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USER GUIDE: Internal Guidance System

5 May

key

In my last blog post, we discussed your Internal Guidance System.

Now, I’d like to offer a few keys to using it functionally.

LISTEN:  If you ignore your Internal Guidance System, it won’t shut off automatically.  It will continue to send you one emotional signal after another just like your GPS continues to say, “Please proceed to the highlighted route.”

In cases where you’ve been ignoring your emotional indicators for some time, you may no longer even understand the message.  It’s just a monotonous relentless bad feeling that won’t seem to go away.

TRUST:  The good news is you don’t have to go back & analyze why you feel this or that, you can simply accept these signals & allow them.  They are emotions.  It’s helpful to remember that emotions can change over time.  That means letting them be without your RESISTANCE.  Stop fighting yourself.

It requires allowing.  So in this sense, trusting is allowing whatever emotions to be.

Using breathing techniques help when you get to the place you’re willing to allow your emotions to just be.  Slow & conscious breathing assists in physically releasing resistance.  Simply breathing in through your nose slowly, then out through your mouth is very soothing.  G e n t l y . . .

REDIRECT:  Once you’ve allowed your feelings to exist without squashing them or throwing up a wall of resistance, now you can redirect them in a more positive way.

It’s not surprising that in an effort to feel better most folks will go to any lengths to get relief.  Unfortunately, with so little public education on mindfulness & training the brain to work for us in positive ways, that leaves only the most rudimentary solutions to redirect; acting out in self sabotage or numbing the emotions altogether.  That’s why there is so much addictive & self-destructive behaviours as people instinctually look for ways to redirect but haven’t found a healthy means to soothe these emotional signals, yet.

Addictions are nothing to be ashamed of.  Stop condemning yourself for seeking ways to feel better.  It just means your desire to feel good is so strong you’re looking for any end-run around this thing.  You have to stop beating yourself up for simply wanting some relief.  

The trick with addictions is that the relief they provide is only temporary & we need a long-term solution to managing & co-existing with our Internal Guidance System.

Don’t get comfortable with being miserable.  Don’t get comfortable with dreading everything.  Don’t get comfortable being pessimistic.  You want to keep your desire to feel good alive & well.  SO you must recognize there are many healthy paths to getting there.

I believe that quieting the mind through meditation is the ideal way to redirect harmoniously.  However, many of you aren’t able to sit through meditation just yet.  And that’s just fine.  We have to find what will work for you & often that is addressing the body through physical movement or bodywork, first.

Maybe your thing is walking, cross-fit, or running.  Whatever allows you to physically over-ride the loud messages for a time to soothe the body & come back to the emotions when you’re in a more balanced state.

*Bodywork is excellent for keeping in touch with yourself, from the outside in.  It’s also valuable because it fills a touch-deficit many are suffering from.  Especially when you’re deep in depression or anxiety, non-expectant touch is a healthy safe place.

When I went to school for CranioSacral Therapy, we learned that an impingement in the spine that temporarily blocks the flow of cerebrospinal fluid can cause an emotional reaction of the RAS (reticular alarm system).  That means a physical imbalance can throw off our emotions & put us in a STATE OF EMERGENCY emotionally.

It makes me think of how having a cold with a stuffy nose & being forced to breathe through the mouth can give some people anxiety attacks.  Addressing the physical can & usually does ease the emotional alarms.

Having a trusted counselor can prove greatly beneficial as they have been trained in many ways to direct your thoughts & emotions for optimal living.

It’s a beautiful thing to reach out & be seen, heard & understood.  You may find one day, you’re the one offering the outstretched hand in assistance to others.

There are endless options of redirecting difficult emotions including journaling, dancing, creating art, hiking, supporting your community, a building project, & so much more.

All of these are important but I’m curious if you’d like to add to the list.

Please add your suggestions in the comments below.

*therapeutic massage, chiropractic, acupuncture, sports therapy, etc.

** Internal Guidance System

Internal Guidance System

5 May

Internal Guidance System

You’ve all heard of GPS (global positioning system), that voice in your car leading you around.  These days, most folks have a variety of navigation devices they can choose from.

