It’s easy to get lost in the never-ending space that is the Mind. Our minds are powerful. They are connected to God-Mind, so it is as limitless as “That Which is Greater Than Can Be Conceived”. Our minds are ever-expanding, just as the Universe is, because God IS the Universe, and we are each a part of that Source.
We are also human and have Ego. Ego isn’t something to be fought or discarded from this life-experience, as we chose to incarnate in this dense time/space “reality”, instead of staying in and learning from our experiences in the Spiritual Realm. It is one of, if not our GREATEST, tools for expansion and growth.
When the Ego is in captain of the helms, however, we are at it’s mercy like a tempest tossed. It can be hard on our mental state, allowing the waves of emotion to prattle around without any direction, reckless and reactionary. If we become lost in the monkey mind, we are no longer in charge of the learning experience and our inner peace becomes lost at sea. On the one hand, the monkey mind is a great teacher. Being in such an unbalanced mental state is the way in which we can understand what a balanced mind state looks like, and can be the compass that points us to our True North. It can be the bridge that allows us to find stillness of the Soul.
On the other hand, if allowed to run amok, we find ourselves feeling as if we are at the mercy of our “outer world”. We feel imprisoned by the shackles of our thoughts and of our emotions and cannot see a way out. The ego serves as our captor, and we can remain in chains, or find our way to mental freedom, using our emotions as a guide, and our experiences and desires as a way to touch our own personal Truth.
There are many ways to calm the monkey mind and come back to our Selves, and this blog contains a short list of a few I have found that work for me.
- Look around you and list 3 things in front of you that you are grateful for.
This is one of the very first practices that helped me with mindfulness and being present. For awhile it was difficult to remember to look around and think about what I was grateful for, and over years of practice, it became much easier. Sometimes I so caught up in the beautiful things around me, I list even more. This isn’t to say that we ignore what we are feeling. But it helps me, personally, to become more objective by getting out of the clutter of the mental chatter that stems from fears of the past, and anxieties about the future, by becoming present. Looking around me to see/hear/smell things I am grateful for, things that fill my senses in THIS MOMENT, help me to become present and to objectively observe the emotions.
This one is more obvious, and takes more discipline and practice. A good way to start is by setting a timer for 5 minutes, and watch the breath as it goes in and out, increasing the time as the days go by. There are many meditation videos on youtube, and also, meditation apps, my personal favorite being, “Insight Timer”. There are other ways you can practice meditation as well, such as going for a slow walk, and taking a step with the in-breath, followed by taking a step for the out-breath. You can wash dishes while watching your breath, always pulling the mind gently and compassionately back to the breath when you notice it wandering.
3. Get into nature.
It’s hard when we are in populated spaces, to make out our own consciousness versus the consciousness of the collective. We are all connected, yes, but we are each still like one drop of the ocean. Sometimes it can be hard, especially for highly sensitive people, to discern what is their’s and what is “others”. I personally believe that what I see on the “outside” is a reflection of the inside, but it can be more of a challenge to understand what aspect of my own consciousness I am being called to pay attention to when I first must drown out the thickness of the lessons of the collective. It is easier for me to get lost in the fear paradigms and the paradigms of “the world”, when I am completely submerged in it. When I get into nature, I have more clarity of the peace inherent within me and within all things. I see more clearly the divinity inherent in myself and all that is around me. Then, with my cup overflowing, can disengage from the monkey mind more readily, even when in a crowded city.
This can be into an audio device, handwritten, or typed, whatever is easiest to use or what you have at your disposal. Expression of the concepts that are clogging the mind brings clarity. We can expose our fears, bringing them from the shadows into the light and then they no longer need be feared.
5. Talk to a counselor or trusted friend.
If you know me, you know I am a BIG advocate of counseling. I think EVERYONE should have a counselor. Friends are excellent, and maybe easier to get in contact with at a moments notice, but they may not have the emotional space or training to hold space for us and process with us. That being said, either is a great source for being able to talk things through so they are not just stuck inside the crevices of the mind. Letting things out is a great way to bring light to them and to allow the throat chakra a gateway for healthy communication and alignment.
My advice for finding a compatible counselor is:
1. Acknowledge that not all counselors will be a good fit for you nor you for them and THAT IS OKAY. You are not beholden to someone because it is the first person you found online that is covered by your insurance.
2. Ask God, Your Higher Power, The Universe, whatever it is you feel comfortable with, to help guide you and put the right person in your path. (This has worked for me EVERY TIME over the last 11 years or so… when I was no longer an atheist 😉 .
3. Go into your first counseling session as if it is an interview. Tell the person you want to make sure you are a good fit for each other. Come up with some bullet points of what you are wanting out of counseling, and some of your biggest challenges you may have come up. Different counselors have different areas of expertise, so some may be more qualified to help with your specific goals. Ask your counselor questions pertaining to their counseling style as well, so that you have a good idea if y’all will mesh well.
4. Don’t look at counseling as if it means you are somehow “mentally ill”. It is beneficial for anyone to have an objective outsider they trust to help guide them. Anyone you can think of from people in “power positions” to highly spiritual people we look to for guidance, have counselors- people they can confide in and help THEM with wise counsel.
5. Don’t settle for a counselor that doesn’t feel right, even if you thought they did at first. Be okay with moving on and trying someone else. Just because one counselor doesn’t work out doesn’t mean that all counseling experiences will be “bad”.
My advice for talking with friends is:
1. Talk to someone you trust. If it is private and you don’t want them to say anything to anyone, even a significant other, let them know. A good friend will respect your boundaries and you are allowed to speak freely.
2. Ask them first if they have the emotional capacity and time to hold space for you. This way they can show up for you or don’t feel pressured if they aren’t in a place to give you what you are needing.
3. Don’t rely on one friend for all of your problems. (This is one reason I advocate for counseling. You can dump all of your problems. If some arise you want to talk over with a friend or 2, you’re not putting the weight of your world on their shoulders or becoming completely reliant on one person to satisfy your emotional needs.) Spread it out. Find many friends or family members that are trusted so that you can hash things out without thrusting a burden onto another person.
4.Recognize that your friend’s advice, in fact NO ONE’S advice, trumps your own inner knowing. Take what others say about your situation into consideration, but don’t allow their opinions to be your ultimate guide, and certainly don’t hold them accountable if you take action on their advice and don’t like the outcome.
5. Tell your friend what you need before you start. Do you need someone just to listen? Do you need advice? Let them have an awareness of your needs so that they can adequately show up how you need them to in that moment.
6. Most importantly, be that kind of friend for others. Allow your friends to come to you and hold space for them when you are able. Communicate by asking them what they are needing and if you have the time and space, show up for them in a way that is supportive of them.
6. Be of service.
Being of service to someone else is an excellent way to get out of Self and the mind. This does not mean to use service to others for escapism from our own issues, but rather, to get out of our heads and into seeing what others are needing and providing that where we can. When we get out of ourselves for a minute and do something for someone else, thinking about what they need, we can generally come back to our own thoughts with more clarity after having some space for them. It also can put us into deep gratitude. And connecting with others in service is a way we connect to the One Mind that permeates us all.
These are just a few of the ways that I work on moving out of the monkey mind space and into an upgraded space of more calm and serene waters.
IT IS OKAY to be where we are, wherever that is… even in the monkey mind… BUT the point is not to stay there, and rather to use it as a jumping board to the peace that passeth understanding.
Love y’all dearly!!!
Yours in Oneness <3 Freedom