"Our spirits are offended if we think too much.”
It is very valuable to become familiar with our ways of thinking and the routines of our mind. Our mind forms habits too, and many of them, we will discover, are not beneficial to us. For example, did you know the mind talks to itself almost constantly? Listen carefully and you will hear it.
One of the first things we will notice when we begin stalking our mind is how our internal chatter keeps us prisoner in a fantasy world of its own creation. It was shocking for me the first time I discovered the nearly constant chatter going on inside me moment by moment. I thought I knew myself, but I didn’t know this about myself, but then I had never stalked myself before either. We have become so accustomed to our inner chatter that often we don’t even notice it. Like a constant hum from a refrigerator in the room, we adjust to the sound, get used to it and eventually don’t even hear it. Stalking the internal dialogue is like noticing for the first time the secret conversation going on within us. It is in fact the conversation we are having with ourselves.
This constant talking to ourselves is a problem. Besides distracting ourselves with this internal dialogue, causing us to not be present with what is happening in that particular moment of our life, we confuse ourselves as our thoughts shift from one position and opinion to another. Within any given hour we can shift from being desperate, to being ecstatic, and everything in between. We can be happy and then miserable and then happy again, then bored, all depending on the thoughts and inner conversations we’re having with ourselves. Living like this means there is no inner stability, no place to find peace and rest in the assurance of who we are, no confidence in the mystery of life. We can’t even sit in the park and read a book or take an afternoon off without our chattering mind asking, “What are you doing? There is so much work to do.”
Noticing our internal dialogue reveals much to us. Over a period of days and weeks you will detect patterns and themes that repeat themselves, and this is extremely valuable to know. You will also come to realize how ridiculous it all is, how utterly dysfunctional and self-defeating this inner chatter is. You begin to suspect that this constant internal dialogue is undoubtedly holding you back, which of course it is.
For most of us it is a total revelation the first time we discover that we have an internal dialogue. I’m not talking about the thoughts you are actively thinking, but rather the inner chatter beyond thought that comments and has opinions about everything. Watch for it. By watching and listening to your chatter, you will notice that there is also a narrator who becomes judge, critic and commentator alongside your thoughts. This is the internal dialogue I am speaking of. Stalk and listen to it. What is it saying? Is it positive or negative? What are its favorite topics or themes? Is it critical of you or someone else? Who is it critical of? What sets it off? Does it have a morning ritual or pattern that it follows? Stalking and listening carefully will reveal these things to you.
The mind’s constant chatter has a hypnotizing effect on us. We become captive to our own thoughts, trapped in the delusional chatter of our own making. We are not connected to real life but instead captured by fantasies of the mind. However, while this illusion is not real in any absolute sense, our body experiences it energetically, as if it were real. If we are having an imaginary argument in our mind with someone, our body reacts as if it were really happening, and we feel drained afterwards. We lose a lot of energy this way. We also reinforce our opinions, beliefs and perspectives this way. In fact we maintain our world of limitation with our internal talk. We renew it with the powerful energy of our chatter. Whatever weaknesses or hurts we have will become more entrenched as we repeatedly focus on them. Fears exaggerate themselves and find roots within. We get upset with others and relationships become strained, all based upon imaginary conversations and encounters we have within ourselves. If we are not careful we can make foolish choices in our life based solely on the content of the fantasies of our internal dialogue.
Until the mind’s inner chatter has been stalked and seen for what it is we have no opportunity to break loose of the hypnotizing effect it is having on us. It is a good practice at the end of each day to journal the main themes of your internal dialogue for that day. Take one moment; it only takes a moment, to briefly summarize the day’s chatter in a sentence or two, without any judgment. After one month, if you stalk and journal diligently, you should be able to see and know aspects about yourself that had previously been unknown to you. It might surprise you what you find. The journal is an invaluable tool in stalking. You record everything that you find and then simply leave it in the journal. No more is required.