Which Part of Me Is Leaping?

There’s this question that nags when I contemplate big changes.  By big i mean changing professions, life partners, countries to live in – the changes that affect me and everyone around me for a good long time.

The question that nags is: am i doing this because it is exactly what my heart wants most, or am i changing my outside world because i can’t find internal peace and satisfaction. Yikes.

I’d love to recommend a book by Michael A. Singer entitled The Untethered Soul: a journey beyond yourself.

In the book, Singer beautifully describes the brain battle that goes on in our heads day in and day out.  I should leave my job.  No i shouldn’t. But i want to. But it’s stable. But it’s boring. But it pays well.  What will Bob think?  God, i’m a flake.  But i’m happy overall.  Blah, blah, to blahfinity.

He suggests we personify this head noise as a roommate, in which case we’d kick that nut out within about two hours of listening to her insane, repetitive monologue.  That insane roommate is our mind.

He also suggests a simple, practical way to dissociate from that roommate and find the quiet, simple, loving centre of ourselves.

Every time your mind says, god, i don’t know if i can do it, i don’t think he’s the one for me, etc., your heart shuts down.  You can feel this.  It’s a tight-chest-and-jaw, fatiguing thing.  As soon as you feel that, leave your mind to duke it out. Don’t stop it (you can’t stop it), just leave it.

Take your energy to your centre – your heart, the observer, the witness of the battle.  Again, you can feel this.  You can breathe. Your heart, chest, and face are relaxed and open.  This removal of your energy from the mind shortens the battle by turning its power off.  It leaves you with a blissfully quiet head.  Do this a thousand times a day.

Finding the centre is the key.

If you have a method of finding that centre already – meditation, prayer, a cabin in the woods, a Buddha in your bathroom – go there.

If you don’t, and you’re looking for a method, consider the book.

Either way, don’t go to the insane roommate for advice on whether to leap. You won’t get a word in edgewise and you won’t come away any clearer.

Go to your heart.

Let me know what you think.

Thank you for the conversation,


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4 Responses to Which Part of Me Is Leaping?

  1. Julie says:

    In Anusara Yoga there is a principle of alignment called ‘Opening to Grace’ which is the starting point of all asana. It is what you described as returning to your steady centre and being open and receptive. I find it the most challenging of all the principles of alignment to practice as I often forget it; so when I’m on the mat in my home practice and I’m about to attempt a pose that may elude me, or I’m not so confident of, this principle really helps. In moments of contraction we practice to remember the opening that already is there. All life’s challenges can be met this way – thanks for the reminder..

  2. Muriel says:

    Today there was a bit of restlessness in me. I checked, and no I hadn’t had too much caffeine or sweetness. Perhaps it was the magnificent sunshine? I then realized it was Saturday and my usual two hours of yoga in the Iyengar studio was not happening this week so my own yoga practice would have to suffice. Okay then. It wasn’t so much restless mind as restless body, but I’ve spent a few decades with restless mind so I know of what you speak. Older now, it is my body that needs the calming more than my mind. Thank you so much Kristin for your comments about finding your joy, and for this writing too about restless mind. Check out my own journey on my blog at http://365daysofyogaandart.blogspot.com
    namaste, muriel (in nova scotia)

    • kristinshepherd says:

      Muriel in Nova Scotia (!),
      Thanks so much for the thoughts, and for your link. Holy moly, how beautiful to be at a stage/age of mental peace with only that restless body to deal with. That is inspiring,

  3. Debbie says:

    After reading this blog a couple weeks ago, I set out to find the book “The Untethered Soul”. I was unsucessful in finding it at any local bookstores so I ordered it from Amazon.ca. I received it last Friday and am halfway through the book. I absolutely love it! It is like it was written directly to me. I’ve been struggling with my inner roommate for the last few months and am finally getting that chatterbox to shut up. Thank you so much for referring to that book in your blog. Your blogs both here and on Yoga Journal and your facebook page have been very inspiring and have helped bring me closer to peace. Thank you!

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