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The Hokey Pokey IS What It's All About

podcast Apr 28, 2020

Can't listen? Here's the transcript: 

Here is a question to consider:  “What is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” 

We don’t live like we have one wild and precious life.  We live more like, “Someday I will finally have the life I am meant to live.”  And then we try to solve all of the problems and obstacles that we think are preventing us from living that life. 

And it is trying to solve all of our perceived problems and obstacles, that is at the heart of why we all suffer and struggle. It is the seeking of the answers outside of ourselves that leads to more chaos.  We look back at our past to prevent past pain from repeating itself.  We try to find the things we think we will need moving forward so that we can feel fulfilled and free.  Ultimately, we try to find the answer to the question, “How do I get my future to go the way I want it to?”   

This is where the work of dethroning your Inner Critic is different from any other traditional psychology or coaching.  Rather than trying to figure out our past pain or find the solutions to create the future we desire, we need to shift into freedom right here and now, by starting to wake up to the part of our mind that creates the chaos in the first place. 

We need to become awake in the midst of the life we are currently living and realize that our wellbeing is NOT found by learning how to calm the mind, change our thoughts, or adjust our attitudes.  That is not possible!  You will never be able to have a calm mind or a shift in your attitude. 

And this is because your conditioned mind, which I call your Inner Critic, has been with you since you have been a little boy or a little girl and will be with you forever.  Your Inner Critic speaks to you automatically. It is always talking to you. It’s like you have a little mini-me that lives in your mind and he or she has taken up permanent residence, and you will never be able to evict your Inner Critic from residence. 

That is the bad news.  Now want the good news?  The good news is that you can let go of trying to get rid of it!!  This work is about unhooking from your Inner Critic moment by moment. That is the only work that there is for you to do. 

Bringing awareness to what your Inner Critic has been saying to you for forever. Is it that you aren’t good enough? That you are less than (that’s mine)?  That you are not loveable?  That you are stupid? 

We all have a never-ending message that our Inner Critic has been delivering to us.  The key to unhooking from your Inner Critic is awareness. Bringing awareness to your judgment of yourself, other people, what your life is supposed to be, what your future is supposed to look like. It is in the awareness of it, as though you are watching a movie, that you will find total freedom. 

Until you are able to clearly see your Inner Critic as separate from yourself, you might not even be aware of how much your Inner Critic rules your world.  When my clients experience a glimpse of unhooking themselves from their Inner Critic, they report the experience of immediate release, like putting down a heavy backpack.

It’s like a temporary absence of negative qualities that they have been haunted by for their whole lives.  They feel relief from worry, fear, shame, obsessive thinking, and judgment.  They notice more peace, space, and love immediately.  Because they are seeing a glimpse of who they really are when they are no longer identifying with their automatic thoughts.  And it is instantaneous. 

Because peace of mind already exists within you.  It is already there when you begin to glimpse who is already there when the real you is not obstructed by your Inner Critic.  It’s like the sun that is always there, but is obstructed by the clouds.  We forget that the sun is still shining.  That’s what it feels like when you see who you are when you aren’t listening to your Inner Critic tell you who you are and who you’re not and who you’re supposed to be and what it says you need in order to be happy. 

For so many people, they have never had any other identity other than who their Inner Critic because we aren’t taught in our modern culture how to wake up to this realization. We think we ARE the voice in our minds. Until we wake up to the necessary detox and unlearning of beliefs that comes from this awakening, we stay asleep. 

And waking up doesn’t need to be this profound, deep process.  You don’t need to go to a meditation retreat to find yourself. You can actually awaken to this freedom in the midst of living your daily life. In fact, it’s your daily life that provides you with the practice. 

Because it’s the people we are most intimately connected to and the most important parts of our life that trigger us into our pain and suffering, and then we are automatically identifying with the small sense of self that makes you feel alienated, anxious, angry and fearful. 

It’s the small sense of self that looks for something outside of ourselves to help us feel whole in life.  But the real key to feeling whole in your life is awareness of your conditioned Inner Critic mind.  

This key to life already surrounds us-- most people only want peace and love and freedom from their limited mind, but don’t know how to get there. 

Awareness is the foundation of living a life of freedom. But all we know how to do is focus on the content of our lives, instead of practicing the inner awareness. Inner awareness is seeing the thinking part of you as separate from YOU.  It is really a subtle shift that you practice over and over and over.  It is shifting out of our chattering minds and into a freedom that already exists below the chatter.  But we’re so used to living in the trance of our Inner Critic, that we stay asleep.  

It’s like changing the channel of a radio station. Your mind is like a radio station tuning into different “thinking stations”-- we don’t need to be on our regularly scheduled programming.  We have to tune away from the regular program but first see the regular program that you are tuned into-- It is the “I AM” RADIO STATION. 

You are listening to reruns of songs that first aired during your childhood.  They are only recordings being played over and over. But you don’t know that so you channel surf on the “I am not good enough” channel or the “I’m less than” channel or the “I am unlovable” channel for new information that you think will finally make you feel good enough, loved enough, worthy.

