Taming the Monkey Mind: Misbehavin’ Monkey
My monkey has been misbehaving recently. It snuck up on me; I didn’t even realize it until he threw a tantrum last night. About unfolded clothes and unwashed dishes. Yeah, silly, I know. Talk to the monkey.
Once my monkey mind was talked down from his ledge, exercised, and soothed with incense and a good book, he was finally able to articulate to me what had him so frantic.
Things have been good.
Uhhmmm…what? Why freak out over that?
He explained that he is used to the status quo. Routine. The right amount of activity and rest. Social time and solitude. Mental work and physical effort. In other words, the monkey wants balance.
We are all so aware of the imbalance and stress in our lives when things are rough. But we often are not as aware of the effect that good events can have on us. Just as when things go wrong, positive events in our lives (new relationships, new jobs or promotions, good news, working for and reaching goals) can also be difficult. It can catch us off guard because we are not anticipating its appearance. We may not find support from others because they simply see us riding high.
The problem is that we can get caught up in the ride and forget that our monkey mind has a bedtime and gets cranky when he’s overstimulated.
My monkey mind and I reached an arrangement. While things are crazy, I will make an effort to carve out even more time for meditation. I will again view runs as time for reflection or socialization instead of simply ticking away the miles until the marathon (3 more weeks!). I will focus more on the awesomeness of the weekends I have coming up rather than worrying about prepping and packing food (sometimes being a gluten free vegetarian just plain stinks!).
And if the dishes are bothering me, I will simply burn incense.