If you’ve been reading my posts for a while, you’ll know that one of the big things I work on is deepening the connection between my head and my heart.
My internal dialogue talks so loud I can hardly hear my heart.
Yap yap yap, yammer yammer yammer, blab blab blab. Constantly chattering away to myself, constantly remarking on everything and analyzing everything.
Once, to show Kyeli how very chatty my internal dialogue is, I gave it voice. I narrated every single thought that went through my head, including reading all the street signs. Of course, this slowed it down a lot, but it gave her a much clearer picture of what it’s like inside my head. Two words: VERY NOISY.
During Iron Pentacle class, there were several times my internal dialogue would shut up. Some of them were obvious; when we were doing a ritual, a trance or meditation, or another sort of magick. But I also noticed that my internal dialogue had quieted during one of the discussions, which is exactly when it’s usually most active. Talking makes me talkier inside.
It was because I had taken off my glasses.
I have this automatic reading thing. I read everything that enters my field of vision. I’d say it’s obsessive or compulsive, but it doesn’t even enter the realm of consciousness. If you look at a TV and I ask you what shape the screen is, you’ll say “rectangular.” If I ask you to look at the TV without analyzing what shape the screen is, I doubt you’ll be able to do it. It’s automatic and happens below the level of consciousness. It’s the same for me and reading.
When my brain sees words, it automatically focuses my vision on them and reads them. This produces a piece of my internal dialogue, a not-too-interesting narration of signs, book titles, and labels. Given that I can’t read anything without my glasses on, it’s no wonder that I associate internal dialogue with my glasses!
When I take my glasses off, it’s quieter inside. Not just the narration, but the analysis, the worrying, and the round-and-round circling quiet down too. I’ll remember this, and be sure to take my glasses off when I want some internal peace and quiet.
But even more importantly:
The glasses are just a symbol.
Yes, there’s a historical reason why my glasses came to be associated with internal dialogue. But that doesn’t matter anymore, because at this point it’s Pavlovian. You ring the bell, I drool. You put on the glasses, I mindchatter.
Our primal selves, our animal selves — they respond to symbols. They respond to repeated actions. You have a hard time concentrating? Do something specific (create a symbol or anchor) each time you settle down to a quiet place in a clear mental state. For instance, spread your arms wide and sigh deeply. After a while you’ll be able to evoke a clear mental state simply by spreading your arms wide and sighing.
You can switch the cause with the effect.
How’s that for empowering? (: