Ehhhh…..I shoulda toined left at Albuquoique….

When I was young, when there was no one to tell me I couldn’t and I hadn’t yet acquired any inner scripts that shouted out fears and criticisms, it was easy to get wherever I wanted to go.

I wanted to be a writer like my dad and my uncle, so I wrote a book in fourth grade that was “published” in the school library. Later, I won awards for my writing and eventually made a living doing it for over 20 years.

I wanted to be an actress, so I coerced talked all my friends into joining me in staging neighborhood plays. Later, I joined a repertory company and made a career doing voiceovers that continues to this day.

I wanted to live in Chicago, so I dropped out of school and moved there.

After a year, I wanted a change, so I moved to Ann Arbor and finished college.

All along, without even knowing it, I was keenly tuned in to my own inner sense of navigation, of what worked for me and what didn’t. I didn’t know anything about fear, or “supposed to’s,” or “shouldn’ts.” I just figured out what I wanted, and then I went for it.

It comes easier when we’re young.

And then the doubts set in. The second-guessing. The fear. The inner backseat driver pipes up with criticisms, and complaints. We start to believe that there are right turns and wrong ones, good and bad destinations, unattainable or unreasonable or selfish goals.

If we do this long enough, we simply stall out. Oh, we might be revving our motors, spinning our wheels, and giving ourselves the illusion that we’re making progress. But as long as we’ve got ourselves chained to the back of the garage by all those rules and judgments, we’re not going anywhere.

We’ve lost touch with what I call our inner GPS, that finely calibrated, innate sense of direction we’re all born with and often misplace along the way. We forget to turn it on. We turn it on, but we forget to listen. We don’t maintain it properly, by giving it enough healthy fuel and positive feedback. Worse, we sometimes acquire someone else’s GPS–our mother’s, or our spouse’s, or the one called peer pressure or cultural norms–and we start listening to that one instead.

There is no “should.” There is no “can’t.” There is no good or bad place to be. Right now, right here, you are where you are. To your inner GPS, it’s just data. And where you want to be instead? That’s just data, too.

Your inner GPS won’t beat you up and make you review every “wrong” turn you took to get you here before it will help you move forward. Your inner GPS won’t berate you for being where you are. And your inner GPS will never ever tell you that you can’t get there—wherever “there” is for you—from here.

Turn on. Tune in. And drop out of the “should” and “shouldn’t” game. This is, as the poet Mary Oliver says, “your one wild and precious life.” Learn how to get back behind the wheel, ignore the backseat drivers, and listen to your inner GPS with all your heart and soul.

Class begins Tuesday, March 1. Join us. It will, quite simply, change your life.

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