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An Exploration of the “Self” – Part 3: The Untethered Soul

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Last segment, you learned that you are not the voice inside your head. You are the one who hears it. Now that we’ve called attention to this voice, you’ve probably been noticing it more, and what you’ve probably discovered is that most of what it says is meaningless and a waste of energy.

Life happens all around us. The sun rises and sets, irrespective of what the voice says. Our thoughts have far less impact on the world than we think.

Now don’t get all bent out of shape. I’m not minimizing your uniqueness or your contributions to the human race. But who you are is so much more than the contents of your thoughts.

I’m not advocating that you stop thinking all thoughts. I’m simply asking that you take a step back from the voice inside your head to see them for what they are: NOT YOU. You are the one who hears the voice, remember?

Okay. Moving on. If most of what the voice says is useless, then why does it exist? One reason is because there’s a buildup of nervous, fearful, angry energies. Think about the last time you were pissed off at someone. Now think about how many times the inner voice told them off even before you saw them. When energy builds up, the impulse is to DO something about it; talking releases that energy. The voice talks because you’re not okay on the inside. But guess what? All that inner yammering isn’t going to make you feel better on the inside…at least not for long.

The real cause of problems is not life itself. It’s the commotion the mind makes about life that really causes problems. – Michael Singer

Let me break it down. The mind gets ahold of that nervous, fearful, or angry energy and creates a story about how you’ve been wronged, misunderstood, ignored, walked all over, taken advantage of…. You get my drift. And then what happens next? The voice tells you to take some action: tell that person a thing or two, ignore him because that’ll teach him, set a boundary, punch his lights out, you name it.

I’m not implying that those actions are unwise. They may very well be. What is unwise, is your tendency to believe wholeheartedly the story the mind has spun, and to act out on its recommendations. Why do you believe the voice of the mind so easily without question? Because you haven’t cultivated the ability to discern the voice from who you truly are.

Next time you have an abundance of nervous, fearful, angry, even joyous energies, pay attention to how the mind takes hold.

Pay attention to how it rapidly weaves a story, and doles out a multiplicity of recommended actions, all of which feel true and justified. And seeing if in that moment you can say, Ahhh, there you are. I know you well. You’re the voice inside my head. Because each time you do, you cultivate a little more discernment between you and the voice, and between what is wise and what is unwise.

Take a meditation course at La Maida Institute, any one of our yoga classes. Meet with one of our discerning psychotherapists. All of these practices, which invite us to slow down, pay attention to our inner landscape, and simply name what is arising in the field of our awareness, be it a body sensation, a thought, memory, and yes, you guessed it: the voice inside our head, we cultivate a wiser relationship to that voice, to memories, to our bodies, and ultimately a wiser relationship to all beings we come into contact with. Now…how great would that be?

Stay tuned for our next segment, where we’ll discuss a second function of the voice inside our head and how it has the potential to ruin our lives. Haha. Joking…but kinda not.

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