Navigation Tools for Life, Part III, Understanding Your Navigational Tools

Imagine being the captain of a ship. You want to travel north and all of your navigational instruments give you clear information on where north is. But you have seen something shimmering in the distance, off in a direction that does not match what your navigational tools say is north. You decide that the direction in which the shimmering object lies is actually north and head in that direction.

It sounds insane, doesn’t it? But that is exactly what we are doing when we insist on being in control instead of allowing ourselves to soften and surrender a bit.

In the last two posts, I talked about the internal guidance system and in the last post, I gave a couple of very simple tools to acess it. But being willing to access those internal guidance system tools will have limited impact if you do not understand a few basic things about them.

  1. You will have limited success in accessing your internal guidance system if you insist on being in control of the process. To access and hear/see/feel your internal guidance system, you must suspend the hallucination–for just a bit–that you are king or queen of the universe. You must be willing to soften and surrender a bit to that part of you that your ordinary consciousness just does not have access to.
  2. You must understand that your internal guidance system is not there to make you rich and famous. You may actually become rich and famous, but that’s not the point. Your internal guidance system is there to guide you towards the next move, inspiration, perception, or understanding that is best for you–based on a complex web of knowledge and interactions your conscious mind has limited access to. Your ego may want to be rich and famous, but your internal guidance system wants the highest version of you to be enacted, whatever that is and however that happens.
  3. At some point, you will have to act, not just sit back and passively observe. In the be/do/have cycle of things, there is a time to just “be” and tap into your internal guidance. But make no mistake: your internal guidance system will not do all the foot work for you. It may give you alternatives that will smooth your way, but it will not act for you if action on your part is an important component of manifesting what your guidance is showing you. The world may or may not come to your door without your having to leave home–but even if it does, it will be because you did your part to get it to your door.
  4. The more turbulent the sea, the harder it will be to navigate through it on a consistent basis. The internal guidance system works best in calm waters. Meditation–in any form to which you are drawn–helps calm the waters. And you need not be a follower of any particular religious path to meditate. There are nonsectarian meditation methods, sectarian ones, and methods that might have started out as sectarian, but have become nonsectarian in common practice. In short, there is a meditation method for everyone. Find one that resonates for you.
  5. The dirtier the equipment, the less the results can be trusted. This is very important to understand! Try reading text through a glass encrusted with years of dirt. You might not be able to read anything at all. If you can, you might miss something important that completely changes the meaning of the passage. Making sense of your internal guidance system is much the same. If you want a clear channel to your internal guidance, clean up your act! That means acknowledging,  working through, and clearing the jetsam and flotsam of the human psyche. The more you do this, the more trustworthy the information you receive will be.
  6. If you ignore the message, you may have simply lost an opportunity . . . or you might receive the message again–stronger, louder, and less kindly. Opportunity lost is one thing, but sometimes, when it is important, if you ignore a message from your internal guidance system, it will be repeated . . . one, twice, three times, or as many times as it takes. The internal guidance system has a way of getting our attention when it is important. That means that while the first message–or first ten messages–might have been subtle and gentle, you may find subsequent ones becoming increasingly pointed and/or uncomfortable. What has that meant for me, in my own experience? When I have ignored too many messages over too long a period of time, I have become ill. I have attracted clients from hell. I have had accidents. I have become tense and unhappy. These days, I prefer to pay attention sooner instead of later.
  7. Be gentle with yourself. If you have never consciously tapped into your internal guidance system or have been ignoring it for a long time, it might take some time for it to take you seriously and actually kick in with good, clear information. Give it some time. Practice in very simple ways, on a daily basis. It will eventually become activated. And when that happens, you will find you have made a good friend who provides indispensible help.

Want some navigation reference tools? There are many good books available and, yes, I do recommned my own book, Living the Dream–A Guidebook for Job Seekers and Career Explorers. Among the best resources, I believe, are two books by Penney Peirce: The Intuitive Way and Frequency.

May you navigate the seas of life well and safely, and may your ports of call be more than you could have hoped for . . . and everything you might have dreamed.

I would love to hear about your journey.


copyright 2009 by Melanie Mulhall


10 Responses to “Navigation Tools for Life, Part III, Understanding Your Navigational Tools”

  1. Mandy Says:

    Another great post Melanie and such good timing for me. I’ve been struggling this past month between work commitments and home. It really culminated this weekend when I just had to finish reading a novel and I felt so guilty. I’ve spent the last few days thinking about why I felt that way. I concluded that I had committed to a few shimmering assignments and they had taken time away from my real work and my family. Now I’ve realized that, I’ve got myself back on course and I am feeling so much better ….. the tightness in my neck and shoulders is going.


  2. Melanie Mulhall Says:


    A wonderful example of how checking in with the internal guidance system can help us sort things out! The somatic reaction to doing that (tightness leaving the neck and shoulders) is great validation that your conclusions were right on.



  3. Chilling out with a good book | Since My Divorce .... Says:

    […] I’ve struggle to jam everything into the limited hours. Once again, Melanie Mulhall over at Living the Dream has a message that resonants with me.  With Melanie’s guidance, as I’ve thought about […]


  4. Pattie Says:

    Melanie: Thank you for such important wisdom in unsettling times. I struggle with balancing my internal desires with real world perceptions…especially around earning money. I appreciate the reminder to listen to our deepest selves and trust it. I find it easy to embrace that, but hard to enact it.


  5. alunachic Says:

    Melanie- another brilliant insight. I am so enjoying the book. I’m reading it slowly and carefully. I’m reading about R&R -recovery and reflection. A lot of what I’m reading has to do with “leaving the company”. I thought, “Well that doesn’t apply to me since I work for myself.” THEN I had a revelation! IT DOES APPLY TO ME. I just had to be the observer instead of the participant to understand your concepts! AND MY DREAMS OF LATE— oh that is a whole other email!!!


  6. Megan Says:

    It’s been a week of great advice about “softening” and listening to a calmer inner voice. A friend of mine, who lives in Japan, offered me several Zen koans along the same lines as your post.


  7. Melanie Mulhall Says:


    Start with simple things. You’re driving to work and there are several routes you could take, but one you usually take. Ask your internal guidance system if you should take the usual route that day.

    It is easier to follow through on the guidance when it is critical if we have been following through on it when it is a lark.

    Hope that helps.

    Thanks for your comment. You are not alone in your experience.



  8. Melanie Mulhall Says:


    For our readers, the book she is referring to is my book, Living the Dream–A Guidebook for Job Seekers and Career Explorers. Yes, you’re right. The exercises have application for those outside of the corporate setting. I’m glad you’re finding it useful . . . but I’d love to hear more about your experience. If you’re willing to share, I’ll bet I’m not alone.



  9. Melanie Mulhall Says:


    And I’ll bet my readers would love to hear some of those koans if you are willing to share. I certainly would!



  10. jerrie Says:

    Be gentle with yourself was the kicker that I needed. Good stuff.


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