#thebooksthatshapedme - The Untethered Soul
I’ve seen people raving about this book for ages now, and it had been sitting on my book shelf ever since I’d listened to Oprah interview Singer on her Super Soul Sessions podcast (you can watch it on YouTube here if you’ve not seen/heard it before).
I had high expectations for this book. Every time I shared it was the book club choice on social media, I’d get loads of messages from people telling me it had changed their life. As I turned the first few pages I expected to be immediately wowed. I wanted to love this book as much, if not more, than others I’ve read before.
But honestly? That wasn’t my experience.
I found it difficult to read. Not because I didn’t like it, but because it felt like there was just so much information, so many concepts to absorb. It didn’t feel light and fun at all – it was far to deep and heavy for that! I needed to read this one slowly, to take my time to let the words sink in. Allow myself space to absorb the concepts the book explores.
This book kicked my ar*e.
My ego resisted everything. It took me a little while to realise that was what was happening, and once I did a lot of the initial resistance subsided. My soul stepped forward and really started to take on the messages. Not all of them, mind you! There’s far too many in this book to just read it once and think you’ve got it all! This is a book you need to keep coming back to over the years, it feels a bit like a text book, with so much information that nobody would expect you to know everything from it!
If you know anything about my story and spiritual journey so far, you’ll know that finding myself, getting in touch with who I really am and where I should be going, has been a big thing for me, and I’m so lucky to be able to say the work I’ve done has enabled me to get there, for the most part. This book is all about that – connecting with the truth of who you are, more than just this human body, but pure consciousness. It reminded me of several other books, authors and speakers in places, which helped solidify my understanding and made my soul shout yes!
Part 1 - Awakening Consciousness
The first part of the book talks about noticing the voice in your head and stepping back and viewing it objectively:
“There is nothing more important to true growth than realising that you are not the voice of the mind - you are the ones who hear it”
It says that the internal narration of the world we’re seeing and experiencing helps us to internalise it, make sense of it and allow us to consider what comes next. It says that once we start realising that the voice isn’t actually us, we will find a new freedom. This part felt very familiar to me, and reminded me of Eckhart Tolle’s book “The Power of Now” which talks about witnessing the voice, noticing it, accepting its not the real you. It can’t be, or how could the conversation be happening?
“There are two distinct aspects of your inner being. The first is you, the awareness, the witness, the centre of your wilful intentions; and the other is that which you watch. The problem is, the part that you watch never shuts up. If you could get rid of that part, even for a moment, the peace and serenity would be the nicest vacation you’ve ever had.”
Lots of spiritual writers talk about this, this idea that the ego needs to be witnessed, silenced, somehow killed off for us to feel at peace. I can hear Russel Brand or Jim Carey talking about this very thing, about how everything is basically an illusion and living in the moment is what matters.
In the lucid self chapter, it talks about being awake/conscious being like lucid dreaming where you know you’re dreaming and have control over it. It made me think of those Jim Carey videos where people thought he’d gone crazy, talking about everything being an illusion and how “Jim” wasn’t real - he’d allowed his soul self to take the lead. He knew everything was a dream. I have to say, I’m not in that space myself, still too tied to this life I think! I get the concept but I don’t fully feel it yet. Wonder if I’ll ever?! Does it even really matter? Most people don’t get to that space do they? We’re here for a human experience aren’t we? So participating in it fully is surely important?
“Once you become conscious of consciousness itself, you attain a totally different state. You are now aware of who you are. You have become an awakened being......That is spirituality. That is the nature of self. That is who you are.”
Part 2 - Experiencing Energy
This part talks about the energy it takes to focus on a thought, ignore a thought, push emotions to one side. I think this is accepted knowledge nowadays, it’s one reason for the fatigue that mental health issues can cause (there are many more of course)
“Have you ever noticed that when you are mentally and emotionally drained, food doesn’t help that much? Conversely, if you look at the times in your life when you were in love, or excited or inspired by something, you were so filled with energy that you didn’t even want to eat......there is a source of energy you can draw upon from the inside...distinct from the outer energy source.”
Singer encourages us to keep our chakras, especially our heart, open.
