Trusting your Inner GPS
One of my favorite TV shows of all time is “The Office”. There’s this great episode where Michael Scott and Dwight Schrute are delivering gift baskets to clients with the hopes off winning back their business. There’s a segment in the episode where Michael is following the car’s GPS to find the next business. He’s driving towards a lake and Dwight says “No Michael, it means bear right and join the highway”. And Michael says “But the GPS says to turn right”, and after much yelling, Michael drives the car into the lake. Oh dear.
This summer I was invited to lead a yoga class at a retreat center near Elbow Lake. I’d never been to Elbow Lake before, and so I used Google Maps to help me get there. The retreat center was on Hewlett Packard Road, which is a name that stuck in my brain thanks to my time working help desk supporting HP printers!
The day of the retreat I’m driving along following the directions. I have my cell phone setup as my GPS so that I make it to destination. I’m driving along a gravel/dirt road, following the GPS, when I see a sign for “Hewlett Packard Road”. My first thought is, there’s the sign, turn here. My second thought is “but the GPS says to go straight”. So I keep going straight. As I keep driving, my GPS says “turn left on Hewlett Packard Road”, which would drive my Subaru into a tree. I stop the car. OMG I’m Michael Scott – Thanks goodness there wasn’t a lake involved!
This experience got me thinking, why do we trust the outer GPS over the inner GPS?
Yoga teaches us that everything we need to know, is within – our purpose, wisdom, and joy. Creating the life we want is an inside job.
So how do we cultivate trust in our inner GPS? Some of the tools I’ve explored include meditation, affirmations, time in nature, and self-reflection.
Meditation is learning to settle into stillness, quiet some of the inner noise, so we can listen to the wisdom within. Affirmations remind us of our innate qualities. We can use affirmations such as “I am wise” or “I open to my inner knowing”. Nature is a constant teacher of patience, timing, growth, and cycles. She trusts that she knows, and this is a great example for us to follow. I also find in nature the chatter of the mind settles, similarly to meditation. Self-reflection is a powerful tool, where we can observe (with compassion and without judgment) where we trust ourselves, and where we don’t. We can also ask ourselves why, and what the result was. Over time, we can learn to trust our inner GPS, and have a list of lived experiences that support this knowing.
How do you cultivate self-trust? I’d love to hear which practices you’ve explored and how it went – post a comment below!