Trigger Warning: This novel and review discuss the following: family, relationships.
Goodreads Rating: 3 Stars
This was a recommendation from my KY bestie, who told me about this book over a meal one day. We both love reading things that expand our mind, and help us learn more about ourselves, so when we find something good we love to share it! I downloaded this as an audiobook from Hoopla, in connection with my local library, so I’m going to review it from that stance.
The Untethered Soul is about quieting the inner voice inside your mind, and learning how to create peace within. As I listened to the narrator (Singer), who’s voice is really soothing but still animated enough to keep you awake, he discusses how we all have a running dialogue with ourselves, our own personal thoughts, and the variations of those thoughts. I know it’s a little confusing, but the way Singer describes it, “You are not the voice of the mind- you are the one who hears it.” There is always an inner dialogue running in your mind, and it’s perfectly normal to hear that voice and argue with it internally. But Singer discusses how, with practice, you can quiet the inner monologue and really live in the moment, without narration.
Singer shares some history behind the path to finding inner peace, and that included background on yoga practice and Sanskrit teachings, as well as the people who have adopted these practices and techniques. He reminds everyone that they don’t need to go off on an ashram retreat (a la Eat Pray Love) in order to practice these techniques either- you can do these practices at home, and just putting forth a little effort on a regular basis will help build your mental strength to let go of the inner voice. In chapter seven, he discussed feelings and how thoughts create these feelings. Those feelings make it hard to let go, but if you change the way you internalize them within your thinking process, you can change the way you feel about those thoughts. He states,
“When you feel pain, simply view it as energy. Just start seeing these inner experiences as energy passing through your heart and before the eye of your consciousness. Then relax…Relax your shoulders and relax your heart. Let go and give room for the pain to pass through you. It’s just energy. Just see it as energy and let it go.”
I also really liked the last chapter, which talks about how the biggest thing that makes us appreciate life, is death. We learn a lot from death, and Singer describes the various ways in which being more in tune with the current moment, and not being so lost within our own thoughts, can cause us to have a more fulfilling life. He talked about how wise old men are more accepting of death because they don’t fear it, knowing they have no regrets of not doing enough, or seeing enough, or not experiencing enough. They have learned how to live in the moment, not within their minds.
It’s a very spiritual book, and it may not be for everybody, but I enjoyed listening to Singer, and contemplating my own contemplation! I’ve always been curious about how the mind works, how we express ourselves, and how the inner voice inside my own head interprets the things I experience. I also related The Untethered Soul with a podcast I’ve been listening to a lot, called Unf*ck Your Brain with Kara Loewentheil. Both Singer and Loewentheil made similar points about how your thoughts influence your emotions, and how to change your thoughts to achieve happiness. The biggest difference is the language they each use- Singer is more spiritual, and Loewentheil is more modern and scientific. Both are fascinating, and each have given me some homework to help my mental wellness. If you are interested in mental coaching, then I advise giving them both a listen.
TL/DR: The Untethered Soul by Michael A. Singer is a nonfiction reference novel aimed in teaching the reader how to quiet your inner voice and create peace within.
Read it? If this is your kind of novel, then I say yes. However, I know this is not a book for everyone, so if it’s a little too “woo-woo”, I say give the podcast mentioned a listen instead for similar results!
Recommend it? Yes!
Buy it? I would personally listen or purchase the audiobook, as the narration has a soothing affect- I feel like the book would put me to sleep.
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