Sivana Podcast: Motherhood On The Spiritual Path And The Importance Of Postpartum Ritual – Interview With Kimberly Ann Johnson
The Full Discussion
Today we talk about the role of motherhood on the spiritual path with Kimberly Ann Johnson, founder of Magamama, a community and resource hub for new moms who want natural empowering solutions to the challenges that can accompany childbirth. Kimberly speaks with immense passion about motherhood and the importance of ritual along the path. What are some of the biggest challenges that face new mothers? What is circle practice and how can it help shift how we experience parenthood, personally and as a community? How can we support new mothers? We’ll explore these questions and a lot more…
Our ego is is a collection of stories that make up who we are, that’s it. Erase the stories and there is no ego, there’s no fear, there’s no controlling behavior which is also fear. What happens is when you use the internal guidance system over a period of time, you begin to realize that is my mind, which is my ego and I am something else.
Namaste, you’re listening to the Sivana podcast. Join us on an exploration of eastern spirituality, yoga philosophy and conscious living for the New Age. This podcast is a production of sivanaspirit.com, where you can find a large selection of om and yoga clothing, spiritual jewelry and unique fair trade gifts from the Far East. Now here’s your host, Ashton Szabo.
Greetings everyone, welcome to the sivana podcast. I’m your host, Ashton Szabo.
Today’s show is all about learning to trust your inner wisdom. Our guest is Zen Cryar DeBrucke, she’s the author of “Your Inner GPS. She’s an internationally renowned teacher speaker and coach whose programs have helped people all over the world transform their personal and business lives for the better.
Happy to have her on the show today.
Thank you, I’m really happy to be here.
So, the name of your book is “ Your Inner GPS”. What is inner GPS?
Well I’ve found out that in the last twenty three years I’ve been researching what I call the internal guidance system and it turns out that every human being is born with a factory installed guidance system. It’s located between their throat and their upper solar plexus area and it’s a physical sensation that we can feel. It’s guidance is letting us know whether our thoughts are moving us towards our most healthy, happy, harmonious life or away from the most healthy, happy, harmonious life into disharmony and unhappiness. And so, this inner GPS that we have, is kind of like our own personal life compass.
Awesome. And how did you come up with this idea for the inner GPS?
Well years ago, in nineteen ninety three I got a cassette tape. We got head on it, this woman is Esther Hicks. Are you familiar with Esther Hicks?
Yes I am, yeah.
Okay, great. Well, for those of you who may not know, she teaches about a lot of traction manifestation and on that cassette tape, she talked about this internal guidance system and how there’s an expansion-contraction that’s happening in our bodies all the time in relationship to whatever is creating the life that we desire or we’re not creating, we’re un-creating it, so to speak
And when I heard that, I had this immediate hit. I knew that I felt this my whole life. And I, in particular, got attracted to the closing, the constriction because I knew that whenever I’d have that constriction in my body and wasn’t open, that I was about to go into a self-sabotage modos. That things are gonna go wrong and no matter what different trajectory I had tried in the past, it didn’t work. So, super excited to find out that this existed, the only problem was if they didn’t have any training or any system, I couldn’t find anything, anywhere I’ve looked. Anyone I talked to about how they’ve used this, how it actually worked in relationship, to our thoughts.
And so, I went ahead and figured it out for myself. I am a technology person and I figured out a system and how this works and how to use it.
And what’s the difference between intuition and the inner GPS? Because they have a similar kind of flare but I know that the inner GPS is something quite different.
Can you tell us a little bit about that?
Yeah, sure. So the interlined system piece is something that I can train any person to do, every single person has this, it’s already activated, they’re already using it in their lives. But intuition shows it differently, I’m an intuitive person, I’m a claircognizance, I get information as a deep sense of knowing. Other people are clairaudient, they get it from audio or hearing something like an audible sound. Other people are visual, they get a picture of something or in the past get a feeling. Those are all different gifts and not everybody has the same intuitive gift.
And so, I can’t teach every single person. Now the good news is that the internal guidance system works in conjunction with these intuitive gifts that you have. So, if you are an intuitive person you can use your internal graphic system, to check the validity of the information that you’re getting intuitively, but they’re completely tuned in forms of information and guidance.
And you mentioned earlier, and I know you also explain it more in your book about how you can sense the internal guidance system in different parts of your body. And I’m wondering if you could explain that a little bit more for our listeners of how that actually plays out.
