In my book, “How To Stop Negative Thoughts”, I recount the bizarre situation that set into motion all the events that led to my near-death experience. I was onstage in Brooklyn, singing with Stone Gossard. In the middle of our performance, my mind suddenly tuned into what I describe as my very own negative thought “radio program”: a shocking, non-stop stream of negative thoughts that I had not been aware of to this degree before.
I recount how unnerving it was to hear unrelenting phrases of fear, self doubt, self criticism, comparing myself, judging myself – all of which were flowing like burning lava from a cruel volcano that was my unconscious becoming conscious.
I recount how disconcerting it was to be hearing this dark stream of thoughts with one part of my brain, while a second part of my brain continued to sing, remember harmonies and lyrics, cue with the band – all wrapped up with a cheerful smile.
What I didn’t recount in my book was that there was a third part of my brain that was just as active, clear, and equally engaged in the situation.
That part, was the Me behind the me.
The Me stood “behind” me onstage, marveling at how I was handling the whole scenario. Me was calm – while I felt frazzled and confused. Me didn’t judge me, while I was fully hooking into every nasty comment my inner dialogue fed me.
Who was Me? And who then, is me?
We could use the labels of the Silent (or Neutral) Observer and the ego, or personal self. But the labels don’t matter much to me. What matters to me is how to reach the Me behind me – and how you can reach the You behind the you.
The Cage of Mind Loops, Fear, and Change
What I know is that Mind Loops are definitely, without a shadow of a doubt, the realm of “me” (and “you”). And that breaking free of Mind Loops is a massive first step toward connecting with Me/You.
me/you is where our fears live. And oh, as humans, how we have fears! We worry about our loved ones’ health and future and choices. We stress about our plans not going as planned: “What if it rains?” “What if Carl comes to the event?” “What if Cindy doesn’t get that report to me on time?” We fear what people think of us – so much so, that we change our clothes, our behaviors, sometimes even our values – so we aren’t ridiculed or deemed “weird.” We fear getting older. We fear making mistakes. We fear change. Oh, how we fear change.
And yet, the one thing we can count on… is change.
The Me/You remains calm and composed in the midst of change, in the midst of worry and all the situations we fear. The Me/You sees the benefits, knows that one thing ends so another can be born – whether that’s a relationship, a job, or death. It knows that all situations are paths to expansion. It loves.
The me/you, on the other hand, dislikes, prefers, gets angry and triggered, takes things personally, argues, blames, criticizes, is self-righteous, clings to being a victim. Even hates.
So how do we tap into the Me/You more often? How do we escape the self-limiting cage of the me/you?
Like all things that are truly valuable, it takes focus, intention, and commitment to connect with Me/You. And yet it’s there, ready and waiting for you, whenever you truly desire to know it.
There are many methods to connect with that Observer Self, and any method you choose I applaud. Because anything you do to remove yourself from the nonstop inner dialogue of me/you will lead you toward much greater happiness, peace, and fulfillment.
But if you’d like my thoughts on how to begin, here it goes:
Two Steps To Connect With Your “You”
First, make headway with de-looping so you aren’t being constantly, unrelentingly fed the negative messages of fear and inner disharmony coming from conditioned “you.” Cut off the juice that feeds that small “you” voice. That will give you breathing room.
Second, begin meditating. It’s completely fine to start small: 5-10 minutes. But make it regular. Daily. You may want to begin with guided meditations to help keep your “you” occupied so it doesn’t fly into a loop the first chance it gets. After all, sitting there doing nothing to distract your mind, not eating, drinking, watching Netflix or scrolling on Facebook, can make your mind veer quickly toward a loop at the beginning. And be forewarned that your “you” voice will rebel. It will say how stupid this meditating business is, how bored you are, how it’s suddenly so hungry, how you’re uncomfortable. If you’ve read my book, that’s the Godzilla voice. It’s going to try to stop you. It doesn’t want to change.
So give that part of your mind something to do, with a guided meditation. There are high quality free apps that help tremendously to build a meditation practice. I currently use Insight Timer. These will help keep your “you” busy, so it doesn’t have as much time to stray and cause a ruckus.
Connecting With “You”
Are you going to meet “You” right away? Most likely no. If you’re new to meditation, or to the concept of this other “You” part of your mind, think how many years you’ve not been listening to it or connecting with it. Having an open frame of mind, and consistently de-looping and meditating, will create a clear, open, and trustworthy channel for the You to come through.
Other than that odd night onstage in Brooklyn, I have had only a few random, instant contacts with my Me. But as I continued de-looping and meditating – and especially when my meditation time-lengths grew longer – those contacts with Me occurred with more and more frequency.
For me, the first 20 minutes of meditation is when me/you is settling down. For 20 or so minutes, my me is squawking away and antsy and suddenly wanting to eat something or remembering I need to contact someone or thinking this is a grand time to figure out how to deal with a challenge I’m dealing with in life. Just like the first 3 D’s of De-Looping, the first 20 or so minutes of meditation is about me detecting when my mind has wandered, and gently reining it back in.
After that, if I stick with it, my Me may (and lately often does) make an appearance. It depends on my gentle and yet persistent concentration on my meditation.
On those occasions when I have the joy of connecting with Me… it’s indescribably delicious. It’s a full body connection. It’s other-worldly. It’s worth the time commitment. It’s worth the wait.
Even small amounts of meditation daily, especially when combined with de-looping, will help calm the “you” voice of fear, will greatly diminish irritation, will help you see more humor, will provide clarity, and will allow ever-increasing openings for the light of You to enter your daily existence. You will feel more peace. You will be more loving. You will handle stress more effectively. Because you will be guided more often by You.
As an experiment, would you willing to take the time to connect with your You, and see how it might change how you feel on a daily basis?
If so, commit to de-looping and to a daily meditation practice for a specified amount of time – and then be aware of noting the changes.
I’d love to hear if you’re game to try this experiment.
Also: I’d love to hear your thoughts about your own experiences with you and You… With meditation… With de-looping… And if you, like me, combine de-looping with meditation.
Thank you for your continued curiosity and commitment to your own happiness… and to You.
Author of the #1 Amazon Kindle Bestseller, How To Stop Negative Thoughts
Contributing author of the #1 Amazon Bestseller, The Transformative Power of Near-Death Experiences