“The toughest opponent of all can be the one inside your own head”
If you are like many people a disembodied nuisance is alive and well serving as narrator in daily life. A staunch supporter of all things negative, undertaking to confabulate and editorialize every move. A relentless know it all leading to feelings of intense anxiety, guilt, sadness, fear, doubt, and a whole host of other disturbing states of mind. My clever little troll scores high marks for creativity considering the elaborate, sophisticated schemes meant to limit my life and block my joy!
After concerted effort I have learned to silence my inner critic most of the time. Like many of life’s most confounding mysteries the truth is quite simple, it doesn't cost anything but not knowing can cost a great deal! While it may seem obvious it’s not a skill easily mastered by most of us.
Are you ready?
Simply notice. Humbly, meekly even passively notice.
Without overthinking, take a moment to consider a couple of sounds around you, gather them as you read this. A copy machine, a keyboard typing away, a muffled conversation. No matter, just let impressions of your surroundings waft into awareness. Wiggle your toes. Notice the texture touching your toes, warm socks? the inside of a shoe? A cool floor, the sandy beach? Now simply notice your skin and your body. Sitting or standing? Are you thirsty? Take a full deep breath, swallow, close your eyes. Just be in your body. Now turn your sensitivity to your thoughts. Simply notice thoughts, like clouds floating in the sky. Imagine the natural you, the “real you” as immense and limitless as the sky. Clouds, of all shapes and sizes may float through, even changing shapes as they come and go. The clouds are not the sky. You are not your thoughts. The sky is constant and ever present, even when it cannot be seen. So are you, the real you is always there no matter what your thoughts are.
When we are defensive, self righteous, greedy, judgemental,manipulative etc., our inner tormentor has hijacked the situation and has accessed control. The practice of simply noticing your thoughts will allow you control of yourself, to choose how to respond to the world around you. The “real you” will call the shots, not passing thoughts.
You can avail yourself to this skill freely and at anytime. In line at the grocery store, driving in your car, walking into work, taking a shower, there are so many opportunities to reflect on your inner life.
Notice the world around you
Notice your body
Notice your thoughts
Practice this often to gain peace of mind. Everyone will wonder what you’ve been up to! Share what you know about silencing the killjoy that’s been following you around.
Share your experience below, was this helpful? How has it changed the way you relate to others? Share your success.