Yeah, yeah. So it shows up in the throat… What I actually love to do… Can we do a little exercise for your listeners?
Sure, I’d love that. Yeah
Do it for themselves and then when I’m talking about this, they’ll have a little bit more. So I’d love for you to do it with me, all you need to do is put your feet on the floor and put your hands in your lap and close your eyes, only takes a couple minutes.
Unless you’re driving right now listening to the podcast, of course.
Of course, and if you’re driving you can do it with your eyes open and but you can still feel your feet and the palms of your hands on the steering wheel. But go ahead and put your awareness on the bottom of your feet. And just by doing that, you may notice that there is like a tingling sensation with the energy there.
And next, bring your awareness to the palms of your hands.
Once again, you might feel like a little energy or warmth or tingling just because your awareness is there. And then you listen to the room around you, just listen for a moment. Now, the key to this is being in the body, that’s the easiest way to kill your guidance system because it resides in the body. So if you pay attention to the bottom of your feet, the palms of your hands and the listening of the room around you at the same time. It will make it much easier to feel.
And I’m going to give two sentences. And just let them flow through your mind like a cloud through the sky. I will tell you what to do next. He can’t listen. And here’s the first sentence,
“I do not have an internal guidance system”.
I do not have an internal guidance system and notice if there’s any sensation between the throat and the solar plexus. I do not have an internal guidance system. And then bring your palms and the bottom of your feet and listening again.
And here is the second sentence, “ I do have an internal guidance system”
Any sensation between the throat and the solar plexus area. I do have an internal guidance system.
All right, when you chose, open your eyes. So Ashton, do you feel anything?
I did actually. I felt when we were in the state with that “you do not have an internal guidance system”, I felt kind of a tensing in my chest, kind of in the solar plexus. When we said we did, I felt it more coming up in my throat like I wanted to agree with this. Has it like, yes I do!
And did the tension go away with the second sentence? Did you noticed?
I did yeah. It like lifted up and out and that’s when it start to feel like it wanted to be expressed through the throat and through the mouth.
Yeah. yes! perfect! great great! Okay so, that’s exactly what people most often feel is with the “I do not”, there’s a tightening of the belly, tightening in the chest. Some people say I have wilted or I have less of the breath or had a lump in my throat and that’s called closing. And when you’re closed, that’s what I call it, that means there are thoughts are carrying you away from what’s going to be happy and healthy. That your thoughts are not true and not going to happen.
And then the other one is exactly the tension leaves, there’s an expansion feeling of upward feeling, feels like you can breathe more. Some people report a warmth in their chest area and that what is what I call opening. And opening means you’re on track your enlightenment , that your thoughts are true and moving you towards what’s going to make you happy.
And so the interesting thing about this is that we have mislabeled the closing sensation, we didn’t know this people don’t teach us this, they haven’t yet when we were a child. And all stress in this and this is a big statement, all, all stress, worry, fear, anxiety, overwhelm and frustration that show up as a tension in the bodA. and you’ll find that almost all of those sensations means that what you’re thinking is not true or not going to happen and that you’re moving away from what you desire to have most by thinking those thoughts.
And then in the opening, it’s the opposite. It is true and that feels like confidence, joy. It feels ecstatic, it feels peaceful, calm and that means that you are on track. It’s different from our emotions.
So I know I’ve said a lot here, but just to answer your question there’s three areas of your IGS, internal guidance system IGS, the throat, the chest and the solar plexus.
The throat when you’re having a tightness in your throat or a lump, that means that the thought you’re having is about yourself. Your are playing a tape in your head that’s undermining your own success, your own capabilities.
“I can’t do it, they don’t love me, I sound stupid, I’m worthless” these kinds of thoughts.
Tightening in the chest is real time information, it’s like, should I go to the the grocery store or the post office, should I call this person and all of your life plans, the expansion and the current data show up in the chest.
And then, the solar plexus is belief system, that is out of whack, it’s not true. There is one belief that’s coloring a lot of your thoughts. Though that belief is what your IGS is asking you to reexamine and your mood. Because it’s transforming the way you’re thinking of a large scale.
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So in tantra, we have what are called the culpas (11:58) and they are essentially the stories that we tell ourselves. They’re essentially viewed as often the root cause of our misunderstanding and our suffering. Perhaps this is kind of being explained already to us, but I’m curious how someone’s IGS can help navigate these stories a little bit more.
Is it all just by going into the physical sensations in the parts of the body that you’re talking about? Or is there more of a refinement to it than that?
