Listening to my Innards


Do you believe in premonitions? I suppose some would call it intuition, instinct, or maybe simply a feeling. Whatever, I find it fascinating, mostly because it happens to me a lot. Sometimes I’ve ignored the message and it causes me grief of some sort, as if to say, I told you so! Why didn’t you listen?

So now that I’m older and dare I say wiser, I’m finally good at listening to my innards, so to speak. How about you?


I think if we’re paying attention to our gut feelings, those guts are usually right on. When we’re heading down a certain path, we can either continue or veer off in another direction. My unsolicited advice: if your gut is telling you to veer, then veer.

How many times have you said, “I had a feeling” and as it turned out, it’s a good thing you did. For instance, my friend Sharon left a family reunion to attend the wedding of someone she hadn’t seen in years. I thought she was nuts. But her future hubby was at the wedding.

Sharon and Jim Sharon and Jim

Take last week. I dreamt that someone gave my friend Mara $100. Weird, huh? Where did that come from? A couple days later I saw her and asked her about it. She said yes, in fact she just sold her old truck for $400 and had received a $100 down payment a couple days prior. Insert eerie music here…

That same week, I awoke one morning at 3:00 a.m. feeling guilty (hey, I’m Catholic). Out of nowhere I thought, why didn’t I go to Hal’s funeral (an old family friend) but I attended the memorial of a fellow tennis player I didn’t know nearly as well? Beats me.The next morning my friend Sue calls to say she read in the newspaper (which I don’t receive) that Hal had died that week. Now don’t get me wrong; I thought Hal died years ago — which made me wonder why I’d thought of him at 3:00 a.m. If you don’t think that’s sort of fascinating, something might be seriously wrong with you.

what the hell is wrong

Once when I was stuck in 20 mph traffic on the freeway, I glanced down at something on the passenger seat. I’ve done that thousands of times. Only this time a feeling came over me as if someone was in the car saying: Janet, you really should be paying attention here, girl. (I added the girl part.) Unfortunately, I ignored the voice in my head.

don't ignore it

Luckily, we were crawling along so there was little damage. Still, something warned me and I dismissed it –which cost me an increase in my insurance premiums and the added humiliation of my first accident.

Years ago, while jogging near a ranch, I once found a stray Blue Heeler puppy. I took him to the humane society where he was eventually adopted. Weeks later, my friend Nancy and I went biking through a nearby town and decided to ride to the top of a long, steep street. Why would I do that? Riding long, steep streets is not my favorite thing.


But what did we discover when we reached the top? You guessed it. That dog was in a front yard playing with his new owner, who confirmed it was indeed the same Heeler. I ask you, what are the odds?

blue heeler

I have dozens of these stories, but I think you get the picture.

I believe something guides us, or at least gives us little nudges now and then. When I feel these symbolic taps on my shoulder, it’s as if I’m a phone with incoming calls. If I answer, I’m often amazed by the messages I receive. But also I wonder how many calls I’ve ignored and how that affected my path. Had I been paying attention, should I have veered?

There isn’t much in life I know for sure. But trust me on this one; your innards are speaking to you. Do you hear them?

Reprinted from 2015.

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