The Knitting Journeyman

Gathering Up One Thread At A Time As I Weave This Web Of Mine.....

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The Monkey Mind ... Slows

I keep finding all these posts that keep striking my heart and setting up these reverberations…and of course I have to share what I find…as much as I can…here is a post that spoke to me…I like the idea of a challenge. I know for some people a challenge like this gives them to opportunity to be accountable to someone else, so they are more apt to actually do the work, take notice, take charge, whatever they need to do.

Self talk. The monkey mind. I have lived in the belly of the big bad bear of negative self talk. I have spent years wallowing in the fear and the misery that those voices have shown me. I really do encourage you to listen for awhile to your own voices.

It took me years, YEARS, to figure out that one voice in my head was the ex husband…it didn’t take too long after that revelation to figure out I had gone from him to the other x because that x talked to me in the same way the ex husband did—that way of building you up while tearing you down at the same time, while making you believe everything was all in your head and you were so wrong you needed help to accomplish peeing by yourself in the morning…I am not saying banishing that voice was simple. I am not saying that voice doesn’t try to rear its head every now and then. I am saying that I did manage to find better, more encouraging voices to listen to and to take advice from that didn’t cause me such pain or anxiety.

I write. I am a writer. I have an editor in my head. Every class I have ever taken, every critique I have ever had, any person who has ever said what they thought was right, it is all in my head…it sits there, like some febrile vulture, waiting to perch on my shoulder and crack and caw and snarl into my ear about how I am doing it wrong, wrong tense, wrong style, wrong audience, wrong wrong wrong…so…I feed the bird some poisoned rabbit and I move on.

Hatha Yoga asana practice helped me subdue my monkey mind. Not because I learned to ignore or silence or observe my monkey brain, but because my asana practice gave me other things upon which to focus. I focus on the movements. I focus on my breath. The voices in my head fade away when I am deep into my practice.

Meditation never really worked for me. Not sitting meditation. I am certified to teach meditation, but that doesn’t mean I can plop down and find a comfortable lotus position, close my eyes and fall off into the well of silent bliss in my mind…mostly because—there is no such well in my never ending ADHD brain…my monkey is on crack, even at the best of times. Walking meditation, moving meditation, that works for me. Giving me a focus outside of my brain. That works for me.

But, miracles do happen. Now, I do not have the highest self-esteem. I do not have the most self-confidence. BUT—I do have a distinct lack of negative self-talk these past few months. In fact, I have noticed much more often that I am on the receiving end of a great deal of positive self-talk. Somehow, along the way of fake it til you make it self-motivation, self-preservation, self-improvement, I found a spot in my life where I have re-programmed the voices in my head…and even when they have something not perfectly good to say, they say it in a kinder manner. It took years of taking every negative thought and instantly applying a positive thought in its place—following that w an action to back up that positive assertion…but it all finally worked.

There are times these days when I actually stop and look around and wonder exactly what sort of lottery I won when the voices start saying nice things to me. I wonder what these guys are smoking these days, what it is that makes them so happy.

Whatever it is, I am truly grateful for the switch. Not that there are not moments of regression, but they are few and far between…and as every day passes, they grow fewer still.

I am becoming my own bliss. Fancy that.