July/August 2012 - Taming Your Drunken Monkey - Part 5 of 5
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So what is your Drunken Monkey telling you today? In case you’ve missed the other 4 parts to this life changing article series, let me briefly recap that your Drunken Monkey is a description of how your conscious mind typically behaves, or perhaps I should say misbehaves. When you think of a Drunken Monkey, you begin to visualize a crazy animal behaving badly, perhaps swinging from a chandelier, throwing food, screeching and causing havoc wherever it goes. That’s exactly how your conscious mind behaves at times and it typically misbehaves whenever it believes you are overriding what it thinks is keeping you safe. For example: perhaps you want to go back to school and get a degree. Maybe you’re thinking of losing weight or some other self-improvement direction and the first thing your conscious mind does is come up with all the negatives of why you shouldn’t do it, can’t do it, don’t deserve to do it, and brings up all the other times you’ve tried to achieve a goal and failed.
Believe it or not, your conscious mind is trying to protect you and keep you safe and alive, so that is why it constantly brings up all these negative thoughts. However, listening to the useless negative chatter from your Drunken Monkey will not help you achieve your dreams. If you listen and worse yet believe it, it will successfully foil and sabotage every goal you have.
This is part 5 (the last of the series) of Taming Your Drunken Monkey. If you missed the other four parts and you want to read the entire article series you can click on these links:
Part 1: Click Here
Part 2: Click Here
Part 3: Click Here
Part 4: Click Here
Do note that you will get more benefit from reading the entire article series
beginning with part 1.
So what are some other not so amusing stunts your Drunken Monkey mind does? Your Monkey mind makes things up, it generalizes and it makes other people wrong to make it feel superior.
Generalizing is a survival tool. For example: perhaps you gave a speech in front of your class or at work and it was a disaster. From here on your Monkey Mind is going to bring up that disaster every time you think about public speaking again. It is trying to protect you from the pain of that in the future, but the problem is by listening to it, you will never try again. It reminds you of the embarrassment and the pain to keep you safe. There are some situations where your Monkey Mind does help you and keep you safe. For instance,
When you were a little kid and you were about to cross a busy intersection, your parents grabbed you by the arm just in time to avoid being hit by a car. Your Monkey Mind instantly notes that and makes sure you never do that again. In this case the Monkey Mind really is protecting you and you will not make that mistake again. That is a job well done.
Here’s another example of how your Drunken Monkey generalizes and creates limiting beliefs. Perhaps as a child you gave a friend a gift and they didn’t seem to like it or appreciate it. What you might not have known was that your friend wasn’t feeling well, or perhaps they had a bad day. Their reaction had nothing to do with your gift, but your Monkey Mind formed an opinion or a belief surrounding that and decided that “no one appreciates you”, and you feel rejected. Maybe you decide you can’t please others or you’re not good enough.
Your Drunken Monkey truly is insane. It believes that one experience is true about all experiences. The big issue here is that when you are stuck in a survival mindset you suffer. What’s bad about this is without awareness of how your Monkey Mind behaves you stay stuck in a survival mindset and believe you are a victim, or that there’s something wrong with you and everyone else gets what they want, but you don’t.
Notice: Survival pushes people away.
Notice: Survival has you spend enormous amounts of energy avoiding danger that isn’t real.
When your Monkey Mind generalizes it takes an event and creates a hypothesis about it concluding that it is similar to something that happened to you in the past. Let’s say you’re a little kid and a dog bites you. The next time you see a dog your Monkey Mind generalizes that all dogs bite and uses fear to steer your body clear. You are a puppet of your Monkey Mind. While that might have been to protect you, it made a generalization that just is not true. Not all dogs bite. Basically your conscious mind makes things up and then you operate as though what it made up is true. You are living your life in a set of made-up rules and procedures born from your generalizations.
Notice how your Drunken Monkey spends all day every day judging, assessing, quantifying, categorizing and generalizing. It could care less about you achieving your dreams and goals. It doesn’t care if you feel good, optimistic or happy. It just wants to keep you safe with limiting fearful generalizations. Your Drunken Monkey is not a tool for living a totally free, self-expressed life.
Generalizing thwarts creativity, self-expression, and prevents you from experiencing new opportunities. This is because your Drunken Monkey believes it can predict how the future will unfold (how people will behave, how projects will unfold, how the situation will be). This causes fear. Fear stops us or causes us to behave in a way that is out of alignment with the results we want to achieve. Everything gets harder. You feel stuck. Overwhelm sets in. Nothing seems to go your way. These are the effects of the Drunken Monkey’s fear.
Generalizing is not effective or productive because you cannot predict the future. The Universe, or God, or what ever power you believe in wants to deliver all your intentions for you and if you stop listening to this wild animal, you can actually achieve anything you want in life.
In reality, you don’t know how people will act. You don’t know their motives, their backgrounds, their belief systems, their ideals, how they were raised or much about them at all. And yet, the Drunken Monkey pretends it knows all about them just by looking at them. This keeps you separate, alone and isolated.
Notice: I misperceive the situation by making things up.
Your Drunken Monkey doesn’t allow you to perceive things as they really are. Because it wants to allegedly keep you safe it misperceives people and situations as threatening and attacks even in non-hostile situations. Misunderstandings, feuds, arguments and even wars are nothing more than the Drunken Monkey going wild.
Notice: Things aren’t always as they seem. There is always more to the situation than I perceive.
How many times have you believed that something was true only to find out later it wasn’t? However, that didn’t stop you from making a decision as if your belief were true. This creates chaos, anger and resentment for no actual reason.
Notice: When I feel fear regarding my goals and dreams it’s because of a generalization I made up.
