The Voice Inside Your Head

This poem from Steve Taylor is so clear about what happens when we begin to face the voice inside our heads.

voice inside your head Photo by Elina Krima on Pexels.com

“One day you’ll grow fed up with the voice inside your head
with its constant murmurings of discontent
its fear mongering thoughts of the future
and its questioning of every choice you make.

One day you’ll turn to it and calmly say, “I refuse to listen”
then stand back and look away
turning your attention to your surroundings
or to a quietness and spaciousness you can sense inside you, just behind the voice.

The voice is so self absorbed
that at first it won’t even notice its being ignored
and will carry on chattering away to itself.
You’ll still hear its complaints and criticisms
but they won’t convince you any more –
your’ll doubt them, laugh at them, reject them.

And gradually, without the fuel of your attention,
the voice will become more hesitant
will stumble and slow down, leaving space;
until eventually that self assertive drawl that demanded to be heard
and seemed to submerge the rest of reality
will be no louder than a whisper, like a gentle breeze
that seems to be part of silence.”

Yes – this is how it can happen when we recognize that the voice inside our head isn’t who we really are. It doesn’t speak the truth. The thoughts and anxiety that appear are coming from a place of fear and powerlessness from when we were young. It has kept us safe… but then it can also take over and become the harshest critic and judger of ourselves, others, and the world.

What would it be like to start to ignore this voice and reject it?

Many of us think there is something wrong with us to have this voice. That it shouldn’t be there. That it shows a dark side of ourselves that we don’t want to admit to.

Yet, there is nothing wrong here. It is part of who we are as humans. And it is something for us to step back from, recognize and face so we can change it and transform ourselves.

Peace is on the other side of this long journey.

Namaste

Inspiration – Freedom

jumpshot photography of woman in white and yellow dress near body of water

Photo by Quang Anh Ha Nguyen on Pexels.com

“Perhaps the biggest tragedy of our lives is that freedom is possible, yet we can pass our years trapped in the same old patterns…We may want to love other people without holding back, to feel authentic, to breathe in the beauty around us, to dance and sing. Yet each day we listen to inner voices that keep our life small.”

~ Tara Brach, Radical Acceptance

As long as we listen to – and believe – our thoughts, we will be stuck in the same old patterns.

This is big.

Freedom is there for all of us.

When we see that our thinking is not the truth… When we understand that our ego mind creates critical thoughts to keep us from harm and to keep us small…. We awaken to our real life journey.

Listen to your heart and break free.

* The Four Keys to Being Present

This is second part of the article Being Present at Work. In this post I’d like to share the 4 keys to help you become more present.

smiling woman at work

1. Break the Habit of Multitasking

When we multitask, no one person or activity gets our attention, and in small and large ways, our relationships with others can suffer. Here are some practices to commit to:

  1. Give full attention when someone comes into the office or you answer the phone:
  • Stop what you are doing and turn your body towards the person. Smile and breathe.
  • Decide whether this is a good time to talk or schedule for later.
  • Commit to making human contact with this person 😊
  1. Focus in when you have an important task to do:
  • Set time aside to commit to this task and eliminate all distractions – people interruptions, email, phone etc.
  • Relax your body and stretch. Take a couple of deep breaths to center yourself. Focus on the task at hand.

2. Check in With Yourself – feel your feet and breathe

Taking time to pause and check in with yourself during the day is invaluable in being present at work. Some people use a phone app with programed alerts, while others plan short break at certain times or when doing certain tasks. It only takes a moment to pause. (When we remember!)

When we think and worry too much we are in our head. When we notice this its time to ask “Am I present?” “What’s going on with my breath?” “Is there tension in my body?”

– Sit comfortably with your back straight. Feel your feet firmly planted on the ground. Feeling the nerves in the soles of your feet will keep you grounded.

– Take a full diaphragmatic breath. Place your hand on your belly and feel your belly expanding with each inhale and coming back to the spine with each exhale. Under stress or exertion we tend to breath from our chest. Full diaphragmatic breaths calm the vagus nerve and the fight or flight response.

You cannot avoid being in the present if you concentrate on your breath.

content man meditating3. Change your Perspective – transform your inner critic

Recognize that the inner critic is a distinct voice that is not you. It’s usually a combination of voices from the past. These negative beliefs come from fear and will sabotage us – especially when we step out of our comfort zone or are stressed. Recognize the voice and verbalize it. Look beyond the voice and find a bigger place to come from. For example:

– Think of a time in your life when you overcame fear and accomplished something important to you. Feel that personal pride.

– Think of someone who gives you love and support. Keep that person in mind and recall how they treated you.

