreciate the magic of being alive and to savor every precious moment.

Hummingbirds are fearless and mysterious – nature’s marvel – with a wing speed of up to 80 beats per second and a heart rate of 1260 beats per second, they appear to operate by pure instinct. Likely, we will never know. Hummingbirds come and go in the blink of an eye.

Pink Hummingbird

The hummingbird is considered by many native peoples to have supernatural power and spiritual significance; for some it is a symbol of getting to the heart of the matter. For others, it symbolizes faith and a blissful awakening of our unique talents and abilities. As we witness the hummingbird hover above the flower in our garden, almost motionless, we suspend disbelief and marvel at their magnificence. Our faith in our ability to accomplish anything we set out to achieve – even that which seems impossible – is restored.

To have a close encounter with a hummingbird is to experience the energy of the universe. Their beauty and yours’ is revealed. Please enjoy this informative PBS Video  on The Hummingbird.


Do you rely on intuition or information for decision making?

You are at a crossroads. Your dilemma is whether to keep the job you have or take a chance on a new job with a new company in a new part of the city. You used your smart phone app to gauge the distance to the new job from home and it seems it will add another 20-30 minutes to your commute. But you will get a pay increase and you won’t have to deal with your grumpy boss anymore. You did a thorough Google search of the potential new boss and the company and nothing untoward showed up. He seems to be an okay guy from what you can tell. You texted your friends to get their opinion and they all talk positively about the new company (from the little they know). Most of your research seems to favour the move yet the more information you collect the more confused you become. And now you’re feeling somewhat anxious. Is it fear of change? Possibly. Or is your gut trying to tell you something?

Recent Poll Results

Here are the results of a recent poll we conducted using social media to ask:

Does access to unlimited information via the internet and technology enhance or hinder our ability to use intuition for decision making?

  • Information can validate our gut instinct and/or alert us to possibilities 51%
  • Too much information can overwhelm our intuitive sensibilities 10%
  • Information can enhance and hinder our ability to trust our gut 39%

As you can see from these results, 51% of people appreciate having ready access to information to validate our gut instinct and to present new possibilities. Only 10% feel this access can overwhelm our senses while 39% feel that information can both enable and distract us from our ability to trust our gut for decision making. In the example above – let’s call the subject Ashley – now needs to find a quiet place to be alone, where she can enter a relaxed state by taking a few deep breaths, even meditating and ask herself, ‘What is my heart’s desire?’ (What do I really want?) ‘What am I afraid of’? And finally ‘What should I do?’ The answers will come from her intuition, her inner wisdom, which is pure, authentic and right.

How to access your intuitive wisdom

Next time you’re facing a decision like this, use this process; make note of your desired change (describe how you feel, think, your emotions, attitudes etc); research the options and then access your inner wisdom for clarity and focus. Check back to what your gut was telling you about the need for change and see what element of that change now resonates with you in a positive way. Pay attention to your body sensations for clues. Keep track of your success using this process. You might find it difficult at first but it will get easier. And please forward me your intuition success stories by responding to this blog or emailing me at What’s your gut telling you?™

What’s your gut telling you™

…about your career, health and relationships?

We make dozens of decisions every single day. Fortunately, many of these don’t require a lot of thought – hmmm…blue shirt or brown shirt? We can comfortably live with either choice. However, when it comes to the bigger decisions surrounding career, family, romance, health and finances we want to be sure these choices align with our passion, mind and soul. We know what is best for us…. our gut knows what is best for us! We need to learn how to pay more attention to our gut and trust that it will help guide us in the right direction.

I am not the first one to advise you to ‘trust’ your gut’ or ‘trust your intuition’. Many successful, well-respected business people, athletes, film-makers, doctors, writers, inventors etc., advocate listening to your gut for brilliant insight, clarity of thought and focus.

If you ask any athlete competing at the 2012 Olympics, if their parents and/or coach had ever advised them during training and competition to ‘trust their gut’, they most certainly would all answer yes… and often!  The confidence to perform at a world-class level is not just the result of years of disciplined preparation but a sense of ‘knowing’ what is best and how far to push the envelope. Take Ryan Lochte, for example, who won the USA’s first gold medal of the Games in the 400 meter individual medley – an event in which Michael Phelps, the two-time defending Olympic champion came in fourth. In an interview following his win, Lochte stated, “I have said this before, this is my year. I know it and I feel it …I feel it inside my gut. This is my year.”

An Olympian athlete’s tremendous physical conditioning, mental stamina, passion and innate wisdom make it possible for him/her to score personal best records and win medals. The sense of ‘knowing’ they can achieve greatness comes from their gut! Good luck to all of the athletes and especially our Canadian Olympians.

Written by Rebecca D. Heaslip – President of Leadership Insight Inc.
© Copyright Leadership Insight Inc. August 2012

trust your brain…trust your heart…TRUST YOUR GUT!

Successful people from all professions attribute much of their success to trusting their gut when faced with critical decisions in their personal and professional lives. Richard Branson CEO of Virgin Group is quoted in a Success Magazine article as saying, “I do a lot by gut feeling and a lot by personal experience. I mean if I had relied on accountants to make decisions, I most certainly would never have gone into the airline business. I most certainly would not have gone into the space business, and I most certainly would not have gone into most of the businesses that I’m in.”  And that would have been our loss!

All people are intuitive to different degrees and the manner in which people access their intuition for decision-making varies from individual to individual.

Daniel Goleman states in Primal Leadership, a book that he co-authored, “Intuition is the essential leadership ability to apply not just technical expertise but also life wisdom in making business decisions.” Some people do the research first, analyze all of the options and then rely on their intuition to help point them in the direction of the best course of action. Not the case with Albert Einstein. He said, “I never came upon any of my discoveries through the process of rational thinking.” It was more like a flash of brilliant insight. Some researchers and thought leaders believe this immediate knowledge, otherwise known as gut instinct, is actually a combination of pattern recognition (referred to as ‘thin slicing’ in Malcolm Gladwell’s book Blink) and accumulated wisdom stored in our unconscious mind. This inner wisdom is brought to the conscious level in a split second when you need it.

The psychologist Carl Jung saw intuition as “a way of comprehending perceptions in terms of possibilities, past experiences, future goals and unconscious processes”. Many people seek creative inspiration for decisions through meditation, solitary time and stillness to help them ‘see’ possibilities. Many achieve clarity through their dreams.  Ideas that surface and resonate on a gut level using these techniques are given further consideration and analysis.  Intuition to these folks, is a process of coming up with the right answer and then using analysis to prove what they ‘know’ to be true.

Some believe that intuition resides in the heart and that gut instinct cannot be fully explained through cognitive/neurological processes. They maintain that a compassionate and open heart is necessary to receive the gifts of intuition.  This theory implies the presence of a higher power. It is the soul or spirit that intervenes, guided by universal energy. They believe that insights surface when we open up our hearts to receive answers that align with our needs and wishes. There is a caveat … an overabundance of empathy for others and wishful thinking can cloud your intuitive wisdom. Most researchers concur that no matter which approach you take to access your intuition, stress, fear and fatigue (some also suggest alcohol and drugs) can diminish your ability to pick up these essential messages.

Branson is one of the richest and most successful people on the planet (universe?). Some of his best achievements resulted from acting on a hunch. It’s hard to argue against using intuition for decision-making given his track record of success.

Regardless of which approach you use to access your inner wisdom, do not ignore those gentle nudges or the big elephant in the room. This is your gut speaking to you, hoping you will take notice.

Written by Rebecca D. Heaslip – President of Leadership Insight Inc.
© Copyright Leadership Insight Inc. July 2012