Shut up, inner voice!

Imagine this good friend of mine on her way back home after a busy weekend, when she gave a course. Thank God, it is done. It is late, sunday evening, and she drives her car home. How nice it would be to rest a while. She feels the tiredness in every single bone. It is raining. A slight continuous rain, constantly drumming on her car‘s roof. The street is empty, but still some pretty kilometres ahead. The coffee does not really work, she longs for taking her shoes off, sit down and let the tension leave her body.

She stares, trying to keep her eyes open. Her arms are becoming heavier and heavier, and so do her eyelids. She thinks about her cushion waiting at home for her. If only she could close her eyes for a moment, relax, dream a little. At this very moment she hears that tiny little voice inside saying „only one minute!“. Loud enough to shock and wake her up. Giving way her inner voice would have meant her death.

And that is what this is about: our inner voice and how overestimated it often is by spiritual people. Something like the holy cow. And to be honest: such things tickle troublemakers like me. What is all that about the inner voice? Is it really the source of joy and enlightenment, the voice of wisdom and higher self?

Remember what your inner voice may have told you all to often: „Only one more glass...“; „Nobody is right - besides me“, „I am guilty“, „all the others are guilty“, „everybody hates me“ - and this is just an excerpt of the huge repertoire of dirty talk our inner voice is responsible for.

Now what about dissecting the holy cow and look what is inside?

Whose voice is it actually? Is it really mine? Or is it nothing but an old record of what mam and dad repeatedly told me, when I was nasty? Is it mine or any other person‘s? And should I really trust a voice I do not know whose it is? Am I a masochist listening the whole time to someone telling me I am no good, unworthy, thumb, blind, foolish, ugly ... You think this is MY voice? Then I am a fool indeed - STOP!

Here we have one of the dirty little tricks our inner voice uses to use. The fact that it tells us proves it is right. So I am a fool, since who else than a fool tells himself repeatedly he is a fool? You must be a fool, if you think you are one. Quod errat demonstrandum.

Nurse, scalpell! We have to cut this out! What an insiduous tricky little fellow have we got here! Quick, let us put him in quarantine, he may be infectious. This is one of the main mean mechanisms of our inner voice: bite, stick and repeat (could be the title of a rock song). Since it is repetition of the humiliation that makes it irresistable.

Ever lost a cup by letting it fall down? Well, you could sweep the pieces and go back to what you did before. So what? Or you could listen to this tiny inner voice catching up with inner wisdom like „you got two left hands, unable to keep just a cup, you clumsy oaf, didn‘t I tell you before, you cannot do anything right...“ and so on. Won‘t stop before the next accident takes place.

Usually the inner voice does not even need a trigger. It loves to chatterbabbleprattle and it certainly does not need any reason. In the best case it just talk about nothing worth being mentioned - but there is a worst case, too, and if this scenario takes place in one‘s head, be aware. Then the inner voice attacks and humiliates. And how difficult it is to stop internally talking everybody knows who ever tried to meditate.

There is nothing in the outer world that the inner voice does not have anything to comment upon or complain or whatsoever. The inner voice steps between us and the reality. We do not react to what happens around us, we do react to what the inner voice says about what happens around us.

Imagine we are walking on the street and a child approaches. Do you really notice who that is? Do you notice facial expression, body language, mood, purpose? Or does your inner voice tell you „Great, something to cuddle!“ - or on the contrary „lousy midget!“ In the first case you enjoy, in the second one you are annoyed. In both cass you are not interested in what the child may want.
The next second the child is gone, nothing happened - besides that you wasted mental energy. You see the inner voice does not really need any reason for chatting. Whether the child relates to you or not - who cares? The inner voice certainly not.

The inner voice could be seen as a Zen koan (in fact it is none), a riddle, an effect without a cause. In order to stop it, if only for a second, it needs extreme awareness. You would need an essence that works like a axe, that interrupts as soon as the first whisper appears. And indeed there is one like that: Magnolia. But if you like to use Magnolia, be careful and be aware, once the fog is gone the truth lies in front of you and it is not necessarily beautiful. Reality can be shocking, please realize that, before you dare take some drops of Magnolia. When the make-up is washed away, it may disturb you what lies underneath.

When we grow up we can hardly speak, but the inner voice is already there then. Like an echo repeating itself it stays with us, no matter what it says, be it good or be it stupid, sticky like chewing gum under our soles. The inner voice has a couple of important characteristics. The first we have already learned to know: no need for a cause. The second one ist the permanent repetition. The inner voice does never finish. Once we are through with the repetition of yesterday‘s discussion, it starts anew, it chews the cud endlessly. Of course we could have been smarter, funnier and have come precisely to the point. However we did not, and this will not change, no matter how often we repeat what we said, what the other one said, what we replied... We simply cannot inhale spoken words backwards and make them unsaid. The past is the past. And often nobody is interested in the old stuff. Just one. You know who I mean, the talking head that never stops.

