There is nothing wrong with you.
That is the profound truth that all spiritual teachers have been bringing to us for centuries. Yet most of us resist that possibility because we’re so programmed to think otherwise. We think we lack something, and we spend most of our lives looking for it, often leading us to feeling a sort of emptiness.
Of course, we don’t like this feeling at all, so we do our best to avoid it, or pretend its not there, to numb it out somehow. The TV goes on, or maybe the wine bottle is drained - again! Some people simply become compulsive about work, or exercise or even yoga!. We'll do anything at all to escape this empty feeling - what some religions have described as "the void."
But we can’t escape it - it’s like a gnawing in the pit of our stomachs – something is missing. We begin to build our personalities around this feeling of lack - because we think we need to pretend everything is ok, and so we defend or hold onto what little we have. We defend our beliefs, our opinions, our money, our relationships – all our energy goes into maintaining the charade, and we don't want to be found out. Deep down, if we're honest, we fear that we are not enough.
I see this over and over again when I ask people to sit opposite one another and look into each other’s eyes for 3 minutes – most of us are too scared to be seen. Why ? Because, fundamentally, we think there’s something wrong with us, that we lack something - and we get scared that the other person will see that. So we don’t really connect with others, and we don’t really connect with our true selves – even though we really want to. It’s like we’re off course, and we know it, but we don’t know how to get back on course. We “invest” this disconnection in over-shopping, over-eating, over-drinking, constant drama, blame, compulsive workaholicism – anything to get away from it.
But hang on a second! Lets imagine for a second that underneath all that “stuff” , there’s a perfection, a beauty, an eternal essence that cannot be destroyed. Most of us have felt this at some time or another in our lives. You know that there’s a place in you that longs to be found, longs to be touched and brought to life. In other words - “You are the light of the world.” In soul work, I help people to connect more deeply with this light, their true selves.
One of the simplest ways of doing this is to use the 3 centres approach.
We begin with the first centre, our minds, which need to be open. Having an open mind means that you get to really question what you’re thinking. If you’re not willing to do this, then you’re not fully human – you’re just a robot, thinking the same old thoughts day after day – and most of them are somebody else’s thoughts that you’ve taken on somehow. However, if you are able to open up your mind, you will begin to see things more clearly as you develop the skill of what various traditions call “watching” or “witnessing” or “observing”. This is essential in soul work, and it develops the awareness muscle. From that deeper awareness you can begin to watch your thoughts – your first centre. Tell yourself over and over again ..“I am learning to watch my mind” . This is the beginning.
As we delve deeper into the multiple layers that have covered up your true self, we need to move into centres two and three. That’s for another day..... until then, simply get into the habit of building that awareness muscle. Get very familiar with the stories that your mind is telling you - and realise that you don't have to listen. It's a little like training for a marathon - the muscle won't be ready until you have been disciplined enough to train it !