The other day, I was listening to Cathy Casey share a story during one of our Supercoach Academy masterclasses and she said a phrase that really jumped out at me:
“We’re all in our heads way more than we realize…”
The reason it jumped out at me was because I could totally recognize the truth of it. Every client I meet with for the first time is pre-occupied with something, or more often many things. At first glance, it seems like the content of their list is important and needs to be dealt with on an item by item basis:
- How do I limit costs and boost revenue?
- How do I get new clients/customers?
- How do I resolve this conflict with _____?
- How do I tell _____ about _____?
- How can I get my stress levels/health issues under control?
- What am I going to do with the rest of my life?
But after a while, it becomes apparent to me that what they’re really dealing with is what I call “the universal diagnosis”:
Too much noise in head
By way of analogy, think of your mind as operating like a laptop hooked into a kind of universal internet. The universal internet is the energy and intelligence of life coming through us and to us. Everything that appears on our screen is made up of thought; what determines the ease of flow of thought is our mental bandwidth, or what is sometimes talked about as “headspace”.
Bandwidth is by nature infinite, but the range of that infinite potential we are awake to expands and contracts on a regular basis. When our bandwidth is high, we can process information quickly and easily, handle multiple tasks simultaneously and efficiently, and our experience is one of ease and flow. When our bandwidth is low, everything slows down, nothing works quite as designed, and we experience a fair bit of mental “buffering” where we can’t quite get our head around where we left our keys let alone how to run a business, score a goal, or have a helpful conversation with our clients and colleagues.
Within this analogy, there are two things worth knowing about bandwidth. The first is that we have no direct control over it – it expands and contracts on its own for all of us. The second is that the more we understand it as a critical performance variable, the less inclined we are to fill it up with lots of extra thinking, no matter how “positive” or “important” that thinking might seem.
So when we’re suffering from “too much noise in head”, we have no bandwidth remaining for new ideas or possibilities to come to mind. We’re not present to opportunities in the moment and we feel disconnected from the people around us (and/or they feel disconnected from us.) We go round and round in circles in our mind, stressing ourselves out and becoming more and more convinced that our particular problem is both urgent and insoluble – a potentially lethal combination.
The theosopher Syd Banks put it like this:
“We’re searching for a silent mind. It’s in the silence of the mind that all the secrets of life are found, where all happiness is found. Where the keys are found. And the second you open that door your find a new level of consciousness. It is a must, life must become more beautiful.”
What we find in the silence of the mind is what the Buddhists call “the universal medicine” – the space of pure awareness that is both our home base and our true nature. This unconditioned awareness is healing for everyone and everything. It brings rest to the weary, encouragement to the downhearted, security to the insecure and comfort to the uncomfortable. In short, it’s good for what ails you – regardless of what you think it is that ails you. That’s because what ails you is only and always made up of what you think.
Here’s how Syd talked about it:
“The reason life gets easier is because you start to realize within yourself there is something deeper than you ever thought before. And you start to realize it is a hidden thing from the mind. It is something which is non-tangible. It can’t be seen. It can’t be touched. It can’t be told. It can’t be read. It’s a space.”
I describe this space in a bit more detail in The Space Within:
There is a space within you where you are already perfect, whole, and complete. It is pure consciousness – the space inside of which all thoughts come and go.
When you rest in the feeling of this space, the warmth of it heals your mind and body. When you operate from the infinite creative potential of this space, you produce high levels of performance and creative flow. When you sit in the openness of this space with others, you experience a level of connection and intimacy that is breathtakingly enjoyable and filled with love. And when you explore this space more deeply, you will find yourself growing closer and closer to the divine, even if you’re not sure there is such a thing and wouldn’t know how to talk about it if there was.
Every problem we have in life is the result of losing our bearings and getting caught up in the content of our own thinking; the solution to every one of those problems is to find our way back home.
When you start to see that all of our problems stem from the universal diagnosis – too much noise in head – you also see that the solution is never more than one thought away – a dropping of whatever thought is occupying your mind, filling up your bandwidth, and making it seem as though you need to sort out anything and everything in your life before you could possibly relax, enjoy, and engage with whatever is happening right here, right now.
When you drink in the universal medicine of the silent mind, you begin to see the beauty of the present moment, feel the peace and freedom of the now, and delight far more in the reality of what is than the fantasy of what isn’t.
And wouldn’t it be a shame to have a wonderful life and not notice?