“Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.” Rumi
My inner-voice has diarrhea of the mouth. I’m everything I hate in a conversation partner. I interrupt myself, I talk to myself incessantly about the same thing over and over, and I pretend to listen to my heart when all I’m really thinking about is dinner. I’ve started to take a big look at this rude party guest as part of a life coaching workshop with the Handel Group. (Yes you should check them out!) Whilst delving into 18 different areas of my life, cultivating my perfect dream for them, my current reality, and the difference between them, it’s very hard to maintain my focus on the moment. Well taking a huge sword to hack at all the cobwebs shadowing my past and looking at my progress, has driven me away from sitting with the reality that everything is still perfect in this moment. How can I be at peace in the present while kicking up the dirt of the past AND dream about my ideal future??
I’ve become a self help junkie. I can’t get enough. I can’t let go of the idea that there’s things I have not yet unearthed. It’s like I’m a compulsive hand washer of the head. If I have a negative thought, I feel like Lady Macbeth rushing over to a sink to get the spots off. I have zero tolerance for myself. Yes, I love myself enough to do this work, but where is the love within the work???? I feel like Conan the Barbarian, swinging a giant mace around all the character traits I wish to tame. There is nothing gentile about this method. There is no love. Your body doesn’t respond. Your mind doesn’t cooperate. This inner voice emerges, bossing me around. The same voice you hear on the yoga mat telling you to bend your knee more, relax more, you’e not breathing, you’re not flexible enough to do that.
This voice overstays its welcome because we exist within a paradox. We have living inside ourselves both a teacher and a student. One resides in our head, and one in our hearts. The problem is we think we know which is which, but we forget the truth. Our head thinks it’s the teacher, but really it is the listener. All it does is regurgitate information passed on by our world or if we’re truly listening, our hearts. It tries to help, but it only has the experience of the past at it’s disposal if it doesn’t remember it’s really the student. This messenger will talk forever because it forgot how to listen.
This is because we no longer approach learning in the way we used to when our hearts were the most open. Think back to kindergarden, sitting with your legs crossed on a large carpet, hardly able to sit still with excitement. What is the teacher going to say? What am I going to learn? Our eyes wide and sparkling with the anticipation of what’s to come. Butterflies, space ships, dinosaurs, firemen; we couldn’t get enough and it all blew our minds. We believed our bodies and minds could accomplish anything because our hearts gave us the encouragement to love, to dream, to explore, and we listened. Somewhere along the road, our student brain decided it had a good enough picture of life and honored itself with the degree of teacher.
Return yourself to rightful balance. Exploring your practice as the student who learns from the true teacher, the heart. Bow before it with the reverence it deserves, meet it cross-legged and wide eyed with excitement for the journey it wishes to lead you to unfold inside yourself. That nagging voice inside of you is nothing more than a bratty student who has decided to be the class clown instead of focus on the lesson at hand. It will keep you occupied for hours and hours throwing spit wads, drawing funny pictures, and telling you that school sucks. But your classroom which is your body has so many wonders to explore, that only your true teacher, your heart, can guide you through to transformation.