Taming the Monkey Mind: Taking the Monkey Back to School

image from backyardfrontline

I’m not sure if you’ve noticed, but it’s been a bit since my last monkey mind post. This is my confession – I have been neglecting the monkey. Not so much that he has completely wasted away, but I have not paid sufficient attention to my synaptic simian as of late. And he’s starting to protest.

I could give you lots of excuses. Many of them are even valid. I’m 4 weeks into the start of the school year and my time and mental energies are spent lesson planning, grading papers, contacting parents, and sitting in endless meetings. Oh, and teaching. That happens for 5 + hours each day. On top of that, I’m training for my first (and only) marathon. I knew the time commitment ahead of time, but it is really becoming clear now as I spend 10 hours or so a week running and another couple hours stretching and foam rolling. And a few more hours yoga-ing. Then there’s the book – I wasn’t expecting so many people to request it in paper form so I added formatting to my work list the last few weeks. And let’s not forget my other job as a wellness coach. I spend several hours per week researching, writing my newsletter, and working with clients.

So, yeah, I’m busy.  So what?

I made a promise to myself to have balance in my life. For the most part, I have that. I’m happy, fulfilled, and passionate about what I’m doing and who I am with. But I’m still breaking that promise by neglecting my meditation practice. I realized today how much it really comes down to acclimation, commitment, and accountability.

I was sick this weekend and the illness derailed my running plans. I ran an easy 6 miles on Thursday and was planning on doing (a not-so-easy) 20 on Saturday. Instead, today was first run in 4 days. I barely made it 2 miles. How is it that I could have run 6 just a short time ago and today I struggled with 1/3 of it?

Acclimation.  We get used to doing what we do. I’ve moved my 20 miler to this weekend so I need to spend the week getting my body used to running again. Isaac willing.
I have my marathon training schedule posted on a corkboard in front of my computer. Tucked behind it are my hotel reservations for Savannah (where the race will be held). I have a constant visual reminder of my investment, in both time and money, in this race.

I also have a whiteboard calendar next to my desk where I record my daily and weekly mileage totals. It holds me accountable. I can see when I slack.

In contrast, after my initial 30 day challenge, I have made no tangible commitment to mediation. I do not track it or hold myself accountable and I allowed myself to become disacclimated (yeah, I know it’s not a word, but my monkey insisted I use it!). It’s no wonder I’m doing better at running than ohmming.

So, I’m taking my monkey back to meditation 101:

-I’m posting a reminder on my board next to the running schedule.

-I’ll track my practices on my calendar (hmmm…smiley faces don’t seem right, but it needs to be quick to draw).

-I’m restarting my 30 day challenge to re-acclimate.

That’s right, monkey. School’s back in! Hope you’re prepared:)

 

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