It seems that each time I sit down to write, another tragic world event has taken place. I’ve struggled with how to respond, what to share, and whether my message is appropriate. I’ve asked myself if I should change what I’m writing about. Should I be sharing my political views in hopes that it will help promote change? Should I just post my newsletter and act like nothing has happened?
Ultimately, I’ve decided to stay focused on the message my heart wants to share. I can’t think of more important work at this time in the world than becoming more conscious, finding inner peace and strengthening our connections to the people in our lives. We live in uncertain times. We can choose to become engulfed in fear, or we can find ways to embrace love. I'm choosing love every chance I get.
Below is the newsletter I wrote prior to the shooting in Las Vegas:
Perhaps the most important relationship in your life is the one you have with yourself.
As I’ve been regularly connecting with myself through meditation and journaling, I’ve found myself feeling more peaceful. I’ve thought about what it takes to create a feeling of inner peace, and I’ve realized that the biggest obstacle to my sense of calm is my mind – specifically, the critical voice in my head.
We all have a critical voice. Are you aware of yours?
When I am aware, I can hear what’s going on in my mind. I’m conscious of the critical voice that resides there and I can hear everything she says to me. As it turns out, she’s not always such a friendly being! She loves to criticize me. She constantly criticizes my physical appearance. She’s almost never satisfied with the way I look and even criticizes the clothes I wear. She criticizes my choices of what I eat, how I exercise, when I go to bed. She criticizes my social skills and my parenting abilities, and she loves to point out my mistakes. She loves to remind me of all the things I need to get done and to make me feel like there’s not enough time. She’s always pushing me to do more and to be better. She really wants me to be perfect, and she’s not satisfied when I’m not. Her underlying message to me is “You’re not good enough.” Holy Moly! How could I possibly feel peaceful if she’s in charge of my life?
What about you? Does your critical voice run your life? Do you go around feeling less than or not good enough? Do you constantly beat yourself up? Do you find yourself making choices based on the feeling of not being good enough? How much of what you do is in effort to quiet that voice?
Some people try to sculpt their bodies so that they’ll feel good enough. Some say yes to projects and commitments that they have no desire to do so that others will think they’re enough. Others buy material things to prove to the world that they’re enough. Some drink or eat or numb themselves to cover up the feeling of not being good enough. Many shrink and hide themselves so that no one will notice that they’re not good enough. These are just a few obvious patterns. If you look at your life through this lens, you may find many more.
I’m not sure where our critical voices originated, or why we all seem to have one. Maybe it’s just our egos. Maybe it’s simply part of the human experience.
What I do know is that the more we listen to this voice, the more miserable we become. Because according to the voice, there’s no amount of changing ourselves, of pushing, striving and achieving that will make us feel “good enough.”
I’ve come to realize that we are not the voice in our heads. We are not our minds. Nor are we our bodies. I believe we are the awareness or consciousness that is able to recognize the voice in our heads. More simply put, we are spiritual beings having a human experience.
When we connect to the bigger part of us - our higher selves, our spirit, our souls, our consciousness - the voice suddenly loses its power over us. When we realize that we don’t belong to the voice, that in fact we are more vast and more powerful than the voice could ever be, we find our peace. It resides in our spirit, not in our minds.
Our journey is not about changing ourselves so that we’ll feel “good enough”. Our journey is about finding ways to get out of our heads and into our hearts.
Once you’re able to find a practice that leads you to feel inner peace, you’ll be amazed at the effects on your life. I’m already feeling the impact of my practice. My schedule is no less hectic than it was a month ago. But now that my mind is no longer in charge, it feels very different. The spaciousness I feel allows me to separate myself from the stress of life. It allows me to feel grounded and calm even in the midst of chaotic times.
In my next newsletters, I’ll share more about how to find that peaceful feeling, and I'll introduce new ways to get out of our heads and into our hearts. When we're kinder to ourselves, we become kinder to the people in our lives and to the world as a whole. I believe this is the journey we’re all on in these uncertain times.
Love and light,