The Flinch

Filed in Sagacious

dramatic Iceland landscape

If you have not yet read it, The Flinch is a free e-book that’s like the modern version of Feel The Fear And Do It Anyway.

Our flinch instinct can totally save our life. It’s a valuable evolutionary mechanism. We all know times when we have been viscerally repulsed by someone or our gut has started churning and only later has logic proven that gut energetic response a.k.a the flinch to be totally bang on.

They say there are brain cells IN the gut lining even. It’s not like the old theory that the brain was “head office” telling everything else in the bod what to do. It’s a whole lot more quantum than that.

So anyway, this book is reminds me of the also very short but cool Turning Pro by Steven Pressfield, the kind of thing you BLAST in one go when you want a quick rut-busting motivation read for the Zap Zone.

Julien Smith, The Flinch author, is a super rad Taurean and the founder of Breather – another genius idea that has popped up with Uranus in Aries. He is Moon in Aquarius and his Mars-Chiron in Gemini are opposite Saturn-Uranus in Sagg. Perfect for confronting “the flinch”,Β  examining Mars (assertion) in an innovative way and being C.E.O. of a company that has to do with personal space.

Some of this thoughts in the book:

* Over a lifetime, those who listen too much build a habit of trust and conformity.
* Avoiding the flinch withers you, like an old tree that breaks instead of bending in a storm.
* Train yourself to flinch forward, and your world becomes a series of obstacles to overcome, instead of attacks you have to defend yourself from.

“Flinch forward” is a fab little mantra. Especially when Mars moves Direct. Not that i am impatiently awaiting this or anything.


Image: Andy Lee – Blue Iceland

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66 thoughts on “The Flinch

  1. As a Uranian, I kind of feel I’m natally Flinch-eriffic already. If I’m scared of it, then good… it again! I don’t understand the clinging to comfort thing at all unless of course you are in the mood to not want any changes.

  2. Spot on timing! My gut instinct says to block a “friend” on FB. I just got done chatting with his ex about it, then flip to this page to see this…… Think it is time.

  3. Malcom Gladwell’s book “Blink” also talks about how the body knows before the brain. I haven’t been able to finish a book in ages.

  4. desperately awaiting mars direct!! Maybe a good personal ad… But seriously, all planets in my natal chart are retrograde except mars and jupiter. I need mars working for me not against.

  5. Been having guy feelings about several people and situations and I just hope that I am wrong.
    I fear misjudging someone.
    But, my gut says things just don’t add up.

    • I usually give people the benefit of the doubt once, then twice though a bit more dubious (friendly Venus in Aries) but the third time I strike (Scorp moon).

      • yes, I am at that point with one person that I just don’t trust her because she has lied in the past.
        My gut instinct something is wrong, so I am investigating the facts to decide.
        However, gut instincts walking at night or not to trust a stranger I go with my flinch instinct and keep away!

  6. I’m not sure I agree with the concept of positive ‘flinching’. The way I see it is that sure, we flinch in reaction to events or people and that this is a gut reaction. Problem is our gut reaction can often be wrong and is based on lower order signals. The way someone looks or sounds may remind us of past bad experiences and have nothing to do with the current scenario. This reaction can get us in to all sorts of problems.
    My view is quite the opposite to the author. As opposed to flinching or forward reaction, you are much better off to give yourself a few seconds and run the situation through higher thought processes. You then have a much better chance of ‘responding’ appropriately.
    This opinion comes from having quite extensive training in my younger years in high security environments.
    In those environments the flinchers usually fail to act in an appropriate manner leading to a worse outcome.

    Sorry but this new theory is a load of nonsense. Even the basic premise is a contradiction. Flinching is an adrenaline based reaction a stiffening one. Try living that in life and death situations and your dead.
    We are no longer wild beasts with no time for reflection, we have those few seconds , take them and live longer and happier.

    • Actually its both. Trust the flinch AND the few seconds of thought processing afterwards.

      • Act first, think later ? Good luck with that one.
        My point was exactly the opposite and behaving that way is going to mean you lose on most occasions.
        If a wild dog is about to attack a group of people who will it attack first ? The flincher. The runner. Gut instinct has it’s place but what you will find is that most humans have it too high in the pecking order and need training to put it in it’s place alongside other more primal instincts.

        • In sparring in oour MMA classesI have to overcome flinching and keep eyes open- nit reaching to every little feint. My take-observe the reaction but have a plan that keeps you protected/grounded and ready to fight back if need be.