Oh there’s a much more refinement. So these stories are exactly what the internal divine system is to helping you to remove and to find out what is actually a true story that’s in alignment with your purpose and your path in going to support you and what’s not a true story. And so, what happens is in the expansion, and this is something that I’m researching and discovering with neuroscientists that I’m talking to. There’s this powerful thing happening, when you’re in a closed story and oftentimes it’s something, it becomes like a compulsion to think certain thoughts.
Let’s say somebody hasn’t call you back and you have a thing about people not calling back.
“They don’t like you, there’s something wrong, you’ve done something wrong”.
And our brain goes crazy until they call us back. That’s a story that I’m talking about. You catch yourself in that, and you move, you start playing with your mind and your internal guidance system in combination until you move yourself into the opening.
“Nothing’s wrong they just haven’t had time to get back to you, Oh! that opened to me, that they love me and they’ll get back to me as soon as they can, Oh! that opened to me bigger”.
The opening actually reprogram your mind. So not only are you discovering the story that you’re talking about but in playing with the internal guidance system in combination with what the mind is doing and we find the opening you’re releasing that old story and instead reformatting and reprogramming the brain to the new one. So you actually change your patterns.
This is essentially through a kind of an inner dialogue then.
It’s true inner dialogue but also it’s more of a sematic-based program. So I teach people how to do this, what I call “The Miyagi Approach” from the Karate Kid, remember Mr. Miyagi?
Of course. wax on, wax off.
Exactly as exactly and I always laugh at how many people asked that. Everybody know that movie no matter where I am in the world. Anyhow, the wax on wax off of is the key. Mr Miyagi’s student’s using this in a sematic way, and then show him what he had learned, the blocks. And I do the same thing, we go through the internal guidance system and use it to reprogram the brain. We don’t go from the brain in, with your thoughts down into the internal guidance system. Because the mind is going to try and make sense of the IGS But the IGS is getting information and wisdom that is totally outside of the mind’s wisdom capacity.
An example of this would be one time I was in an airport, in the Denver airport and they were shutting the airport down, I was with a friend of mine. And they said everybody got to go, whether it’s whats move in and we’re not going to have any flights out for hours. And as we were leaving, the airport before we even got out of that terminal, I was totally closed. I was thinking about getting a hotel and figuring out how to change my courses the next day and stuff I had going on. And I looked to my friend and said, “Are you close about leaving this airport? I mean have you checked that? And he goes, “yeah, totally closed”. So I said, “well let’s check in with Stan in the airport”. So we both held that we should stay here and we’ll get a flight home and we opened.
And I was like, “This is crazy.”
He goes, “let’s check it out”.
So we go back and explain or they’re really trying to convince us to leave. They’re like, “this is shutting down, nobody here but security and maintenance, you got to go” and we’re like, “ well do we have to go? They’re like, “no, but it’s going to get really uncomfortable”. And I’m like, “we’re going to stay”.
Four and a half hours later, with feeling like pretty foolish. The weather had cleared and not only were they taking a flight out of the Denver airport, they were taking it to San Francisco which is where we were going and we were the only two people on that flight. When we got home late that night.
How would my internal guided system know that and his right. So this is what I mean, the mind tries to make reason and make up stories always, about every single thing, you can’t help it. I mean anytime anything happens it begins to make reason and story. So it will try to call up the information the IGS. is getting, but it can’t. So there’s a combination of this sematic-based approach using your body to work with your mind and that is where the power is, in this new operating system and this new guidance system.
Well, so how much does trust play a role in this? or is it like a process that builds upon it? Because one of my my thoughts is how do people start to learn the difference between what’s coming from their ego or their subconscious mind? Like programmed responses to things and their actual inner GPS. I mean you talked about some techniques, but how does it actually come together to build? to get more skillful at it?
Your ego and your subconscious mind is what the internal guidance system is helping you to reprogram. What happens is and I’m going to answer your question with also giving a practice here in a minute. But I just want to explain, when you talk about the ego, that is the close that you get from your internal guidance system saying, “Hey you’re in ego here”, all ego is a collection of stories that make up who we are, that’s it. We’re about the stories and when we erase the stories and there is no ego, there’s no fear, there’s no controlling behavior which is also fear. So in doing that, that’s what’s happening. What happens is when you use the internal guidance system over a period of time you begin to realize, that is my mind which is my ego and I am something else. There’s an observer effect that becomes a natural state of who you are, as you’re moving through your life because you have this expansion contraction happening, which is a new way of navigating the world.
