Stuck in the Mind Prison

This is a difficult lesson if you’re stuck in a mind prison, but worth reading in case you can see through the bars for a moment.

I was in the mind prison for 25 years, and it’s hard to see that there is a prison until you have broken free. Here’s what it’s like.

As we have discussed before, the ego is the voice of fear that lives in all of us. Not the instinctual kind of fear that keeps us safe. Not the awe kind of fear reserved for the divine. This fear is of the unknown, of the human condition, or of just past and future events cycling and recycling. The ego is sneaky because he has found those issues in your life, whether it’s the voice of an abuser, the bullying of mean kids, or just circumstances that crushed your spirit, and he uses them to play and replay the tape of fear over and over again in your mind.

Give that guy an inch and he will take a long stretch of a mile. And he’ll keep taking.

The key is recognizing it. Now, if you’re like me and he has been driving the hell bus for 20+ years, seeing that jail cell is like trying to see the water if you’re a fish. So, you have to be ready to get still and listen.

Take each thought you hear one at a time. Don’t argue with the ego. Just give it space and notice when the voice comes in. For me, it was constant, like those torture sessions you hear about where the music is harsh and loud and you can’t escape it.

So you have to stop and recognize that this is going on. Give it space to breathe. And then start spacing out your thoughts more.

The best way to add space between your thoughts is to listen to what is really around you right now. Focus on your surroundings right now. Your ego will fight you on this, but just be still. Listen to the tones of the birds’ voices. Listen to the sound of air moving. Of cars passing. Anything that is exactly right here exactly right now.

Ego will then pull again. He will try to pull you into the past or future with images or pushing sounds into your head. Start again. Listen and look at the now. Right now. Notice colors, shapes, dimension. Listen for deep silence. Keep going.

Listen, this is hard if you’re in the throws of it. This will be a consistent practice and the immediate response of your brain and body may be extremely negative. You may feel anxious. You may feel panic rising up. You may start literally arguing with yourself.

I think the funniest part of my break from the mind prison was when my brain was arguing with me that I didn’t have time to be present because I need to plan. Plan everything. Spend all the moments planning for the next one.

This is a lie. 

You don’t need to plan the next moment. You don’t need to relive the past. You don’t need to throw a lasso around the future and pretend like you can control it. And you certainly don’t need ego telling you he’s in control.

Start a consistent noticing practice. Start seeing between the bars. Start opening up to the exact present moment right now. It’s so worth it. It’s opening up to life. It’s real freedom.

Trust me, the more you get ego out of the spotlight, the less he shows up and the less loud he is. When he does show up, you’re now equipped to move the spotlight to the present.

Be here now. Your mind, body, and spirit will thank you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *