I was reading an article by Hugh Prather the other day which started as
follows: “The world is gripped by fear. Few (including myself) have
remained unaffected. Recession and job loss, wars and terrorist attacks,
the destruction of the planet, new diseases, high divorce rates … the list
And then, the headline in USA Today last Friday was that 45% of the
American population is experiencing some degree of anxiety, which is just
a somewhat nicer version of the real emotion: fear.
So for all of you who can relate to that emotion, I’d like to offer the
following thoughts: First, I’d like to quote a short section from my
latest book, Unshackled Leadership:
“If you examine carefully the voice in your head, you will discover that
there are two very different conversations going on within you. I find it
useful to think about it this way: we all have a split mind, many call one
our upper mind and the other our lower mind.
The upper mind is the home of our ‘higher consciousness.’ Every
philosopher, every religion and every great thinker, from Buddha to Jesus
and many others has acknowledged the presence of our higher consciousness.
This is the voice of peace, love, oneness, togetherness, possibility and
harmony. Theologians call this the voice of God. Call it whatever you
The lower mind is the home of the ego. It is the voice of fear,
limitation, separation, scarcity, greed, and much more.
For now, realize that the ego is not your friend and does not have your
best interests at heart. You’ll see why as we proceed. The biggest
challenge you’ll face as you go on this journey is: the ego always speaks
loudest and always speaks first. For the majority of people, the voice of
the ego is so loud they never hear the voice of their higher
consciousness. Even when we are called into action by that voice, the ego
fights it with all the power it has.”
So who’s the generator of that fear conversation is your ego. And as I
said, your ego is not your friend. It will do anything to prevent you from
just living in the present moment. It has you spend your time feeling
guilty or resentful about something that has or hasn’t happened in the
past or worrying or just being concerned about something, anything, that
may or may not happen in the future. If you do either, you’re screwed
(that’s a technical term).
So is there an antidote? Actually yes. Part one: stay in the present
moment. Part two: stop resisting what is.
Part one: the only place where life can show up and where you can be
effective is in the present moment. The past is over and the future hasn’t
yet arrived. To spend your time worrying, being fearful about the future
is to give in to your ego and just guarantee that you will be unhappy.
Plus, how can you even begin to be effective in dealing with any of your
circumstances, no matter how extreme, if you can’t just stay in the
present, focus on them, and make the best choices you can.
Furthermore, regardless of whatever is happening, you can either never
expect the best or expect the best some of the time or all of the time.
Why not expect the best all of the time, again no matter what’s going on
at the moment? Staying in the present moment and expecting the best will
not only take you out of the grips of your ego, but there is actual
scientific evidence for the fact that you will greatly increase the
likelihood of the best outcome actually occurring.
Part two: All suffering comes from resisting what is. That is a fact. And
by suffering I mean sadness, depression, anger, fear, frustration,
impatience, and the rest of the list. And what do I mean by “resisting
what is?” I mean wanting things to be different from the way they are.
Your ego is terrific at telling you that things should be different from
the way they are, that you deserve better, that you “should” have things
the way you want, etc.
NONE OF THAT IS THE TRUTH. Things are the way they are. If they could be
or should be different they would be. There is no way things should be.
They just are the way they are. So stop “shoulding” on you, stop resisting
what is, and again you will free yourself of the grip of the ego and put
yourself into the best position to be able to take effective action.
Finally, if you take these steps to free yourself from the voice of your
ego, you might just begin to hear the voice of your higher consciousness.
Remember, that is the voice of peace, love, oneness, togetherness,
possibility and harmony. When you listen to that voice, the benevolent
universe will gently and lovingly guide you in the direction of your
highest and best outcome.
Try what I’m suggesting. I promise it works.