It does take trust because your mind is going to be driving you crazy with wanting to know answers and being afraid of making these new decisions and these new pathways that it wouldn’t necessarily recommend for you. Like staying in the airport, my mind was going crazy during that four hours like, “oh my gosh, I hope I’m right and I teach this step. If I’m not right, what am I going to do? I’m going to have to change what I do for a living, right?”
This is the kind of thing that my mind was telling me while I’m sitting in the airport. As I’m pacing back and forth and feeling like a crazy person and then it shows up. So the fastest way, the very first thing that I used to teach people is “Don’t try and find an opening” . Your mind is going to want to find an opening because that tight sensation you felt is unpleasant, right? The stress, worry, fear, frustration, overall those are unpleasant, it doesn’t do you any good. You won’t get anywhere as far as learning how to use it. The first thing you do is when you feel stressed, worry, fear, anxiety, overwhelm, frustration and any of those, first thing that you do is you say “I’m closed”, just start realizing, “hey I’m closed”. This means I’m close, it means what I’m thinking is not true, not going to happen, and you’ll feel a lightness and ease again.
I have people do this in my courses for two to three weeks at a time. Because what happens is it’s like a muscle, every time you stop, first of all you realize that you’re getting guidance from your internal guidance system, closing is guidance, that’s all it is. We’ve named It overwhelm but that’s not what it is, it’s just guidance you stop and “oh! getting guidance” and the guidance is that what I’m thinking is not true. Doesn’t matter what you’re thinking, just hold the thought, it’s not true and it’s not going to happen because that’s the truth the IGS will get into the open. It’s because it’s a truer thought.
And you’ll begin to realize that it’s that there’s is powerful way in which your thoughts are in a relationship with this internal guidance system and it builds this muscle of awareness. And from there that’s the launching point to using your IGS. Just in doing that, you begin to have an incredibly powerful experience in your life of just starting to separate yourself from your ego and the thoughts that you’re having that are not true and not serving you.
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Well, I love hearing all the parallels and similarities between a tantric approach to hatha yoga and what you’re explaining here were so much of it. It’s this the moment to moment observance or witnessing of what’s happening with our senses and with our mind and observing, just being able to acknowledge like, “oh I’m having this thought or I’m feeling close right now” and kind of noticing the process that happens to recognize like, “Oh I’m I’m actually not that story that’s coming in”. There’s there’s a deeper sense of self underneath that when you’re getting that understanding and then informing your actions based on that other understanding instead of the normal tapes and stories that are constantly cycling through the minds. So I love that.
Yes , well I think this has been talked about for centuries, by all kind of our wisdom teachers. And they’ve been trying to tell us this exact thing. Not that it’s all about the internal guidance system but they’ve been trying to put it to words I think. We’ve come to a place in humanity, where this is going to become a new aspect of who we are just like our thoughts and our emotions are. It’ll just be our IGS as well. It’s going to become that common place for us.
I work a lot with my students and understand the difference between reacting and responding. And I know that some you talk about your book as well.
How do you feel that reacting and responding are different?
And how does the IGS not only help people to recognize that difference but to choose one or the other?
So I find reaction as something that happens that has no conscious thought. It’s just something that instantaneous and there isn’t a choice involved. And then, a response, there’s choice. It’s where something occurs, there’s an experience in the body that comes usually from the mind. I differentiate emotions from the stations of the internal guidance system, they’re very two different things. So a reaction begins and we observe it, look at what our internal guidance system is providing us as far as information whether we’re open neutral or closed and then from there make a choice as to what our mind is going to be doing in the moment, and the choice is to be in the opening. Choices define the opening and step into it and then you’re responding. And the interesting thing is when you respond from an opening, you’ll find that powerful.
Things occur around you that create healthy harmony, the response creates more health and harmony and reaction often creates disharmony and discord.
And you shared with us really powerful technique of checking with the hands and the feet and all that. And I’m curious if you were to meet someone, let’s say you’re going up an elevator and you can tell they’re kind of struggling with with purpose in their life in their day today. They’re perhaps using your words not open and they’re feeling closed.
What could you say to that person?
Would you give them that technique that we went over today?
Or is there kind of a direction or something that that you would say to help that person get on the track to being able to listen to their own selves more in their IGS and all these sorts of things?