When it comes to achieving your dreams and goals it’s important to say the Drunken Monkey avoids failure. It fears failure and attempts to protect you from it by throwing every negative possibility your way. The problem is without failure you can never be who you really are. Anyone who has ever achieved anything significant in their life has failed many times on the road to success. Failure is simply learning what didn’t work so you can change your strategy or make a course correction in achieving your goals. If your Drunken Monkey’s goal is to avoid failure and you buy into its fear tactics you will stay stuck and unfulfilled. Failure is really the beginning of expansion and self-growth.
Start today getting very clear on what you want. Don’t settle for a life controlled by fear, resignation, anger and frustration. Don’t allow yourself to be pacified by the false belief that someday it will all be better. Your Monkey Mind will try and convince you that “someday” the conditions will be right. Have you ever heard any of these? “After my kids are grown and out of the house I can….” “After I lose this weight I will….” “When I have more money and pay off my bills, then I can….” You can probably make your own list of why you think someday it will all be better. Do be aware and prepared for the fact that once you create a set of initiatives or steps to achieving your goal, your Drunken Monkey will chime in with its insanity. If you know how it operates you can begin to simply laugh at that voice and ignore it as though it were a wild animal that only needs to be contained.
Your Drunken Monkey has convinced you that you are a victim of your circumstances. You must learn to step out of your comfort zone and go for the big dreams. Whether you actually achieve your goal or not is not what’s really important. That may or may not happen. What is important is that the process of going for it initiates a state of bliss, joy and enthusiasm right now.
In other articles we’ve discussed what many refer to as The Law of Attraction. What the Law of Attraction states is: “What ever you focus on, you will get more of”. That’s not the main topic of this article, but basically when you are focusing more on fear, lack and limitation, more things, situations, events and people show up in your life that reflect fear, lack and limitation. When you are focused instead on feeling bliss, joy and enthusiasm right now, you will more likely attract more things, situations, events and people, as well as opportunities that reflect bliss, joy and enthusiasm.
The next time your Drunken Monkey goes ballistic with negative thoughts, begin to call those thoughts for what they are: hallucinations, fantasies, made-up stories, generalizations, phantasmagoria. Your Monkey Mind will constantly review memories of your past experiences, then fantasize about the future and tell you how to manipulate the future to survive.
Become aware of how you are living your life on delay, never present to the beauty and energy that exists now. It doesn’t do any good to get upset with the Drunken Monkey. Instead, just stop and notice how beautiful the flowers are. Notice the wonderful architecture of your house or the amazing old buildings in your town. See the innocence in people and study their uniqueness. Appreciation, by the way, is a catalyst to bliss. If you find more ways of feeling bliss, you will naturally be inspired and take action.
I’ve had so many clients come to me through the years wanting more motivation. The old school belief, which dates back to WWII, was to force yourself to be motivated. It was sort of a “just do it” attitude even if your heart wasn’t in it. We’re told and trained in life to just “fit in”. The problem is, if something doesn’t inspire you, you will never be motivated. It’s like trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. Forcing doesn’t work and only creates resentment and frustration. So if motivation is one of your issues, find something that truly inspires you. Once you are inspired, you will have all the motivation you will ever need.
If you’re still feeling blocked or like you don’t totally get this, here’s what you can begin to do. Begin to acknowledge that for the most part, all the stuff about people who you believe hurt you in your life is actually a lie. When the Drunken Monkey pulls up those old memories to steer you clear of people who it believes will hurt you now, practice saying, “What did I miss? What was their experience of the situation? How was their Drunken Monkey running their show and generalizing? What did I do to create the situation? What was this hurtful person reacting to?”
Forgiveness is key. Everything you believe about anything or anyone that you cannot forgive is holding you back. By forgiving, you accept that people are doing the best they can when you take into consideration that they have their very own Drunken Monkey who is using fear to control them. By forgiving, you open yourself up to the millions of opportunities that have been trying to show up in your life.
Any time the Drunken Monkey tries to protect you from all the people who aren’t attacking you, begin to see that you have choices, by recognizing they have The Drunken Monkey too.
As you practice this, you will start to see that life is easier and flows more effortlessly. You will begin to experience more bliss, joy and harmony and you will move into your natural state of being. You will find yourself feeling more inspired and naturally in action on your goals, dreams, projects, contributions and creativity. Remember that anything other than ease, effortlessness and flow is just a state of mind.
Warning: Once you have begun practicing this awareness, the Drunken Monkey will really go ballistic. The Drunken Monkey is not going down without a fight. For millions of years, it has rules the planet. When you really start living in bliss, supreme happiness, void of fear, anger and doubt, the Drunken Monkey will use everything in its power to keep you in the hallucination zone. What it believes is safe is just an unexamined habitual way of viewing the world. Don’t be surprised when you suddenly feel doubt, anger, regret, fear, overwhelm and insecurity. Those feelings are the tools of the Drunken Monkey. You have been its puppet. It’s time take charge of your life.
By reading this article, you’ve just been infected by the Truth Virus. Share this with others. You now have the antidote to the Drunken Monkey. Choose to be aware. Keep coming back to awareness. This is the beginning of a whole new life. From time to time you might slip back into the unconscious realm of the Drunken Monkey and suffer for a while before you accept the fact that you have been infected with its lies and deception. Don’t fight it and don’t worry. Supreme happiness, also known as bliss, IS your destiny. That is who you are and what you were born to experience. You are on your path. You have choices. Live your dreams. Free yourself. Spread this antidote so we can all live in happiness, peace and fulfillment.
(End) (Note: I want to thank and credit Matthew Ferry, Inspired Action Coach, for his great work in this area, and with whom I’ve studied with, which includes the ideas and concepts for this multiple part series.)
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