Freeing Your Inner Critic
Here we go again! Oh great, part two... Did anyone even read part one?
Hey Spike! Nice to hear you again.
By now you may be slightly confused about what the hell is going on. If you are, please refer back to my last blog "The Roommate in Your Head."
Too lazy to click on the link? No worries, here's a quick recap. This is a good reminder for everyone...
Essentially, there's a roommate in your head (the inner critic). He/she is there chatting, doing its thing, and we've got to get rid of it. It's time for them to move out. The first ways to realize the roommate is not us. If you're hearing that voice, then it can't be you, you are just observing. Then give it a name... Hence, Spike. That's what I decided to name mine... What did you name yours? If you haven't yet, please do so now... I'll wait...
Oh man, no one's gonna do that, you really think people are going to give me a name...
Spike, I'm back.
No, no, not "I'm back" again. Let me talk to you for a little longer...
Spike, I'm back.
Now you might be even more confused... What the hell is going on? Well, this was my promise to you from my first blog... A way out.
You always hear, "Live in the present moment!" Okay, great! But how? Self-awareness without solutions is useless! So, we're going to break free from that inner roommate and find silence in the present.
Ok, so let's dive in... This exercise comes from Josh Pais and his program "Committed Impulse." I've never taken the course but I've gotten a lot of insight from his free offerings which you should definitely check out. I'm going to tweak it a bit to bring an extra level of awareness.
Present Moment Instructions:
1. The roommate starts chattering.
2. Notice that it's there, observe it. Get ready to give your voice a command.
3. Stop it by using this formula:
Hi (insert roommate name), I'm back.
(Now engage your senses:)
4. Take in a deep breath. A long inhale and a long exhale.
5. Look around. Try to notice something new. Is there a picture you've never seen? Are colors jumping out at you?
6. Take in the scent of your environment. What does it smell like?
Ah that doesn't work! Come on!
No, no, no, come on!
So does it work? I have to tell you from first-hand experience that it does. In fact, that voice will try to convince you that it doesn't because it wants to keep you safe. That's the egos job, to keep us safe, make up things about the future that aren't real and to comment on the past in order to make "sense of life."
Why? Because it can be scary living in the present moment. When you're living from moment to moment, you're not quite sure what's going to happen next. But see, that's the whole point, because we can never be sure what's going to happen.
You could be riding your bike and BOOM get hit by a car. You know why that happened? Probably because you were so caught up listening to the voice in your head and didn't notice the car was suddenly turning.
By trying to predict the future and control the outcome, you're leaving yourself powerless - unable to see what's really in front of you, oblivious to the true possibilities that are awaiting you.
So there you go, a way back to the present moment.
Prescription for the week:
1. Concentrate on this exercise every day for the next week. Set an alarm on your phone multiple times during the day with the title "I'm back." This will force you to remember. The hardest part is developing an awareness around this exercise.
2. Go through the "I'm back" cycle as many times as you need to, whenever you hear the voice.
3. Don't be shocked at how often you're coming back, it's normal.
4. Don't let that inner roommate convince you that this is stupid. It wants you to think it's stupid in the beginning, trust me. Bye. Once you do this enough, the voice will start to slow down and you'll say "I'm back" less and less. Be excited for that day.
5. As the weeks progress, you'll do the exercise less and less because you'll be aware of it more and more. The voice will start to fade but it will always be there, so this practice never really goes away, it just gets easier. Consider it a walking mindfulness meditation exercise.
6. Enjoy your new freedom and life!
So welcome back, my friends! Are you feeling a new sense of freedom? I know I have, but I would love to hear from you first hand in the comments below. Help spread the word so we can all experience freedom, even if it's just a passing moment. Let's come back.
Hmmm, that was actually pretty good...
Thanks Spike, I'm back.
Let me know in the comments how it worked for you.
As always, live in love and spread your light.