At long last, the answer to the great mystery of life can be summed up in three words: relax, release, rejoice. According to Michael Singer in The Untethered Soul, to achieve this wonderful state you simply open up your heart and allow life experiences to pass through you. Any worries, doubts, and fears you meet along the way can be overcome by letting go, and, if you follow his suggestions, you’ll find the golden highway to Nirvana.
So why aren’t you and the other seven billion people on the planet living this way?
We’re entrenched in our routines. Even if they don’t work, even if they’re harmful, they’re comfortable and safe. Anything else feels scary. Dangerous. So we erect roadblocks.
You know that inner voice, the one that nags, gives advice, even soothes and praises? That voice does its best to protect you, to keep you comfortable and safe. If something threatens your perceived safety, that voice goes into overdrive.
Your emotions also come into play. Pain, sadness, happiness, joy, fear, guilt, shame, the list goes on. Your feelings relate to experiences. If you were hurt in the past, you’re likely holding onto that emotion in the present, and every time a similar situation occurs, that old pain crops up.
And all these thoughts and emotions require energy. As long as your energy flows, you feel good. But if something upsets you, disappoints you, frustrates you, etc., you close down. That thought or feeling sticks with you and you create resistance. The energy stops flowing and now you have a blockage.
To navigate these roadblocks, Singer instructs you to become aware. Watch your thoughts, watch your emotions, look at your reactions to those thoughts and emotions. Discover the you behind that inner voice. “What differentiates a conscious centered being from a being who is not so conscious is simply the focus of their awareness.” Your problems come from your reactions. The narrower your focus, the more you center in your problems. When you feel an energy shift, relax and let it go. The more you do this, the easier it becomes.
The journey of conscious awareness requires a steadfast willingness to work through your fears. To face all of your thoughts and emotions with an open heart. To reach a point where you can separate your physical, mental, and emotional bodies from your spiritual Self. We suffer all the time, so much so that we don’t realize it. But you can replace your old habits with a new awareness practice and leave the pain behind. All it takes is commitment—the beginning of spiritual growth.
The Untethered Soul is a metaphorical hand extended to show you a better way. If you’re brave enough to take that hand, you’ll embark on a path that has been guaranteed throughout the history of mankind to result in a life of unconditional love and happiness—namely, bliss.
[Originally published in the Conscious Life Journal, March 2017]