This is the paradox of awakening-- it’s not about believing that all is well, because your conditioned mind won’t let you believe that. Instead, it is about shifting into the level of mind that feels that all is well.  

You have to tune away from the everyday mind and tune into the space that gets created when you become aware that you are NOT your everyday mind. That is when you get a glimpse that there is no problem in the first place.  You are already at peace.  All is already well. 

We don’t experience this from our everyday mind.  We can only become aware of the old mind that tells us who we are and then return to what has always been there in the first place. That is true awakening. 

There is no place to get to because you have never been broken in the first place.  Who we are is already unconditional love. 

It reminds me of the song “The Hokey Pokey”: you do the hokey pokey and you turn yourself around.  That’s what it’s all about.  What if that is REALLY what it’s all about? 

Turning yourself around so you can see the real you that is underneath who your Inner Critic says you are. You get a glimpse of it--that is the unhooking.  Detaching from your Inner Critic thinking.  And then you go back to forgetting and you are back to being collapsed with your Inner Critic.  And then all there is for you to do is do the hokey pokey again and see your separateness. And inevitably, you will forget again. And then you do the hokey pokey again!  Over and over and over.  Every day.  

We keep engaging in the practice of separating ourselves from our Inner Critic mind, creating the feeling of peace, contentment and unconditional love for exactly who we are and who we aren’t and the lives that we are already living, has us be able to live our one wild and precious life feeling the joy, peace, and freedom right now without changing or fixing anything, other than practicing the hokey pokey of separating ourselves from our automatic conditioned mind that judges and criticizes and is attached to people and things fitting our ideal pictures.  

You can only grow up emotionally if you become awake to this. You can stay in the current life you are living, and keep glimpsing your essential nature by recognizing you have an Inner Critic mind and waking up to how overly identified you have been with your Inner Critic mind. Just observing your automatic thoughts, feelings, and actions has the power to wake us up! 

Once we are awake, we begin to relate to ourselves, our lives and other people from a different place.  You can see that you have a mistaken identity that has caused you to be afraid to really live your life, and getting triggered by other people’s behaviors.  And thinking that there are all of these problems that are up to you to solve.

It’s like we are in a dream-like state when we are identified with our Inner Critic.  When you are in a dream and you think it’s real and then you wake up and you realize that it is just a dream. Whoever we mistook ourselves to be in the dream isn’t really who we are. 

When we wake up and stop identifying with our Inner Critic, we stop sleepwalking through our lives. We stop trying to control, fix, change and perfect ourselves, other people and the circumstances of our lives. We see that it has been someone else who has been living our lives. Like coming out of a movie theatre and realizing it was just a story you watched on a movie screen. But when you were sitting in the movie theater and watching the story, you got so lost in the story that you forgot you were in a theater.   

We realize that we have been living in an illusion.  We don’t know who we really are, and we think that what we have been thinking is the real reality.  

Most of us have spent our whole lives trying to improve and develop our Inner Critic selves to succeed, win approval, and find happiness. We need to be willing to go through the gap of letting go of the old Inner Critic self and allow the new self to emerge.

When you first see yourself as separate, this can be very unnerving.  Because our true self hasn’t actually emerged yet.  We have to allow ourselves to see who we truly are.  It emerges slowly over time the more we practice the awakening and the separation. 

That’s the hokey pokey.  You awaken from a looping thought pattern you thought was YOU.  You stop being the identity you formally thought you were and get curious about the concept that if that’s NOT you, then who are you really? 

Freedom from your mind is something you can glimpse at any moment.  You can stop living in the office cubicle that is your mind and go take a walk outside. And you can keep noticing yourself stuck in your cubicle and then go take another walk.   

The two areas where I have to do the hokey pokey of awakening the most is as an entrepreneur and as a mom. Those are the areas of my life where my Inner Critic speaks the loudest and sucks me back into my thinking that I am less than.  My Inner Critic, who I have lovingly named Worrying Willhemenia, has me on the hamster wheel of trying to make sure that everyone thinks I am more than good enough and all of my business goals are met so I can feel successful and my kids are happy and fulfilled so that I can feel like I have done a good job as their mom. 

So Willhemenia’s job is proving that I am not less than and she creates all the chaos and the struggle when she tries to control how it all unfolds. It is what I wake up into every morning.  And the muscle that I work all day, every day is unhooking from my Inner Critic. 

I see it like a movie screen. I allow my Inner Critic to spew its never-ending mind chatter. Bringing awareness to it is what allows me to unhook from it. I can do what I do in this very moment.  I can take actions in alignment with reaching my business goals, or being a loving mom.  But that is ALL I can do. 

Whatever I am doing at this moment will impact the unfolding of my life however it is meant to unfold. It is not anything that I can control. I can choose to be aware of this very moment, unhook from my Inner Critic, and feel the freedom and peace that emerges. And that is my daily practice, and it will be my practice for the rest of my life. 

If any of you are wanting to learn how to create this freedom and peace for yourself, please give yourself the greatest gift you can ever give to yourself, and schedule a clarity conversation with me. And if you are enjoying this podcast, if you can you take a moment and rate it, I would greatly appreciate it.  Thanks for listening and have a great day!

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