We hear a lot of people ask, “What if the voice in my mind IS the real me? What if it’s telling me the truth? Shouldn’t I listen to it sometimes?” The short answer is that while it’s ok to listen to it, just don’t mistake it for your Authentic Self.
So, what the hell are we talking about when we say Your Authentic Self? We mean this: Your Authentic Self is who shows up when your Inner Critic is temporarily absent. Whooaa…..it’s a little scary when you experience this for the first time. We’re so used to this voice, that when it is silenced even momentarily, it feels like there’s nothing there. But, when you let go, and just be….that’s when your authentic self shows up. And, just as soon as you see it, it’s gone! You are back to being swallowed by your Inner Critic. You’re swallowed because your authentic self is usually buried under the incessant chatter of your Inner Critic, and is usually inaccessible.
While you can meet your authentic self in the absence of the Inner Critic, you can’t hold on to it. It’s elusive. It’s not a permanent state you can achieve. It has many names, many words, many expressions, none of which are the absolute truth. The best you can do is to point to something: a space, a feeling, an energy, a vibration, a stillness, a peace. Whatever its name, it is a sense of being present to something true or honest, that touches you in a way that’s different from your normal reality.
Normally, we just get a glimpse of our Authentic Self. Why just a glimpse? Because it is the voice of the Inner Critic that is constantly swallowing us whole. And therefore, the real work, is to build the muscle to separate ourselves from the incessant humming of our mind chatter, and experience what we experience when the Inner Critic is silent. Therein lies the choice; to practice again and again separating yourself from the Inner Critic who presently runs your life, and begin experimenting with that which appears in the absence of that incessantly controlling voice.
Did you ever hear the saying, “When you have one foot in the future, and the other in the past, you piss on the present?” Your Queen Inner Critic will drag you into the past or the future, where insecurities and worries live. She will keep you feeling regretful of the past or worried about the future, but never grounded in the present moment.
This is why the work of Dethroning Your Inner Critic needs to be a daily practice. Once you learn the tools to silence Inner Critic and allow your Authentic Self to show up, you can practice these tools anywhere; at the bus stop, on the train, in the car, while taking a walk.
The present moment is all we have. The past is already over. The future doesn’t exist yet. Any time you are in the present moment, you have access to your Authentic Self.