Usually we seek what to do on the external level to fulfill our goals and to reach a sense of achieving. Even though that’s a crucial part of achieving but its magnitude is doubtable. Many of us used to believe that continuous hard work is the only way to achieve and fulfill our goals and forget about any inner-work needed. That’s not wrong but seldom it works alone. Why? Because the reality of fulfilment is the fulfilling of the emotional part of our being. Regardless of our profession, our level in the hierarchy or even being self-employed as a freelancer; we seek certain emotions. Those emotions that we need grow to the next level of Maslow’s pyramid of needs after we fulfill the previous level.
If we try only to reach a physical target without paying attention to the emotions we seek from achieving it, then we won’t reach satisfaction. Sometime this happens because we are running after a target that is not ours. Whether it is a target set by the organization or threaded into our minds through social media; it is not yours. On the other hand, we may have resistance to this target because we were forced to it. Then, we shall see resistance and unease in every step to this target. This resistance came from inner-work of yourself against this target and you end up with unpleasant experience. That’s why we advice leaders and managers to gain team’s buy-in first for their new initiatives before making it obligatory.
What is inside us that needs the inner-work?
Unfortunately, many of us believes that we are only 2 entities. The physical body with all its seen, felt and hidden parts. And, the unmaterialistic entity . This non materialistic part is pilled up of the intellect, the emotions and, the soul -if they believe in it-. The reality is a little different. We are made up of several energy bodies that use this physical body as a carrier. So we have:
- The physical body is our way to stay on earth but, it is only one of our forms of existence
- We have an energy body crafted based on our mind activities i.e. the intellect
- We have another energy body drawn based on our feelings i.e. the emotions
- Our soul, which is our window for receiving pure energy and guidance and passing it to us. It is our battery, BIOS system and reference
- Then finally, exists the self which is monitoring all of this. The self itself has two sides the apparent one which we call the ego. The ego represents our ID that we present to the world. The other side of the self is the inner true observer one.
How to deal with those entities?
We seek to streamline or harmonize the efforts of the team members to be working towards the same target. Streamline here means designed or provided with a form that presents very little resistance to the flow increasing speed and ease of movement. A conflicting team will waste most of its power in fighting internal battles that won’t take the team forward. Same applies on the organizational level. If the organization don’t work on streamlining its business units, then each business unit will be fulfilling its targets that may or may not be serving the organization targets. At least we need to make sure that none of those conflicting targets is pulling the whole backward.
Same applies for our internal entities. We need to make sure that none of them is pulling us back from our targets or is resisting our forward progress. As they all dwell together within us they tend to keep the whole safe from their point of view as a first priority. And surely they are not all the time wrong.
So, the first step to move ourselves forward , is to understand the function of each of those separate entities, how they are formed and, how they interact together. Why? Because they all contribute to results we achieve in life. Or in other words, the output that we put to life. If left without control, they fight each other as each of them wants to be in command except the soul. The true inner self need to be the maestro that puts out the best of every entity to produce the perfect symphony.
The most distracting and supportive ally; the thoughts aka the mind output
Superficially, the mind, the intellect or the thoughts have the leading hand. We rely on our thoughts because we usually assume that it is the result of our critical thinking. However, sometimes we are copying them from someone else, from an older situation or it is imposed on us.
Our mind is designed as a faithful alley that serves us by acting quickly to bring us the information and solutions we need. That’s a great favor, 3 cheers for our minds. But wait for a little, don’t rush to conclusions. If our mind is not trained to serve us in the way we need, it will be like having a pet with ADHD ( attention deficit hyperactivity disorder ). It tries to please you by rushing to you all the data it can deliver quickly in response to your attention wherever your attention goes. If your attention strays, you will suffer what they call a monkey mind.
Thoughts are streaming in our mind constantly as a narrator to our moment to moment life. When we pay attention to any of these thoughts, our mind jumps as a response to our focus. Whether we are digging in our past to relate to this focus point or extrapolating it to future results, our mind generates a stream around this idea. We don’t cut this stream when we jump to focus on another thought brought by the narrator. But, a new stream of thoughts starts and so on. Those streams are added up together and they are flowing in all directions forward, backward, to bliss and to struggle. This disrupts our mental well-being and gives rise to anxiety. You can read more about the effect of thoughts on our health in this post: The One Secret behind Well-Being.
The first control tool, break the stream of thoughts using this inner-work
There are many ways to slow down our thought stream. This step is crucial even if you believe that your thoughts are on the right supportive side. It frees you some energy that you can direct to new thoughts or activities. A clue on this is when you spend some time working with much focus just on your computer, you end up tired and hungry. Though you didn’t move an inch or move a muscle except those controlling your fingertips. But the stream of thoughts consumes our body energy to exist. Now you believe, don’t you??
I will be sharing with you a technique from Ekhart Tolle that I found it most useful and brings quick results.
- Close your eyes
- Take a few calm breaths
- Start to feel one part of your body
- You can easily feel your hand by moving it
- Draw your attention to your hand without moving it
- Continue till you feel its existence
- What you had sensed now is the energy that flows or exists in your hand
- Shift your attention now to another hand or leg
- Shift it to less commonly sensed organ as you eye
- Play by trying to feel the energy of 2 parts together
- Continue till you are satisfied
- Did any thought interrupt you? I believe not. Or at most a stray one.
- Come back to this practice whenever you want to escape from a thought stream. Try practicing it as you wake up. It will be a WOW moment.
To move ourselves forward toward our targets, we need to understand To move ourselves forward toward our targets, we need to understand the function of each of the mind, the emotions and the soul , how they act and, how they interact with each other. Why? Because they all contribute to results we achieve in life. Or in other words, the output that we put to life. They may fight each other as each of them wants to be in the command position except the soul. The Elkhart Tole technique we shared today will help you with slowing down your thoughts stream which is the first step to streamline your internal power to support your external targets
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