Attack of the Monkey Mind
My Monkey Mind attacked me this morning.
I woke up about an hour before my alarm was set to go off. I lay there with the intention of going back to sleep, but my Monkey Mind had another idea. Her idea was to torture me with thoughts of all the things I need to do, have not done and won’t have time to do today. I certainly wasn’t going to be doing them from my bed or before breakfast.
But Monkey Mind was relentless. What about the things coming up in a week, two weeks, three weeks… what about those? She went on and on. Finally, I put my hands on my forehead and screamed silently to myself. “STOP IT! STOP IT! STOP IT!” Monkey Mind got really, really quiet. I think I scared her.
While she was quiet (I suspect she was collecting ammo for another attack), I used that time to remind myself to stay in the present moment. To pay attention to my Wise Self, not my Monkey Mind. What could I do in the moment that would make me feel good about myself? Going back to sleep wasn’t an option. Once I’m awake, I’m awake. So I decided to get on the treadmill and listen to one of my favorite podcasts from one of my favorite authors. It was the perfect choice for me! Monkey Mind went back to sleep. Apparently, she can sleep anywhere at any time… sort of like my husband. Afterwards, I felt energized and motivated and I knew I was going to have a fantastic day!
Each of us has a Monkey Mind. This is the part of our brain that produces thoughts that can wreak havoc on our inner peace and attempt to push us into a panic mode. We don’t get to control when our Monkey Mind speaks up. However, we can realize that thoughts are just thoughts. They have no power unless we give them power.
We get to choose what we put our attention on. We decide if the thoughts are true or just another case of us beating up on ourselves because loving ourselves is so foreign to many of us. If something needs to be done, we decide if doing it now is the best course of action or if putting it on a list and scheduling a time to do it later is more to our advantage. However we decide to handle it, the fact remains that listening to our Monkey Mind chattering on and on is not going to get the thing done any faster. In fact it has the opposite effect and can immobilize us to the extent that we do absolutely nothing.
So the next time your Monkey Mind decides it’s time for her to be in control of your thoughts, ask your Wise Self to pass the mental earplugs.