We all do our work each day as a distinct human “being.” You are YOU in your job. I am ME in my job.
In my day, I have conversations with my clients. I work through the plan and follow-up with people. I stop to chat with a colleague. I go to lunch, or I don’t. In all of that activity, the person who shows up is me, Mary Mavis.
In your world, the person who shows up is YOU.
What we are not always so aware of is our “inner roommate” who sits in our shadow or on our shoulder providing play-by-play commentary. I have read and am now studying a book called The Untethered Soul by Michael Singer. Singer boils down the complex concept of our psyche into a very practical approach to self-awareness and freedom-seeking. In one chapter called Our Inner Roommate, he describes perfectly how much we torture ourselves.
Here’s my experience of what Singer proposes.
A Non-Stop Commentary
My inner roommate talks non-stop, alerting me to every problem—past, present, and future. It’s the real ME who listens to my roommate, responding to each alert, allowing my roommate to rev-up-my-engine or sink-my-ship.
If you don’t resonate with this inner roommate concept, just sit for ten minutes in a quiet place, maybe sitting in the car or on the subway. Just a minute or two and listen to the chatter.
“What will Bill say when I deliver the feedback today? I hate this part of the work…but I’m good at it and it makes a big difference. Look at that guy, he’s an idiot. He just took someone’s parking space. Brrr, It’s colder than I thought today, I hate the cold. Hey there’s Joe, he was so funny yesterday. Yikes I’m going to be late…again. Sarah will be annoyed. She always gets annoyed about the small stuff.” And on and on and on.
Insane Marie Mavis
After a day of listening, you might realize that your roomate is as INSANE as my roommate. In fact, what would happen if you personified this aspect of your psyche into another being. Let’s call mine Marie. Would I spend much time with Marie if I knew her typical dialogue? NO. I would avoid Marie, let caller ID protect me, and generally distance myself as much as possible.
But, how can I get away from her when Marie is inside of me?
The first step to freedom is my awareness. It’s the real Mary Mavis who can listen to my roommate, Marie. I can now watch Marie’s peppering me with complaints and opinions that disturb my moment. It’s the real Mary who watches and has a choice to breathe and shake Marie off of my shoulder.
Getting Marie In Check
Then, I stop. Hey Marie. Pipe down. I love this kind of day. I’ll deal with the work and the other stuff. Leave me alone. Whew, peace..
Return your SELF to you with some challenging awareness of your inner dialogue that works to alert, if not create, problems.
One last disturbing thought…notice if what you are actually saying mirrors your insane roommate’s chatter. Take care not to unleash your inner roommate onto your colleagues.