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up to the sources of our unpleasant thinking and begin to allow these thoughts to pass through minds without responding to them. Te less we have on our mind the

better. When we slow our minds we can see the way forward. When our minds are racing, we are spinning our wheels in the mud of circumstance and we alternate between trying to blast our way out by making radical outside changes and giving up. When our minds are quiet, we can self-coach and see any situation can be handled through a combination of common sense and insightful action. When we see that every feeling is just the shadow of a thought, we stop

being scared of our feelings and just feel them. We begin to value negative thoughts as much as positive ones for the insights they give us into our state of mind and how ‘real’ our reality is looking to us at any given moment. Te only thing we have to lose is

the illusion that something outside of us can make us happy, safe and secure. Nothing outside one’s mind can be

described as positive or negative. Per- turbations or disturbances come only from the opinions and judgments that are within. Opinions and judgments are in our power; our emotions are de- termined by them. Is it other people or events that bother me or the judgments I make about other people or events? Is the cause of my anger the belief that people should behave differently or events should not be happening? When we recognise and know our

emotions, we can make better choices. It is not about being positive; it is

We can never control our thoughts or stop them coming up. We can, however, control our reaction to them and refuse to be drawn into them

about being rational. We have very little influence over how external events unfold; the only thing in our control is our judgment. It is our judgments that cause distress. Reacting with fury against a situation over which you have no control is irrational. We can choose not to be stressed by thoughts or events, even if we can’t choose the thoughts or events themselves. One’s thoughts and emotions need not dictate one’s actions. Toughts and emotions about whatever one is procrastinating about is just passing weather if we choose not to take part in the melodrama. Deep self-awareness and understand- ing enables the pinpointing of flaws with greater maturity and accuracy, coupled with the ability to appreciate oneself as a uniquely dignified and gifted person.


Begin by putting yourself in a position of strength. Do this by listing your achievements based on the three s’s, sincere, specific and selective feedback

reaction to what happens. By taking this approach of

identifying and separating self from the inner roommate – the voice, the one who generates the thoughts, the judgments and issues the invitations – we begin the process of achieving our potential, turning things inside out and becoming untethered souls.

James Flanagan is an experienced practitioner in training, learning and development, communications and change management. He can be contacted at

References 1 Michael A Singer, The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself, New Harbinger Publications, 2007

2 Hugh Murray, Coaching: the Power of Questions, Scott Bradbury, 2008

3 Julie Starr, The Coaching Manu- al, Prentice Hall Business, 2002

4 Michael Neill, The Inside-Out Revolution: The Only Thing You Need to Know to Change Your Life Forever, Hay House, 2013

| August 2016 | 29

received from people. Use this as your base for your trigger points. Become aware of who it is that listens to the machinations of the voice of the inner roommate. It is your self. From this position of evidence-

based strength become aware of what the inner voice or roommate is saying, the have-to’s, the invitations to take a part in the melodramas, the judgments, the ruminations. Detach from the thoughts by

realising they are not you, refuse the invitations to be drawn in. Realise they are not as powerful as they suggest and have you believe – they will pass; the self is stronger than they are. Stop processing the thoughts

– “this should not be happening to me” and picking them to death – processing them gives them power. Realise we have no control

over external events in our lives. We can, however, control our

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