There is a wonderful teaching out there that discusses “the Emotional Guidance System” and many people believe that emotions=an internal guidance system. These two things are not the same thing. The do work together well but one is about finding a better feeling thought while the other is a separate system that is helping you understand which thoughts on a deeper level are out of alignment. It is giving you sensations that are not a biochemical reaction in the brain but a unique system that is more like your central nervous system.
Currently, there is a popular philosophy that a person’s emotions are his or her Internal Guidance System. I don’t like to rock the boat by disagreeing with people, but out of the thousands of people that I’ve worked with and the 10 years that I’ve put into teaching this, I found that, actually, your emotions are not your IGS. I hate to say that. I’m going to explain to you why and I’m even going to lend some credence to that philosophy towards the end of this short article.
First of all, your emotions are created out of biochemical reactions. They’re chemicals that your brain produces. What happens is your mind runs a scenario or a story, you come up with some affect in the future that’s going to occur or possibly something that’s happening to you right in the moment. This releases a stress mechanism—an emotional reaction—that’s biochemical, rushing through your body. It’s like taking a drug, or just like drinking a bunch of alcohol. These biochemicals don’t wear off quickly, even if you want or need to get over them. This is why, even if you’ve been in an upset state, even when it’s fixed, what ends up happening is that you’re still upset until the chemicals leave your body.
Now, you’ll notice that as you’re using your Internal Guidance System, it is independent of your emotions. That means that whatever the thoughts that you’re thinking, while you’re in that emotional state, your IGS is still giving you guidance on those thoughts. If you have a thought that’s in alignment, you’ll feel an opening even in the midst of feeling upset; if you have a thought that’s not in alignment, you’ll feel a closing. And the other thing that you’ll realize in working with your IGS is that it doesn’t have any lag time. You can change your thought and you can go “Open, close, open, close” almost immediately. Yet there’s no residual effect like a drug in your body.
This is really important because what I found is that our emotions are generally programs that our mind is running. One person may react really harshly to something happening while another person—maybe no big deal. That is because, as we’re raised as children on up, we begin to be seen by our parents, and told what’s right, what’s wrong, what’s good, what’s bad and even how to feel about something.
One of the most powerful things about your Internal Guidance System is that once you begin to use it in the middle of an upset state, you notice that you can reason with your mind about what’s accurate and in alignment and true in that moment, and what’s actually a story that you’re bringing into the situation. Now this is incredibly powerful when you’re in a relationship. It’s incredibly powerful in business. There are all kinds of ways that we drag our past into a situation and kind of camp out there.
So what I encourage you to do is start off slow. You may have a quick emotional hit that happens in your life like someone calling you and telling you that the reports are going to be late that you’re relying on in order to get your part of the project done. There’s an emotional hit that comes from you projecting into the future—what the heck that’s going to mean for you in your life—keeping you from being happy, satisfied and successful.
Notice by what you’re thinking, which thoughts open you and which thoughts close you. I encourage you to start with small things. Little by little, you’ll begin to tease out and reason through how your IGS and your emotions are completely separate entities.
As I said earlier, I want to lend some credence to this philosophy that your emotions are your Internal Guidance System. There is a wonderful practice out there that was started by a woman named Esther Hicks and it can be used to move you out of difficult situations by finding a better thought, and then finding a better feeling thought and then finding an even better feeling thought.
This is a fantastic way to find openings. It’s a wonderful way in the beginning to use the emotions that you’re feeling, when you’re in a deep emotional state, to begin cultivating those emotions and noticing the openings of your IGS. You can really use this practice to discern the distinction between the two.
However, the entire practice of “Whatever makes me feel good emotionally” is not accurate. Think about if you’ve ever been somewhere like maybe a leadership course or one of these make-a-million-in-a-year courses. They have you break boards and run up and down and high five; the music’s blaring and they say $5,000 to the first 50 people that are at the back of the room and you’ll save $20,000 on this course. Then people race to the back and slam their credit cards down. They leave later and feel horrible for having spent that money. It’s because the emotions overrode their Internal Guidance Systems.
The same thing can happen when you have a negative emotional state that occurs and your IGS is open. It’s important for you to actually feel that anger, that disappointment or that hurt. You have been hurt, you were disrespected. What you’re thinking is true and you’re open in those thoughts, however the emotional experience that’s happening is very uncomfortable or disappointing.
Those are two very simple situations where your emotions may not lead you to ultimate success, fulfillment and alignment in your life.