3 Tools For Quitting The Monkey Mind Drama!
Ok, let’s face it, we all have the crazy brain, monkey mind, inner yammerings that drive absurd, silly or irrational thoughts and actions. Some days it seems endless, other days only brief periods of monkey madness. My guess is that if we could record a week’s worth of thinking, then play it back to an audience, we’d not only be mortified, we’d realize how unproductive we’ve been.
I used to live in a transitional area of downtown Atlanta where homeless people are regular fixtures. Common consensus concludes that the majority of this sect of people who are walking around ranting and raving, seemingly speaking to the air are “crazy”. But… I’m not so sure the gap between “us” normal people and “those” crazy people is so vast. “Us” normal peeps just aren’t spouting it aloud!
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We live in a non-stop, do more, buy more, achieve more society that makes a quiet mind and peaceful existence “the road less traveled”. Yet, increasingly quiet being is pure unadulterated liberation!
One of my clients’ most frequent goals is to, “quiet my mind.” So how can you do this on your own? There are many ways. Here are a few:
Take Liberated Action! To move out of your mind, move into your body space. The following tools will teach the door to your mind to close and an inner door to physical and spiritual connection to open. Transcending the mind is the goal.
I know, I know, everyone thinks meditation is difficult. It is NOT. You’re just not practiced in it. You’re highly practiced at frantic, non-stop thinking, which creates massive amounts of fearful, anxious and depressive states. Meditation is easier than you think.
First you must find yourself worthy of the gift of a silent mind. Taking 5 minutes twice a day for 30 days to start is mandatory, but no more. Think about those 30 minutes each day (or more) you find yourself zoning out on Facebook or Pinterest! We engage in escapes like social media droning, shopping, alcohol, etc., for the purpose of escaping our thoughts. So why not use the gift of true silence to do so?
Of course at first, you’ll feel like your mind is even busier as you “try” to shut it down during your 5 minute practice periods. Your mind will want to run through the things you should be doing, but the trick is consistency, patience and self-compassion --- all necessities in order to live a truly liberated life. Let go of judgment as you sit quietly. Imagine your thoughts as leaves falling from a tree in autumn. No leaf is particularly interesting or worth attaching to, just like your thoughts. Simply notice each thought, and let it fall around you onto the ground.
Over the coming weeks you will feel an increased sense of lightness as you commit to this new, self-adoring habit.
In addition to meditation, journaling is the second most “resisted” task in mental, emotional liberation. Journaling causes you to get very real with yourself. And let’s face it, shopping and partying seems a whole lot more fun than digging deep. But, if you want calm in your brain and peace in your life, meditating and journaling are key practices. As with meditating, you only need to dedicate 10 minutes per day to begin. There is no right or wrong way to journal, just show up with a pen and paper—or a laptop. Some people are more comfortable hand writing in an actual notebook but if it’s more convenient, don’t hesitate to type out your feelings. What matters is that you express them on paper. Again, you must find yourself worthy of this gift.
Journaling is an offering to your spirit. As you get your mental stories out of your head and onto paper, a magical calm rests in their place. The best times to journal are morning or just before bed, but anytime is better than no time! Write anything that comes to mind. Bullet points, stream of consciousness, sentence fragments, it doesn’t matter. Just get the frantic banter out!
3) MINDFUL FEET:
Mindfulness is a form of meditation and a portal to spirit and self-connection. The simplest way to begin this is by focusing on how it feels for your feet to make contact with any surface they connect with. Literally, feeling the sensation of touch and the micro amount of space that exists between the surface and your feet. It may feel tingly, soft, light or airy. If your brain begins to attempt to make some kind of “sense” of the experience, let those thoughts fall away as leaves and tune back into the experience of your feet!