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Do you have a detailed understanding of the complex systems of your body? Do you consider yourself the expert in your body? Do you understand the language of your body and how it speaks to you?

Most people I talk with will answer "no" to these questions. Most people rely on an outside expert, often a doctor or specialist, to explain their body to them and very few, including the doctor, can speak the language of your body.

As a speech language pathologist, I am constantly reminding mothers that they know their babies best. They know their routines, they know their behaviors, and even though an infant doesn't speak, they are able to effectively communicate their needs with their mother. She is able to know whether the cry is a hungry cry or a pain cry.

She is able to know how to soothe and care for the baby not because someone taught her the intricacies of infant communication but because she has spent time with her baby and speaks her baby's language. She also knows when something is off, even if the baby isn't crying. She is in tune with the baby's nonverbal communication and behaviors and can determine when she needs further help understanding what is happening with the baby.

She may call her mom, google it, or go to the doctor. How does a mother know? We all know that babies don't come with an instruction book. She certainly doesn't ignore it. She can't. It's a nagging certainty that something isn't right and she will usually stick with it until she determines what is off.

How does she know? It's instinct. A mother and baby have an instinctual bond and understanding that makes it possible to meet their needs without formal training. Yes, she may seek help and guidance along the way but ultimately she knows her baby best and gives the information to the expert to understand what is off and be able to give guidance.

This is exactly why you are the expert in YOUR body! This understanding of what your body feels like and how it operates is innately programmed into each of us but we forget it, or even worse, discount or ignore it because we are busy with other things.

This is common with what I refer to as SAD, the standard American diet and lifestyle. We are so busy and distracted that we don't even realize that our bodies are trying to communicate what is needed. When they break down we get frustrated and angry at them because they are limiting what we can do. We go to the doctor and get medications to treat the pain and symptoms.

cars on the road (Facebook Post) (Facebook Cover)

A Simple Metaphor

In this blog series, I want to introduce you to the simple metaphor that takes complex systems and intricacies of our bodies and helps you tap into your innate understanding of those systems that you likely have never been taught to recognize.

We each come into this world on a journey. Our journeys look different for every single one of us but we are all indeed on a journey called life. We each have a body with which we navigate life. Come with me as we explore your body as a vehicle with which we travel through life as a journey.

Each vehicle is amazing! It comes perfectly equipped with every special feature you need for your specific journey. Each of our vehicles is individual to our specific journey and the conditions we will encounter along the way.

Of course, all vehicles need power and that power comes from energy. The battery and electrical system of your vehicle are not unlike the energetic and nervous systems of your body. If your battery doesn't start you're dead, and if there is a short in your electrical system you are not getting very far down the road.

No less important than energy is the fuel because with an empty tank or the wrong fuel you are also not getting very far down the road. Of course, food for our bodies is just as important as fuel for our vehicles. Eating the wrong foods is very much like putting diesel in a gas engine. It works great for a diesel engine but it destroys a gas engine. It's important to know what fuel your vehicle requires as it will affect its function and operation.

Your vehicle requires good quality oil and routine maintenance to continue to operate most efficiently. Not changing the oil, rotating the tires, checking your fluid levels, getting new wipers, tires, or hoses will surely leave you broken down on the side of the road. For our bodies, hydration and supplements help our systems function smoothly. Without systematic and routine self-care our bodies will experience a similar breakdown.

Each vehicle comes equipped with its own driver. Super cool, but the driver can only do what it's told. The driver is constantly looking for threats and obstacles along the road making thousands of decisions in minutes processing like a supercomputer. The driver's main objective is to get you there alive. That's it!

The driver is your mind and although we think it is smart, it really is just processing what it is told and identifying threats to your survival. The information you are giving your mind to process is what is affecting where you are going and how you are getting there.

The navigation system is actually the smarts of the operation. The navigation system knows the journey and the best routes, the alternative routes, the road closures, the delays, and the pit stops. Unfortunately, sometimes the navigation system is drowned out by the noise of the vehicle, the road, or the environment around it. Sometimes the navigation system is ignored by the driver because it's not familiar and deviates from what the driver believes.

Our own personal navigation system is our spirit, our eternal intelligence. Our spirit knows the life we were born to live and the capabilities of our bodies. Unfortunately, the spirit within us is quiet and is often drowned out by the noise of our lifestyles and world. When we tune in to our spirit we find that all of the directions we are seeking are available to us. Sometimes we doubt our spirit because our mind is running on limiting beliefs or incomplete information.

Your vehicle must navigate through all types of weather and driving conditions on your journey. It's not always ideal conditions. Taking a detour or waiting it out may be necessary. Recognize that your vehicle is equipped for your journey but it may require more maintenance or time to get there. This is not unlike the body getting through this life. We can't control the weather or the conditions around us but we can control how we prepare and navigate through them.

**Bonus feature**

Some vehicles are equipped with special indicator lights that tell you how the systems are functioning. You may get a low fuel warning or check engine light if a system is failing. Of course, some lights are easier to read than others but they are telling you exactly where to look for maintenance and repair. Ignoring the indicator lights or covering them up is sure to result in a breakdown and possibly even engine failure.

Autoimmune diseases are the indicator lights of our bodies. Learning to understand what the symptoms are telling us about our systems can give us a shortcut to understanding where we need support and healing. Likewise, ignoring symptoms or covering them with medications can compound the disease and lead to system failures.

**Forgotten Feature**

All vehicles come with an owner's manual but it is often overlooked because you've been taught how to drive and operate the vehicle. Make no mistake that driving the vehicle (any mind can do that) is far different than maintaining it. In order to keep your vehicle in optimal condition while you get where you are going, you'll need to use your owner's manual.

This is where I come in as the narrator to this metaphor. I guess you could call me a mechanic of sorts. I've been on this journey of life for a bit and I've been taught about all of these different systems and how to repair them.

I recognize that all of our vehicles are different but there are similarities that, when trained to recognize them, can be taught and repaired through a lifestyle program. So I put it all together in a framework that helps you recognize the warning lights, understand what they mean, and support you with the knowledge and tools to repair the damage. I help guide you to the best mechanic in town. YOU!

Learn more about thriving with autoimmune diseases and the Living WOW Lifestyle at https://risetoshine.life/

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