Trusting Her Gut

Kelly Taxter is vibrantly enthusiastic (maybe I should re-write that to say bombastic) for the work she does (primarily youth from K-12), and from looking at all the positive feedback she’s observed, and its growing pace is steadily climbing.

It was Kelly’s vision & impassioned work that led her to leave Maine, to a job in Social Work in Virginia. After working in that system for awhile, she began to feel like she wasn’t being as effective in helping families. Part of this came from a large, government department that required so many requirements, that she felt as if it was slowing and bogging her down.

She decided to move back to Maine, start making community and resource connections, looking at other programming models, as well as continuing to create her own.
Trusting Your Gut, fits Kelly’s own sense of understanding of the body-mind connection; to trust your gut means first to trust & listen, to your own insides, your ideas, your values, your own personal power, your insights, your spirituality, and your play & creativity.

Think of this! If we can trust our own guts, do you think it may be easier to do that with others entertwined with all our relationships?

Isn’t giving kind & compassionate support and reinforcement feel good? There’s always a positive reward or pay-off for us; this happens due to activity, mindfulness, processing in community and kicks into our brain-chemistry, which means it can have long-term, healthy results.

Anytime we help someone else there’s an inside pay-off-since we’re giving it in outward ways to others. Wouldn’t it make sense if there was a good reward of changes in our brain-chemistries that bring pleasant feeling and healthy thoughts?

Ms. Taxter uses Four Core Concepts in her work: These Four Core Concepts of Trust Your Gut are: 1). My Story-patterns of experiences, emotions, memories-let go of those that don’t serve you well; 2). My Body-treat it with kindness, movement & nutrition; 3). My Voice-assistance to participants with help finding their voice and expressing it; 4). My Tribe-taking what we’ve learned about ourselves & realizing we have more power than we think, as well as choose.

Youth have found their way to Trust Your Gut in various ways, hearing about it word of mouth, referrals from schools, perhaps law enforcement, and Kelly’s own dynamic interfacing with others.

A typical training, used by Kelly, would consist of debriefing a journal entry that someone had written during the week. Kelly noted that this is one of the most key pieces, because participants can use something from a page in a book through self-expression & self-reflection. This activity lasts around twenty minutes.

Other activities include stretching movements, and this also helps participants to be aware of their bodies; guided meditation and mindfulness is used; these activities are often blended with other movement activities. Mindfulness has become so much more prevalent in our culture, that there are many Mindfulness resources available now.
I asked Kelly that if a young person were to use their empowered voice to change or modify their behaviors, within their own family system and what might happen. We agreed, that this could be a possible entryway to changing a family’s system, because the new behavior demonstrated by a son or a daughter may have the impact of effecting the entire system. I’ve observed this time and again with the groups with whom I’ve worked.

The importance of the body-mind connection is key for youth; their bodies are going through all types of cellular, emotional physiological and development changes. So, for all of us, are bodies are sensitive to sensory inputs, and theirs are perhaps even more sensitive.

As a writer, I always use the hyphen between “body” and “mind.” The reason for this is that the hyphen alerts us to the fact that body and mind are so elemental, they could never be separated. The hyphen additionally shows that they’re interdependent-you can’t have one without the other.

My conversation with Kelly was fun, encouraging, warm laughs, and always educational, because of what I’ve learned. Personally, I hope to be able to support Trust Your Gut, in the ways I can best do that. Have you ever thought about volunteering? Trust Your Gut may be the place where you can do that.

Contact Info: Kelly Taxter, Trust Your Gut, 155 Orchard, Cumberland, ME 04021; 207-274-9462; E: adolescentwellness@gmail.com; You can find us on Facebook.

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