Estimated Read Time: 4 minutes
Have you ever noticed yourself say something completely opposite to what you were thinking? Or has someone asked you a question and you say one thing but your body language suggests something differently? In my day to day interactions, I’ve noticed how sometimes it doesn’t match.
I came across a chapter in Osho – Living Dangerously called ‘Being Total is Being Whole’ recently which made me suddenly realise how much it happens. The book is a collection of different talks presented by Osho and this particular section goes into detail on how there can be contradictions in what we say and our body language.
He describes how your parents can tell you to be yourself but then raise you to be a certain way. This is a given, they want the best for you and it is believed until you’re old enough you won’t know better. But if we zoom out, you start notice that society conditions you to act in a defined way. As Osho interestingly mentions “You are a marketplace – many voices”.
Your brain is a computer and can ‘lag’
How do you really know which is ‘your voice’?
I’ve noticed being in a social interaction and someone will ask me a question. My mind starts to wonder what to say and compares it to past experiences to ‘optimise’ the response. I’m sure this doesn’t happen to everyone, I’ve been an overthinker for a large portion of my adult life.
In this situation, my brain is literally lagging and isn’t coming up with an immediate response. My body language can say one thing while my words are expressing something different.
Compare this to a time when I’m not thinking about how to respond and just letting the conversation be organic, there is a huge difference. People will say ‘you’re being yourself today’.
What is being yourself and how can we always encounter life coming from a centred being?
“Unless your within becomes your without, you can never be at rest because your periphery will be in conflict with your centre.”– Osho, Living Dangerously
How to bring out ‘you’ – Follow the ARC
Being yourself is an ambiguous statement. Nothing is a static object within the universe, you aren’t the same person you were five years ago.
When you describe yourself, you’ll use a variety of words that capture your personality. However, this can be detrimental as you are now living under the meaning of these words. For example, if you think you are funny, when you’re in a social situation, you’ll try to be the witty one.
This is a positive example but imagine if you think you’re an anxious person. Your behaviour will reflect what is happening within you. You are living under the parameters of your association with what you think of yourself.
If you feel like there has been numerous occasions where you haven’t been yourself, it’s because there is conflict within you. You aren’t fully present as your attention is being swept away by the fears of your mind.
The first step in changing any behaviour you don’t like is bringing it to light. You have to acknowledge it is happening before you can do anything about it. Do it in a safe and comfortable setting and take all the time you need to just accept what is happening to you, don’t resist.
“I acknowledge sometimes I will try too hard not to say something that I’ll later regret.”
Sometimes I’ll become overwhelmed by a past memory where I said something stupid/irrelevant. It comes like lightning, I’ll feel my heart rate pick up and my face will heat up. I’ll feel anxious about something that doesn’t exist anymore.
After acknowledging the ‘problem’, I recognise what I’ll need to do for me to change this behaviour. There is no set way of doing things and you may not always stick with it. The most important aspect of this is to immediately address the conflict when it arises.
“I recognise the desire to change this behaviour as it stops me from being myself/whole. Encounter social situations with an open mind and calm nature. When a past memory comes suddenly, remember my assumption of the interaction isn’t the full picture and I don’t need to beat myself up for it not going differently.”
Finally, I’ll consistently keep reminding myself of what I’ve decided to do when I encounter similar situations. This ARC (Acknowledge, Recognise & Consistency) system is a simple way for me to systematically shift into a more wholesome state of being. My awareness of myself increases, I feel an openness within as I speak with whoever it is and allow them to just be.
Thank you for reading this article. I struggled to write this one as I wasn’t sure how to fully explain my process. It is intentionally vague to promote you to create your own way of improving your awareness and feeling of being whole. ARC can be your first step towards being you again.
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Sending peace and love through the 4th dimension!
ADR – One Human