– Laugh at yourself. Humor always helps diminish the critic. Lighten up its only the inner critic!

– Focus on your goal and intention – the outcome you want to achieve and the feeling you want to feel when you’ve achieved it!

– Focus on others instead of yourself. Who is there who would appreciate your support right now?

– Do something pleasurable because our inner critic hates pleasure and wants to keep us feeling miserable.

4. Let Thoughts go – experience the experience

Something powerful can happen when we accept our fear and embrace it – it diminishes! As Carl Jung said, “What we resist will persist”, and that is true for the fear in our head. Don’t be afraid to focus on the fear or feeling. By accepting it for what it is, we can free ourselves from the reaction in our minds.

An additional step is to focus on the sensations in the body, rather than the thoughts or judgements. Feel that flutter in the stomach, the dry mouth and the sweaty palms. Breathe through it and observe your body calming.
Experience the experience.

 

 

* Ego is Like a Block of Ice

melting ice cube

So many of us hate our ego, our inner critic and judge. We want to get rid of it so we can evolve into more spiritual beings.
This inner violence (yes it is!) only reinforces the ego’s survival instincts. It will find an other way and grow stronger faced with adversity…. and the battle continues.

Does it really have to be like this? Here is an other approach that is cool and refreshing 💙

“Think of ego as a great block of ice.

When you slug ego, you play by its hurtful and pain-inducing rules. You bruise your knuckles and grow angrier each time you slug it.

But when you hug ice, it has no choice: it must gradually disappear.

Not immediately, no; but if you persist, it will melt, will it not?

This is precisely how it works to rid yourself of ego.

Hug it and it melts away.

And what remains is the oceanic freedom that is the pinnacle of human existence—the freedom to live, to love, and to be loved.

At a personal level it is pure self-love and joy; at a collective level it is a peace that can save our beloved planet and grace all the peoples of the world.”*

Dr David Mutchler

I have read many different approaches to dealing with ego on our spiritual journey. This is one that really resonates because it comes from the heart and not just the intellect.

How easy it is to forget that ego likes to hide in our mind and our thinking …

Namaste

*Taken from https://evolutionarymystic.wordpress.com/hug-ego-dont-slug-it/

If this perspective fascinates you, and you want to explore more deeply,  I would highly recommend checking out the amazing resources at David Mutchler’s WordPress blog Evolutionary Mystic.

* Delight in Waking Up

 

waking up to sunshine

Believe in the goodness of your soul.

Acknowledge how well it has guided you.

And yet know that you will fall asleep along the way.

When you sleep,

Take no delight in blaming yourself.

Take delight in waking yourself up once more.

Self blame is the deepest injury,

The deepest sleep of all.

Wake yourself up with gentle affection.

Yogi Amrit Desai

I love this perspective 🙂

In the highs and lows of life, its all too easy to become disconnected from our inner Presence.

We fall further asleep when we blame or criticize ourselves and cannot see our innate goodness.

May we all take delight in waking up with gentle affection…

* Inspiration – Self Observation

A reminder for all of us who are working on self observation and dealing with our inner critic.

Be gentle with yourself on this part of the journey.

listen to yourself

Self-Observation Without Judgment 

Release the harsh and pointed inner voice.

It’s just a throwback to the past,
and holds no truth about this moment.

Let go of self-judgment, the old,
learned ways of beating yourself up
for each imagined inadequacy.

Allow the dialogue within the mind
to grow friendlier, and quiet.

Shift out of inner criticism and life
suddenly looks very different.

I can say this only because I make
the choice a hundred times a day to release the voice that refuses to
acknowledge the real me.

What’s needed here isn’t more prodding toward perfection, but
intimacy – seeing clearly, and embracing what I see.

Love, not judgment, sows the
seeds of tranquility and change.

Danna Faulds from “One Soul”

The last line will be with me all day 🙂

* Reflections – People are our Mirrors

No pun intended here 😉 just some morning musings…

There is an old saying, “It takes one to know one.”

We see in others what we like and don’t like in ourselves.

 

 

people are our mirrors

If people are our mirrors, then everyone is a reflection of myself.

Its important for me to accept others for who they are.

Otherwise I am rejecting aspects of myself.

When I admire an aspect of someone I am recognizing that this is a part of myself.

When I am judging of others I am not accepting that I am judging of myself.

When I get annoyed because they are needy, I am rejecting my own needs and nurturing myself.

When I get frustrated when people go too slowly, then I am not accepting when I need to go slowly.

And of course, the best of all …. When I get upset when I feel others are controlling, I am rejecting the controlling part of me.

