Very often when people state, “I do not have an Internal Guidance System,” they report feeling a tightening, a constriction, a pressure in their chest, or a feeling of being less able to breathe. For some, it feels like a “dropping” or a “wilting.” Others realize they have felt the sensation of constriction before and called it a feeling of anxiety, stress, or worry. This is the sensation I refer to as “closing” or “being closed.”
Often when people state, “I do have an Internal Guidance System,” they notice that their chest seems to “open up.” Some describe it as an expansion, a release of pressure, a relaxing feeling, an upward opening of energy rising in a V or Y shape, a sense of lightness or an ability to breathe more deeply. This is what I refer to as “opening” or “being open.”
If you felt none of these things, don’t worry. Your IGS is there, and you will begin to realize what it is as you read a bit further.
Dropping Into Listening to the Sensation of Your Body
Some people (often because of their careers) have to live in their minds — strategizing, planning, and creating all the time. If this is true for you, you may be so used to not feeling the sensations your body produces — such as hunger, thirst, tiredness, or even stress — that it can take a bit more practice, by dropping into your listening, to get in touch with your IGS. You may want to spend more time focusing on feeling your body to make it easier for you to recognize the sensations of your IGS.
What I can tell you is that you have been feeling your IGS all your life but, most likely, have been identifying the sensation of closing as stress, fear, and anxiety, and the sensation of opening as desire, passion, and confidence.
Stories Made Up When We Were Children
We all have many, many stories that make up how we see the world. Since many of them were made up by our minds when we were children, they are often incorrect or don’t take into account the entire picture.
How could a child’s mind accurately understand the world around it? When you uncover and understand your stories, it becomes easier to relax while under pressure and to be ready for the situation you are in.
Get The Latest From InnerSelf
When you feel stressed or worried, try to see the story your mind is making up about the situation. Write it out as if it involves a fictional character telling a tale, then use your IGS to go through the story and, in each part, see if you open or close in response to it.
If you open in response to the idea that someone is, for example, going to be angry with you, you will feel open, comfortable, and able to discuss it in a responsible way.
You may find that you have a fictional story behind a variety of situations in your life. As you find the inaccurate story and then uncover the true story, the one that opens you, you begin to reprogram your mind with the new, updated story.
Questioning Unexamined Assumptions
What is an unexamined assumption? It is something in your mind that you don’t ever question. You take for granted that it’s true. Assumptions show up in our lives as boundaries, rules, and paradigms.
If you cannot seem to find opening thoughts no matter how hard you try, it is time to look at your assumptions. So, how do we uncover something we are unaware of? Start by identifying the constraints in the situation, and check with your IGS to see if they really are limitations.
One of my clients had her car break down. She needed a new car but did not have money to put down on the purchase of a new one. And when she looked into a no-down-payment car loan from her bank, the payments were way out of her budget. Yet when she said, “I cannot afford to get another car,” her IGS closed.
We worked through the unexamined assumptions, and one was that her broken car was worth nothing. That thought closed her. So she called up a salvage yard, and they gave her nine hundred dollars for her old car. Then, in response to her opening sensation, she decided to go sit in the new car she wanted and just feel what it was like to have it.
While there, she discovered she could lease the car she wanted for less than two hundred a month. Guess what the down payment was? Okay, it was a thousand dollars, but she had that, and she ended up leasing a beautiful new car. The fun part is that the new car had much better gas mileage, so she was spending almost the same monthly budgeted amount on her new car as she had on her old one, thanks to the savings on gas alone.
Unexamined Assumptions At Work
Here’s another example of unexamined assumptions at work. When my husband and I decided to get married, we wanted to do it rather quickly because he had to go out of the country for work. We had six weeks to plan our beautiful little wedding; it was to be in August in Napa, California.
I don’t know if you know how busy the wedding season is between June and August. You have to book things months in advance, and it seemed impossible to find what we needed in that short amount of time. Everyone and everything was booked. Even so, I opened while looking at our timeline.
One of the constraints was that the wedding needed to happen on a weekend. When I checked in, that thought closed me. So I decided to seek guidance on the idea of a weekday wedding, and I opened. We got married on a Tuesday evening. Everyone we wanted to work with was available, and we got discounts from everyone because it was during the week.
