Taming The Monkey Mind

Tarsier Monkey

When we are actively growing ourselves or expanding our horizons, resistance can (and usually does) come up.
To be more precise, our monkey mind comes up with the most creative excuses to avoid change—“This is silly, I should be doing something else”, “I already know this…”
This monkey mind works in tandem with the ego. Our ego likes maintaining the status quo and any sort of change threatens it. Therefore, the monkey mind and ego pull out the BIG GUNS, coming up with every distraction they can, to pull you off course.

This is where you can use distraction as the mindfulness bell.  Shine the light of awareness on multitasking or commotions, or drama and say to yourself, “that’s interesting…” take a breath and refocus from a perspective of choice.

For example, let’s say you are working on forgiveness, however, every time you decide to work on releasing old hurts and negativity, distracting thoughts jump up one after the other.
That’s the time to Breathe!

Take a moment and ask yourself, “Have I been able to do what enriching acts I set out to do?”

 

If not, don’t panic!  This is about becoming more and more aware, not about creating opportunities to be mean to yourself.
Whatever your answer was, say to yourself, “OK! That’s interesting!” and simply reflect.  Did you go into:

  • Oh Shoot!
  • I never get it all done…
  • What is she talking about?
  • I don’t have time!
  • I always mess up…

These are DISTRACTIONS!  And act as barriers to goodness and love that are waiting to be bestowed upon you.
A huge distraction for many of us is called perfection paralysis, which sounds like, “I’ll do it later when I have time.”  It will keep you in procrastination and the ego happy since it is thwarting change.

The idea is not to worry when this happens. Distraction is a natural instinctive reaction of the mind.  However, to develop ourselves and to make our lives more fulfilling, we need to break the pattern and focus on the moment.

As you start practicing this technique of taking a step back to breathe and reflect, you will realize how much peace and joy being in the moment can bring!

Assignment:
Choose any enriching task that you would like to work on. It could be forgiveness, opening yourself to more love, or any past Love Letter assignment. Mark a convenient time and day for you to give it attention. At the designated time, if your mind starts throwing up one distraction after another, I suggest you set a timer for 5 minutes. Allow the distracting thoughts one-by-one to float away, like down a river, and then go back to your exercise. The idea is not to over think any of this, but to allow yourself to notice your go-to distractions and work with them, not against.

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