Not a big blow up with a fellow employee, or a bad grade from a teacher, or frustration when they get your coffee order wrong. A feeling far less dramatic, but tugging and disconcerting. After a day that went much like you expect your days to go, and yet you feel…a little empty. A little lost.
Or, you wake in the morning, unmotivated to begin your routine. Or worse, really dreading it.
Questioning, in these moments, what happened to you and how you got here. Of course, those kinds of thoughts aren’t very helpful when you’ve created a certain life in order to have a certain image to get a certain career to meet the right partner and make enough money to have the right house and drive the right car and raise a perfect family.
That little voice, and that little tug, in those quiet moments of honest vulnerability, is your essential self. It is the you that remembers the activities you enjoy, the things you like, the people to whom you gravitate. Everything that has made your heart race with excitement and joy, or centered you with profound peace and connectedness.
The problem with the messages that we get from the essential self is that they aren’t part of the program. You know, the ladder that leads to success, to all we want and are supposed to want. The ladder that leads us to the top of the heap that we are supposed to want to climb. Because–
Well, I really don’t know why. I know we want to fit in and be accepted, and our society seems to appreciate and celebrate the heap-toppers. But, don’t we really dig those who have gone way out-of-the-box and made up their own rules? So, I get confused about why we follow the program and ignore our essential self.
Here’s a thought–the next time you hear that little voice and feel that little tug, ask yourself what feels the most uncomfortable to you at the moment. Try to distill the feeling into one succinct thought. Then, dare to question it. For help with this, Byron Katie has formulated a tool using Four Questions to help you challenge thoughts. Is there any way that it may not be true all the time? Is there a turnaround thought that is as true or even more true? By questioning thoughts that we have come to believe just because they are part of the program, we make room to listen to that all-important little voice and feel that little tug.
And those messages, sent with love from our essential self, can lead us to align with what we love and enjoy, care about and have passion for. Scary, huh?