    • What sign are you, David? Do you have a lot of air in your chart?

      I’m strong in earth and water elements (with very little air) and I really relate to ‘going with my gut’. I trust my intuition above all logic or thinking processes. When I make a decision, I do research, make pro/con lists, but it comes down to ‘listening’. With time an ‘inner knowing’ comes through and I just *know* what is the best thing to do.

      I trust my gut when in unfamiliar situations, too. I lived in a city and walked all over. Sometimes I’d sense danger and in that situation, I would always trust that sense. Grip my keys between my fists, head up, confident strides, be super aware, etc. Maybe there was no danger, but maybe there was.

      You couldn’t convince me not to trust my gut if you tried.

      • I’m Aries sun, gem rising, mars kataka, Venus Taurus.
        Sure trusting your gut is one thing but then flinching forward and confronting an obstacle that may not even be there is neurotic.
        So while on one of your walks you felt a sense of danger (when no danger was evident) a stranger approaches (to explain you just dropped your wallet further up the road). He is a large hirsute fellow with a hoodie on. Reminds you of that mass murderer on NYPD you saw last night.
        You either 1. Run like hell (and lose your wallet ) 2. You flinch forward driving your honda car key into his face 3. You look at him long enough to realise he is holding your wallet and seeks to return it. 4. All of the above :)

        • Knowing me I’d probably 5. freeze like a deer in headlights long enough to soak in what he was saying and then trust him since he was kindly holding out my wallet.

          Also this is such a hypothetical situation. In that case if my gut was working I would NOT sense danger as the man’s body language and other cues would not alarm me. I mean, I THINK I get what you’re trying to say, but so far my gut hasn’t made me ‘confront an obstacle that is not there’. It’s just made me be more aware and less of an easy target. This was in Philadelphia neighborhoods where muggings, murders etc happen every day and I’m tiny so I had a reason to trust my gut if I sensed something…it wasn’t just watching too much NYPD and projecting.

        • Nah D, I’m gonna disagree with you here.
          The whole stranger /hoody scenario reminds me of that beautiful ABC journo that was taken on a busy street in Melbourne probably because she gave him the benefit of the doubt.
          Danger from rogue males (sometimes females) is real. It’s not the norm, certainly, but I am always alert on the streets at night. I’d rather judge someone wrong

          I woke up once on a train to see a girl slipping my wallet out of my bag and I had a bit of a brain snap, suffice to say I got my wallet back and got the train guard called.

          On the other hand, no you can’t shoot people cos they have hoodies on like the young black man who was shot in his own neighbour by a trigger happy vigilante.

          • Sorry, err on the side of judging someone wrong if it came to a potential physical threat to me

            • Yep, me too. Been in a lot of close shaves and if it hadn’t been for my gut reactions, i would not be here to tell the tales. One thing is judging a non-violent situation where you have the luxury of time to make a judgement – and another is when your life is at stake and you have to react without even thinking – it almost does feel like the body knows before you do, and acts before you have time to think about it. I always trust my gut instinct. Could be my kataka sun’s intuition too.

          • I read mystics digest and made a judgement. I then connected this broad info into other broad info I’ve collected over the years and came up with a grand unifying theory on flinching. I then attempted to convince others that I ‘know’ about these things… Without flinching :)
            I am … A gem riser ! Hellloooo.
            I also rarely read instruction manuals. Is your gut telling you something about me :)

    • smart words.. gut intstinct only works with a higher mind, have seen many situations where people respond to their gut/vibe and its totally a reflection of their minds level and processing , usually wrong about the true situation .

    • I’m exhausted by all this new book bollucks going around. does anyone else feel like they are in a sneaky pyramid scheme of half cocked robbins esque mantras socially media’d into byte size morsels when the content is NOT exactly thought out but perfect for white collar screen saver philosophy.

            • Did you see the top comment

              You will soon be aligned as a source of income deep within the vibrations of the yoga accessory business, connecting with the unlimited pulsation of infinitely expanding retail sales.

              • Yes! love it.

                Careful though, who knows how many pipe dreams we have just crushed from the gullible and opportunistic πŸ˜›

      • It all comes down to heuristics in the end – how do we make best guesses. All decisions are made imperfectly – whether you put your gut, your mind, or both into it. “Its really in your gut or your heart or you have to really believe you deserve it” – bullocks. Life isn’t anyone’s to personally command, which is what self-help craps on about. I know its popular (was popular? have the tides shifted yet?) but self-help rhetoric feels genuinely unreal and even predatory. The only self help advice I favor of late is: grow the fuq up.

