Who Are You?
I am reading, or perhaps a better way to describe it would be studying, a book called The Untethered Soul by Michael A. Singer. It is probably one of the best books I’ve read that helps explains the Buddhist concept of Monkey Mind – what we in the West call “worry” or in psychological terms “ego”.
Singer calls it your Inner Roommate. It is the voice inside your head that is constantly chattering about anything and everything. It argues with itself, and it invents scenarios out of nothing that cause you to second guess yourself and talks you out of doing what it is that you know you want to be doing. He goes on to say that it is a shield we have created to protect ourselves from perceived dangers based on things we have been told, and the culture we have been raised in.
I sometimes wonder when we begin to develop this type of behavior. Very brief research on my part tells me that it begins to develop in the first 12 months of life in very primitive form. I would imagine it isn’t a voice that we hear, but visual impulses we imagine since our verbal skills are not strong at that point. And for those of us that often think in pictures, this shouldn’t be surprising.
The question, as suggested by the title – Who Am I? – is asked multiple times throughout the book. Am I that chatterbox that can literally drive you nuts? Am I really the sum of my experiences, my training, and my culture? Who am I, really?
And, because I love looking at all sides of things, and asking enlightened leaders to do the same throughout our coaching experience, I am intrigued by the answer suggested within the Untethered Soul. It is worth exploring.
Consider this: I am not my experiences, my training, and my culture. These are lessons I have learned, and they are what drive my Inner Roommate. They are what I often base my decisions on, especially when my roomie – let me call her Minerva – gets started. I am the observer. And, I sit in silence, watching and listening to the chatter, and what is going on around me. I am not the outside world, and I am not my emotions. I am Spirit, and I am always there regardless of circumstances – watching – this is the seat of consciousness. The Buddhists call this Self, The Hindu call it Atman, Judeo-Christians call it the Soul.
If you take the time to follow this concept through to the implications it has on how you respond to the world around you, it pushes you to think differently.
If you are not your experiences, training and culture, then you must question the “rules” you have agreed to as you have grown to adulthood. Your inner roommate, your Minerva, will use those “rules” to badger you, to argue with you. She will make you indecisive and confused. Your observer, your Spirit, already knows whether that “rule” is right for you – whether it fits who you are. When you detach from the “rules” and consider who you are, the indecision and confusion goes away.
If you are not the outside world, nor your emotions, you can remove yourself from the effects of what occurs around you, and how they make you feel, and ask what it is within you that makes you feel that way, and if it is truth. You can watch with detachment and determine if you wish to participate in the activities of the outside world.
This process of always going back to the seat of consciousness as you make decisions regarding your next steps, interact with your team at work or family at home, or deal with the grief of losing a loved one is a major key in creating the peace you are looking for. It removes the drama that may have plagued you throughout your life.
The benefits are numerous.
- You simplify your life. The thousands of “rules” you have tried to live by crumble to maybe five or six.
- Your relationships improve. You become more open, genuine, and real. People are drawn to you.
- You become more creative and flexible in your thought processes because you aren’t filtering everything through what others have told you is possible. You begin to step over the walls of your box.
- It is easier to let things go and to release them, thereby freeing you to grow.
- You become a better leader – and follower.
I ask you, then, who are you?
What “rules” would you like to dismiss?
Georgia Feiste, President of Collaborative Transitions Coaching, Inc., located in Lincoln, NE, and Phoenix, AZ, is a personal growth and leadership coach, writer, and workshop facilitator. She is also a Usui Reiki Master and EFT practitioner. Her passion is success grounded in purpose and passion, standards of integrity and priorities in life. You can also find Georgia on her website, Collaborative Transitions, Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook. Georgia may also be reached at (402) 304-1902 if you wish to schedule a 30 minute complementary consultation.
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