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Imagine waking up one day and having the realization that all of your thoughts and emotions were not in fact your own? Weird right? Well there are theories that both thoughts and emotions are events we witness and experience that do not in fact come from “ourself” but rather are our bodies way of responding to events based on passed experiences. Have you ever heard of this theory before?

The mind is a huge system that is far more complex than I will ever understand, however recently I have been learning more about neuroplasticity, neuropathways and the human psyche. All very intriguing items to learn about. Lets take a deeper look at what society has often taught us/me about emotion, thoughts and experiences. Here are some things I was under the impression were true growing up:

1- Emotions are a picture of who you are. The idea that I feel _____ so I am ____.

2- The thoughts in our head are who we are. We give credit to all our thoughts because we believe they come from us.

3- Every human should be able to handle life/everyday experiences, and if you are unable to “handle them” there is something wrong with you.

As I learn more about the brain, the human existence, the psyche and neuropathways I can see how these three lies I lived by made me incredibly confused and conflicted about who I was. Fleeting emotions and random thoughts would influence my behaviors and decisions when they didn’t deserve the credit I was giving them. In the book The Untethered Soul by Michael A. Singer, he talks about how the human soul is objectively watching and observing the experiences around it including emotions, thoughts and events and that we are often lead to believe that the human psyche or mind and our emotions are actually in fact WHO we are but this is not true. When we the subject are able to look at our thoughts and emotions as subjects we are able to ask questions like “who is responding to this?” or “what part of me is upset by this?”

These ideas along with many other simple theories have made me understand one big thing. Meditation (which I already practice) is truly about removing the voices in our head as well as our emotions are finding quiet and tranquility within our soul. Sounds so obvious doesn’t it? Here’s the things. I couldn’t fully understand meditation until I learned that the thoughts in my mind and the emotions I would feel are not actually a part of me. A thought that seemed important would come up and I would feel the need to tend to it. I always felt as though things were important or had importance and would follow my impulses. Can you relate? Now, I am not speaking specifically to meditation but rather life in general.

Now to take this further, on top of the fleeting and impulsive noise in our head (that is truly what the human psyche is), the human eyes can transmit data to the brain at the rate of ten million bits per second. Talk about overload. Without strong meditative habits and the discipline to quiet the mind and close our eyes we as humans are taking in way too much information every day.

”Will you dare to do this experiment?… Just try to get to know what you live with inside by externalizing the  voice [in your head]. Give it a body and put it out there in the world just like everybody else.Let it be a person who says on the outside exactly what the voice of your mind says inside. Now make that person your best friend. After all, how many friends do you spend all of your time with and pay absolute attention to every word they say? How would you feel if someone outside really started talking to you the way your inner voice does? How would you relate to a person who opened their mouth to say everything your mental voice says? After a very short period of time, you would tell them to leave and never come back.” ― Michael Singer, The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself 

So many of us are floating through life on auto pilot. We are impulsive and reactive to things we aren’t even aware of. We spend countless hours on social media and exposing our eyes and our soul to influences we would never willingly choose for ourselves. We create a chaotic life and bring the outside into our sanctuary when we should be spending time clearing the sanctuary of our soul and being hyper aware of what we bring inside.

-Chantel Funk

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