Vivek Ravisankar


The book, The Untethered Soul by Michael Singer, is one that I have re-read the most. Every time I decide to read this book, I inadvertently start with the chapter, Removing the Inner Thorn.

Suppose you have a thorn embedded in your arm, not just superficially but deep enough to stimulate a nerve each time it’s brushed against. You could devise all sorts of mechanisms to prevent the touch. You could painstakingly trim the branches when you walk in the woods or engineer a protective casing for when you roll over in your sleep. There’s one hitch – the protective casing is metal. It’s now going to trigger the airport security alarm. The solution? Create another workaround, another buffer. And just like that, your existence revolves around the very thorn you sought to avoid.

What if, instead, we chose the initial pain of pulling out the thorn? While it might be a jarring process, it ultimately leads to liberation, freeing us from the shackles of a thorn-centered life.

This concept isn’t merely theoretical but has had implications in real-life situations for me. In one scenario, I decided to part ways with an employee vs building “devices” around him. In another instance where I was envious of a peer’s accomplishment, I acknowledged that every individual’s story is unique & started focusing on mine.

So, what is your thorn? How are you dealing with it?