Well first, I would check and see if it opens me to help them. Because sometimes it’s none of your business and you want to check in to make sure that you’re in alignment in supporting someone else at all.
And if I was open, that there was something to be said, I would.
I can give you a couple things. I understand what you’re looking for but I would ask, I would play with my mind about what to say, what opens me there. It would be, “I have this technique that I can teach you” or whether it be listening to them for a while and then looking at what’s closing them and supporting them, it depends. Every person is different, that’s what makes this work so unique and interesting.
However, for a general person who is having a real struggle in life, they have a lot of negative thoughts going on, they feel hopeless, they feel like they can’t figure things out, that life is difficult, challenging and they feel like there are on a treadmill they’re never getting anywhere.
What I would do is I would ask them to feel their feet, their hands and listen to the room around them, be with their senses for a start. And then notice what they’re thinking and I recommend that people who are in that situation, write out everything they’re thinking just freeflow it, just let it go. Settle it down for a while and I’m not a big journal fan but sometimes you’ve got to get it out of your head so you can see it. Then I would have them go back with feeling their feet, their hands and listening to the room around them, go through each sentence of what they wrote and see which parts give them a tight closing sensation and cross them off and then look at which parts of what they’re thinking gives them an opening because there’s always a goal. And then go back and read it with just the opening thoughts and see what happens.
Awesome. I love it. I love that that it is so personal because I always get a little skeptical about sort of one size fits all approach even though the question kind of asks for that. But I appreciate your answer to say that it really does depend on the individual, which is so great and there are so many wonderful parallels being a yoga teacher myself as well.
Hearing the practices that you’re offering between that and yoga which again connects us to a human birthright that isn’t something that’s just some magical secret voodoo that one culture in one part of the world has learned but rather it’s actually part of our human experience.
yes it is.
Which is so wonderful.
I’m super excited to be out there talking about this because it’s this thing that we all have. It’s not something that’s special. Like you said, I love that it’s not magical. I love that it’s not something special it’s just who you are, it’s this amazing gift that you have that when you use it you are able to manage your own life trajectory. You’re able to create your own happiness and you get to be present with your body in the moment. Being present is such a beautiful thing, but so elusive and hard to hang on to in this crazy chaotic world. But really, when you’ve done it, when you stay and be present for a period of time, that the sense of self and peace and expansiveness that is who we are without all the chaoticness and being present is such a beautiful, powerful thing.
I want everybody to have that.
So how do we help people and our listeners have it more?
Where can we find out more about what you’re doing?
Where can people purchase your book?
I know you’ve got the website zeninamoment.com is that the best place for people to get a hold of you? Or how would you direct people to find out more about your work and what you’re doing?
Yes I have. The book is on Amazon “Your Inner GPS” , you can also buy it at zeninamoment.com, and on the homepage of zeninamoment.com there is a “Activate your Inner GPS”, it’s a free thirty day video course, little two minute videos like the exercise we did earlier and it will walk you through using it. And by the end of the thirty days, you’ll have a very good awareness of this part of yourself. I mean people are amazed that I’m giving away so much content, but my goal is to get one hundred million people on the planet before I leave using this. Because I really think that would be something that we could have a get a foothold and so it doesn’t matter if you want to come study deeper or at least come and do the thirty day video course and so that you can begin activating and using this part of yourself when you’re on a daily basis and that’s in zeninamoment.com, right on the homepage and I promise you’ll love it. It’s a really fun, it’s amazing, you get to experience this part of yourself that’s like really cool.
Awesome I love it and I love that there is so much information out there on your website where people can get involved and if they’re a little skeptical and not really willing to make the commitment of money yet, that there’s things that they can connect in with you more and get a sense of this work by the free course. That’s awesome. Well thank you.
Just one practice, just so you know the book has twenty practices. It’s like a meat and potatoes book that tells you everything you need to know. It’s a manual.
I love it. yeah, I love it like at the end of almost every single chapter, there’s a practice which I think is so important to keep it out of the mind and intellect alone and really be doing things to feel it in body so much more. So that’s definitely appreciated as well.
Awesome. Well thanks again so much for being on the show today Zen. I am certain that our listeners have learned a lot and I hope they try some of the practices and see how it lands with all of them and they can learn from. It’s been great having you on the show today, thank you so much. To all of our listeners out there, thank you for listening and I hope you have learned a lot. It’s been great having you join us today.
Hope you all have a very present moment. Namaste
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We really appreciate your feedback. Thanks again for listening. Namaste.
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