In our culture, we tend to put a lot of faith in doctors and health experts. And for good reason. Most of us aren’t “experts” in our own bodies, so when we face health issues we often defer to them, hoping they will help “solve” our problems—and we take a back seat.
But in order to become deeply healthy, it’s essential for us to take a more active role in our own health and well-being. And in my own healing journey and work with clients, I’ve discovered that one of the keys to this is learning how to access, cultivate and use what I call our “Inner GPS.”
Our inner GPS is that innate, yet often hidden, ability in all of us to steer ourselves toward our own thriving. And while the “experts” are still important, we each need to cultivate our own guidance system for how we move through our days, self-calibrated to our own vitality and joy.
The Inner GPS is quite simple, but subtle. It works like this: When we are making choices that are in alignment with what deeply nourishes us in body, heart and being, we get to feel the feedback of being more alive and present. And when we make choices that are not in alignment, then we get feedback of feeling disconnected from that sense of authentic aliveness. The beautiful thing about a GPS is that at each step of the way it can tell you which way to go, and if you choose a different path than what it suggests, it will simply recalibrate to your new location and guide you from there.
How do we know when we’re in touch with our Inner GPS?
Deep alignment evokes the sense of thriving, coming alive, feeling juiced. It’s that knowledge that. “I’m in the right place, at the right time, doing what I’m here to do.” We feel grounded and at home in ourselves. Our lives become rooted in a deep “yes!” and we feel vital, engaged, and grateful to be in direct contact with life. This kind of deep alignment with our life energy includes difficult emotions, pain, and tension. It includes illness and struggle. It is about being in direct, authentic contact with the wholeness of our lives. Nothing is denied. It is your truth, your experience, and you are awake to it.
This may sound too good to be true, but I believe wholeheartedly and sincerely that this is possible for each and every one of us. We can all cultivate access to that deeper sense of aliveness, even when we are navigating an illness or challenge. It can be too easy to read about things like this and feel that it is not for us. It is! Treating ourselves with kindness, reverence, and a commitment to our thriving can happen whether or not we have an acute physical ailment, a chronic illness, or we are facing a life-threatening disease. It is about being authentically present with our whole selves. It is about honoring our unique life and the paths we are on.
The journey of health and vitality isn’t a linear path, and it’s not about an end goal to attain. We are far too complex and nuanced for that. There is nothing static about being alive. We don’t just flip a switch and then feel awake and vital at that deep level for the rest of our lives. It’s a feedback loop that we become attuned to. There is no such thing as the perfect or “right” way. We are learning, evolving, and growing. What may feel aligned one day may feel like it no longer supports us a week later. So the GPS is a perfect guidance system because it has the capacity to recalibrate from where we are (and who we are) at any given time. Our “yes!” will change. What brings us alive will change. And yet our Inner GPS knows that and can guide us accordingly. We simply set it for the orienting principle of: “What will bring me alive?” and listen for what choice to make, what direction to go, and so on, as we encounter each decision in our lives.
Can you feel the incredible difference between this way of moving yourself on your health journey compared with a protocol someone gave you? When our guidance is all coming from outside of us, there is a pressure to stay on a narrow, linear path. When we stray off the path, we may beat ourselves up about it, or give up, concluding that we can’t achieve our goals. In the movement I’m describing, there is and can be no such thing as failure—only feedback to help us recalibrate and keep moving. We can’t move toward a state of thriving, of feeling exquisitely alive, if we are doing so with rigidity and someone else’s rulebook.
When we learn how to access and respond to our Inner GPS, we are aligning with the wisdom of our innate life energy. There is no better health guide than that!
Author: Deborah Zucker
Editor: Travis May
Images: Flickr/Nithi Anand