Last week, one of my readers got a bit exercised because I used the word "God."
So, here's a different approach: did you ever have a thought you wished you weren't thinking? No matter what you did, the though just kept rummaging around in your mind. Here's two interesting questions for you: what was thinking the thought? Who noticed? Who was it that didn't want the thought?
The easiest way to dismiss this question is to simply reference an old cliché about "being in two minds" about the subject.
So even if you were in two minds, who noticed?
Same kind of logic applies to feelings or emotions. Did you ever have a feeling (emotion) you wished you weren't feeling? Who was feeling the emotion? Who noticed? Who was it that didn't want to feel that particular emotion?
We could carry this reference point on, but that's probably sufficient for most people. Clearly we can have thoughts or feelings and wish that we weren't thinking or feeling them.
Here's another twist on the cube: did you ever consider doing something and one part of you advised against it while another part kept egging you on? Who are those two parts? And, once again, who noticed?
If you ever went against that inner advice, and it blew up on you, did you ever tell yourself something along the lines of: "I knew it!"
Even more aggravating can be the experience of having some kind of insight or sense of inner direction before doing something, ignoring the inner awareness, and then regretting that you didn't follow that inner voice. Again, "I knew it" shows up.
So, if you knew it, if you notice that you have thoughts and feelings that don't work for you, what are you doing about that part of you that notices but doesn't always get the attention it deserves?
Awareness, Intuition and the True Self
That inner voice, awareness, intuition, or call-it-whatever-you-might-like is a pretty darn important bit of attunement and alignment that comes as a gift, but often goes unopened.
I call that inner voice and the one who notices what you are thinking, feeling and doing, the True Self. Others have called this your high self, higher consciousness, the inner knower, even the Soul. Regardless of nomenclature, there does appear to be a part of each of us that is attuned to something other than the day to day goings on of the world.
My experience of life suggests that learning to listen to that inner voice, to the True Self, is essential to the experience of fulfillment. Fulfillment comes when we listen to and act upon that which is aligned with our highest good. And our highest good seems to have something to do with how loving, caring and at peace we are as we go through our daily lives.
The old cliché about remembering to drain the swamp when you're up to your bum in alligators comes to mind. Indeed, it is difficult to remember that your goal is loving, caring and peace when the outside world is screaming for attention. It's hard to stay loving and at peace if your boss is all over you about something apparently important while simultaneously inconsequential.
It can be even harder if you have lost your job, if bills outrace income, and if you have commitments to family, children, and friends that seem to take precedence over your own experience of well-being.
I know I have experienced these kinds of challenges many times in my life. And the challenges seem to come back in different forms, just when I think I have things figured out and "life" has settled down.
One of my inner sources of guidance comes from that part of me that remembers how many other difficulties I have been through and how I have come through them each time. My family went through bankruptcy three times and I wound up living in my car at one point.
Perhaps strangely, I recall those times of deep poverty not as difficulties, as much as opportunities to learn about myself, or perhaps more accurately, about my True Self.
Despite outer circumstances, I always have the ability and the opportunity to return to my loving, my caring and my inner peace. No matter how challenging the circumstance, how cruel the world might seem, I still have choice over how I express myself and how I experience myself.
Make no mistake here: I am clearly a student on this level, with much to learn, and I often forget that I am the one making choices that create both my circumstances and my experience of those circumstances.
Part of my intent in sharing these perspectives is to offer insights that I have found useful in my own life, insights that might prove useful to you or others reading these posts. And another part of my intent is to remind myself that this inner voice, this inner awareness, exists, and provides access to and support from the True Self.
We began last week talking about aspiration and inspiration. We will continue to explore both in the coming weeks. For now, I want to lay part of the foundation by establishing some reference to that inner voice, to the one who notices, to the True Self.
People have all kinds of aspirations, some lofty, some more worldly. People sometimes experience their aspirations coming true. And many people have had their aspirations materialize only to wonder why they ever wanted that in the first place.
That's where the inner voice, the True Self, and the role of inspiration come to bear. Stay tuned and please do share your thoughts, comments and insights.
I'd love to hear from you. Please do leave a comment here or drop me an email at Russell (at) russellbishop.com.
If you want more information on how you can apply this kind of reframing to your life and to your job, about a few simple steps that may wind up transforming your life, please download a free chapter from my book, Workarounds That Work. You'll be glad you did.
Russell Bishop is an educational psychologist, author, executive coach and management consultant based in Santa Barbara, Calif. You can learn more about my work by visiting my website at www.RussellBishop.com. You can contact me by e-mail at Russell (at) russellbishop.com.