Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself
If you opened this book despite the super-cringe title, you’re in for a treat. Letting my rolling eyes actually settle on this book is one of the best decisions I’ve made, because despite the title, this is one of my now-favourite books out there, it’s an absolute must-read.
This book has become my chill-pill, a best friend, spa getaway all in one. It’s a cure to neuroticism, heartbreak, nihilism and exhaustion. It gave a mindset and way of viewing myself and the world that’s been so calming and liberating. If you’ve dabbled in or struggled with mediation, this is an active-engaging way to achieve a similar state. Can you tell I’m obsessed with it? (I’ve already read it 4+ times this year). Here we go:
🪄 Actionable takeaways:
We aren’t the voice in our head. If we can hear it, it’s not us. If we sometimes can’t make choices and have different opinions on things, the voice isn’t us. We’re the awareness behind it. And sometimes stepping back and leaving the voice to it’s own devices is the best thing to do. Most of what it says is meaningless.
When you feel an overwhelming feeling, ask yourself what part of you is experiencing it. It’s likely not all of you. For example, if you’re jealous, explore: “what part of me has a problem with jealousy?” and then “who is noticing this?”. We’re the witness, not the one with the problem. A part of us struggles with our thoughts, but we can just notice them.
Happiness and energy inside us depends a lot on our perspective. We can be depressed in bed over a breakup and then within minutes bouncing off the walls as the person who broke our heart changes their mind and wants to see is. The energy is always there, we just block it by holding onto feelings and states we cannot change. It’s always better to accept situations we cannot change.
A huge reason we feel bad is because we design our life around fear: avoiding things, hating things: why do we ever fight the way life is? Who says life isn’t perfect the way it is? We can stop having so many conversations with ourselves centred around anxiety and changing the way things are.
If someone does something that stimulates fear in us, we will think they’ve done something wrong. Questioning if something is truly objectively bad or is just triggering something in is good to be aware of, especially before we judge and react.
Death will not take anything from you, all it does is constantly give something to you: value in existing.
The consciousness can focus on anything, the best thing for it to focus on often is itself. We can view the way we live life as being involved completely in a good movie that takes over all our senses and makes us forget where we are. Sometimes it’s relieving to remember that we can be aware of being alive (in the movie), sensing things.
The voice in our head isn’t to always be trusted. Imagine it’s a friend. Then imagine all the advice it’s given you: what to say, who to date, who to break up with, what people think of you. How many times has it been wrong? Would you question it if it were someone else? Why don’t we question it as much when it’s in our head?
It doesn’t do anyone good for us to be unhappy. What is actually stopping us from being happy/at peace from now on for the rest of our life?
A great way to live, especially when in pain is to just think: “here comes this moment, and the next, and the next…”
🧝♀️ Fave Quotes:
The first problem you need to deal with is your own reaction
The more you let the world just being something you’re aware of, the more it will let you be who you are
If you keep protecting yourself, you will never be free
Everything will be ok as soon as you’re ok with everything
If your physical body were as sensitive as your psychological body, you would say that you were sick
The one who notices is already free
People fear death because they think it will take something from them, the wise person realises death is constantly giving something to them
What good does it do to not be happy?
Whatever you resist has already happened, so what good does it do to resist
PS. If you'd like to see me talk through my (very unfiltered and rambly) thoughts, lessons and summaries of books, I host a raw-book-club video series on Nebula. The cheapest deal to get it is through Curiosity Stream, and you can get yearly access to both for under $15 a year with this link: https://curiositystream.com/elizabethfilips