"You are not the voice of the mind, you are the one who hears it." - Michael Singer
You know that voice in your head...the one that runs every waking moment? "I really should get off my butt and go for a walk," or, "I wonder why she hasn't called me back...she must not value our friendship very much," or one of my favorites, "How am I going to stop everything that is wrong in the world?" ;)
Sometimes the thoughts are simply reactions to things we see in our environment. "There sure is a lot of traffic...it is going to take me forever to get home,", or, "Look at that dog..he is so cute. He reminds me of a dog I had when I was little. I sure miss that dog....life was so much simpler when I was a little girl...why does everything have to be so complicated?"
So, you start with an observation of a dog, and the voice in your head leads you down a road to starting to think about all the ways that your life is complicated. That voice in our head gets us into a lot of trouble!
The thing is, we think that we "are" the voice in our heads. I would like to suggest to you that we are in fact, not the voice, but the one that is listening to the voice. Let that sink in for a moment...if you really were the voice in your head, then who would be the one who hears it? You are actually the consciousness that is sitting behind that voice, taking it all in...
Let's explore this a bit further with an analogy. Let't imagine that you are going away to school, and moving into a residence with a new roommate; someone you have never met before. As you are settling into your new place, your roommate comes bustling into the room, talking a mile a minute. An hour later, you are still hanging clothes in your closet, and, you guessed it, she is still talking, and talking, and talking...Some of the information she is offering is interesting and helpful, but let's be honest here, much of what she is saying is not relevant, or is simply stating the obvious. You pretty quickly decide that this girl is a compulsive over-talker and quite possibly, crazy! It also becomes evident that you simply are not going to be able to live with someone who talks this much constantly. You see where I am going with this?? If we would not be willing to live in a physical space with someone who rambles on about nothing, then why would we want to live with that incessant voice in our head, talking nonsense much of the time? We have a choice in this, my friends.
What it, the next time your "inner roommate" started ranting about something that doesn't add anything to your life, you were to make the decision to lean away from this "merry-go-round" of inner chatter to give yourself some quiet? There are a number of different ways to accomplish this. Michael Singer, the author of "The Untethered Soul," suggests that when we hear that voice running in circles in our head, to just "lean back," far enough from the thoughts and negative feelings that they bring up, to let them pass through us...to not "close" around the feelings and hence lock them into our hearts and bodies, but to notice them and give them space to move through us. This technique requires a certain amount of present-moment awareness, which comes naturally to those that meditate regularly, but can also be accomplished with a minute or two of slow, deep breathing. I love this idea, and put it into practice quite often.
Another way to take control when your "roommate" is running off at the mouth is simply to hear yourself say loudly, "STOP" in your mind, (or out loud if you are alone and/or not worried about other people thinking that you are losing your marbles!), and picture a big red stop sign or red light in your mind's eye. This will create enough of a break in the inner dialogue for you to break that pattern and choose something more constructive to think about.
A third way for you to change the inner dialogue to something that serves you better is to utilize "Tapping". This is a simple technique where you use your fingers to tap on meridian points on your body to send a message of relaxation to your nervous system. I advocate for the "FasterEFT" style of tapping, which involves "aiming" at the situation or negative thoughts/beliefs that are bothering you when you tap. This style of tapping is very simple and effective. I will be going into more detail about this in coming posts, but if you would like more information on that, just drop me a line and I can help you out.
How much freedom could you give yourself if you weren't constantly preoccupied with listening to that incessant voice in your head? How much more energy would you have to use constructively, and to go after the things that light you up and bring you contentment and joy? Every thought that we think has a corresponding chemical reaction...so let's learn to recognize that we are not the voice in our heads, take control of our thoughts and emotions, and choose to use our inner voice to create more excitement, happiness and peace in our lives.
I will close with more wisdom from Mr. Singer:
"The day that you decide that you are more interested in being aware of your thoughts than the thoughts themselves - that is the day the you will find your way out. "
I look forward to helping you take control over the voice in your head, and create a life that you love. Let's do this!