        • Awesome. That really is the best of advice in a nutshell. And it fits on a sticker.

  7. Yes!

    “Whether ’tis Nobler in the mind to suffer
    The Slings and Arrows of outrageous Fortune,
    Or to take Arms against a Sea of troubles,
    And by opposing end them?”

    Neither Hamlet!! Embrace the arrows – don’t suffer them.
    Transform ‘the flinch’ AS it enters your body and move on freely..

  8. I get a visceral flinch a LOT, and what I used to do was eat to smother it. Or smoke cigarettes, which actually aggravates it. Now if I get it, I start doing something, get moving, star doing something useful and it eases.

    Lots of pictures of me as a child with my hands over my midsection, as if shielding. Looking back I was very sensitive there, a keen awareness when something was emotionally off, if no real explanation for it, and in moments like when my mother left me standing outside David Jones to wait for her for ages, I had a raging pain in my stomach after. (Not mad at her, my poor mama’s life has been a ruin for more than 30 yrs).

    • Very nearly went out and bought cigarettes yesterday.. My empath friend says to move into the body of a smoker and feel as they smoke! He says you don’t need to stress your body when you can experience it vicariously. Seems like a lot of bother to me, lol! I’m cooking lasagna instead.
      I can just see you there in front of DJ’s, I know that feeling. :( My mother would regularly ‘forget’ to pick my brother and I up after school.. xx.

        • OMG – I want that right now! Lasagne + red wine – glorious comfort food…. I am so fuqing tired of all this fuqing change……and yes it has all been for the better, for sure – but enough already….though the final slog is yet to come….sigh….can’t even get excited about mars…

  9. Just downloaded it…thanks for the recc and I love that it’s free! I really liked “Turning Pro” and in fact might do a reread of it, now that you mention it. My semester is basically over and I finally have some time to catch up on reading. I am SO excited for Mars to turn direct and I can go full speed ahead. A personal project has fallen by the wayside with Mars retro in Libra and having a super busy semester…should have planned for that…but I’m going to get back into it after some intense spring cleaning (Mars is in my 4th house after all!).

  10. Yes, it took courage to do some of the things i wish id’e never done.

    About fear: last night i woke myself up by a scream, 2 in fact, 2 short screams i think, but thank fuq my sceam woke me because in front of me
    standing, was a very very scary creature. It had a human shape but the colour was all wrong, decayed, blueish, zombie like. (No haven’t watched Walking Dead for 2 months).
    My yell woke me and was soo relieved it was not there she i came to consciousness.
    Just smudged my bedroom as always have interestingly mundane night movies never something like this. This was a flinch.
    Quite glad i’m having the Am Staff girl dog coming to stay for sleepovers now.

    • I too had a nightmare last night, the first in a long time. And it’s funny you mention dogs, because that’s what I saw upon waking: my home office full of hell hounds. Which is weird because you know I’m one with the animals & I’ve never had foul energy come to me in that kind of container.

      I was too tired & ouchie to do anything upon waking but lie there & visualize throwing salt all over my office while repeating “get the fuq out of my house.” Worked like a charm: I went back to sleep & rejuvenated undisturbed πŸ˜‰

    • I just had a flinch reading your comment. Then a whole-body relax at the last line. So glad this dog has come into your life. xxx

      • Yes, girlfriends, hard to scare me but for my scream to wake me was quite bizarre.
        DAISY is the Am Staff and what a love sponge she is.
        Slept with me, happy as long as our bodies are touching. What a gift she is, am in love & she loves me. Have just had our first 24 hours together and will have her 3 nights a week and her owner the other 4 until everyone is comfortable with the changes.
        Even my Virgo neighbour like her, so dogs as therapy for sure :-).
        Dogs as children,need a Tribe to assist.

  11. As a Scorpio, of course I’m all about Elimination. That’s why I’m happy to report to the world that i have had my first bowel movement after three days post-op! Constipation following surgery (d/t narcotic pain meds) is like adding insult to injury for the scorpion. My secret: only fruit, vegs, nuts & water day before surgery & following, ditching narcotics asap, and being reunited with my own loo. Ah, it’s good to be home :)

    Re flinching, fear is so useful: beyond saving your ass in a life or death situation, fear contains so many clues & answers to successfully navigating your life in general. Because when you have a moment to acknowledge your fear & really ask yourself “what is this about?” so often you can sort the irrational from the rational, the defensive from the offensive, and Know your strength & stealth. Like a ninja. Or an Amazon warrior.

