I recently finished the books The Power Of Now + The Untethered Soul — woah. The only ~constructive criticism~ I have for The Power Of Now is that the subtitle is: A Guide To Spiritual Enlightenment. Call me a pessimist, but I’m not a big fan of the word “enlightenment.” I think it feels too exclusive — something untouchable to everyone but the ~gurus~. Instead, I prefer the words peace + joy + freedom. Instead of desiring enlightenment, which I picture as someone meditating under a tree in a bliss bubble, I desire peace, joy, + freedom in my everyday life. I know that there will be times that I fall, but as I continue on the journey to peel off the layers, I believe the anxieties//fear//suffering will be less… + instead I’ll lean into each challenging situation with acceptance, knowing that I will grow from it.
One of the main concepts both books touched on is that in order to achieve freedom, we must become aware of the voice inside our heads.
We have a NEVERENDING mental dialogue going on inside our heads. It’s relentless, + many times ruthless. It keeps going + going + going + going… until we drift off to sleep. Then it pops back up the next morning [or even in the middle of the night if you wake up] + starts back up again. IT NEVER STOPS. A few questions from The Untethered Soul:
- Have you ever wondered why it talks in there?
- How does it decide what to say + when to say it?
- How much of what it says turns out to be true?
- How much of what it says is even important?
It’s time to take a step back + get to know this voice. Right now, take 5–10 minutes + just observe the voice in your head. You’ll notice that it’s fluttering between constantly taking sides + randomly bursting out thoughts. Positive or negative, just sharply focus your attention on the dialogue your mind is having inside your head.
Okay, now I’m going to say something kind of radical. You are not the voice of your mind — you are the one who hears it. Most of what that voice says is meaningless + a waste of energy… + many, many times repeated thoughts. In addition, these thoughts are not having an affect on anyone but you — they are making you feel better or worse about the past, present, or future. While we tend to dwell on the “problems” outside of us, in most situations our problems are stemming from our mind — the chatterbox.
SO WHAT DO WE DO? HOW DO WE MAKE IT STOP? HELP.
First, we must understand why the voice talks… + the reason is because there is a buildup of energy, typically of desire or fear. But, unfortunately, even when we are just going about our day walking down the street, it still talks to us. The voice narrates our world. This can be a beautiful thing. It allows us to find comfort in the world about us + have a relationship with everything we come in contact with. It defines our values + experiences — it’s our personal perception of life. Isn’t it interesting to think how we all have a different persepective on life? Through our inner world, we are able to create + control everything… while our outer world carries on to the beat of its drum.
The reality is that the voice cannot be stopped. However, we can do something about it when the voice is not benefitting us. We can notice is, + we can recognize that the voice is not who we are. When can turn our worries, distractions, + suffering thoughts into a stepping stone towards growth + the peace, joy, + freedom we all want.
“To attain true inner freedom, you must be able to objectively watch your problems instead of being lost in them. No solution can possibly exist while you’re lost in the energy of a problem. Everyone knows you can’t deal with a situation if you’re getting anxious, sacred, or angry about it.” [The Untethered Soul]
When you believe you have a problem, ask yourself — “What part of me is being disturbed by this?” Why do you believe that this situation is a problem? Notice your emotional reaction. I always feel tightness in my jaw, a pit in my stomach, or stiff shoulders. ~Relax. Breathe. Loosen your grip.~
To achieve peace, joy, + freedom we must find peace in pain. [Um…. what?] As you guys know, change is the only constant in life. ++ change can be crazy uncomfortable! It takes a stab at our previous belief system in our comfort zone. Once we choose to accept change, we can be free from the stressors that want to keep us in our old harmful patterns that make us feel insecure, jealous, fearful, or self-conscious. After we accept the change, we must lean into it + widen the edges of our comfort zones — maybe just a little at a time. This is how we are able to learn from experiences. For many situations, we will find that there’s nothing to deal with except our own fears + desires.
“Unease, anxiety, tension, stress, worry — all forms of fear — are cuased by too much future + not enough presence. Guilt, regret, resentment, grievances, sadness, bitterness, + all forms of nonforgiveness are cuasaed by too much past + not enough presence.” [The Power Of Now]
I could talk about this for hours. The biggest takeaway: It’s important for us to be aware of how the voice in our head operates our life. For many of us, we are either stuck in the past or future… not in the present moment. We are not soaking up the fullness that life has to offer us. We hold the power to live life on our terms + not be brought down by “the voice.” We hold the power to change the outlook of our “problems” into events that we deal with in the present moment + learn from. WE CAN DO THIS! I BELIEVE IN US! : )
Mediate — This week, take 10 minute every morning to meditate. YUP, mediate ; ). Sit in silence + just observe your thoughts. Be aware of the dialogue, but don’t be attached to any thoughts. Let them pass like clouds in a blue sky. Continue to return to stillness — I find it helpful to have a word that I can come back to, or just use your breath!
Journal — Each day, write down any time you become aware of a “suffering” thought//emotion [anything you feel is not contributing to your highest self] — try to understand the root of it… what are you resisting?
Action — If this ~stuff~ [at a loss of what to call it… change in perspective?!] interests you, I encourage you to read The Power Of Now + The Untethered Soul. SO MUCH GOOD STUFF!
Rooting for you always,