Supposed your boss asks you to take over a certain task. However, your capacity is at limit and you cannot do this task. The following sentences and voices might then start spinning in your head:
- „I cannot do this on top. I am totally exhausted.“
- „Yes, but it is actually my area of competence.“
- „I have to do it, because if I don’t, what will my boss think of me.“
- “Shall I work until I get sick or what?”
- „I am not good enough. I cannot meet the expectations.“
- „You have never been very resilient, you loser.”
- „Come on, maybe you can talk to him and there will be another solution.“
- “But then I would have to admit that I can’t do it. No way that I will admit this.”
- „I have to pay attention that I don’t lose my job.“
As this little example demonstrates that numerous voices and sentences can occupy your mind. You might then no longer be able to differentiate what is really yours, how you should decide or what your attitude is towards certain topics. Instead the spinning head makes you crazy and exhausts you.
How can you avoid this? How can you stop the spinning thoughts? Some interesting distinctions might be helpful at this point:
1. You have a mind, but you are not your mind
Can you imagine this? Take into consideration that you have a mind, but that you are not your mind. A part of you might say now. “What does this mean? I am my thoughts, because it is me thinking them.” This is a logic assumption, right? In fact there is the saying: “I think, therefore I am!“
The crux however is that we often identify with our mind and are not aware of the fact that we are more than just our mind. Our mind is just the body that is most appreciated and fed in modern society. As children in school we already learn that it is important to gather as much knowledge as possible. This continues later during the studies and in job life. “Knowledge talks” is another saying.
Yet, I invite to you take into consideration that you are not only your mind. The mind is just the so called intellectual body. It has opinions, thoughts, ideas, etc. However, you also have other bodies, e. g. the physical body with bones, muscles, organs and senses. In addition you have an emotional body which includes the emotional heart with its feelings (anger, joy, sadness and fear). You also have a so called energetic body, which is the being that has presence, vision and intuition. However, in modern society the emotional and energetic body lack a lot of attention and are more or less ignored.
The first step to get out of your spinning mind is by making exactly this decision: You have a mind, but you are not your mind. The mind is a brilliant tool you can use, but that sometimes also is a monkey wrench in the works and doesn’t serve you. But what can you do now, when your mind starts spinning? The next distinction and exercise is very useful:
2. You have these voices in your mind, but they are not your voices
As demonstrated in the example at the beginning there are oftentimes numerous voices that can give you a hard time. It can actually lead to the fact that you have ongoing inner dialogues for hours or days. In this voice carousel, each voice has its own specific quality and dynamic.
Maybe the victim, persecutor or rescuer voice comes up (these are the 3 characters in the so called Low Drama). However, there might be even more voices active in your mind, e. g. the rebel, the careful one, the doubter, the doer, the fearful one, etc. The mind is a monotonous machine that produces thoughts ongoingly.
While this voice carousel is going on, each voice tries to find explanations, reasons, justifications and answers why you should or should not do something, or why things are as they are.
Take into consideration that the voices in your mind are not yours. What do I mean? Well, as children we are very often confronted with sentences of authorities (father, mother, teachers, grandparents, etc.), who drum theses sentences into us, over and over again. These can be simple sentences like „You have to do what is expected of you.” or “Oh, just be careful wherever you go.” or “Nothing comes from nothing.”, etc. It happens easily that we take over these sentences and the corresponding dynamic from another person. They are so familiar to us that we make them our own. Suddenly these voices of former authorities feel as if they were our own thoughts. However, you simply copied these voices unconsciously as a child to have certain structure for your world. The effect today is that they confuse you and cause a disconnection from what you really want. It is therefore helpful to take a look at the voices that are active in your mind and to whom they belong.
Experiment 1: Which voices occupy your mind?
Observe your inner voices during the next days and become aware of the zoo of voices you actually have in your mind. That’s just what the human mind does. Each of us has numerous voices in their mind. The awareness about it already makes a huge difference. For this exercise you need a paper in landscape format that you divide into three columns. The first column is wide, the other two are smaller.
