Which voice in your head are you listening to?
“What You Focus On Expands” – Anonymous
In January, I decided to go back and finish what I started: my law license. I was in the midst of my bar exam course in British Columbia when my health went awry in 2011, and had to take a leave from the licensing process. After a long physical and emotional down swing, I have picked myself up and put myself back together.
In deciding to start the bar exam process now in Ontario, I reminded myself why I wanted to complete the license, how it will serve me in the future, and how it will help me serve others. I decided to enroll and have been spending many hours every day since January studying for the exams coming up in March.
I knew that there would be a lot to read, but what I didn’t expect was the emotional hurdles I would have to go through.
I find my mind filled with different voices and thoughts that tend to distract me from the present moment, and the volume of reading I have before me.
Perhaps from having gone through my difficult health experience, I realized that I had built up an emotional resistance to studying and practicing law. I recall the hours in front of a computer screen that I put in at my law firm, the headaches and pre-cursor health issues I faced, and the heaviness I felt in my chest every morning at the thought of going into work.
This was my past voice telling me not to do it again because of how things turned out in the past.
Another part of me tells me to go after the degree because of the money it might lead to, the status it would confer, and how others would think of me. It is also the voice that tells me that I’m not good enough for my 30 years, since I don’t own my own condo or have the material “success” of others my age. This voice compares me to others, comes from a rooting in greed and guilt, and causes me to question myself.
This is voice is my ego speaking.
A third voice I regularly hear is the one that tells me to remain non-attached to the process nor the outcomes, that desire is an empty concept, and to question the socially fabricated definition of one’s success. It is the voice that tells me to embrace my journey, enjoy the present moment, and trust myself in the process.
This is the voice of my spirit.
Lastly, as the observer and listener to all these voices, I have my Self. It is the person in the movie theatre seat watching the show on the screen put on by the other voices. Realizing that my Self is not my voices helps me to see when I am channeling one of my voices that I don’t want to, allowing one of the voices to cloud my Self’s perception and experience of life, and reminding myself of the choice I have in any moment as to which voice I want to listen to.
All the voices have their role and their utility. The one I choose to listen to and empower is the one that will create my reality.
Last weekend, the voices in my head became overwhelming and resulted in me having a debilitating migraine. Last night, I decided to speak to each voice to bring us on the same page.
I told my past voice that I appreciated its concern, reminded it how little control sometimes I have over external circumstances that may happen to me in life, and to not let that stop me from pursuing my own fulfillment.
I told my ego that I am running my own race, I refuse to be compared to others, and that I am proud of who I am and where I am at in my journey. I also reminded it that the best part of my life isn’t what I have, but rather who I am being and what I am doing.
I told my spirit that I am grateful to have a spiritual lens through which I see and experience life. However, I cannot completely disengage and become detached from things either as this may lead to indifference or isolation. Instead, I will welcome each moment and all that it brings, while remaining spiritually strong and steady to avoid being swayed by its potential negative influence.
Through this process of conversing with my voices, I create balance at the roundtable of my voices and my Self. I am reminded that I am just here to enjoy the richness of each moment in my life, to bring myself into it with a full heart, and to do the best I can. That is what guides me to keep studying for my exams, and keeps me grounded in the process.
P.S. Join the conversation on my online video show, Reconnectfully Yours, this Thursday at 11am EST as I interview Eland Bronstein on“The GiveProject: The Power of Giving” http://sprc.st/p8mJ. As Co-founder of the Give Project, Eland asks us to consider what can we give, discusses our responsibility to give, and the unexpected benefits of giving to others.
P.P.S. In case you missed it, here is my interview from last Thursday with author and youth worker, Ashton D’Silva Marcon, and he takes us “Into the Heart Of A Man” http://sprc.st/q79i. We discuss the masculine pressures of growing up as a boy, the severe lack of progressive male figures, and the importance of being a mentor and guide for young men.