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That’s my inner voice?

Following her blog post last month, discussing her frustrations with maintaining a regular meditation practice, Jen Ayres has been getting to know her inner critic – with a little help from the brilliant Michael Singer.

If you’d like to share your own journey in a future blog post, please email us. We really hope that these newsletters will provide a platform to show different experiences of the Zen Leader path.

I took the inner voice out of my head, allowed it to sprout a body, plonked it next to me on the sofa and gave it a long, hard look. Just as Michael Singer suggests in The Untethered Soul.

And I was shocked.

This person has my physical features but there the similarity stops. Whilst the real me is happiest in flip flops and wearing elderly, slightly wrinkled jeans. This Stepford-like version could well be a fashionista, interior designer, cordon-bleu chef and kick-ass business woman rolled into one. Her journey to my living room today, has been a masterpiece of career and life planning executed with focus, precision and atomic time-keeping. No slightly dubious life decisions or detours for her!

She’s dedicated to helping me but unfortunately her idea of encouragement is harsh, to say the least. Yet despite this, I seem to have promoted her from inner critic to the lofty status of inner judge, jury and executioner. She can truly knock me to the ground with a well-timed reminder of a mistake I made in 1988, and 1989, and so on.

This personification of my perfectionist tendencies is absolutely NOT who I aspire to be. This is what is so surprising. If I’m not trying to live up to her idea of what my life should be, why on earth do I spend so much time listening to her rhetoric? I guess this is the troublesome ego that just loves to get in the way…

As Ginny always reminds us, when something is difficult, identify the root fear, lean in with an open-heart (no judgement), embrace that fear and then let it go. Ginny’s very practical tips for doing just this can be found by in her piece on Flipping the Voice of Resistance – link at the bottom of this email.

Without the internal criticism, it’s so much easier to just be– and that’s where life is happening. As Michael Singer says, “What it means to live life is to experience the moment that is passing through you, and then experience the next moment, and then the next.“

This exercise in getting to know your inner voice has sparked a number of fascinating conversations recently on the various forms it can take, and we’d love to hear your thoughts! Please do email us or leave a comment on this post on the Zen Leader website.

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