    Acknowledge & ponder your fears, and clarity & power are yours.

    • Yay! It’s an out breath of sorts, the body breathing a sigh of .. relief. Glad to hear you are recovering well beautiful! If I need surgery I am coming to you for tips. You sound great btw!

      • As this was my fourth surgery since Sept 2012/transiting Saturn entering my 8th house, I do feel I’ve attained Master status in this arena & would be happy to pass along what I’ve learned should your need arise, Sphinx. Plus, you have always been a font of support & inspiration to me, so it would be the least I could do for you, gorgeous. Gracias xx

        • Master of Surgeries Scorporation Style. I think there is a book in that along with the hypnosis or meditation cd.

          You are too gorgeous SI, right back atcha.
          How are you feeling at the moment?

          • Master Patient. Patience? Lol maybe so πŸ˜‰

            Truth: straight out of surgery + the next day, I felt like I’d stopped a train with my abdomen. It didn’t help that I had an adverse reaction to the pain meds they gave me straight out of surgery which resulted in my having to go sans pain treatment for a couple of hours while they collaborated with dr & pharmacy to create a different kind of cocktail for me. It was a long two hours of white knuckles & tears while my mother banged around the nurses’ station like Shirley McClain in Terms of Endearment. Just before the full moon was exact.

            After that though, post full moon, nothing but steady progress. I left hospital a day ahead of schedule (I knew I would), as all of my systems were functioning too well to justify keeping me longer. At home I’m moving slowly & following lifting/activity restrictions, still tender & tired. But im moving! Happy & relieved :) Pain is nothing more than some nsaids & rest can’t manage. When Mars goes direct, I will get the definitive results of all that was plucked out & biopsied; I’m not terribly worried about it, but I look forward to a final confirmation of (benign) status.

            Meanwhile I’m reading, napping, having The Good Wife marathons, & just doing usual stuff around the house & with my family. My Gem bestie/cousin is coming for a weekend in June, which will be nice :)

            I have found myself chewing on my work & financial situation (what to do? What to do?), but have been making myself stop when I realize it. Saving that for when im more recovered & Mars is direct. Patience.

            • Love terms of endearment. Both the movie and IRL. Glad you’re smashing the whole surgery/healing paradigm. Xxxxxx

              • I dont know about other ppl, but for me surgery is an event that puts me face to face with my own mortality & deepest fears. It’s a really intense 8th house kind of ride. I have to totally mentally prep for it every time (guided imagery, meditation, astro, prayers etc) to go in calm & clear, power full while a handful of ppl hold my life in the
                balance for 2 hours. Trust– it really tests my capacity for trusting myself, other people, timing… but facing your own mortality will do that lol

                Gee I feel so Scorpio right now! Grossly Plutonic. I thought I might not recognize myself once the old girl was gone (it’s been many years of probs), and yeah I feel… New.

              • One last thought: I knew this needed to happen four years ago. But it didnt for insurance reasons. This has been such an uphill battle of trying to carry on while sick & fighting the system– then mastering & bending the system– to finally have this surgery. 4 years in the making! But I did it. I fuqing did it! RAHH Kia kaha!

  12. I am just PATIENTLY (do you see how patient I am?) waiting for Mars direct. It’s making my Mars in Cap business side kind of crazy.

  13. Gimmicky on the surface and why are there so many books, blogs, posts etc and fixing people? Don’t have a kindle so this maybe be a fantastic pep talk, do it may way, discover this, whatever. Enjoy, relax, it’s all okay. It’s just life. A book on making our water clear, blue, clean and beautiful again might be more what we need to thinking and doing something about. :)

    • Yes I think the first step to wholeness is to realise you can’t be ‘fixed’ and what’s more you don’t need fixing. We are all broken and acceptance of that us the start of healing. Also we are taught that we need to find our soulmate or ‘other half’ I despise that expression. I’m a whole person in my own right. And that will fix our life and make us happy. But only you and taping into your true self eg via meditation or spiritual growth will make you happy! I am quite tired of these new age gurus thinking up new formulas to ‘fix’ us. My depressed mum had a big bookshelf of self help books like ‘I’m ok, you’re ok’ and she wasn’t ok, and she was disillusioned and trying to fix her depression. Ironically her belief passed on to me that depression was a shameful part of me that was wrong and would stop people from loving me if they found out was the cause of much of my depression!