Ever step back and really listen to the voices in your head? Each of us is host to a cast of characters inside: some grandiose, some diminishing and cruel, some helpless and submissive … but all too often, in discord with one another. This makes it difficult for us to know who we genuinely are and how we genuinely want to proceed.
In my work with clients, weeding through these alternate selves is vital to embodying a state of well-being. To break the spell cast by the cacophony of internalized cultural and mind-generated voices, I find it is helpful to have clients step back and begin to accurately personify them. As you might guess, this often brings comic relief. I have encountered princes, pirates, tattered children, starving beggars…and my favorite, a fierce gargoyle-gatekeeper with tattoos and nose ring ;-).
Look for these sub-personalities in the troubled arenas of your life and notice the reels and storylines that follow you around money, love, relationships, health and vocation. You will soon be able to predict with precision precisely who will show up and exactly what they will say.
Once aware of the crew you keep, you break your unconscious identification with them. You are less persuaded by their urgency and are free to explore other avenues of being. The crew inside is no longer running the show…
But who is?
Buddhism identifies the ‘5 Aggregates of Being’ that comprise human nature: our physicality, emotions, perceptions, thoughts and the pure consciousness that contains the other four.
As you observe the cacophony of inner voices, ask yourself, who is this one observing? When we witness with neutrality, we are engaging pure awareness or ‘consciousness’; the aggregate of being that contains all the others. Through this we encounter the true self and can begin to deeply identify with an inner guidance that leads to genuine fulfillment.
We expand our creative freedom, our capacity to live out of character. We change the story and dissolve patterns that keep us from our true life.