In his book, The Untethered Soul, author Michael Singer uses a soul-stirring exercise to explain why the spiritual journey is about constant transformation. In this clip from "Super Soul Sunday," Oprah and Singer discuss how to transform your life by identifying and removing your inner thorns.
Imagine, Singer says in the video, that you had a thorn in your arm that directly touched a nerve. "So much so that anything that touched it caused pain inside of you," he says. Even a leaf brushing against the thorn caused pain.
"The key point of it is, you have two choices," Singer says. "One is, you can either try to avoid everything in your life that touches that thorn. Or, you can do this amazing alternative, which is to take it out."
By avoiding the thorn, you will be avoiding it your entire life. "It will go on constantly," Singer says.
"Which is what we're all doing," Oprah agrees. "We got our thorns in, and we don't want anybody to touch them. And if they touch them and they irritate our little thorn, we're upset because you shouldn’t have touched my thorn."
Singer goes on to say that we train people not to touch our thorns and we build a life around not getting hurt.
"Avoid my thorn," Oprah adds. "Some people even say that -- 'Don't you go there with me.'"
Instead, Singer says you should face your thorns head on. "The alternative is to understand you can remove that thorn inside of you, the same as you can remove it outside of you," he says. "If you remove it you will never have to think about it again -- and that is spirituality."
How do you know what your thorn is? "Disturbance tells you," Singer says. "Just like pain happens when you get the thorn outside, disturbance happens inside."
If something touches your thorn -- an argument with your husband, someone disrespects you at work –- Singer says you need to immediately decide what to do about it.
To remove the thorn, Singer says to confront the feeling and ask yourself, "Do I like being disturbed?"
The answer, of course, is no. "So you are way better off learning how to deal with the disturbance -- and that is also how you remove the thorn," Singer says. "They are directly related. The fact that the situation outside stimulated this disturbance inside of you means that you've uncovered something stored inside of you that needs to come out."