One of the things I love about practicing yoga is that it reminds me to get in check with my monkey mind. You know, the constant stream of thoughts running in the background of your head all of the time.
Of course, whenever you’re trying to still the mind, it becomes even more clear that your monkey mind is swinging happily from tree to tree without plans of coming down anytime soon!
In yoga practice, I notice that the steady stream of thoughts is there. Then the daunting realization hits me…“Oh, they are always there.”
Meditation experts advise that we should observe the mind and the thoughts. And then, try not to get wrapped up in them. Sound advice. Breathing and asanas are great, too.
While it’s great to observe your thoughts and recognize that you can detach from them, I think sometimes you gotta have a straightforward conversation with them, too. This is especially true when it comes to your life and goals. Because if you don’t face the self-sabotaging “monkeys” head-on, they might just hold you back from achieving what you really want.
So, my advice: Observe, Breathe, Detach…AND take the opportunity to talk back to your monkey mind!
See, confronting your monkey mind from time to time can help you turn around limiting thoughts about yourself. You know, the ones that have been telling you for years what to think about who you are, what you should and shouldn’t do, and how great you’re allowed to become. Usually, these thoughts like to keep us playing small in order to protect us.
My monkey mind likes to remind me that I’m too busy to take on anything new and that I should just be happy with the way things are and the level of success I’ve already achieved. That’s when I have to really have a heart-to-heart with my Monkey Mind and let her know that I appreciate the advice, but I’ve got important work to do.
Ready for a chat with your monkey mind? It might go something like this…
You: Hi Monkey Mind, it’s me.
Monkey Mind (MM): Oh, hi. I’m busy sending out a stream of unconscious thoughts, I don’t really have time right now for you.
You: Well, I have something to say to you. So get down from swinging in those trees and listen for a minute.
MM: Okay, but make it fast. (thought, thought, more thoughts)
You: I know you love me and want to protect me, but I’m up to some really big stuff.
MM: Okay, well you’re not that great, not that important, and really, who do you think you are?
You: Here’s the thing Monkey Mind, people really need to hear from me. I have a big message to share and it’s really important that I get it out because if I don’t, people won’t be able to ______ (insert what you want to help others achieve). So I know you’re going to be sending lots of thoughts my way, but I won’t be buying into the self-sabotaging ones because they’re holding me back. Just wanted to let you know I’m up to some big things.
You: (Deep breath)
Now that you’ve set the record straight, this simple chat with your Monkey Mind does something extraordinary. It connects you with your subconscious mind and starts to break down those old limiting thoughts and beliefs that may have gotten in your way in the past. You start building new streams of thoughts to serve you and your dreams.
So, what’s your monkey mind telling you that’s holding you back from your big vision for your career and what heart-to-heart do you need to have?
Love, Health, and Success,
Suzanne Monroe is the Founder of The International Association of Wellness Professionals and Director of the IAWP’s Wellness Coach Certification & Training Program. The IAWP is committed to supporting Wellness Coaches to create success and share the message of wellness across the globe. If you’re passionate about holistic health and wellness, inspiring others to be healthy and creating a career you love, then learn more by downloading our gift to you – The Wellness Coach Career Kit.
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