In fact, so common is sat-nav that while we may depend on it, we also have the luxury of ignoring it.  For example, when we take a little side trip but the device keeps saying, “Please proceed to the highlighted route.”  Occasionally it’s, “Recalculating route.”

Well did you know we also have an Internal Guidance System?  Everyone does.  Instead of words or even thoughts, it uses emotions to guide us.

So first things first, if you are suffering then you can be assured your internal navigation is ON & functioning properly.  Not that suffering is the only indicator but it’s one of the loudest, for sure!

I refer to it as the Internal Guidance System because it behaves just like the Central Nervous System.  When you touch a hot stove, before you’ve even had a conscious thought about it, your hand has already reacted & pulled away fast!  That’s because the sense of heat/pain was signaled directly to the spinal cord & bypassed the brain for quick action.  No thought required.

So it is the same with emotional responses.  They don’t have to make sense intellectually. In fact, they often don’t.  That’s fine, they’re a completely different & highly attuned operating system.

Call it a “gut reaction,” or a “funny feeling.”  It heightens your senses & puts you on alert.  Again, not a bad thing.  The more we trust those emotions, the more in-tune we are with ourselves.  The problem is, ignoring our gut instinct has been glorified by so many people saying something’s a coincidence or thinking they’re just making it up in their head.  But you can’t deny the gut.  Repressing it only disconnects you from your true self or numbs the positive benefits it’s trying to signal to you.

Sometimes your emotions feel like you’re being punched, beaten, HIT.  That’s not surprising since the *Sympathetic Nervous System ignites first response impulses traveling up to 250 mph along your synapse.  Talk about a train wreck INSIDE YOU.

All that stress can lead to Osteoporosis, now dubbed a stress-related disorder, as well as Type 2 Diabetes, brain damage, hypertension, sleep deprivation, & even darker scenarios.

The good news is your conscious mind has the ABILITY to change automatic emotional reactions.  That’s the beauty of neuroplasticity!

Some of my clients say, “Well, how can I turn it off??”

That’s a rational question when you’re taking the physical hit of your emotions over & over & over.  Just remember that the only people in our society with NO STRESS RESPONSE are referred to by modern medicine as Psychopaths, unfeeling & incapable of guilt or remorse.  Often born-in, but can also be trained-in.

So don’t throw the baby out with the bath water.  Your Internal Guidance System is necessary for knowing the difference between danger & safety, aching & soothing, harming & helping.  Blessed mechanism that works so brilliantly.

Appreciate your Internal Guidance System & don’t be surprised if there’s not a lot you can do to talk yourself off the ledge in the throes of it.  It’s in the moments between that we can learn ways to cope, manage, & handle our own stress & inner dialog.  It’s definitely worth every effort.. but no beating yourself up along the way.

Your Internal Guidance System is functioning perfectly.

*Precedes reported emotions by 400-550 milliseconds before conscious awareness.

** USER GUIDE: Internal Guidance System

NEW E-BOOK

31 Jan

I’M SO HAPPY TO ANNOUNCE… the release of my new e-book on AMAZON.

It’s a short story of inspiration & encouragement.

I hope you enjoy it!

*Read on your Kindle or download Kindle app on your phone for free.*

#TheGiftOfJeremiah #inspiration #encouragement

Perfect Timing

25 Dec

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Something amazing happens when you put your trust in God.

The whole world opens up to surprise & delight you!

Perhaps my favorite gift from God is His perfect timing.

When I really trust Him, I am always getting ready for whatever He has planned for me.  I don’t need to know what IT is because I know that the Lord has a plan & is orchestrating it all, effortlessly.

“Every good gift” comes from Him.  – James 1:17 ESV

So look for God’s grace in everything you do.  Don’t pass it off as a coincidence but praise it when you see it & pretty soon you will be WOW’d by the overflowing goodness flowing into your life!

Perfect example, recently I said a quick prayer to God to smooth my path on a trip out-of-town.  That’s it.  Simple & “amen.”

As soon as I got on the road out-of-town, which I’ve driven a hundred times, there was a small-engine airplane coming in for landing.. right over my car!

It wasn’t a scary moment, it was exhilarating!  The plane had plenty of room above me before the airport but it was something I’ve never seen before.. no matter how many times I’ve driven that way.  There it was.  There I was.  How fun!!  2 seconds before or 2 seconds later, I would have missed the thrill of it all.  Perfect timing.

