The Listener

Many people struggle to keep their thoughts under control. They worry about the things in their lives, and often worry about imaginary things that will never come to pass. This is why Odin has two Ravens, one that flies straight to its task and another that meanders all over. If you have this, whether occasionally or all the time, you are losing some of your potential, but you can get it back.

Every person thinks differently. Some are very strongly visual and see images in their head. Others may hear their thoughts as their own, inner voice. Still others have more ways that thoughts appear. Regardless of which way you tend to think, it is more likely that you have a combination but one may be stronger than the others. The technique described here takes the viewpoint of someone who has a strong inner voice, but it can be applied to almost any thought method.

For a person with an inner voice, that voice can tell them many things. This voice is from your conscious mind, which the Saxons would have called Hyge and, I believe, the Norse would have called Hugr. It is good to be able to control these conscious thoughts when you are concentrating on math or fine detail work. The problem comes when the inner voice has nothing on which to focus and starts meandering. It can distract you from what you need to do and can cause you stress by creating negative scenarios. It can also waste energy be replaying scenes from memory, often the more annoying ones.

Now, stop and think for a moment. If the voice is entirely internal, then who is hearing it?

The Listener

Remember that you are made up of Nine separate parts that form the entirety of you. Each of those parts has its own intelligence of one form or another. Obviously, one of those parts is listening. It can be difficult to tell which one it is because it is hard to be objective. The likely candidate is the Mod. Due to the lack of certainty, through the rest of this writing, it will be referred to as the Listener.

Why is this important? Simple, if you can shut off the inner voice for a bit and let the Listener just listen to the Worlds around you, amazing things can happen. At the very least, you will probably be in a better mood.

How to Do It

This is a meditation technique, so make sure you are healthy enough for meditation and make sure you are in a safe place. The amount of time needed will vary from person to person. Also, the degree of success is variable and tends to improve with practice. That means the more often you try, the better you will get at it.

To start, you must relax your body and slow your breathing. Concentrating on your breathing will help with the relaxing. As you take a breath, thing the words, "Inhale deeply" and as you exhale slowly thing, "Exhale completely". As you do this, your whole body will start to relax.

If you need more active relaxation, alternate breathing as above with the words, "My right arm is relaxed. My right arm is relaxed." Keep alternating between the thoughts on breathing and the relaxed arm until the arm actually is relaxed. Once the right arm is relaxed, do the same thing to relax your left arm, right leg, left leg, pelvic region, abdomen, lower back, chest, upper back, shoulder, neck, face, and the rest of your head. If you are still awake after that, you can move on to the rest.

This part will require more concentration and patience. It may take a while to get good at this, but worrying about it is a path away from your goal.

Pay attention to the words of your inner voice. It is likely that your inner voice may be narrating your attempt to observe the inner voice itself. As you pay focus in this way, start noticing the gaps between the words of that voice. There will be pauses between sentences as well as the little spaces between the words themselves. That's what we are after.

You may become aware that some part of you is listening to those words, and it keeps listening even during the gaps. This is the Listener.

Now for the hard part: you need to get your inner voice to shut up. Why is this hard to do? Well, first of all the purpose of the inner voice is to be an inner voice. Secondly, you will find your inner voice providing narrative of the who shutting process. It's like in bad comedy shows where a person told to shut up spends a minute or two telling the other character that they are shutting up.

It may take some time, but you will be able to see the gaps in the inner voice grow larger. Eventually you may be able to completely shut down the inner voice for quite a while. When you do that, the Listener may cause a sense of serenity and power to flow through you. You may even notice a smile blossoming on your face. For a while, you will be very aware of your immediate surroundings and things will just seem to run more smoothly for you.

The tendency is to become frustrated every time your inner voice interrupts those gaps. If you think about it, you will just be dragging out the inner voice even more. The trick is to acknowledge that it happened and let it float away. It will take some time to be able to do all this for a long period of time, but that's just a matter of practice. Perseverance is a Noble Virtue.

Why Does This Happen?

The Listener seems to be connected right about where the rest of your parts are connected. Once the inner voice stops dominating things, the Listener can take in information from the other seven parts of you and handle life as needed. I suspect that the Listener is closer to the frequencies of the Wyrd and can interact better there as well.

Whatever the mechanisms, it will make your life better if you can shut yourself up and pay attention to what you are really saying.