“Like two golden birds perched on the selfsame tree, intimate friends, the ego and the Self dwell in the same body. The former eats the sweet and sour fruit of the tree of life, while the latter looks on in detachment.”
The Mundaka Upanishad
“Am I going crazy? My situation is pretty much the same, but I feel totally different about it. I feel somewhat schizophrenic; there are two very different voices inside of me speaking to each other.” When my coaching clients show up with these statements, I know they are not going crazy, they are just waking up. And when this fundamental awareness becomes conscious, a fabulous fresh view of life is soon to follow. The intention of this article is to help you understand what waking up is and how to do it.
An unknown Native American elder was quoted as saying:
“Inside of me there are two dogs. One of the dogs is mean and evil. The other dog is good. The mean dog fights the good dog all the time.” When asked which dog wins, he reflected for a moment and replied, “The one I feed the most.”
To help you understand what waking up is, we will look at the characteristics of these two dogs.
The “bad” dog is frightened of his own mortality; the “good” dog knows that he is immortal. The former frantically tries to convince himself that he is safe; the latter knows he is inherently safe. One is forever judging; the other is lovingly accepting. The “bad” dog is hypnotized in the beliefs of all that is outside of him; the “good” dog intuitively knows the truth. The former asks how am I doing?; the latter asks how can I help?
One is a prisoner of his past conditioning; the other is free to deliver his gifts in the present. The “bad” dog frantically tries to figure out what’s wrong; the “good” dog observes perfection. The former sees what’s missing; the latter sees what’s there.One is laden with the weight of a limited reality; the other in the lightness of wonder, curiosity and possibilities. The “bad” dog thinks he’s the boss; the “good” dog knows no hierarchy. The former feels disconnected and alone; the latter is connected and unified. One never has enough; the other is infinitely abundant. The “bad” dog reacts to circumstances; the “good” dog knows he is the creator of his circumstances.
We all have both of these “dogs” within us. Our social hypnosis has us believing that we are powerless. We find our strength in how we are viewed by others, and medicating ourselves with the things we buy, gives us the illusion of peace. In this trance, the “good” dog remains in a dormant sleep. But the truth is, this “dog” is always there and can be awakened!
How to Wake Up
You wake up by working with the whole you, that is, all four aspects of your being.
Your Physical Aspect
Observation – Simply observe what you are saying to yourself. Observing your inner self-talk will tell you which dog is dominantly directing your life. If you listen closely, you will begin to notice two voices within you; one that judges you and one that loves you and wants the best for you. Observe these voices in a non-critical, detached manner. Simply listen. If you find yourself emotionally attached and judging what you hear, know that you’ve been feeding the “bad” dog. Do nothing with your observations other than making a note of them, that is, write or record them. You can always return to them to draw greater understanding, but for now, just listen. Our mission here is to simply wake up the “good” pooch.
Your Mental Aspect
The Food of Attention – Your attention is the puppy chow these dogs thrive on. Absent of the food of your attention, the dog falls asleep. Feed the dog attention and he awakens. Look at the characteristics of the two dogs above. Which dog are you feeding predominantly? Is it the dog you wish to feed?
By feeding the “good” dog a little more each day, his presence will grow and strengthen within your awareness and soon become your loving companion. Mindfully develop an active relationship and regular dialogue with this new friend. This friend has a direct, intuitive connection to the source of all truth.
Your Emotional Aspect
Who is feeding your dog? – If you have ever had a pet, who fed him/her? It is nice if a neighbor or friend comes along and offers your pet a treat, but it is your responsibility to feed your own pet. When you look outside of yourself for your puppy chow, that is, for external attention and approval, you feed the frightened dog that needs to be reassured he’s doing all of his tricks well. If he does a trick well, he gets a treat; not so well, no treat. When you stop jumping through hoops, you feed your true self with attention and begin to wake-up your own sacred self.
Your Spiritual Aspect
Don’t try and fight the “bad” dog – no “good” will come from this. Look at our historical results; the war on drugs, on poverty, etc. Instead, season your dogs’ food with understanding, compassion and love. Drop the labels of “good” and “bad.” The “bad” dog isn’t inherently mean and evil, just frightened. The “good” dog is the truth that flows inside you. The more you feed seasoned attention to the truth inside you, the less you feed the fearful pup. Give the frightened dog a rest, allowing it to enjoy a peaceful nap, while the truth becomes your guiding force.
Remember that the frightened dog is not accustomed to napping and will bark at the truth. The frightened dog will bark things like “You are a know it all; Who do you think you are? If you know so much, why aren’t you doing everything right?” The frightened self will resurface back into the dominant position if food is fed to it’s lies. If you remain attentive to the true self, you will see that it’s spirit is not about being “perfect” or about proving anything to anyone, but simply to love, accept and contribute to meaningful intentions which benefit all.
Symptoms That You’re Waking Up
We all have what I refer to as a “Resiliency Gap.” This is the span of time between a “valley” of disturbance, or sadness, and our recovery back to a “peak” of joyfulness and ease. Watch your resiliency gap close as you feed the true self within.
As your resiliency strengthens, watch for these symptoms:
A sense of inner calm and acceptance; a knowing that everything will be, and actually is, OK. A sense of being lighter, more joyful; occasional bursts of exhilaration and bliss for no apparent reason. An overwhelming sense of gratitude; a sense of ease and effortlessness; letting go of the need to control outcomes. As one client put it, “I am aware of a certain calmness…things now seem to flow with relative ease…[what needs to be done] doesn’t seem intimidating or forced.” Consciousness, now being freed from fearfulness, begins to align with desirable opportunities. Synchronicityand meaningful coincidences begin to occur.
If you experience occasional glimpses of these symptoms, know you’re not going crazy, you are waking up. Feed these symptoms more attention and watch as they show up more and more in your life. See how applying Spiritual and Mental Principles can help you create an increasingly fabulous life.
“Intentions” is a mostly monthly publication promoting the use of the whole brain and mind, to live life mindfully and purposefully through the awesome power of awareness and intention, for the benefit of all.