Common unexamined assumptions are:
* A person has to go to college to get a good job.
* It’s necessary to work hard to get ahead.
* You need to stay in your home or sell it.
* You have to exercise to lose weight.
* A particular task will take a certain amount of work or time.
* It’s necessary to write a business plan before you start a business.
Looking at your desires is another way to find your unexamined assumptions. Think of what you desire, and then look at what you think is getting in the way of your having it. Make a list of your desires and check them against your IGS.
When you cannot find an opening, look at your unexamined assumptions. Inquire about the “who, what, where, when, why, and how” of the situation. Ask yourself:
* Who do you need to be involved with, talk to, or get permission from?
* What do you need to do or get to make it work?
* Where does it need to happen?
* When do you believe you need it to happen?
* Why do you feel you need it to happen?
* How does it need to happen, or how much time will it take?
Another way to find unexamined assumptions is to look at what you really wish would happen and, of course, to see if the prospect opens you. Then look at what you believe is preventing it from happening.
Ask a friend to listen to you discuss what is closing you, and to point out any limiting beliefs, restrictions, and self-talk. Often, another person who knows us well can effectively question us while we are thinking about a problem and feeling guidance from our IGS.
Using Your Imagination to Receive Guidance from Your IGS
Visualizing or thinking about a scenario of what you plan to do is an effective way to receive guidance from your IGS. A great way to do this is to play out the scenario in your mind and see if you open or close. For example, you might picture yourself going to an event, calling upon a client, working on a project, or reading at home alone.
Don’t make your scenarios too complex. Rather than picturing an entire event, for example, break it down and look at each part of it as a separate and complete thought: picture where the event will be held, the people involved, what you plan to wear, the food you anticipate eating at the event, and the people you expect to meet.
If you bounce from thing to thing instead of isolating each item, it will be too much information to get guidance on. Keep it simple and isolate the different things you are planning.
If you are not strong in visualization and are better at feeling, then just feel how you believe you are going to be in the situation, or with someone, or how you would feel doing a particular thing. Then notice the guidance you receive from your IGS.
For instance, if you are going to sign a contract, picture doing it and notice the guidance. You can do this with any subject — from what you are going to wear to what you will eat, do, or see. It will help you stay in the flow as you go about your day.
At various points during your day, imagine, either by feeling or by visualizing, what you are planning on doing. Then notice how your IGS responds.
Four Powerful Questions
Your IGS knows so much about you and what you are here to accomplish. It also knows what you are not to be a part of, and what is not yours to do. For some people, knowing how and when to say no is very difficult. Your IGS is wonderful at helping you set appropriate boundaries and at keeping you out of things that are really none of your business.
The four powerful questions listed below will save you a great deal of time and energy when used in combination with your IGS. They will keep you from letting emotional or unpleasant situations take over your life. I recommend approaching any situation of even mild importance with these questions as a way to sift through what truly needs your attention and what does not.
You can reduce your stress and the occurrence of closing thoughts by using these four questions:
* Is this any of my business?
* Is the thought I am having truthful?
* Is there anything I need to do about this situation right now?
* Do I have all the information I need to act right now?
If you receive opening sensations in response to each of these questions, you can trust that taking action is right for you. The experience of navigating the situation with the guidance of your IGS will most likely be rewarding and fulfilling for you and those around you.
If you close in response to any of these questions, then you do not need to be concerned. You can trust that either you will know when to do something, or the issue is not yours to deal with.
©2016 by Zen Cryar DeBrücke. All Rights Reserved.
Reprinted with permission: New World Library,
About the Author
Zen Cryar DeBrücke is an inspirational teacher and speaker. A successful entrepreneur and business executive, Zen has coached hundreds of business leaders to use their IGS for success in every area of their lives. Zen is a member of the Transformational Leadership Council, which includes luminaries such as Jack Canfield, Marianne Williamson, John Gray, and Michael Beckwith. She is known for her earlier work as the CEO of The Netkitchen, an Internet strategy/consulting firm, where she spent four years creating innovative Internet campaigns and properties for Fortune 500 companies. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area on ten beautiful acres with her husband, young son, three cats, dog, and nine chickens. Visit her at http://zeninamoment.com/