Ouch!

Our own inner critic is the voice of this self rejection.

Listen to it and love it for pointing out what to embrace rather than reject.

Remember there is no good or bad… And beneath it all is our deep longing for love and acceptance.

Namaste

 

 

* Inspiration – Voice in our Head

“What a liberation to realize that the “voice in my head” is not who I am. Who am I then? The one who sees that.”

Eckhart Tolle

When we are able to step back and notice our thoughts, beliefs, judgments, its good to know that we are on our spiritual journey.

After all, for so many years we believed that these thoughts were our truth and who we were.

Today is a great day to remind ourselves:

We are not our thinking.

We are so much more than this.

We are the witness on a path of compassion and kindness for ourselves and others.

May you find peace beyond your thoughts today.

Val x

* Off the Path

In the pendulum of life  … when we find ourselves off our path

woman off her path

Remember

every moment is an opportunity to re-commit

Don’t let your thinking get you down and disconnect you from what matters most

Remember

you are not your thinking

and the past is over

Let go of the thoughts and come into the present moment

The only moment is now

Connect with the spark within that is your guide and shining light on the path

girl walking on her path

And keep going – one step at a time.

Hugs

Val

* A Mindful Moment on Life Purpose

interconnected and opposite in nature

Eckhart Tolle tells us our purpose is to awaken.

Awaken to what?

Awaken to the realization that we are all connected. We are not separate.

We are part of a larger consciousness. We are connected to, and are a part of the Divine, Source, God, Presence, Universe, Consciousness, Love or whatever word works for you.

When we realize that, our world shifts away from “I” and the self.

All paths agree that we can only awaken when we pause and become a compassionate observer of ourselves.

In the present moment, and especially through mindfulness meditation, we become accepting of all aspects of ourselves and the perceived polarities within us. *

As human beings we all have inner critters, critics, gremlins or judges. It goes with the territory.

However, as long as we believe our inner critic

And judge ourselves harshly

We will remain asleep.

Our purpose begins not with awakening, but by being kind to all aspects of ourselves…. including our inner critic.

 

 

*The polarities within us  are for example: clever and stupid; loving and hateful;  strong and weak ; generous and mean; open and closed; humble and proud etc. Aspects of ourselves that we might see as light and shadow.

* How is Your Sense of Human?

Have you noticed how our computers and smartphones are becoming more intuitive when it comes to our spelling? For example, when I type in meditate it changes  to mediate. Learned appears as lean red…..
Texting now comes with so many errors that I have given up trying to change them. It happens to all of us. Let’s let that one go! 🙂

The other day I was commenting on Louise’s blog “Dare Boldly”. I typed in “sense of humor” and Apple changed it to sense of human. How funny and very true for this post about picking up in her yard!

It made me pause …. Having a sense of humor about being human is so important as we go through the highs and lows of life.

owl laughing

A sense of human is when…

  • we embrace our inner critter when it gets up to mischief!
  • we can laugh at our imperfections … and then give ourselves a hug 🙂
  • we notice all aspects of ourselves and can say “How curious!” “How fascinating!” or “How hilarious!”
  • we realize that life is actually like a daytime soap opera!
  • we look in the mirror, see our parent and laugh out loud!
  • we find ourselves noticing the pain and struggle in others and bring lightness their way …
  • we appreciate that laughter feeds our souls and is good for our health 😛

So share often!

 

 

The Hardest Step on Our Journey

Looking back on my own journey, I realize that the first step – getting to know myself, was exciting and captivating – as long as I only looked at the things I liked about myself…..images

Being an observer of all aspects of ourselves – without judgment – is the hardest step of all.

As a coach, I really wanted to be good at my own personal growth, and was hard on myself when I wasn’t! While I was able to be understanding and compassionate to others, I wasn’t able to give myself that same compassion. I gave myself an A for empathy … but when it came to myself I was a poor C.

This went on for years. I thought I was evolving. Helping and supporting others. Becoming a more caring human being. Becoming more giving…..

…  And then my yoga practice helped me see the truth. I was kidding myself. No one can be enlightened without being compassionate towards themselves.

Kitten seeing reflectionGetting real about ourselves is an empowering step on our evolution as human beings. When we accept ourselves just as we are, without judgment – on the yoga mat or off it –  then we find our middle ground.

It took me years to get over this conditioning and to start being kind and accepting of myself.

Its never too late to start on this journey of acceptance and self caring. The next time you hear your inner critic, ask yourself  “Is this really the truth or could this be a habit that no longer serves me”?

Then give yourself a big hug 😊