In movies there will be occasional winks from the Filmmaker called “Easter eggs” as a treat for you to catch some inside meaning.  As Christians we see the Easter egg as Christ’s resurrection.  SO look for the EASTER EGGS IN LIFE!

Often the Easter eggs show up in the form of perfect timing.

For example, this Christmas Eve I was on my way to candlelight services & as I drove into town I saw the most brilliant sunset.  Listen folks, this was a sunset like I’ve never seen before.  Like the famous sunsets of West Texas that show a play of hot pink, hues of purple, & streaks of vibrant blue all the way across the sky.  It .. was .. epic!

I decided to stop by a restaurant for a little iced tea before going to the church.  As I pulled in, I marveled at the extraordinary sight of it all.  This sunset stretched from one horizon to the other.

I stepped out of my car & took in the glory of it.  Suddenly realizing the couple who parked next to me were staring awe-struck, as well.

As we shared the precious moment of God’s glory in vivid light across the sky, I shared with them where I was going & they shared with me they were going to say goodbye to her brother who was gravely ill in the hospital.

We went inside to warm up & they shared more of their Christmas Eve journey to be together with family at this most difficult time.  I hugged perfect strangers & we held on remembering some good times & preparing them for what’s close at hand.  How even if her brother wasn’t conscious, he would still know she was with him & how more importantly, God knows.

Her husband said he was glad we met each other at that very moment.  And I felt the same!

And just like that, I was on my way to church, praying for her family’s peace & they were on their way to her dearly loved brother.

I know for certain God arranged that meeting.

I could not have timed it so perfectly.  If I had known I was meeting them, I would have worried over them, hurried over the time, maybe missed the gorgeous sunset, & fretted.

Trust in God’s timing.  It is impeccable.

Look for those miracles every single day.

Get ready because God has plans for you.. right now.

God is not absent.  He may delay for reasons we have to trust are in our benefit, but He has not forgotten you.  God’s word is truth.  – John 17:17

Christmas in your (broken) Heart

24 Dec

scandinavian-christmas-tree-designs

It’s that time of year, where home & hearth are the roots we tend most.  We gather indoors for warmth & sharing.  We look to Jesus as our light in the darkness of winter, a time for miracles when all may seem lost.

‘Merry & bright’ is the feeling in our hearts when we think about Christmas but for some folks the holidays just aren’t the same as they used to be.

Some of my friends have lost their mate this year and for others, loss of a parent has changed their holiday forever.  When so many of your special moments have included that family member or a precious pet, celebrating can seem like the last thing we want to do without them.

I was reminded this week of a scripture that means so much but especially in trying times, it’s important to remember that “.. we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to His purpose.” – Romans 8:28 KJV

When all seems lost, don’t forget that God is working everything out for your good.  He loves you & wants the very best for you all the days of your life.

God can take your sadness.  Give it to Him.

Sometimes our burden can be so heavy we can’t just hand over our pain.  Our suffering can be so great, it can threaten to crush us so we must do something drastic to shift it.

One translation of the Bible uses these powerful words, “Throw your burden on the Lord, and he will sustain you.”  – Psalm 55:22 NET Bible

Imagine that, throwing the great weight you’ve been carrying.  What a relief it will be when you get out from under this struggle; knowing God will catch it, manage it, & ultimately handle it.  He doesn’t just take your pain but He uses it to work out blessings in your life.

It may seem impossible to see your way through but God is with you & His grace surrounds you.

So don’t punish yourself, don’t rush anything.  Just spend some time in prayer & you may find you have an impulse to decorate a little.  You may feel the desire to feed some of the poor in your area.  You may want to rest more & do less this year.  Whatever it is, God is there for you.  He is FOR YOU.  You can’t get this wrong.

You’ve heard it said ‘we are spiritual beings having a physical experience’ so enjoy the ride.  There is so much more going well than going wrong.  There is so much love & hope in you & for you.

Whether you celebrate or not, your loved ones are with you, in your heart & thoughts, always.

