• Dawn Bowden

The Neighbour

Updated: May 25, 2021

My lovely daughter bought me ‘The Untethered Soul’ for Christmas. In this gem of a book Michael Singer describes the voice in our head as our ‘Roommate’. I love this concept as it automatically separates, our ‘unconscious thinking mind’ from our ‘conscious being’

I left my flat share era many years ago so prefer to describe the voice in my head as my ‘Neighbour’. Bear with me...

Imagine that you have an irritating neighbour who knocks on your door constantly. Every moment of every day, she or he is on your doorstep pointing out your faults. Telling you that you aren’t intelligent enough? Saying that everyone is more successful than you? Suggesting that you could have done much more with your life...been a better parent...partner...friend? Reminding you about the past... nagging you about the future? Interrupting conversations with a running critique of how you are doing at any given moment and then sending you ‘minutes on your life’ to read at 3am in the morning? Constantly at your door ALL.THE.TIME!!!?? Would you open the door? It is hard to hide from everyone that comes knocking I know, but I think I might at least get myself a decent set of net curtains!

Welcome to the unconscious thinking mind. The voice in your head

The neighbour (voice in your head) rarely solves any problems and hardly ever brings happiness or peace to your life. Yet despite the failure rate of this ridiculous creature to help us out mentally, we turn to them for advice and trust what they are saying to be the truth...and we do it all the time.

I have been working on my ‘neighbour’ recently. I have resisted the net curtain route because it is actually impossible (and unhealthy) to hide from life. Instead I notice when they are knocking on the door and acknowledge in that moment that I absolutely have a choice as to who or what I allow in.

It is easy to slip up, and I often find myself sleepwalking to the front door.... and suddenly there she is sitting at the kitchen table drinking from my favourite mug! The trick is to realise it is happening. Recognising when the ‘neighbour’ or your thoughts have stepped over the threshold and politely inviting them to leave is key. Just make sure you don’t hand that key over !! X

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