- Identify your voices:
In the first column write all sentences, e. g. regarding a specific topic that keep whirring through your mind and make you go around in circles and lose energy. Start each sentence in a new row.
- Define the qualities and characters of the voices:
In the second column write behind each sentence the quality or the character of the voice, e. g. the persecutor, the victim, the rescuer, the grumbler, the doubter, the know-it-all, the rebel, the calm one, the fearful one, the skeptic, etc.
- Give the voices specific names:
Now think back: which persons/authorities used similar sentences in the past? To whom do they belong? Give each voice a specific name (Grandmother Maria, Dad, Mr. Miller from school, Mom, Peter, etc.). If there is a character, which you cannot relate to a specific person, give it whatever name comes up to you.
Experiment 2: Use the voice blaster
You now have already more clarity about your inner voices. Be aware that these are not your voices. These are the voices you heard a lot in the past and that keep popping up in certain situations. When these voices are active in your mind, each of them tries to be right and find evidence for their existence. Since the world is rich of evidence, you can find evidence for each voice and keep playing the game endlessly. These voices try to distract you from your own wisdom. That’s simply what the mind is doing and a part of you (the shadow part, you inner monster, your Gremlin) loves to confuse you so that you lose your energy and can then be the whining victim.
Now it is about giving the voices less power. A great possibility to detach from the voices is the use of the so called voice blaster. This is an energetic tool, i. e. it is not visible, but you know that it is there. It is there, because you declare that it is there. You always have it with you. For most people it is hanging at your belt (at the side or at the back) so that you can pull it at any time (if you are left-handed, it might sit at the left side of your belt accordingly).
The voice blaster works as follows:
When you make them visible, voices usually whir around your head like little bats. When you realize that the voices come up on stage, you pull the voice blaster, focus each single voice and shoot it with a loud BANG! This means that you actually do the physical movement, but with an invisible blaster. This might sound weird at first, but it works. Especially when you start with this exercise, it is very helpful to do the physical movement as if you had a real blaster in your hand. „You can’t do it.“ – BANG! – „I don’t know what to do.“ – BANG! – „Oh my, I am totally exhausted.“ – BANG! – etc.
Each time you shoot a voice bat, it drops dead to the floor. However, voices tend to come back. They have been there for such a long time and have a kind of resurrection mechanism. As soon as they come back, you repeat the procedure. BANG! In the beginning you might have to use the voice blaster pretty often. However, the more you use it and shoot the voices, the more you begin to no longer believe the voices and the less power they have. You then know that they are only voices, stories of other people in your mind.
By starting to shoot the voices, you start making a gap between you and the voices. This means: You have these voices and you are NOT these voices! This is an important distinction. We often think that we are these voices, but it is in fact only a trick of your intellectual body (the mind). It is about you learning to desidentify with your mind, to detach from your mind and to no longer give it the sole reign. You learn to make a gap between you and your mind. Then you can more and more neutrally observe “Ah, there is a voice flying by. The mind is really funny.” You no longer believe the voices, because you know that you are not your mind and that you have other sources of wisdom you can use instead.
3. Use all 4 bodies as a source of wisdom and clarity.
You might say now „Well, this is all nice, but if I no longer listen to these voices, how can I e. g. make a decision. How do I get to it.?“
You can use another source of wisdom and clarity than just your mind. You can e. g. let something that you heard sink in and sense, what your emotional body says. Does it feel anger, fear, sadness or joy and why?
You can sense into your physical body and check whether it e. g. feels relaxed or tensed up, whether it has a headache and feels tired or alive.
You can use your energetic body to find out whether your energy rises or sinks and what your intuition is saying about all this.
It is about not detaching from the voices in your mind that bother you, that cause restlessness, that drive you crazy so that you don’t know what to do. You are a multidimensional being having different bodies. So don’t allow the voices in your intellectual body to reign and mislead you.
Wishing you a lot of fun and clarity while experimenting,