December 2011 - Taming Your Drunken Monkey Part 1 of 2
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Do you know you have a Drunken Monkey inside your head? It’s really called your conscious mind, but once you’re aware of it, you’ll agree it typically behaves badly. If you’re really honest, you’ll realize you don’t have much control over it and it’s limiting you and your life. That’s why I’m affectionately calling it your Drunken Monkey, because that’s how it behaves.
This Drunken Monkey is not really your friend, it just likes to think it is. For example, have you ever noticed all the negative thoughts that flood through your mind each and every moment? You might not be thinking of anything in particular and there they are. Or, you might be thinking about a goal you want to achieve or that last ten pounds you want to lose and up pops an array of self limiting thoughts: “Who are you to achieve this?” “You don’t have what it takes.” “You’re fat and stupid!” If you’re lucky, you might know the thoughts are unfounded and not true, but it still doesn’t stop the negative thoughts. Worse yet, you believe they’re true. You’ve just bought into those thoughts and lies all your life through conditioning and life experiences. So who’s running your show?
Add to all this another little complexity. Whether you realize it or not, we’re all like psychic sponges in that we’re constantly picking up on others thoughts or feelings and don’t typically realize they aren’t even our thoughts, but we behave as though they are. For example, have you ever come home from a good day and your spouse or family member has had a really bad day and all of a sudden your positive feelings just melt into a dark negative pool of energy and you wonder what the heck just happened? It’s true; we’re always picking up on other people’s thoughts and energy fields unless we know how to recognize this phenomenon.
Like many people, you may have tried to stop your negative thoughts or tried ignoring them by using positive affirmations or you’ve intentionally switched your thoughts to something happier. The problem is, the more you try to stop your limiting thoughts, the more negative thoughts come; or the moment you stop saying your positive affirmation, the barrage of negative thoughts just come back. While thinking positively is a great practice and can actually help you attract more positive experiences into your life, for the most part thinking positive doesn’t work for any length of time. It’s like smearing icing on a mud pie. You’ll never train the Drunken Monkey to do otherwise. That’s the first truth to realize. Stop trying to control your Monkey Mind and acknowledge it for what it is, a wild animal that simply needs to be tamed. It is NOT who you are.
You may have heard the saying: “That which you resist persists?” It is so true. Those things we try to resist, control or push away simply push back and become stronger. Here’s a perfect example: Let’s say you’re on a diet, you’re at a holiday party and you see a piece of cheese cake. In an attempt to have will power you say to yourself: “I will not eat that cheese cake.” What actually happens is, your attempt NOT to eat the cheese cake, actually makes you think of eating the cheese cake even more. When you’re trying NOT to focus on something, especially your Monkey Mind, it comes back even stronger. Part of the secret I’ll be sharing here is about recognizing that your Monkey Mind can’t be controlled. If you understand this and how the Monkey Mind operates, you can begin to set an intention of just noticing its insanity and learn not to take it seriously. You can actually notice the fleeting thoughts and learn to laugh at them. The negative thoughts of the Drunken Monkey can’t hurt you unless you believe them. Most negative thoughts are just that…thoughts. They typically don’t carry any validity; they are not true. I like to call it just the Monkey Mind’s way of “out-gassing”.
You need to understand that your Drunken Monkey has just one purpose and that is to keep you safe physically and emotionally. It wants to keep you alive and away from harm it perceives, even if the reality is there’s nothing to fear or limit you. I’m not saying that your conscious mind has no value or that you should never listen to it. Your conscious mind is useful in your everyday life, such as helping you remember what you need to do next, being careful as you cross the street, thinking critical things through, planning, etc. However, the truth of the matter is 95% of all the things we worry about or fear or that our Monkey Mind tells us never happen and aren’t true. The not so funny part is if you believe it enough, you’ll demonstrate it and manifest it. You will then look back and think something like: “You see, it is true; once again they didn’t like me.” That’s what we call a self-fulfilling prophecy.
In the Abraham material authored by Ester Hicks she writes: “Worrying is rehearsing what you don’t want.” Much of your negative thoughts are based on old scenarios of things that have happened to you in the past, so when your Monkey Mind perceives something similar it drags up all those old familiar fears, thoughts and memories in an attempt to protect you. Ex: “They won’t like me.” “I’m not articulate enough to speak in front of people”. “Everyone will laugh at me, etc.”
It is important to say here that hypnosis is a powerful tool to assist you with releasing the source of many of your negative thoughts and worries. A lot of the negative chatter in our conscious mind does have roots in our past or in our childhood and we keep acting from our past conditioning or the old programming that’s running. As an example, perhaps when you were in first grade you came home with your first report card which was all A’s and you were so proud of yourself, but the first thing your dad said was: “Why didn’t you get A+’s?” You then decided you must not be good enough, or smart enough. So from that point on, any time you thought about excelling in anything, random negative thoughts came up like: “You can’t do it.” “You’re not good enough.” Hypnosis can help you permanently release these patterns, which is very liberating. However, you still need to realize that your Drunken Monkey will keep on ruminating. That’s what it does.
There are many reasons as mentioned above for all the negative random mind chatter. The main point is to become aware of how your Drunken Monkey works, and its purpose, so you can see it and experience it for what it is. For the most part it is a sort of negative prophesying machine. In time, if you pay attention, you will become more aware of all the ways it tries to control and limit you. You can begin to look at all the lies it brings up and literally laugh at it. You really can! If you learn to just notice the random thoughts and not take any of them seriously, without resisting them, typically they will disappear. And, you can be guaranteed that when one series of negative thoughts disappear, your Monkey Mind will bring up a whole new set of random negative thoughts. It won’t ever stop. But the good news is you don’t need to stop them or control them. When you notice them, have a good laugh. A lie only has power if you believe it or give it that power.
The point is, once you realize the craziness of your Drunken Monkey Mind, you will have a whole new awareness. With awareness comes choice. Choice gives you options. Options give you freedom.
Imagine a life free of the Drunken Monkey!
In my January 2012 newsletter I’ll be sharing part 2 of how to truly tame your Drunken Monkey, and stop letting it shape your life.
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