Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Day Twenty-Eight ... Monkey Brain

Back in New York I had two wonderfully gifted and amazing yoga instructors. I am very lucky to have met them both and to have learned so much from them. Christine spoke about the monkey brain a lot. How our thoughts flit from thought to thought nimbly like a monkey swings from tree to tree. It is a great mental image and absolutely sums up how my brain is functioning today.

Meditation is a way to quiet the monkey brain. I don't have a lot of success there personally. It isn't the fault of meditation though, it is lack of discipline. Meditating once or twice a week isn't going to lead to becoming skilled at quieting the mind. At this point in time I either fall asleep when I try to meditate (not quite sure how that works but obviously I need more sleep?) or the day is over and it is bedtime before I've even considered it.

Right now being aware of my thoughts may not still the monkey brain but it does give me the option to pick and choose the ones I want. In theory. As negative thoughts crop up I can witness it and choose to take that path and continue with the negativity or I can consciously choose a thought that is more uplifting and positive. It takes some work though. Sometimes I am not aware and when I become aware I can feel the tension in my whole body created by the negative stream of consciousness I was floating in.

Today that is just what I am trying to do. To catch the bad thoughts, release them and turn my attention to a better feeling thought. It is by no means easy, especially when a negative thought has created a physical sensation. Simply choosing a better thought doesn't erase that instantly. I have to take a few slow, steady deep breaths and shake off the tension and then I feel improvement.

Better feeling thoughts for me are:

  • Dwelling on gratitude and the many blessings I have in my life, I don't think you can ever be too thankful or give too much attention to what you are thankful for.
  • The weather here in Las Vegas. Every day I feel like I won the lottery when I walk outside. I cannot believe that I get to see these mountains, the endless sky and have such perfect weather every single day. Just give me a peek out the window and the sky brings with it a sense of peace and rightness.
  • Taking time to consider my own personal successes and growth. A little pat on the back for my efforts now and then is a good idea.
  • I can even look at something I feel I failed at and extract from that what I have learned from the experience, nothing is wasted.
Sifting through my thoughts,
Nicola Byrne

One joy scatters a hundred griefs. 
-Chinese Proverb