You are not the voice of the mind. You are the one who hears it.”
I still remember the relief I felt when I heard this Michael Singer quote. I was in my early twenties and an avid worrier. My future-casting was so unlikely that I often wondered if something was wrong with me.
I understood that “awareness is the greatest agent for change,” as Eckhart Tolle says. Still, the space between awareness and change felt like a disappointing delta. My awareness of my inner voice was matched by an equal awareness that I didn’t know how to quiet it. Now, I had two problems.
If this voice wasn’t me, why couldn’t I free myself from her?
Today, I explore this question with authors, neuroscientists, and psychologists, on my podcast, 33voices. They illuminated that my inability to quiet my mind wasn’t a lack of effort. I was chasing the wrong goal. “This inner voice that we have is not something that we want to rid ourselves of. It’s something that we want to harness,” says Ethan Kross, professor and director of the Emotion and Self-Control Lab at the University of Michigan. “The challenge is to figure out if you find yourself slipping into the dark side of chatter. How can we minimize that and accentuate the more positive side of the inner voice?”
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