This may not look like any Christmas you’ve had before but it’s Christmas, a time for miracles.  And if all you manage this year is loving & taking care of you, not being too critical of what you did or didn’t do, accepting this day exactly as it is, I’d say that’s God’s grace right there!

You are so loved.

Merry Christmas

Where’s the Peace?

2 Sep

candles

Lately, folks have been polarized by extremes.  It’s wearing on people.  Between public shows of violence, a huge divide in politics, & the recent natural disaster of Hurricane Harvey here in Texas & Louisiana, frankly some folks have an existential hangover.

For those of us lucky enough to not be in the eye of any of these literal & figurative hurricanes, many are still experiencing a low emotionally due to not being able to help in some meaningful way.  Sure, we can donate necessities or money, every bit matters, but the desire to get our hands involved may not be possible, leading to a feeling of inadequacy.  Even when you’ve given the most you can, you may not be feeling peace about it all.

I want you to know, if you are feeling this way, you are not alone.

All these crisis have really brought out the magnanimous generousity of our, very human, true nature.  We all long to be connected & support the needs everyone on earth has; food, shelter, clean water, caring consideration.  Basically, we all want to extend dignity to one another.  This is one of the sweetest gifts we can give each other in the great sea of humanity.

As for peace, though, it cannot be given.  Peace arises from within us.  We can’t go around expecting that if we give enough – suddenly we’ll miraculously have peace.

We can’t expect a government to give us peace.  Nor can the police bring us peace.  Sure, they very well may ‘keep the peace,’ but it is beyond anyone else’s ability to insure your  personal peace.

Look inside.  There is an ever-constant flicker of peace & wholeness in you that you can come back to again & again.  It is always there, awaiting your return.

The chaos of the world around you can be so loud it’s deafening & this is where we can get lost.  Looking at what’s outside of you is not an indicator of what’s real in you.

When we are constantly looking at others or comparing our experiences, it can get downright exhausting.

Stop paying so much attention to everything & everyone else.  Spend some time with you.  Listen to the quiet voice within.  Breathe easy in the presence of the peace inside you, for without this introspection you literally have no way of offering any genuine peace to yourself or anyone around you.

In such a time of upheaval, it’s especially important to quiet your mind & look within.

Where’s the peace?  Inside.  Peace is always an inside job, first.  Then it can be shared easily & authentically.

Don’t Forget to BREATHE

14 Jan
Don't Forget to Breathe ~ Lynn Van Noy

Something happens when we hurt.

 

We hold our breath.

 

Whether we have chronic pain. stub a toe, smash a finger, or lose someone we love… we hold our breath.

So I  encourage you to breathe.  Living in pain – both physically & emotionally can lead to shallow breathing.  So make it a practice to breathe.

 

Really breathe.  Deep & full.

 

It’s ok if it doesn’t come easy.  It takes practice & after a lifetime of holding our breath, waiting for the other shoe to drop, or hanging on for dear life, breathing can become more voluntary than involuntary.

 

So breathe, dearheart.  Breathe.

You Don’t LOOK Sick

10 Jan

Don’tcha love it when people compliment you?!

Of course!  But not as much when you feel poorly.

I tend to see Fibromyalgia, pain disorders, lupus, & other auto-immune health issues the same way I look at PTSD, depression, & anxiety.  These are all debilitating concerns that mostly don’t show.  Sure, you may see the results in terms of depletion, exhaustion, a look of desperation in someone’s eyes, but the illness itself is oft invisible.

Which makes it especially frustrating when those around you can’t comprehend that you are struggling at times, because “you look amazing!”  *laughs*

Well, ya gotta admit, you do look pretty good.  But that doesn’t, for one instant, negate how bad you may be feeling.

It helps to surround yourself with people who ‘get it.’  Other folks who look alright, too, but you know they have good days & bad ones, like everyone.  Make sure your loved ones know that some days are just not going to go as you planned, & that’s as much a disappointment to you as to them.  Especially when you move slower than usual, or you have to cancel a special visit because getting out of bed may be the best you can accomplish that day.

I pray you are surrounded by loving, understanding friends & family.  And most of all, my hope is that you are good to yourself.  There’s no need to punish yourself for hurting.  Your suffering requires your gentle attention.  Baby steps are all we get some days; so make the most of your energetic, feel-good days & be patient with yourself on the difficult ones.

