Finding your own voice
Uncover the uniqueness of your voice, and share it. You can be of service to others instead of pleasing them.
Did you read my previous article and savour the questions arising there? And more importantly: Have you found your own vital questions?
Very often we think that we genuinely want something: an object, a specific way of living, a job, a relationship. And with sincere self-inquiry it turns out that actually someone else wants those things for us, but not really us. A parent, a teacher, a partner, or a community. Sometimes we just want to fit in and fill in a pre-generated template life: “the successful professional”, “the loving wife and mother”, “the bohemian artist”, “the true spiritual seeker”, “the eternal student”, “the caring and responsible father”, “the accomplished scientist” and so on. We have unwritten codes or at least a vague idea based on social conventions of what those paths should look like, what they should and should not include, and about the steps we should take in order to stay on them, to reflect to the world who we are. We want to play out those choreographies, to stay interpretable and predictable for the others, not to confuse or to upset them.
Do you want to fit in that way? Do you care about creating a consistent image of yourself with predictable choices following the script someone else (often your own assumptions) has written? Or do you want to surprise yourself, creating your path as it is unfolding with each step?
The practice of observing your thoughts in a non-judgemental way can help you to find your inner compass, to be able to discern what you truly desire and which step you want to take at any given moment. When you recognize phrases, judgements or instructions forming in your mind, ask yourself: “Is this true?” Then question: “Is this relevant right now at this very moment?” And “How does this thought make me feel? Do I have to continue thinking it?” When it comes to examining the feeling that comes as a reaction to a thought, you have to pay attention to the feeling in your body. Does this thought cause you to relax or to tense up? And if so, what kind of a tension do you experience, in which area of the body? Tension can arise from excitement and from a readiness or inspiration to act immediately, but it can also arise from unnecessarily stress. Excitement is associated with a sense of joy and opening, and feels like expansion; whereas stress and worry feel more like contraction in your body. With time and practice you will be able to differentiate between them.
When questioning the validity of your thoughts, you are creating mental space to realize new opportunities. You will discover that your choices are limitless, when it comes to the thoughts you can respond with to a situation. Through this practice and attitude certain aspects of your life can still reflect the aforementioned roles, like the “responsible father” or the “wealthy businesswoman or man”, but this way they will come by as a result of your own true desires, and will be expressed and shaped by your own individual voice. Unlike the uncensored voice in your head that mostly stems from past conditioning and subconscious automated reactions, this voice is always fresh and authentic as it is being born and reborn in the moment while you are consciously examining and selecting the thoughts you want to focus on and nurture.