The recent Memorial Day got me thinking about appreciation. Who do I appreciate and why? Who do you appreciate and why? Appreciation is a feeling. How does it happen, and where do you experience it in your body? All our feelings have an impact on our bodies. In fact, some feelings can send us completely out of our bodies. People in extreme situations of fear often report the experience of being outside their bodies and watching an event take place from a position above. They report a sensation of leaving their bodies and becoming an observer. They watch a scene unfold as though they are not truly present. While this is rare, the phenomenon is of great interest when we think about how feelings are held and processed in our bodies. Observing from above is associated with intense fear. Your brain makes a quick decision and either experiences pain from inside your body or outside. I am amazed at the quick and protective decisions our brains make.

It is important to appreciate our brains’ automatic and quick choices. Sometimes, I think we should have a “Brain Appreciation Moment.” BAM! I marvel at how my brain processes information, reacts before I am fully conscious of the situation, and functions to protect me. One example is the intuition that a car is about to cross into my lane and hit me if I do not slow down. BAM! Reflexes keep us safe. Your brain experiences that object flying towards you and ducks before you realize you are in danger. Your whole body flinches and stops you before you step into that hole. Our bodies seem to have their own “force field” to protect us from harm.

What about intuition? We are all capable of projecting into the future. We have an innate sense of potential danger or future outcomes. I am not saying that we attend to it regularly; however, how many times have you said to yourself or others, “I thought that was going to happen.” Really? That is amazing! We do get these feelings or visions of the future. Think of what our brains must be processing to make those predictions.

Because we live in a community, we also benefit from others’ intuition. Think about the parent who grabs a child’s hand just before they are about to step off the curb and get hit by a passing car. Think about the friend who calls you one morning and asks you to stay home because they just have this feeling that something bad is going to happen. I remember a friend heading off on a safari and looking forward to riding an elephant. Her husband was dragging his feet and caused them to miss the plane to their destination. He just felt like the elephant was not a promising idea, and he was right. The elephant bolted and killed the rider that day. How does intuition work? We really do not know.