"Why am I watching this? I have an important email to send. I have to finish that project first to be at peace. I want to grow personally, not spiritually!"
You can't sleep at night, because you're constantly thinking about your problems. This neverending story inside your head blocks you from finding peace and stillness in this moment.
The inner narrator is the root of all your problems and suffering. It tells you what is wrong with you, what's missing from your life, and that what you have achieved so far is not enough.
How can you turn off the inner narrator, when it has been there inside your head for most of your life (and keeps you awake at night)?
The first step is to become aware that the inner narrator is there in your head. It's not bad, it just is there. If you can't recognize it in yourself, then your first step is to write down your self-talk and you'll see the story repeating itself over and over every day.
Once you become aware of the voice in your head, you have a choice to not follow every thought that arises in your mind, but just observe it.
Then you're able to see how this voice cuts the world into pieces through words, labels, definitions, interpretations, judgments, comparison, complaining, criticism.
Your attention is the fuel for your voice and the continuous stream of thinking.
So, the second step is to redirect your attention from your head into your body. The best way to do that is through your senses. Through hearing, seeing, smelling, tasting, and touching.
The more you perceive without interpretation, the deeper you enter the present moment and the more peaceful you become.
Are you still breathing?
So, let's take few seconds and turn off the inner narrator by taking three conscious breaths.
Put all your attention on your lips and notice the feeling that the air produces as it touches your lips. Let's take those three breaths now...1...2...3...
See, no mind, no voice in the head, no problem.
Start to integrate a few gaps of "no mind" and "no-voice in the head" into your daily life through breathing or performing all your daily activities in full awareness of your senses, like when you brush your teeth, floss, prepare your meal and wash the dishes.
And put something natural, like a plant or flower besides your screen on your working desk and take a few seconds throughout the day to perceive the plant or flower in full awareness of your senses without labeling or judging it.
The more you practice that, the larger the gaps of no-mind, no-voice in the head become.
That's what "spiritual growth" really is: The growth away from the voice inside your head.
Jesus called it "salvation". In Hinduism and Yoga it's called "enlightenment". Buddha called it "the end of suffering." I call it "unlimited freedom"
I've just finished another chapter of my new book, and I want to share a part with you that wraps up this article:
Knowing how to stop thinking is the secret to happiness and the secret to becoming a more creative person, and the secret to enter what I call "The Changed Life, living with no stress, no fears, no suffering."
You don't have to think as much as you think.
When have you seen your last sunset?
For more guidance, I've created a weekly 5-10 min online video show "The Changed Life" to show you that no matter how old you are, what body you have, where you are, there is better way to live without unhappiness, suffering, stress and fear. Watch today's episode here.