As a Marriage and Family Therapist, I used to hear spiritually inclined people say that we are “spiritual beings having human experiences” with skepticism and a touch of cynicism too. I was more secular then, and I was convinced that I was defined by my mind, my body, and my emotions. Heck, it was the world renown philosopher, Descartes, who once said, ” I think, therefore I am.”
Time and exposure to new thoughts about who we are as people have changed my perspective quite a lot over the last few years, though. After reading Tolle’s The Power of Now, and after chatting with several mentors of mine, it’s dawned on me that we are not our minds, bodies, or emotions after all. Our Egoic minds, for example, are actually quite primitive, and they’re prone to cognitive distortions, storytelling, generalizing, black and white thinking, and propagating lies. This is how come Zen masters call our minds “Monkey Minds”, because they’re prone to making messes and creating chaos. Our Monkey Minds are trouble makers, and they often spew out lies about ourselves and others that damage our self-esteem and create disconnection with others.
If we were really our minds, then how come we’re able to step back from our thoughts and examine them, challenge them, explore them, etc. In addition, how come we can go about changing our minds and still remain who we are. No, we are not our minds nor are we our thoughts. Our minds ( when they’re functioning optimally) are merely powerful tools that we can use to problem solve, make good decisions, etc.
In addition to not being our minds, we are also not our bodies. If you take our legs away, for example, we still exist, don’t we? There have even been people who have literally flat lined and died on hospital gurneys who have come back to life hours later able to recall everything that took place in the operating room during and after they were declared dead. These people generally say that while they were dead they took on spiritual forms and were able to watch their lifeless bodies and hear what the doctors and nurses were saying to each as they were being pronounced dead. In light of these happenings, it’s become clear to me that we are not our bodies either. Like our minds, our bodies are tools as well. They help us to move, play, etc.
Finally, we are not our emotions and their accompanying sensations. This is because our emotions always have a beginning, a middle, and an end. We don’t vanish or perish when one of our emotions dissipates and goes away. In addition, how can we be our emotions if we’re able to step back from them and watch our emotions with curiosity, awe, and wonder. This is precisely what people do when they practice mindfulness and meditation. They notice their emotions and observe them. Sometimes the feelings intensify, and sometimes they soften and fade away. Emotions, like our minds and bodies, can serve as useful tools as well.
Instead, we are the Watcher that peacefully resides in each and every one of us. The Watcher has many names. It has been called our Soul, our Essence, our CEO, our King or Queen, our Highest Self, our Light, etc. The Watcher has also been described as being timeless, perfect, whole, and complete.
When the Watcher in us is in a resourceful state, brimming over with compassion, unconditional love, and unconditional acceptance for ourselves and others, it is able to access the deepest truths that we hold about ourselves. Some say that the Watcher is receiving our deepest truths from a Higher Power, the Universe, the Super Conscious, the Source from which all life comes, or from God himself.
Others who are less spiritually inclined might say that the Watcher represents the Essence of who we truly are deep inside: Inherently good, wise, forgiving, non-judgmental, unconditionally loving and accepting, intuitive, and discerning. For them, the Watcher is able to see things as they truly are. If their more primitive Egoic minds trick them into believing, for example, that they’re unlovable or inadequate, the Watcher in them knows better and can remind them of their deeper truths: They’re deeply lovable and very worthwhile.
If you tend to get swept away by your thoughts and get overwhelmed by the lies that your Monkey Mind is relaying to you, it’s high time that you learn how to access the Watcher inside of you and get in touch with the deepest truths about you really are. As a Marriage and Family Therapist, I have a specific experiential exercise that I teach my clients that helps them to effortlessly tune out the lies that are being propagated by their minds. In addition, my clients are able to worry less and less about their body image and their bodily aches and pains. Finally, my clients rarely feel paralyzed by their emotions, and they no longer feel as though they are drowning inside of them.
My Deepest Truth Exercise is very powerful and life-changing. Last night, for example, in my Men’s group, a man originally heard his Egoic mind tell him that he’s unlovable, and by the time the group exercise was over, tears welled up in his eyes as he shared with the rest of us that his deepest truth is that he’s lovable, a great father, and a great friend. A week ago, a woman in my co-ed group originally received the false message from her Egoic mind that she is invisible, and that no one cares to know who she truly is. After accessing the Watcher and listening for her deepest truth, she shared with the men and women in our group that her deepest truth is that many people do see her and appreciate her. In particular, she told us that people often share with her that they see how much she cares about others, and they really appreciate how big a heart she’s got.
If you want to learn how to access the Watcher, become acquainted with the deepest truths of who you really are, and realize your full potential, please call me or email me to arrange a time to meet with me in person. In the meantime, kindly remember: You are not your mind, body, or emotions. Instead, you are the Watcher, the Soul, the CEO, the King or Queen, and/or the Light that resides within you.
Thank you all for taking the time to read this post. I hope that you found it thought-provoking and helpful!!
John Boesky, LMFT
About John Boesky