Your light is a blessing to us all.

As Long As IT Takes

28 Jan

cayman

This is a story about sleep deprivation, daily expectations, and life taking its toll on YOU.

Sound familiar?

The woman in this story is just like me, like a lot of us, I suppose.  Only rare in that she was honest enough to admit she had.. zero desire.

Now we’re not talking about that Zen place of achieving desirelessness, but a completely wiped out, day in – day out grinding exhaustion that left her worn and weary for this world.

Strangely enough, I met her when I was on holiday in one of the most relaxing places in the world; Grand Cayman.

One morning, as I was walking Seven Mile Beach, I met this massive Greyhound dog and his owners, a lovely local couple.  I was naturally drawn to them by their joy and playfulness.  They started chatting me up about how wonderful it is to live on this beautiful island!

It turned out, he was Canadian and she was from the tough streets of Detroit.  After he moved to the island, he asked her to come, too.

She debated.  She reasoned to herself that she was staying in Michigan so she could see her adult children regularly.  Also, she was locked into a job she could retire from but couldn’t seem to extract herself.

Finally, after a year of him asking her to leave the states behind and move in with him in his beachfront abode, she accepted.

She recounted to me that for six solid months she slept in, drank coffee all day in her pajamas, and ultimately had ZERO drive to do anything.

Every morning she would turn on the Detroit news, weather, and traffic so she could connect with what had been a part of her life, always.  Over time, that lost its novelty.

Little by little she began to venture out to the water, slowly.

And as she said, “after six months of no desire to do anything,” she perked up and decided she wanted to paint.  She wanted to sew.  She wanted to dance.  Suddenly, the ocean looked vividly blue and the sugar sand so white!

She seemed so happy and integrated when I met her.  And it only took SIX WHOLE MONTHS.

My point is, by the time you get a day off, all you want to do is rest and recover.  Sure, you’d love to travel, run, play with your kids, organize that dang ol’ closet.. you know the one I’m talkin’ about!  But sleep may be the only thing on your mind.

It’s time you gave yourself full permission to rest.  Go easy on yourself.  Don’t push so hard, the world already does that to you.

Even a woman living in arguably the most peaceful place in the world needed half a year to sort herself out till she found her zing again.

Sleeping in one day isn’t going to repair your sleep deprivation but it won’t stop the world from turning, either.

So rest.

Be kind to you.  Listen to what you want most.  You are precious and what you do with your time creates a life.. your life.

Enjoy.  And if it takes months or years for you to get your spark back, so be it.  It’s not a competition.  Look for desires that arise gently and naturally.  Celebrate even the smallest flicker in you.

Everyone is different, so you must listen carefully to your own internal guidance.

And breathe easy.. as long as it takes.

ready.. set..

9 Jan

sparks

New year.  New start.  Beginnings.

ready.. set.. go!  Right??

That’s usually how it works, but if you’re anything like me, this ‘new’ is a not quite ready to ‘GO!’

New Year’s Eve found me in the dentist’s chair.  RIP to 2 of my wisdom teeth.  Fortunately, I have a rather indulging dentist.  He’s not pushing to take out my other 2, just yet.  Thankfully, he is holistically inclined enough to let nature take its course.

So instead of wearing a unicorn horn, splashing in glitter, & dancing.. I was fast asleep under covers when most of y’all were ushering in the ‘new.’  Yay, not.  *giggles*

Several of my clients are still exhausted from the holiday & a few have suffered recent tragedy.

So, this update is to wish you all the very best & remind you that you’ll know when it’s time to “go!”  Maybe that’s not today.  Maybe it won’t be for awhile yet, but life is not about following the crowd, it’s about following your heart.  Listen to your spirit.  Now may be a time of quiet recovery.  It may be a time to share your strength with others.

I assure you, when it’s time, you’ll be revved up & ready.  Until then, embrace the stillness of the in between.  As much as the clock keeps on ticking, we’re so much more than chronological clocks & calendar dates.  There’s always time for celebration.  We know when it’s the right time to begin.  All we have to do is listen with our heart’s awareness.  Trust you…  I do.

Big ❤

Lynn++

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