On multitasking, multi-personalities and the inner jouney

I’m driving home with a laptop computer. True to its name, it sits on my lap as I mostly keep my eyes on the road.

by Scott Kalechstein — 

Author’s note: The following is a true story — except for the parts I made up.

Yippee! I’m driving home with a laptop computer. True to its name, it sits on my lap as I mostly keep my eyes on the road. My thoughts and feelings turn to the lack of gigs on my schedule, a frequent occurrence these days. As of this typing, my work life is slow, slower than it has been in the 18 years I’ve been a fulltime transformational troubadour. I am currently rich in a currency that many in this culture crave … time. Doesn’t that sound marvelous, having an abundance of time to be with yourself? It ain’t no picnic, America! Let me tell you about it.

The challenge in having free time is facing my mind with fewer distractions. What an incessant chatterbox I have inside my head!

Still Small Voice: This is a grand opportunity to deal with that chatterbox of yours and transform it into a more peaceful place to be. I will guide you in that process. Your job is to make peace your highest priority. That means cultivating a place within where stillness can be welcomed. And that means sitting still.

Ego: Sitting still? Are you trying to get me to meditate? I hate meditation! What if I fall into a black hole and never come out? Or worse, I could come out all soft and sweet and stress-free. How would I manage in this crazy world without stress? Come on, now! And, not being busy is making it all too obvious where my suffering comes from, and I’ve had enough of this “looking within and taking responsibility” stuff. I need someone else to blame. And I need to do, do, do … something. I can’t just be.

Still Small Voice: Yes you can. There is nothing more important than enjoying your own company, and being present and at peace with what is. It is the foundation for all success, service and happiness in the world.

Ego: Are you promoting inner peace again? That’s boring as hell! What I want is the adrenaline rush of a new external obsession, and I want it now! Although I have to admit that adrenaline is getting very hard to enjoy lately with a loud-mouthed, still, small voice badgering me to get quiet and go even deeper on this ridiculous inner journey. No offense.

Still Small Voice: None taken. And by the way, you only perceive me as loud-mouthed when you haven’t heard my whispers.

Ego: (Ego jumps up and down now, arms flailing, and shouts something for all to hear, and my inner censor is letting this one through as is, for the purposes of catharsis.) Growth SUCKS! I REFUSE to do any more of it, and you can’t MAKE me! (Note the capitals, an undisputed sign of computer venting. You might say we’re word processing! Yuck …)

Scott: So, God, what do I do? What do I do with my ego? What do I do with my life? Please, universe, give me a creative project, certainty about the future … a bold, five-year mission … anything but day-to-day existence with the shadowy sub-personalities that reside in my head, anything but the task before me of taming my out-of-control mind, loving myself as I am, and being present to the mystery without rushing to control!

Still Small Voice: I hear you venting, Scott, and it is good. Highly therapeutic! Let it out until you are spent. Let me remind you, when you have calmed down, that your soul has called for this time and space in your schedule for an exciting reason: you are longing to create connection between the various parts of your psyche, and you are ripe and ready for solidarity and unification within the Self. All fragments need love to heal. Embrace them, and they will integrate and unify into wholeness. That’s when life becomes a consistent joy. That’s when you will be able to be peaceful inside and busy in the world at the same time.

Scott: The fragmentation of the Self has seemingly taken on a life of its own, with some clever survival strategies to safeguard its existence. A big one for me is multitasking, which successfully ensures that, with my attention divided, I am not fully present to anything, especially myself. Under the guise of saving time, I was seduced into multitasking by the following paid advertisement: “Why simply prepare dinner, when you can be making a call using your hands-free phone and watching the Weather Channel at the same time? Why simply run errands, when you can be eating lunch and returning phone calls while driving?”

Still Small Voice: If all these new multitasking behaviors are designed to save time, then why are you rushing around more than ever? Where is all the time you are supposedly saving and why can’t you even seem to slow down and take your time when you have it?

Ego: Good questions! I promise to devote some time to them while at the gym, on the treadmill, checking my e-mail.

Still Small Voice: When you are letting the ego run the show, Scott, you are always on a treadmill. But remember that even there, you can begin to dismantle your frantic addiction to adrenaline by breathing slowly and consciously, deliberately and deeply while engaged in whatever multitasks you are doing. Your breath will take you back to being present, and ultimately back to sanity.

Ego: Sanity? Are you’re implying that I’m insane?

Still Small Voice: Yes, you are indeed quite mad, as are most members of this modern culture at this time in history. But don’t take it personally, for that’s where madness starts. The good news is that you and many others are engaged in the process of becoming sane. You’re becoming conscious of your disowned fragments of self and integrating them back into wholeness. You have committed on a soul level to the inner journey, which means that your victimhood days are over. You have lost almost all interest in looking outside yourself and pretending that your suffering or your happiness is created by anything other than your own choices, thoughts and beliefs.

Keep your sense of humor about all this, Scott, and celebrate each step taken toward a freer mind and a simpler life. For instance, you didn’t use your car phone once today while writing this article, and you carefully stopped typing to look up while switching lanes. Now, that’s progress!

 

Scott Kalechstein, in addition to enjoying a rich fantasy life, winds his way through the great big mental institution of the world, giving humorous and heart-centered concerts, talks and workshops, as well as presenting at conferences. scott@scottsongs.com or www.scottsongs.com.

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 26, Number 1, February/March 2007.

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