If I don’t have a notebook beside my bed, I may as well just forget about sleep…
I suffer from multiple ailments…
Dreaming up characters, scenarios, story lines, poems.
Do I have another piece of furniture to work on? Where did I put that giant canvas? Do I still have enough paint?
Let me list 5 gazillion things that I need to get done. Do we have enough $$? How much is it going to cost to fix that car? Are the kids really ok?
Poor pitiful me. Why me? Nothing ever works out like it should. My heart aches.
…and this is just my brain at NIGHT!
Heard of “monkey mind”?
“Monkey mind” is a Buddhist term for a mind that is restless; confused; uncertain; irrepressible (a term I use to describe those times I am in desperate need an OFF switch in my brain, which happens to be quite OFTEN).
My monkey mind rarely takes a break, like everything, it’s worse during the night. I try to write down my thoughts and get them out of my head. No matter the effort, my Monkey mind brings hours of unrest. Incessant thoughts and sleep deprivation lead me right into the waiting arms of Depression and Anxiety.
When my Monkey mind is in control, chaos ensues. So…
I have to FLIP THE SWITCH myself. I have to CHOOSE the calm. Be present in my NOW. FEEL my body. Take heed of my breathing. In short, I have to leash the Monkey.
Let me be transparent, I have NOT been able to TAME the Monkey (striving for progress here folks, far from perfection). For now, my successes are when I am able to, if even for a short time, slip a leash on the Monkey. In order to sneak up on the Monkey Mind, slip that leash on and get a little peace, I meditate.
Meditation is the only time that the Monkey is silent. I started practicing meditation LONG, LONG ago (ok maybe not THAT long ago…I was 22 before I ever gave a second thought to meditation). My problem then was that I only used meditation as a last resort! When my brain felt like it was about to explode, when I thought I may need to sit in a padded room for the sake of me and everyone around me, only then would I sit with myself in silence.
Recently I discovered the power that comes with a regular meditation practice. It is still a struggle for me. I am working on it…. but that’s all we can do right? Work on it…
Manifest Your Reality
When I am able to keep my mind still, I am able to quiet the Depression that snarls at my soul. When my mind is quiet I am able to see that Anxiety is simply manifestation of my fears. Fears that I have allowed to take root deep in my thoughts.
“The mind is a powerful thing” …I don’t know who said it first, but I know we’ve all heard it a million times. Why is it so hard to believe that our thoughts can manifest our reality?
I do believe. I believe that the energy we release into the universe returns to us. If that is the case, it only makes sense to me that our thoughts (energies) are directly related to our reality. Wake up thinking you are going to have a crappy day…chances are you will. Wake up worrying you won’t have the money to cover the bills…. you probably won’t.
Could this be the mumbling of a crazy girl? Maybe. All I know for certain is that there are times when the Monkey runs wild and as a result I am barely able to function. I am held captive to the swirling thoughts. I am swept away in a hurricane of confusion and raw emotion. I am unable to live in the now.
When the Monkey is in control:
I worry about the future. Regret the past. Feel hopeless about the present.
When the Monkey is in control:
My mind is clouded. Sluggish.
Meet My Pals (with friends like these…)
Perhaps it is the incessant thoughts of my Monkey Mind that first introduced my ol’ friend Depression & I. I’m quite sure that they also opened the door and invited Anxiety to take up residence.
These two have been companions of mine since the age of 18. There have been times when these two and I were inseparable. There are also times that they seem to hibernate for months and I won’t hear a peep from them. So far it’s been a no go on finding ways to shake them completely. Threes company?!?
Depression and Anxiety are really shitty company to keep! They are selfish and draining, sneaky and cunning, not to mention physically painful! So many people deal with these issues, yet so many misconceptions remain.
Here are a few words for you well-meaning folk that think anxiety/depression is just an excuse to throw a pity party: Yes, I know I have SO MUCH to be thankful for! Yes, I know that the majority of things I worry about will NEVER HAPPEN. NONE of those things matter when the Monkey is in control…
Put a Leash On It
So I sneak up on the Monkey. Through meditation, setting my intentions, and maintaining awareness of my thought patterns I am able to slip a leash on my Monkey mind. I choose to run my life instead of letting the Monkey run me.
I sit in silence, breathing in, breathing out. Letting my thoughts flow over me like the tide. Good thoughts come in, I let them go. Bad thoughts come in, I let them go. There is freedom in the letting go. I am learning to let go of the things that no longer serve me (much easier said than done). I am growing stronger in my confidence of who I am. I am learning that I can create the peace I need.
I can control my life, if only I remember to keep the Monkey on a leash.
Need a little help getting started with your meditation practice?