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Mile High Natural Awakenings

Happiness Corner: Escaping the Fearful Monkey Mind

May 06, 2020 04:27PM ● By Terry Chriswell
Escaping the Fearful Monkey Mind

I woke up with a start the other day feeling anxious - thinking of all the things I have to get done; wondering how I’m going to get through another day; and how am I going to manage an unpredictable future? I had gone from sleep to a monkey mind out of control in an instant. Monkey mind is just like it sounds - a wild, erratic monkey of thoughts flinging crap in reaction to what it sees outside itself. It can be hard to remember that I am not my thoughts, rather I have thoughts, and I can choose better ones. Instead of trying to soothe, ignore or otherwise deny the monkey mind, think of it in two ways:

What can I learn (or unlearn) from it?
The monkey mind has a lot to teach us, if we can courageously look at our thoughts like a movie – we don’t have to be afraid of what the mind is trying to tell us. When I woke up the other day, I went through the monkey’s story: what do I have to get done? How will I get through the day? How will I manage the future? Answering these questions made me feel better. I realized that much of it had to do with control in an uncontrollable situation, and some of it had to do with breaking the cycle of doing as a means of defining who I am as a person. I can’t control any of this except my reaction, so it’s better to surrender, and that’s a process I can do by being very present – even taking it minute by minute depending on how often that monkey rears its ugly little head. And, isn’t everyone learning how to redefine themselves right now? More important than doing is the opportunity to cultivate how to be more positive, loving, hopeful, compassionate, and peaceful. Those enhanced qualities are states we can create that help us today and in the future.

How can I reconnect to my heart’s wisdom?
When we are focused on what’s happening in the mind, we’ve disconnected from intuition, heart, and wisdom. Take as many pauses as necessary throughout the day for deep, long, slow breaths – this tells your body it’s safe. Focusing on the breath and body sensations will anchor you in the moment. From this magical place, you can ask your heart, “What should I accomplish today?” “How can I be of service?” “What do I need to heal within myself?” “Who can I forgive today?” “What change would I like to see in the world?” “What part of my plan needs changing?” “Who can I become?” and “What is possible?”

From a place of heart connection, all things are possible and there will always be a solution to fear, anxiety and uncertainty. Over time, the monkey mind learns to take a back seat, while we learn the heart is steady, fearless and unlimited.
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