Taxes, politics, bills, personal goals, company stretch goals and drama tend to cause the average person stress, sleepless nights, and anxiety. We all have a lot to think about, consider and try to get done in a 24-hour day which causes many people to feel exhausted or depleted at the end of the day. How can we focus when the world around us is making so much noise and pushing unwanted expectations are way? I don’t know about you, when I have too many expectations and a lot of people tugging at my energy, my monkey brain goes into high speed. I used to get headaches from spending too much time in my head trying to figure out how I could get it all done without loosing my mind. The monkeys would chatter day and night reminding me of unfinished business. I gave my mental power away to those loud chattering monkeys day and night.
I took my mental power back when I learned to meditate and be in silence. I went from having attention deficit disorder to experiencing inner peace, creativity, and balance. I even stopped taking Ritalin because I found ways to stop the endless chatter. I discovered the practice of meditating and breathing. Little did I know, I was spending so much time listening to the monkeys that my breath was very shallow and not fueling my organs, especially my brain.
Monkey brain is when the mind is unsettled, unfocused, restless, confused, indecisive, and easily distracted with nonstop chatter. I discovered that my brain was constantly full of information from the media and had a stock market marque flowing with all the things I needed to get done. When I would try to focus, I often would unconsciously look for another distraction to avoid putting full power on what needed to get done. Hence, my brain was all over the place. Unconsciously, I was wasting a lot of precious time and energy in my head.
Meditation has been around for thousands of years. I used to think sitting around trying to empty your head was a waste of time. I had a lot going on in my head and I didn’t want to empty my mind and forget my endless to do list. I finally decided to train with a very prominent spiritual guru. Unfortunately, I learned the basics and really walked away frustrated because I couldn’t quiet my mind. Then, I studied Shamanism and during the guided meditation, the monkeys went silent. I share this story because as I work with my clients today to teach them to meditate, I realize most people find it difficult to turn off the brain. It is important that each person discovers a meditation method that works best for how they are wired mentally and physically. It is important not to judge yourself if you find it difficult to settle into the first meditation practice you try.
The benefits of meditating are infinite. “To understand the immeasurable, the mind must be extraordinarily quiet, still. – Jiddu Krishnamurti
In my personal experience, I have found I work less than I did before I started a simple meditation practice. When I quiet my mind and breathe, I seem to get a surge of energy and get a clear idea of how I can move through my day with ease and grace. I started mini meditations when I was working on my doctorate, I didn’t realize what I was doing was a mini meditation because I thought meditation had to be done sitting up. I used to take a 10 -15-minute power nap. Yup, that’s right, a power nap is a form of meditation.
Meditation practices help people to be mindful, to let go, and be open to nothingness if even for two minutes a day. In my experience as a soul empowerment coach, I find that when people talk to their brain and simply tell their brain to step aside, the chatter slows. And when people focus only on the breath entering their body and really feeling the breath leave their body, the brain relaxes even more. “The mind can go in a thousand directions.” -Thich Nhat Hanh
You might be wondering why we as a human race need to relax the brain? In my experience, the brain is like a magnet and picks up every sound while holding onto every image and word we see. What we do not recognize is our brain, just like a computer, becomes infected and ineffective when we hear certain words, images, and sounds. A lot of information we take in everyday is much like unwanted viruses or malware of misinformation. Meditation provides the space for the brain to pause, creating an open space for our natural innate energy to defrag, delete, and archive old messages that prevent us from finding peace due to fear messages. Meditation not only allows you to let go of messages of fear, it also helps you to discover unique solutions to everyday challenges and increases creativity.
If you are interested in finding peace and silencing the monkey chatter, you can go online, and you will discover over 100 different ways to meditate as well as finding a meditation teacher. YouTube offers many free examples filled with guided meditation, music and other ideas of how to relax the mind. There are several phone apps that offer free mini meditations that can be used anywhere. Arthur Fletcher coined the phrase, “A mind is a terrible thing to waste.” As you step into 2020, take your mental power back by finding a meditation practice that helps you maximize your mind while finding the inner peace you desire.