Welcome back to the Growing Tree of Life, our weekly exploration of personal growth and well-being.

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You are not who you seem to be

Issue Number: #048
Date: 14 December 2023
Reading Time: 4 minutes

I know you're aware that I have bipolar disorder.

Sometimes, it can make things difficult for me. Yet, the diagnosis led me to find out a lot about us, humans. I've learned so much about the mind and body during the last five years. There's one particular insight that has helped me tremendously, and I've discovered it helps others too, even those without mental health issues. So today, I want to share with you this life-changing reality.

Did you know that we live on three different planes or levels of life? You see, as humans, we have three distinct interfaces:

  1. Our physical body - This allows us to take action and exercise our will in the physical world.
  2. Our soul - Comprising of intelligence, emotions and will, our soul is what enables us to create and interact with other souls. Side note: Animals have souls too, that's why we can communicate with them.
  3. Our spirit - This connects us to the spiritual realm beyond the physical and intellectual, creating unity with the realm beyond our senses.
Now, I understand that this spiritual aspect may sound strange to some of you. But when you realise that there's more to you than just your intellect, emotions, willpower and body, it opens up a world of possibilities.

Think of these three aspects as a computer:
  • The body is like the hardware – the physical components of the computer.
  • The soul is like the software – the programs running within.
  • The spirit is like the person using the computer – it's you, in control of everything.
When you view your life through this lens, it becomes clear that you can change anything within your "computer." You have control over your actions and emotions; you can make decisions based on your values and ethics; and you can tap into a deeper spiritual connection beyond yourself.

That has big implications.
  • You are not just a physical body; you are also a soul with intelligence, emotions and willpower.
  • You are a spiritual being able to use and manage your soul and body, creating a life that truly reflects who you are.
  • Like a computer user, you have the power to change any aspect of your life IF YOU LEARN HOW!

So how do you, a spiritual being, modify and control your hardware and software? For example:
  • You can install and uninstall different software to change your thoughts and habits.
  • You can improve your hardware by exercising or changing the food you eat.
Once I realised that I was in charge of my own hardware and software, I was able to make significant changes in my life.

Changing your mind is often the toughest task. But knowing that I have the power to install and uninstall things in my life made it easier to adapt.

Now, don't get me wrong – as someone with bipolar disorder, I still experience highs and lows. These episodes are like computer crashes that require a reboot, but they do not define who I am. They only affect the functioning of my software and hardware at that moment.

Viewing my body and mind from an outside perspective has helped me live life more fully.

So here's my tip for you:

Explore your spiritual aspect and realise that you are not just your body or mind – you are a spiritual being who can influence both.

Let's try a little exercise together:
  1. Close your eyes, sit down, and observe yourself. Imagine yourself stepping out of your body and looking down on you exactly as you are now, sitting on the chair or sofa.
  2. Can you see yourself? Who are you looking at? Who is the person looking down at your body sitting there?
  3. Now take it one step further – step out from the person observing your body. Can you see both, the observer and your body sitting below? Who is sitting in the chair? Who is the observer? And who are you, observing both of them?
These steps show that you can step out of your body and mind and view them separately from yourself. This understanding gives you the power to shape your life according to your desires.

  • You have control over your habits.
  • Your physical well-being is in your hands.
  • Changing your mind may be challenging, but it is possible.
  • Embracing your spiritual nature will help you navigate through life's ups and downs.
So next time you feel overwhelmed or stuck, take a step back and remember that you are more than just your body and mind. You are a spiritual being with the power to shape your own life's journey. Just close your eyes, step back and observe yourself. What is your body doing? What is your mind thinking? Why?

Being able to step out from the hardware of your body and the software of your mind gives you the ability to observe and amend.

There is a difference between who you are and the thoughts that swirl around in your mind.
  • It's not you who has these thoughts; rather, they exist within your mind.
  • You are not directly affected by these thoughts; instead, you can observe and accept or reject them.
Isn't it fascinating to realise that your identity lies beyond the confines of your physical body (the hardware) and even beyond your soul - intellect, emotions, and willpower (the software)?

That's all for today. Remember, you are more extensive and stronger than both your body and mind (soul). By understanding this concept, you will unlock the vast potential that lies within you.

Thank you for reading and see you next Thursday.


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