LIVING THE SOULFUL LIFE
By Scott Kalechstein
On Multi-Tasking, Multi-Personalities, and The Inner Journey
(The following is a true story except for the parts I made up.)
Yippee! I am driving home with a laptop computer. True to its name, it sits on my lap as I mostly keep my eyes on the road. My thoughts and feelings turn to the lack of gigs on my schedule, a frequent occurrence these days. As of this typing, my work life is slow, slower than it has been in the eighteen years Iíve been a full-time transformational troubadour. I am currently rich in a currency that many in this culture craveÖ time. Doesnít that sound marvelous, having an abundance of time on your hands to be with yourself? It ainít no picnic, America! Let me tell you about it.
The challenge in having free time is facing my mind with fewer distractions. What an incessant chatterbox I have inside my head!
Still Small Voice: This period is a grand opportunity to deal directly with that chatterbox of yours and transform it into a more peaceful place to be. I will guide you in that process. Your job is to make peace your highest priority. That means cultivating a place within where stillness can be welcomed. And that means sitting still.
Ego: Sitting still? Are you trying to get me to meditate? I hate meditation! What if I fall into a black hole and never come out? Or worse, I could come out all soft and sweet and stress-free. How would I manage to manage in this crazy world without stress? Come on, now! And another thing: not being busy is making it all too obvious where my suffering comes from, and Iíve had enough of this Ďlooking within and taking responsibilityí stuff. I need someone else to blame. And I need to do, do, do... something. I canít just be, for heavenís sake!
Still Small Voice: Yes you can! There is nothing more important than enjoying your own company and being present and at peace with what is. Itís the foundation for all success, service and happiness in the world.
Ego: Are you promoting inner peace again? Thatís boring as hell! What I want is the adrenaline rush of a new external obsession, and I want it now! Although I have to admit that adrenaline is getting very hard to enjoy lately with a loud-mouthed still small voice badgering me to get quiet and go even deeper on this ridiculous inner journey! No offense!
Still Small Voice: None taken. And by the way, you only perceive me as loud-mouthed when you havenít been listening to my whispers.
(Ego jumps up and down, arms flailing, and shouts something for all to hear, and my inner sensor is letting this one through as is, for the purposes of catharsis.)
Ego: GROWTH SUCKS! I REFUSE TO DO ANY MORE OF IT, AND YOU CANíT MAKE ME!
(Note the capitals, an undisputed sign of computer venting. You might say weíre word processing! Yuck...)
Scott: So, God, what do I do? What do I do with my ego? What do I do with my life? Please, universe, give me a creative project, certainty about the future, a bold, five-year missionÖ anything but day-to-day existence with the shadowy sub-personalities that reside in my head, anything but the task before me of taming my out-of-control mind, loving myself as I am, and being present to the mystery without rushing to control!
Still Small Voice: I hear you venting, Scott, and itís good. Highly therapeutic! Let it out until you are spent. Let me remind you, when you have calmed down, that your soul has called for this time and space in your schedule for an exciting reason: you are longing to create connection between the various parts of your psyche, and you are ready for solidarity and unification within the Self. All fragments need love to heal. Embrace them and they integrate and unify into wholeness. Thatís when life becomes a consistent joy. Thatís when you will be able to be peaceful inside and busy in the world at the same time.
The fragmentation of the Self has seemingly taken on a life of its own, with some clever survival strategies to safeguard its existence. A big one for me is multi-tasking, which successfully insures that, with my attention divided, I am not fully present to anything, especially myself. Under the guise of saving time, I was seduced into multi-tasking by the following paid advertisement:
Ego: Why simply prepare dinner, when you can be making a call using your hands-free phone and watching the weather channel at the same time? Why simply run errands, when you can be eating lunch and returning phone calls while driving?
Still Small Voice: If all these new multi-tasking behaviors are designed to save time, then why are you rushing around more than ever? Where is all the time you are supposedly saving? And how come you canít even seem to slow down and take your time when you have it?
Ego: Good questions! I promise to devote some time to them in a few hours while at the gym, on the treadmill, checking my e-mail.
Still Small Voice: When you are letting the ego run the show, Scott, you are always on a treadmill! But let me remind you that even there, you can begin to dismantle your frantic addiction to adrenaline by breathing slowly and consciously, deliberately and deeply while engaged in whatever multi-tasks you are doing. Your breath will take you back to being present, and ultimately back to sanity.
Ego: Sanity? Are youíre implying that Iím insane?
Still Small Voice: Yes, you are indeed quite mad, as are most members of this modern culture at this time in history. But donít take it personally, for thatís where madness starts. The good news is that you and many others are engaged in the process of becoming sane. Youíre becoming conscious of your disowned fragments of self and integrating them back into wholeness. You have committed on a soul level to the inner journey, which means that your victimhood days are over.
You have lost almost all interest in looking outside yourself and pretending
that your suffering or your happiness are created by anything other than your
own choices, thoughts, and beliefs. Keep your sense of humor about all this,
Scott, and celebrate each step taken towards a freer mind and a simpler life.
For instance, you didnít use your car phone once today while writing this
article, and you carefully stopped typing to look up while switching lanes. Now,
Scott Kalechstein, in addition to enjoying a rich fantasy life, winds his way through the great big mental institution of the world, giving humorous and heart-centered concerts, talks and workshops, as well as presenting at conferences Scott can be reached at , or you may e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org Check out his music and read more inspiration at http://www.scottsongs.com
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