How much of your time do you spend thinking about things that have nothing to do with helping you reach your goals?
If you’re like most people, the answer is, “A lot!”
So many things compete for our attention each day: billboards, television, advertisements, work, family, friends, and that nasty argument you had with the guy in the elevator. In fact, three days later, you’re still replaying that argument in your mind, complete with a revised version that includes what you wish you’d said.
When Buddha was teaching his followers how to quiet their minds more than 2,500 years ago, he said that the human mind is filled with drunken monkeys who are screeching, chattering, and endlessly carrying on. It’s no wonder that we often have trouble concentrating or getting anything done.
When you practice living in the Now Moment, you can more effectively quiet the drunken monkeys. Here are 7 ways to quiet Monkey Mind Chatter:
1. Shift Your Focus
Put your hand up in front of you like a policeman would to stop traffic and say, aloud, “Stop!” Then ask yourself (out loud), “What am I doing right now?” Answer with what you are doing, for example, “Right now, I am standing in front of the kitchen sink and I am washing this coffee cup. Now I am washing this spoon. The water feels warm and soothing against the skin on my hands. Now I am looking out the window” . . . you get the idea.
2. Get Busy
Do something physical. Take a walk. Go swimming. Dance. Clean the house. I once asked my 80-year-old aunt who had lived through the Great Depression and several personal tragedies how she dealt with the difficulties. She said, “Keep moving. Whenever those sad feelings try to take hold of your thoughts, get up and keep busy. Before you know it, you’ll feel happy again.” I tried it and she’s right. What’s more, science has proven that when we move, our bodies produce serotonin, the Happy Chemical.
3. Do Something You Enjoy
People have hobbies because they enjoy doing something they love. When you are working on a hobby, crocheting, gardening, your brain, thoughts, and feelings are focused on what you are doing and you have no distractions. You are absorbed in doing something you enjoy and the world falls away. In other words, those drunken monkeys have no audience, so they quiet down. So get busy doing something you thoroughly enjoy!
4. Plant a Garden
Start a flower, vegetable, or fruit garden. Cultivating the soil returns us to our roots—literally. It helps us achieve an emotional and psychological peace of mind. There’s something soothing about being outdoors, digging in the soil, and growing things. Scientists have discovered that soil contains microbes that have a natural antidepressant effect on our brain. This effect produces serotonin in our bodies and leads to feeling happy and relaxed.
5. Play With Your Pet
Animals are masters at living in the Now Moment. Play with your pet. Toss a ball for him to fetch, play tug of war with a rope, or just pet, cuddle, and snuggle with him. You’ll have so much fun that Monkey Mind will be silenced and you’ll forget the chaos of your formerly racing thoughts.
Set aside some time to relax and meditate. Although it may seem like your thoughts are racing, the mere act of sitting down and taking time to breathe calmly and deeply while focusing your thoughts on your breathing, can help quiet Monkey Mind.
7. Cast the Burden
If you’re still tormented by those chattering monkeys, do as Florence Scovel Shinn suggests in her book, The Game of Life and How to Play It. Cast the burden of those racing thoughts upon the Christ [the Spirit] within [you] and go free, trusting that you will be alright.
Love is the force that makes the world go ’round. Our thoughts about love and what it means to us power that force.
Today is the official day of love—Valentine’s Day. But what is love really? Most people say they can’t choose who they love. Or that love just happens. Still others say that love is something you measure. And others say love can’t be measured. But who’s right?
Love, in its purest form, is an unstoppable force that can do miraculous things. When I was a teenager, I remember hearing “if you love someone, let them go. If they come back to you, they’re really yours and if they don’t come back, they never were yours.”
That was difficult to understand back then, but now I realize how true a statement it is. You cannot lose something that is yours by Divine Right.
So on this Valentine’s Day, I wish for you Love and Joy and the Happiness that comes with having in your life the love that is yours by Divine Right.
Happy Valentine’s Day 2013!
There is a Divine Plan for every living thing, a plan so marvelous, so wondrous that we cannot begin to imagine it. When you are living the Divine Plan for your life, each day unfolds in perfect ease and harmony.
You’ve probably met someone who seems to live a charmed life. Whatever she wants, she gets. Wherever she goes, she meets helpful, friendly people. And, what’s more, she seems happy almost all of the time. People wonder, ‘What’s her secret?”
Truthfully, her secret is so simple, it’s hard.
Her secret is that she has faith that everything she wants to be, do, and have is possible.
She’s on the Divine Path that is meant for her by Divine Right. She’s living the life of her dreams. But how did she get there? And how does she stay on that Divine Path?
Good questions. When we’re children. we are very much in tune with the Divine Plan for us. And, although we spend a certain number of years trying out different scenarios—I want to be a doctor; I want to be a lawyer: I want to be a rock star—eventually, one thing stands out in our minds and keeps repeating itself like a 45-rpm record stuck in a groove. (Yes, I remember vinyl records!)
The catch is that most of us, by the time we’re old enough to act upon that one thing that stands out for us, have discarded the child-like sense of wonder and the faith that we can do, be, or have whatever we want. We’ve discarded it because we’ve suffered so many disappointments that we’ve bought into what Don Miguel Ruiz, author of The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom, calls the Race Thought. The word ‘Race’ in this sense stands for Human Race.
You see, humankind believes that we live in a three-dimensional world and that we are bound by something called karmic law. For most humans, this is their truth and their reality. So they place limits on themselves and on what they can be, do, and have. And, guess what? Those limits become their reality.
However, for a special few (and I hope you are going to be one of them), there is a Fourth Dimension, the World of the Wondrous, the world most people left behind when they left childhood.
In that Fourth Dimension, you live the Divine Plan, the life plan you are meant to live, the life plan that is yours by Divine Right. When you live in that place, your life seems charmed. Things work seemingly like magic. It’s a wonderful, magical, marvelous place.
You may have flirted with this place occasionally. If you can recall a time when some part of your day flowed so easily it seemed almost magical, you were in that Fourth Dimension.