This quote feels true, doesn’t it? But how can you take a quote like this actually make it come alive in your life? How do I make healthier things more important? What is this way? Why do I keep making these excuses? What makes it a tricky quote is that it’s casually referring to two separate entities and yet without the proper perspective it can come across as one.
The key word is you, because there’s a whole bunch of yous out there. There’s the real you that doesn’t think in words, there’s the egocentric you that does think in words, and then on top of that everyone who meets you will form their own personal sense of your identity all made from their thinking.
Everyone will take their version as true–including you–because the only thing anyone looks for is what they expect to see, so their view of you and your view of yourself will perpetually self-reinforce itself unless you take energy away from that egocentric process.
If we look at the second sentence that’s the egocentric you because excuses are presented in language and language is words and words are symbols and symbols are connected to ego. So in other words the second sentence just says, “If you don’t stay in the present moment you’ll use your ability to think to create a bunch of internal conversations that will then generate negative emotional reactions which will further fuel your conversations.” Not good.
In the first sentence the first you is up for grabs; the quote isn’t sure which you’d pick, but that second reference to you refers to the real you, the energy you, the spiritual you, the wise you; the you that does the thinking for the other you; the you that leaves your cells when you die. That you doesn’t have a layer between it and the world. It doesn’t talk, it listens.
Your healthy life is a verb. It’s an action. It doesn’t vacillate on choices. It never guesses it knows. It acts, accepts consequences and then acts again. It does not stop to label, judge, consider, or compare. Nor does it hold desires for the future or regrets about the past. And it does not generate word-based excuses.
Get quiet inside. Shut those conversations down. It is them that weigh you down. Go deep enough and you’ll drown. And yet your salvation is right in your hand. Let go of those limiting thoughts and instead engage with the world as the real in-this-moment you. Don’t think you can’t–that’s just more ego.
It’s far more natural than what you’re doing now–that’s why what you’re doing is often so tumultuous and painful. There is better in store for you, but the only way in is to go quiet inside. You can do it. Start today.
Scott McPherson is an Edmonton-based writer, public speaker, and mindfulness facilitator who works with individuals, companies and non-profit organisations locally and around the world.
A serious childhood brain injury lead Scott to spend his entire life meditating on the concepts of thought, consciousness, reality and identity. It made others as strange to him as he was to them. When he realized people were confused by their own over-thinking, Scott began teaching others to understand reality. He is currently CBC Radio Active’s Wellness Columnist, as well as a writer, speaker and mindfulness instructor based in Edmonton, AB where he still finds it strange to write about himself in the third person.