Anyway repetition is the keyword that leads us to the Chestnut essences. To be precise: to White Chestnut. This is the Bach flower, that calms our thoughts, when they run in circles without effect. without consequence, without solution. She stops the inner chitchat. Once is enough, we do not repeat tomorrow‘s tasks internally over and over again, since this leads us nowhere. It just makes us nervous.

It gets really annoying however when it comes to ruminating problems. It does not make any sense to repeat thoughts about problems, when in the end there is still no solution. In such case it has nothing but depressing effects. I have a problem, I cannot solve. So I think about it and come to the conclusion, that I cannot solve it. As a result I do not only think about the problem, I also consider myself incapable of finding a solution. And this in turn leads to self-condemnation, down the spiral I rush into deepest depression. But why for God‘s sake? The problem is the same, myself I am the same, nothing happened except for the depression, that is initiated and fostered by my inner voice.

Now this is the time to consider the second of the Chestnut essences: Chestnut Bud. This is the essence for people, who do not learn from past experiences and consequently have to repeat them. Once you have found out, which of your decisions and choices you need to change in order to get better results, the need for repeating thoughts about problems may leave. Chestnut Bud is the essence, that helps to find your way out of your vicious circle.

And there is another one: Red Chestnut. This essence works with an amazing issue. There are people, who love to take over others‘ problems, when themselves they have none. They are constantly worrying about others. Now of course it is very human and usual to worry about your kids, when they go on holydays for the first time without their parents and so on. On the other hand a little more trust in your children would keep yourself calm. Red Chestnut is the one that helps to let these thoughts go off. You cannot change anything when the plane crashes, it won‘t stop doing so, only because you are lying awake in your bed without finding sleep. If it would I would certainly be the first to recommend it! Fortunately in 99% of all cases the plane does not crash and the only one who takes some damage are you because of a lack of sleep.

Chestnut-Trio is a combination remedy of all three mentioned Chestnut essences, designed to help us stop unnecessary thoughts, quiet the inner voice and become internally calm. This is a powerful tool to make the inner voice shut up.

Let us now turn to another special quality of the inner voice: judging. This is really damaging and most of all: ouselves.

I am sure you read anywhere what relationship experts says about the first impact. They claim, that the quality of any relationship is determined within the first couple of seconds. So far, so good. But what if my inner voice turns out to be as imcompetent as it showed up when it came to solving problems (see above)? So if these experts are right I may judge a person as incompatble within a blink of an eye - and let the love of my life go away without the slightest attempt to connect. Thanks a lot, inner voice!

Non-judgement is what all kinds of meditation have as a common goal. Let us take things as they are, without commenting every word, gesture, nod. For heaven‘s sake: relax! However easier said than done.

Now we can judge ourselves or others. If we are constantly turning ourselves down, then it is the well-known Bach flower Pine, that helps. If we are critizing others, Beech can help.

After all that my intention may shine through finally. I think medition is nothing that should be reduced to some special hours per week, but become a daily practice. Trying to not think is nothing but meditation. So meditation can definitely help us increase our quality of life, unregarded if you use it a spiritual tool or simply to feel better with your everyday life.

It is the inner voice that can make our lives a hell. It seeds doubts in good times and makes hard times even harder by constantly complaining about anything. However the inner voice accompagnies us our whole life, and it is not an easy task to tame it. There is another essence I like to mention when it comes to gaining a non-judgmental attitude: Copper Beech. Both, Beech and Copper Beech are capable of making us accept, what we cannot change.

Originally Copper Beech was intended to be a helper when it comes to dying. Now however I consider her more an essence to help let go off attachments. When you are too much attached to life, when you are going to die, the whole process will become a mess. Once your time has come you should be able to go. This is a fight you cannot win. But Copper Beech works with attachment in a more general sense. You can as well let go off your attachment to neediness, upliftment, ego. A common question often used to meditate about is „If this were the last day of your life, what would you do?“ You may say: enjoy a hamburger - and there is nothing wrong about that wish. But some may say: take revenge on person soandso, which would make a desperate end to a desperate life. (You rather enjoy your hamburger)

The question Copper Beech asks is: „If you had not another second to live, what would you let go off?“

Once we have calmed and reduced our inner voice, we may want to turn to what is usually meant as „inner voice“: intuition and inner wisdom.

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