The Space Within
– Finding your way back home
I wrote The Space Within as a way to gently introduce (or re-introduce) people to their spiritual nature. Instead of struggling for self-improvement, we find a deeper Self that is already perfect, complete and whole. The book is subtitled “Finding your way back home” because that’s how most people describe the feeling of resting in their true nature – like coming home to a place that seems familiar and comforting even if you’ve not been there for a very long time.
Living from our true nature – the space within – is the ultimate medicine. It is good for whatever ails you, physically, emotionally, mentally, creatively, and spiritually. It offers rest for the weary and caffeine for the soul. It frees us from the apparent limitations of our past conditioning and present circumstances and opens us up to the deeper creative potential of the mind.
“In this amazing book, Michael Neill lovingly guides us home to the space within. With humour, grace and simplicity, he invites us to wake up and remember that who we are is infinite”. – Anita Moorjani
‘In The Space Within, Michael Neill emerges as the poet laureate of the human condition.’ – Steve Chandler
“With rare depth, Michael Neill offers brilliant insights into the mind-boggling upside of being human”. – Mike Dooley
‘Michael Neill has done it again, sharing the secrets of the universe with eloquence and unbridled simplicity. Get it. Read it. Reach for it whenever you need a reminder…’
– Shama Hyder
From the Introduction – One Problem, One Solution
Most books that purport to help you get more out of life fit into one of two categories: informative guides or practical manuals. This book is designed to sit in a third category: as a catalyst to wake you up to something that is already inside you. There’s a sense in which you already know everything we’ll be talking about, even if you’ve never consciously thought about it or attempted to put it into words.
For example, after listening to my TEDx talk, ‘Why Aren’t We Awesomer?’, Bob Hurley, the surfer turned CEO of Hurley International, which is now a division of Nike and one of the most profitable lines of sports apparel in the world, took me aside and said, ‘That was great, Michael – but can I ask you a question?’ When I assured him that he could, he said, somewhat conspiratorially, ‘Isn’t this all kind of obvious?’
I agreed with him that it was, but also pointed out that, like the naked leader in The Emperor’s New Clothes, for something that everyone recognized once they saw it, it was remarkable how few people actually saw it in the first place.
Which begs the question of how best to see the elusive obvious. While there’s no one right answer, there is definitely a direction in which to look, and it’s inside you. Not inside your body, but inside the quiet and spaciousness of your own mind.
Think of ‘quiet’ not as an absence of thought but as the space inside which the noise of your thinking arises. What makes this tricky, at least to begin with, is that at first glimpse the noise is more interesting than the quiet. For example, look at the white background of this page. Chances are you can still see the words, and even read them, but without noticing it, at some point you will once again become absorbed in the words and stop seeing the white of the page.
In the same way, it’s easy to get caught up in reading and either agreeing or arguing with the words that I’m using and totally miss the space to which they’re pointing. That’s not your fault, and in fairness, it’s not really my fault either. Trying to explain spiritual truth is like pointing to fire with ice – the closer you get to the reality of what you’re pointing to, the less useful your words become.
“This is an absolutely brilliant book about one of the most important subjects of all: the nothing at the heart of everything. It’s the first book I know of that explores in practical, useful detail the space within – the vast context of pure consciousness in which our experience occurs. Reading the book is an evolutionary journey in itself, and I urge you to take up that adventure at your earliest opportunity.” – Gay Hendricks
If you read Michael Neill’s wonderful book The Inside-Out Revolution, you probably noticed the pages of extraordinary endorsements from peer writers, trainers and teachers raving about the ideas expressed in his work. Michael is often described as the ‘coach’s coach’, and commands extraordinary respect within his field.
Having worked with Michael for many years now, and published five books with him, I feel qualified to say that Michael is also an ‘author’s author’. His commitment to the writing process is an intense one. Michael told me that his patient wife, Nina, finds it difficult to be around him during that process. His focus on the writing is absolute.
When the The Inside-Out Revolution manuscript arrived with me, it was in great shape – but Michael was clear that he wanted to cut it by 20,000 words, and that it would be better as a result. He carefully went about doing this and was, of course, right – it was better. It is a rare and skilled author who can rip into their own work, which took them so much time and energy to create. Michael is an author who examines every sentence that he has created carefully and, when he goes into the editorial process with our wonderful editor Lizzie Henry, he expects her to match this level of commitment and help him refine the work into something that he feels happy to go out into the world.
When I read the manuscript for The Space Within, the word ‘genius’ came to mind. I was ready to publish it as it stood, and when our Managing Editor, Julie Oughton, read it she felt the same. But we knew that Michael would not be content with it until Lizzie and he had worked through each line of the book to ensure it communicated the concepts as clearly and powerfully as possible.
Michael has been on an extraordinary internal journey in the last few years. For him, The Inside-Out Revolution was a watershed book which reflected a deepening of his inquiry into the nature of the mind and consciousness. His new book, The Space Within, is the next stage of this inquiry, and a third book reflecting the manifestation of these concepts will be out in the autumn of 2017.
Of course wonderful endorsements are flowing in to Michael for this new book. One came in last week from Steve Chandler, the author of 100 Ways to Motivate Yourself and The Story of You, and I want to share it here as it perfectly captures the exceptional nature of what Michael is attempting in his writing. Steve says:
‘In The Space Within, Michael Neill emerges as the poet laureate of the human condition.’
This is extraordinary praise – but it is an extraordinary book.
‘The Space Within contains everything you need to know to be resilient in life broken down in a way that makes it both simple andprofound.’
‘Michael has a wonderful way of describing both our spiritual nature and our human nature. He leads the reader to consider both worlds, offering us the opportunity to see the two are One.’
“Back in 2010, I founded a software company and took it from zero to a million dollars in revenue under four years, working hard and stretching myself towards big and challenging goals. When we hit the ‘magic number’, I found, to my surprise, there was nothing there. I didn’t even crack a bottle of champagne. That shocked me to my core, and that was the point at which I stumbled across Michael’s writing. The understanding he shares in this book changed my life and continues to do so. My experience of being in business has transformed to one of being in flow and tapping into creative solutions whenever I need to. I spend more time with my family – and have a far closer connection with them than ever before. My migraines and anxiety have all but disappeared. When I finally saw ‘the space within’ that Michael so eloquently points to in this book, I did finally crack that bottle of champagne. I found something better than a million dollars and for that Michael, I will always be grateful to you.”
There have been many books written on the deeper spiritual truths behind life. Michael, in my opinion, is up there as one of the most gifted authors in articulating what cannot be expressed in words. He masterfully manages to make ageless wisdom accessible and relatable. He does this not only with a sense of humour but with a depth that will move readers and touch the very essence he so poignantly describes. “The Space Within” is an immense contribution that challenges us to rethink how we create and understand the very fact of what it means to me human and live a wonderful life.
Michael creates a wonderful feeling that keeps the reader interested and reflective as they devour this book. His use metaphors and personal stories help the reader to relate to his struggles and provides hope that they can change and be happy, no matter what!
”Anyone who has been touched by what Michael Neill is pointing to in this book is eternally grateful to whomever nudged them in this direction. For me that person happens to be Michael. Here he beautifully shares the human ”ground zero” of how we all create our experience of life. In a simple yet profound way that gives you a chance for better understanding that might have you falling deeply in love with your life and living all over again. That’s what’s on offer here. So, don’t just read this book. Let the words on its pages shower your mind like your favorite music and chances are you too will see something wonderful that really makes a difference for you. No, really, it’s not just what everyone is saying. I cannot state this any stronger from my heart, hopefully, to yours – this is it!”