Your Inner Roommate

Yesterday, I returned to a book that is without a doubt becoming my ‘go to read’ when I am feeling off kilter or unbalanced.  The Untethered Soul by Michael Singer is an amazing, thought provoking book which explores ways in which we limit ourselves by remaining stuck in habitual thoughts and emotions that do not serve us.  Early in the book he discusses the concept of ‘our inner roommate’.  He invites the reader to consider the constant chatter going on in our minds as someone separate from you, who just happens to reside in your head. Take a moment later today to listen to whatever monologue is going on in your mind. What’s it saying?  Anything interesting or helpful?  Now, consider actually living with someone who talked like that – ALL THE TIME!  How long before you would kick him or her out of your house? You’d be saying, “You need to leave – you talk way too much!”
I love this framework and am trying to use it more often throughout the day – and night if I am having trouble going to sleep – when the constant chatter seems to get louder and more difficult to stop.  (I actually said to this inner roommate of mine last night, “OK, time for sleep now”)  The beauty of looking at it like this is that it allows you to see that YOU ARE NOT YOUR THOUGHTS.  You are the listener of your thoughts, and you get to choose how you engage with them. When you begin to see it this way, you free yourself from the mental melodrama that captures your attention and prevents you from living your life in the present moment.
The next time you find yourself consumed by the “blah, blah, blah” going on in your head, try to take a mental step back and just observe what is being said.  Don’t judge it or get emotionally wrapped up in it.  Just watch for a minute.  Most of the time you’ll end up smiling and saying, “Geez, this is ridiculous.  Why am I even expending any emotional energy on this?”.  And that’s the best question to consider, “Why am I perceiving this situation as a problem?” or “What part of me is being disturbed by this?”  True inner freedom comes when we are able to objectively watch problems instead of being lost in them.  That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be moved to act when necessary.  But it does invite us to limit the time we get caught up in the emotion of a problem so that we can use that energy in ways that bring us joy instead of suffering.

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