"It all begins and ends in your mind. What you give power to, has power over you, if you allow it."
After my experience with checking your phone in the morning (s. my blog post from yesterday), and as I am currently doing the Positive Intelligence (PQ) training, I have been more aware of my mind chatter and wonder how I can deal with this. I noticed my mind chatter in the evening before I sleep, or in the morning when I wake up that my mind seems to be transformed to a "monkey mind" (more in Jay Shetty`s book "Think Like a Monk") - like a monkey, it jumps from one "branch" of a thought to the next one.
So, for example, from thinking about this one friend, my mind starts to think of London, then of Covid, then I try to move it to more positive thoughts, so my mind thinks of my family, but then jumps to my body, then the day`s events, then the messages I received, and so on and on. All these thoughts may not necessarily be related (or they are in a meta-view, who knows), and while I was aware of my monkey mind, I was also aware of the energy power this activity consumed.
When I woke up this morning, my monkey mind started again, but this time (maybe because the mind was still asleep) less busy than usually. Whenever I wake up, I try to do conscious steps, such as taking deep breaths, naming three things I am grateful for, and also (newly introduced :D) gently touching my face. (The last routine is the one I learned from the PQ training as part of training our self-command or mindfulness muscle, but I also learned how intimate and calming this gesture can be (highly recommend!)). During my short morning routine, I noticed my mind was waking up more with every minute passing by, so I also noticed the "monkey", but tried to gently shift back to my intention.
This awareness and observation continued when I took a shower. You may also notice, too, that it can be quite amazing how often the mind drifts away and tries to get your attention on something else rather than the present moment. Whenever a distraction happens (e.g. thinking about what to do today or any topic that seems important or even irrelevant), I focus my attention back with my senses. I would notice more what was going on in the present moment, e.g. my naked body, shampoo bottles, the white bath tub. I would notice the sensation of hot water on my skin, the smooth shampoo in my hair, the metal shower head in my hand. I would hear the water running and the heater`s noise. All these small shifts can already make a big difference to come back to this moment and quiet the busy mind. And yes, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn`t. Be gentle, patient, and faithful in this process - your monkey mind has been operating for a long time, so your mindfulness muscle requires practice over time.
I can only encourage practicing mindfulness because not only will your body thank you for less energy consumption needed for your monkey mind activities, but you will also notice how more deeply you are capable of experiencing life. Before, we were unconscious and not really awake / present, so we are likely missing the precious moment that is in front of us. Even if your mind judges that washing the dishes is absolutely boring, you can see "washing the dishes" as your gym - to train your mind and increase your productivity and happiness in life. The skills you have trained and acquired when washing the dishes will serve any area of your life. For example, you have trained your core abs and, at first glance, you think it only serves your body. But having a strong core will also make you feel strong and stable for your other endeavors, burn your calories easily and quickly, and, of course, tone your body when you e.g. want to wear a slim dress or shirt.
So keep coming back to this moment - acknowledge your monkey mind when it gets active, and then gently shift back to your present moment, e.g. via your senses (What do you see? What do you hear? What do you touch?) or your breath. Notice your monkey mind potentially wondering, "How can this help? How is this even related? It is boring, I rather want to turn on the TV, don`t waste too much time, and check my messages". Your Saboteur will come up, esp. if you want to quiet them after a long period of dominance. I like to compare this with being re-born to the child we were used to be - when we seem to get lost in our plays and activities (e.g. carving out a sand castle) - before we grew into adults with mind chatter as our companion that we didn`t learn to question. So be curious, stay with your practice, and enjoy how life is opening up for you.
Are you aware of your monkey mind? Let me know by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org – I very look forward to hearing from you! :)PS: Subscribe to my #mindfulmagic Newsletterto stay in touch for upcoming posts, free offers, and news :)
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