Have you ever felt like you were going out of your mind? The joke is that we actually use that expression when we’re stuck IN our minds and thoughts that are driving us nuts. But imagine if we could go outside of our minds and unleash ourselves from that constant inner dialogue that chains us 24/7.
That is what Michael Singer, author of The Untethered Soul explores.
Bookworm that I am, I’ve found that books have the power to be life changing. So once a month I’ll be reviewing a book I love and that I think you might love too.
In his twenties, Singer had a moment in which he suddenly became aware of his thoughts and the crazy constant narration going on in his head. Then almost simultaneously he had a satori moment: if he was hearing these voices then who was he? The answer? Awareness, consciousness.
These words can sound abstract, but part of Singer’s brilliance is how he brings everything down to earth in such a cogent, practical way.
Like all worthwhile things, it’s not so easy to connect to what he calls simply “awareness.” Yet Singer gives a wonderful life hack on how to do so. He suggests taking the constant narration going on in your mind, put it into the mouth of an imagined person, and call it your roommate, because after all, this person is with you 24/7.
Very quickly you’ll notice how crazy and neurotic this roommate actually is – how he or she is constantly talking, jumping from one subject to another, going from one problem to the next.
Singer asks,”how would you feel if someone outside really started talking to you the way your inner voice does?”
I’ve begun exploring this, and unsurprisingly discovered that my housemate is a real head case.
Recently I went to a training for volunteers in which many of participants were either coaches, therapists, or in other helping professions. The facilitator asked for a volunteer for a role play. No one was raising their hand. Despite my over 30 years of experience as a therapist, I immediately went into freeze mode.
“No, don’t look at her. You don’t want her to choose you. What if you don’t ‘perform’ well in front of your peers? That would be horrible. You’ll feel so ashamed.” Yada, yada, yada. I couldn’t believe how fearful my roommate was. But the moment I was able to step back and notice this frantic inner dialogue, my witness self, the one who is always there inside, was calm.
Mind you, I didn’t volunteer, as becoming conscious of all this took time, and by then, a lovely young woman volunteered and did a great job.
I could have gotten tangled up in feeling small, playing the comparison game, or all kinds of other head trips. I did get wound up, momentarily. But there was a gift, too, in that I succeeded in connecting to the self who is always there, aware.
The Untethered Soul is a wonderful hands on manual to leading a life of greater consciousness and true freedom. Few writers can write about something as abstract as awareness as clearly as he does, giving clear signposts on how to uncover the treasure that has always been right inside. As he writes:
There is nothing more important to true growth than realizing that you are not the voice of the mind – you are the one who hears it…. The one inside who is aware that you are always talking to yourself about yourself is always silent…. Come to know the one who watches the voice, and you will come to know one of the great mysteries of creation.
I’ve used some of his tips with my clients to help them discover their own wonderful witness self. While initially they respond with confusion, invariably it leads to them to a big “aha!” and an even bigger sense of peace.
Tony Robbins, the world famous coach, is fond of saying “stay in your head, you’re dead.”
Singer gives us a remedy for getting out of your head and into feeling truly alive and free.
The Untethered Soul is one of those rare books – a life changer. I wish I could buy everyone copy but in lieu of that, this month I’m doing a book give away. So if you’re not already signed up for my newsletter subscribe now to get great resources as well as future freebies and give aways.
To be eligible to win your very own copy of The Untethered Soul, just share this blog post on Facebook by clicking on the button at the bottom. Then either tag me, or let me know that you’ve done it in some way before May 22.
I’ll announce the winner on FB on May 23. So share it now! Whatcha waiting for?
Until then, carpe diem, grab this wonderful day.