“It’s your choice. You can either close because you don’t like what happened, or you can keep feeling love and enthusiasm by not closing. As long as you are defining what you like and what you don’t like, you will open and close. You are actually defining your limits. You are allowing your mind to create triggers that open and close you. Let go of that. Dare to be different. Enjoy all of life.”
Being awakened, living in the now, is about seeing everything, being aware of everything, letting the moment make an impression then letting it go as it passes through you.
This is easier said than done sometimes. Sometimes the impression isn’t a good one, so we block it. Hold onto it in our bodies. It’s trapped energy. Then you spend ages thinking about it in an attempt to process the event. It reminds me of stuff I’ve read which says illness is caused by stuck emotions, but I’m really not comfortable with the concept - why would anyone choose to bring ill health on themselves? It feels like it attributes blame. Maybe my resistance to it is because that’s what’s happened to me and I don’t want to admit responsibility- or maybe it’s just a concept I don’t agree with and that’s ok!
Part 3 - Freeing Yourself
“You can do one of two things with fear: you can recognise that you have it and work to release it, or you can keep it and try to hide from it.” I do a lot of the latter I think! I’m sure most people do!
Fear is a distraction; it means our consciousness will focus on that, instead of the living in the moment and having awareness. We won’t consciously choose that, but it will inevitably happen from time to time. It describes holding onto this stuff as falling, and by letting go from the start we will rise.
“How do you free yourself? In the deepest sense, you free yourself by finding yourself. You are not the pain you feel, nor are you the part that periodically stresses out. None of these disturbances have anything to do with you. You are the one who notices these things. Because your consciousness is separate and aware of these things, you can free yourself.”
Feel the feeling, acknowledge it, then let it go. You have to decide to be happy, to enjoy life.
“This path of letting go allows you to free your energies so that you can free yourself. Right in the midst of your daily life, by untethering yourself from the bondage of your psyche, you actually have the ability to steal freedom for your soul. This freedom is so great it has been given a special name - liberation.”
This is exactly what I did - for YEARS: “If you do not want to deal with the pain at its core, then what you do to avoid it had better work. If you are hiding yourself in a busy social life, then anything anyone does that challenges your self esteem, such as not inviting you to an event, will cause you to feel the pain.”
Reading this part about the layers we create to protect ourselves resonates so deeply. I feel tears rising inside me as I let things go.
Part 4 - Going Beyond
I loved the story in this part of the book; of an amazing house in beautiful countryside as an allegory for consciousness, keeping ourselves hidden, unable to comprehend the glorious light that’s there if we’re willing to take the leap through the darkness. It resonates big time for me!
“When you constantly go beyond yourself, there are no more limitations. There are no more boundaries”
Your comfort zone is like being trapped in a small cage. Push the door - get out and explore!
This section also talks about the various fronts we put on - who we are at work isn’t who we are at home or with friends. The real self is even further hidden behind all the various facades and its time for us to let those go.
“You will see that you’re literally taking all your memories, pulling them together in an orderly fashion, and saying that’s who you are. But you are not the events; you’re the one who experienced the events. How can you define yourself as the things that happened to you?”
Part 5 - Living Life
The final section of the book discusses how we can bring this understanding into our real lives. It talks about the importance of choosing to be happy. To be happy and have fun no matter what, and not let life’s problems take that away from you.
“Now, when we face today’s events, we are neither prepared to receive them, nor capable of digesting them. This is because we’re still struggling with the last set of energies. Over time, the energies can build up to the point that a person becomes so blocked that they either blow up or shut down completely.”
If we stop resisting the past we can let those energies leave us, and this leads to no stress and a more balanced energy. The when something new happens, the first step is to accept it’s happening. Don’t resist it. Relax, release, surrender. I wrote a blog post about surrendering, which you can read HERE.
The final pages of the book talk about living life to the fullest, without holding grudges, attaining balance.
“Find the balance in the centre and you will live in harmony”
Singer ends talking about God and how once we get past all the religious doctrine and all our imagined issues, we become one with God. It reminds me of lessons from A Course in Miracles.
There’s no judgemental god, just a loving god. Love is all there is!
Have you read The Untethered Soul? What did you think? Did you love it? Or did you get tonnes of resistance too?
If you've not read this one, but want to try it out, you can buy it via the link below. Full disclosure, if you buy a copy via this link I'll get a small amount of commission.
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